Meeting of energy needs in the period of raw materials insufficiency during the 21st century
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Meeting of energy needs in the period of raw materials insufficiency during the 21st century. Czech Republic & others. 11th INPRO Steering Committee Meeting, IAEA, Vienna, Austria, July 2-4, 2007. Topical areas of identified R&D needs - Country Name -. Identified Area :

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Meeting of energy needsin the period of raw materials insufficiency during the 21st century.

Czech Republic & others

11th INPRO Steering Committee Meeting,

IAEA, Vienna, Austria, July 2-4, 2007.

Topical areas of identified R&D needs- Country Name -

  • Identified Area :

    Energy profile in the whole world

    and in the country.

    National priority : high

    • Can be implemented under INPRO? : Yes

      2. Identified Area :

      Criteria for the technology

      to enter market successfully.

    • National priority : high

    • Can be implemented under INPRO? : Yes

    • Main aspects: environmentally friendly technology, long time sustainability, safe and independent supply

3. Identified Area :

Problems of energy needs and forecast.

  • National priority : high

  • Can be implemented under INPRO? : Yes

  • Main aspects: environmentally friendly technology, long time sustainability, conversion of various energies, main nuclear technology branches, costs of energy in the energy shortage – losses of production and quality of life

    4. Identified Area :

    Safety of energy supply and close fuel cycle – timing of the technology.

  • National priority : high

  • Can be implemented under INPRO? : Yes

  • Main aspects: probabilities guaranties of short time supply analyses, short time storaging of raw materials – advantages of nuclear materials in transport and compactness of storaging, broader application of point 3.

Proposals of Collaborative Project under INPRO- suggestion of collaboration will be sent to (underlined countries were already contacted and expressed preliminary consent) :Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Ukraine, EU (ISTC project)

  • Title of Project

    Meeting of energy needsin the period of raw materials insufficiency during the 21st century.

    (Future energy scenarios with the special attention to nuclear option.)

    • Short description

The main aim of the work is to give into the mutual harmony long term planning of nuclear energy (contemporary power station has supposed lifetime 70 years and will need at least ten years from the decision to full realization) with the possibility of raw materials supply during the whole lifetime. But situation is not so uniquely directed only to nuclear energy – classical sources (coal, gas and oil) are supposed to be exhausted surely in this century (coal could be regionally dependent) and specially Europe will be practically net consumer of energy raw materials. Ways to stabilize market could be production of hydrogen and use of U238 and Th232 in the new reactors.

But developments needed to influence practical industrial demand is about 30 years to be able to start to build up industrial new type nuclear power-stations and money of the order of several billion dollars. At the same time political unification has consequence on local raw material resources, which could hardly be interpreted only as the local or national ownership. Their price could sharply rise and there will be pressure to use it not only for energy production, but also as the chemical raw material. Moreover it is expected that in the half of this century the price of natural uranium will be limiting factor for the contemporary PWR reactors use and that there will be necessary to start fast breeders or use thorium fuel to cover demands.

Standard estimation is that for 2% of national income grows 1% of energy (obviously electricity) is demanded. This, together with the compensation of the classical raw materials decreasing, leads to the estimations that nuclear energy should be growing during the next fifty years about five times. It is expected that such rapid grows will need to start fast breeders or at least thorium cycles, because of lack or high price of natural uranium.

Such complicated picture of future energy market and including various external limitations is formulating complicated task in which new technologies, existing classical and nuclear capacities and long time planning should be combined with the extreme technical safety demands, consensus with public and political safety and guaranties of nonproliferation of nuclear weapon materials. And this is the problem, which we want to describe and try to evaluate some optimal strategies in the sense of economic, safety and sustainable development of our society.

It is supposed, that the DESAE program will be enlarged for blocks enabling to take into account prices of raw materials and reprocessing and reuse of existing spent fuel sources. Based on it there should be estimations how to accelerate introduction of new nuclear technologies to decrease fossil materials use. IMPRO criteria, together with the estimation of material balances and demands to spent actinide wastes should be respected.

Material will be for each participated country used as a tool for the long term strategic planning in energy demands and profile.

Expected first technology evaluation and its market entering:

High temperature reactor for production of hydrogen from water, instead of from classical fossil materials with the carbon dioxide as byproduct.

Probable type of the reactor – pebble bed reactor with higher enrichment (unsustainable option); reactor should be changed into the faster neutron spectra or maybe thorium uranium fuel; complicated chemistry with new safety demands.

At the time being we know only about intensive US works in both directions : reactor with molten salt cooling and intermediate heat exchanger and chemical part.

The very first option should be substitution of contemporary hydrogen production. Existing nowadays needs in US are equivalent about 100GW thermal. If we have through nuclear energy cheep option – needs will be enlarged.

Use for production of fertilizers, motor car oil from heavy oil fractions, possible production of oil from coal and others. In future also direct use for cars.

Expected entering of market - 2020. (At least political announcement are declaring it.)

To influence the oil market, production should be about 30% of existing needs, which is (depending on country) the same as existing nuclear electricity production. Such amount of nuclear option change balance of nuclear fuel and should be seriously studied.

  • Objectives: technical support for national energy strategy

  • Related INS assessment study: GIF, EU FP

  • Expected results: smoother and saver energy supply

  • National contributions and support: local national plans, EU ISTC Project, facilitating role of IAEA INPRO

  • Duration: at the beginning at least three years

    with the possibility of prolonging.

  • Project cost assessment: not yet specified

    (at lest several specialists from each country)

  • Option of implementation : to be specified

    after collecting of all collaborators and

    external organizations support

Material was prepared by V. Lelek based on older presentations

prepared in the following group of authors.

Vladimir Lelek

Nuclear Research Institute Rez, Rez, Czech Republic

Aram Gevorgian, Armenia

Jonas Gylys

Energy Technology Institute, Kaunas, Lithuania

Tihomir Apostolov, Biser Petrov

Institute for Nuclear Research, Sofia, Bulgaria

Stefan Chwaszcewski, Krzysztof Andrzejewski

Institute of Atomic Energy, Otwock-Swierk, Poland

Stanislav Subbotin, Viktor Tsibulskij,

Russian Research Centre "Kurchatov Institute", Moscow, Russia

Petr Darilek, Stefan Zajac, Juraj Breza

Nuclear Power Plants Institute, Trnava, Slovakia

Anatoliy Afanasyev



The most visible expressing of coming energy crisis are growing oil prices. Obviously was said that there is enough oil up to 2040. But the oil is different commodity than other raw materials and if you are on the maximum production on one place (about ½ of the whole resource) inevitably further production is decreasing. Corresponding curve amount of oil per time is called Hubert curve. Last year on the address

studies were published – specially concerning the signals of oil peaking



and the last publication, including broad literature

Economic Impacts of U.S.

Liquid Fuel Mitigation Options

DOE/NETL-2006/1237, July 8, 2006

NETL Contact: Charles J. Drummond,

Senior Management and Technical Advisor Office of Systems Analyses and Planning

Prepared by:

Roger H. Bezdek, Management Information Services, Inc., Washington, D.C.

Robert M. Wendling, Management Information Services, Inc., Washington, D.C.

Robert L. Hirsch, SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation), Alexandria, Virginia

National Energy Technology Laboratory

Materials should be understood in connection with the study about Future U.S. Highway Energy Use: A Fifty Year Perspective, written by the group of authors in May 2001.

Picture, done in 2001, demonstrate symbolically oil peak and production decreasing and growing demand. Contemporary estimation is giving about five years shorter estimation.

" Lower 48 " denotes 48 south’s US states in which originally oil production started.

Graph demonstrates that production is mostly insensitive to the producer’s will –

this means that the production decreasing after some time –

roughly half of the overall resource, is inevitable.

It is stated in the Hirsh report, there that when oil production start to decrease, it will not be possible to substitute quickly (within ten years) liquid fuel or corresponding transport by any other energy source – world economy will be inevitably losing and will be carrying consequences: decreasing of production, unemployment etc. There are three scenarios studied: (i) we start to prepare ourselves 20 years before the peak – losses are minimal; (ii) we start to take care 10 years before – big losses are inevitable; (iii) we start to do something after the peak is reached – catastrophic scenarios are inevitable. As a way to do anything only proven technologies are taken into account – no nuclear. The probable term of oil peaking prediction is in the next table

It is explainable that estimation given by companies is higher – the shorter interval you give the lower value will be your shares. It seems that even if the estimation could be with high error, there are no shadow of doubt that 2016 is realistic estimate.

Overall balance in oil reserves versus oil production is clearly visible from the graph (Hirsh report) – we can really see that end of production is coming. Problem is naturally more complicated and estimation that there will be peak of production in 2016 denotes that such estimation has error several years and that from decreasing production together with growing demands will quickly generate five ten percent deficit in the market. Potential consequences are in the report discussed.

Hirsh report introduces concepts of accidental planning (20 years before, 10 years before, just after oil peaking) – only existing and verified technologies are taking into account – conclusions to the society and different economies are qualitatively analyzed.

It is stated that it will cost huge money, but even start ten years before will lead to the huge losses and unemployment for the transient of liquid fuel substitution and new ways of production. Overall investment needed during the period of about twenty years is estimated about 3 trillion USD [3x1012]– approximately 4% of general investments during the period.It is also stated that tension of the market specially on the market with specialized manpower can enlarge such investment by the factor from two to ten.

Looking around we can recognize, that in EU there are probably nearly zero activity to take some measures. Attempt to use bio alcohol in greater amount seems to be like to find perpetuum mobile – soil cannot give more than it is falling from sun.

We, being nuclear community, must evidently study high temperature reactors and theirs connection with thermal water splitting using various catalytic reactions. This could be the only perspective solution, because there is enough fission material and limited possibilities to import fossil energy resources. On the other side from the point of view of shorter time interval we do not have fast reactor with the temperature output about 900oC and if the needed amount of oil will be produced via thermal nuclear reactors (nuclear hydrogen production + liquid fuel production from coal, heavy oils, gas) interval to fast nuclear reactors (about 2040) will be surely much shorter.

Existing knowledge of materials for reactors is ending at the temperatures about 650oC. Due to demands on safety and dangers connected with hydrogen we need greater distance of hydrogen chemical production from nuclear reactor and due to it we have too big losses in temperatures when we use helium in the intermediate heat exchanger – probably fluoride molten salt will be used. Problems in corrosion at high temperatures in chemistry are expected.

How people society will solve this problem is under question mark – some ways how to proceed are also written in the book

E.P. Velikhov, A.Yu. Gagarinski, S.A. Subbotin, V.F. Tsibulskiy:

“Russia in the World Energy of the XXI Century”

IzDat – Nuclear Science and Engineering Publishers

123182 Moscow, Zhivopisnaya st., 46; tel. 7 (495) 190 9244

Printed by the Nauka Printing House of the Russian Academy of Sciences

121099 Moscow, Shubinski per., 6

Book is hardly accessible and we do not have full text now.

Concerning spent fuel problem – massive reprocessing will start with the fast breeder introduction – if high temperature reactors will be used to produce hydrogen, then it will be surely sooner than about 2040. The way out could be either fast high temperature reactor or molten salt reactor with the high temperature output and parallel hydrogen production. This will also enlarge pressure to solve actinides problems.

All books and older works (IIASA studies) supposed in this period intensive synthetic fuel production.

Material prepared for the INPRO IAEA meeting in Vienna, May 21-25, 2007

Draft Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Collaborative Project

(including purposes, partners, resources, funding schemes, working plans,

schedules, options of implementation (CRP, TCP, JI), deliverables, etc.

Terms of Reference overview


Prepare strategic plan of development of energy needs for the home country in the framework of the world situation.

Formulate for each country asymptotic behavior of energy needs and sustainable raw material supply. Even if we expect the same basic asymptotic function, velocity of convergence will be different and there will be also differences in renewable resources – specially water.

Do basic considerations about the ways to reach sustainable option and estimate basic investment demands and equivalence among the existing energy supply technologies.

The main aim is to avoid situations in which there will have to be uncontrolled limitation of production with the corresponding consequences like unemployment and society disorders.


Bellow mentioned countries were contacted – there are mostly countries, which are neighbors and have experience with former cooperation (this does not mean that the list is complete or closed, or limited to the European region only):

Armenia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, EU (ISTC project).

Upper mention countries explicitly expressed a will to cooperate on the level of specialists and they are taking part in common meetings like AER working group "Transmutation" or they have or obtained program DESAE, which is supposed to be used to forecast specially nuclear energy.

Negotiations are going on with several others.


Up to now the project was not formulated in some common money, we are estimating that there will be from the mentioned countries about two specialists in full capacity. Probable part of Russians and Ukrainians will be greater and Armenian lower. This gives twenty specialists together – it is relatively a great amount and there will be a demand for local organization and regular common meetings.

Local governmental or other granting agencies should pay all specialists; Russian part supposes ISTC grant.

Funding schemes:

Corresponds to the local practice. IAEA support – if there would be any – will be used to strengthen specialists exchange, use of data from world databases and generalization to the countries up to now refusing nuclear energy and estimation of energy and capacities demand, when they change the policy limitations.

External support will be in the first approximation subdivided corresponding to the declared capacities.

Working plans:

The first step is estimation of grows curve – we hope to use that energy demands will be one half of grows rate. Each country will be probably supposed to reach the same asymptotic grows about 2% - it will be the case of home choice how quickly would country move to asymptotic curve. We should like to have, as much as possible, the same characters of curves (with respect to the different starting conditions) to simplify common works and accelerate mutual cooperation.

There will be done, in each country, a survey of available resources – except Russia. There are nearly no gas and oil (or negligible amount, new Hungarian gas field will be exception), coal is practically unmovable – to reach demanded velocity of grows of energy supply, we will have to take into account decreasing of fossil raw material supply and their substitution by nuclear fission sources. This is very complicated task, because for example liquid fuel production is not yet fully analyzed process and corresponding reactor for high temperature supply and hydrogen production has small breeding ratio. Approximations for such new reactor must be prepared and put into the DESAE program. Even if we can hardly speak about prices after 2020 we probably can compare relative values and energy needs for production and goods exchange. We naturally expect that there will be great errors of such forecasts, but most of the things should be true, because flow of materials is out of any doubt.

Sixty years lifetime of new thermal light-water nuclear reactors gives us planning limitation to store (maybe from the re-enriched spent fuel) sufficient amount of enriched uranium to be able to work up to the end of their lifetime.

Future fast breeder program cannot be introduced in smaller countries without mutual cooperation and concept of common use and raw material supply – this will be also a part of common study, how unify resources and utilization.

It is planned that world forecast will be done in Russia and this gives basic framework for local analyses and accounting of local differences in fossil fuels supply and velocity of their substitution into nuclear.

Renewable energy sources in water will be fully accounted and other like wind are under question mark – their investment are comparable with nuclear and efficiency is about eight time lower and they need the same power to substitute wind stop, because they cannot be planned and also their lifetime is expected to be less than half of the nuclear. This is type of energy, which cannot be fully stored.

All energy supplies have in raw materials, which are produced and supplied by different countries serious feedback, which could be estimated with troubles – you can hardly answer questions, concerning prices after ten or twenty years – on the other side fast breeders could be fully planned and raw materials ensured without troubles. For such options you need only energy and materials for basic investment – this is serious advantage and guarantee of future energy supply. We hope to express it in some mathematical formalism.

Intensive works, and negotiation are now going on to prepare common working plan and finally close it on the meeting in CEA Cadarache this year. We are going to intensify exchange of knowledge and info using video-conference and phones via computers.


Work, described here should be continue process – limitations in raw materials will be for future planning unavoidable reality and must be taken into account together with the technical progress as a part of future planning procedure.

Concrete task schedule will be given based on IAEA INPRO recommendations.

Options of implementation:

Concerning options of implementation – all works will be open to use either in private or in governmental circles. We hope that results will be used in governmental documents, specially, in long term energy supply strategy.

Within the framework of IAEA INPRO program we recommend to use Coordinated Research Program (CRP) option.


All potential deliverables will be in the paper form, graphs, variants, sensitivity analyses etc.

No experimental works are planned.

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