Advanced Traveling-Wave Reactors A Path to Carbon-Free, Proliferation-Resistant, Energy Security - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Advanced Traveling-Wave Reactors A Path to Carbon-Free, Proliferation-Resistant, Energy Security

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  1. LLC Advanced Traveling-Wave ReactorsA Path to Carbon-Free,Proliferation-Resistant, Energy Security American Association for the Advancement of Science21 February 2010

  2. Renewables are Great,But They Face Interesting Challenges • Low capacity factors for wind and solar • Need for spinning reserve increases cost, complexity • Little prospect for large increases to hydropower • Large increases to biomass-fueled electricity will compete for cropland with biofuels, human food, and animal feed Source: EIA 2009 Annual Outlook

  3. Goal: 25% Electricity from Renewables by 2025 Required growth in nameplate capacity: 285% 9,462% 616% 410% Sources: EIA 2009 Annual Outlook, TerraPower

  4. Major Grid and Siting Challenges 18,586 km2new solar farms 10,085 km2new wind farms Sources: EIA 2009 Annual Outlook, TerraPower Sources: NREL wind, solar area calculators

  5. Major Grid and Siting Challenges 10,085 km2new wind farms 18,586 km2new solar farms OHIO MINNESOTA

  6. Nuclear Faces Challenges As WellNuclear Infrastructure Today is Complex and Expensive Uranium mining and milling Conversion to uranium hexafluoride Uranium enrichment Fuel fabrication Long-term geologic repository Depleted uranium storage Actinide fuel fabrication Nuclear power generation Reprocessing Spent fuel storage

  7. Use Unenriched Uranium as FuelMany Steps Then Become Unnecessary Uranium mining and milling Conversion to uranium hexafluoride Uranium enrichment Fuel fabrication Long-term geologic repository Depleted uranium storage Actinide fuel fabrication Nuclear power generation Reprocessing Spent fuel storage

  8. A Simpler, More Secure and Economical Nuclear Energy System Depleted uranium storage Fuel fabrication Nuclear power generation (with half-century refueling) Long-term geologic repository (with greatly reduced waste volumes) Spent fuel storage (with greatly reduced waste volumes)

  9. A More Sustainable and SecureFuel Supply Each 14-ton canister of depleted uranium can generate 60 million megawatt-hours of electricity… …enough to power six million households at current U.S. rates of consumption for a year.

  10. A More Sustainable and SecureFuel Supply The existing U.S. stockpile of 700,000 metric tonsrepresents a national energy reserve that could last for many centuries. TWRs can convert these 38,000 cylinders of “waste” to about$100 trillion worthof electricity.

  11. The TerraPower TeamDistinguished and Growing (former affiliation) Engineering and Design Charles Ahlfeld (Savannah River Site) Tom Burke (FFTF) Bill Bowen, CBCG (FFTF) Tyler Ellis (MIT) Mike Grygiel, CBCG (FFTF) David Lucoff (FFTF, Texas A&M, INEEL) Jon McWhirter, (U.S.N., UT) Ash Odedra (ITER) William Stokes, President of CBCG Alan Waltar (TAMU, FFTF, PNNL) Josh Walter (Purdue) James Waldo, CBCG (EBR-II, FFTF) and 20+ other collaborators Physics Modeling Chuck Whitmer (Microsoft) Ehud Greenspan, UC Berkeley PavelHejzlar (MIT) Rod Hyde (LLNL) *John Nuckolls, Director Emeritus of LLNL Robert Petroski, MIT Nick Touran, (UM) *Thomas Weaver, LLNL *Lowell Wood (LLNL) *George Zimmerman, LLNL * Winners of DOE’sE.O. Lawrence Award Materials/Fuels Development Kevan Weaver (INL) Ken Czerwinski, UNLV Sean McDeavitt, TAMU Ron Klueh (ORNL) Ning Li (LANL) Jacopo Buongiorno, MIT and other collaborators

  12. The TerraPower Team Business and Technology • Bill Gates • Nathan MyhrvoldFounder and CEO of Intellectual Ventures, former CTO of Microsoft • John GillelandFormerly VP at Bechtel, Director of ITER, and Sr. VP at General Atomics • David McAleesFormer co-chair of Siemens Nuclear Division • Roger ReynoldsFormer CTO of Framatome ANP/AREVA

  13. The First TerraPower Reactors • Fueled mainly by depleted uranium, a byproduct of uranium enrichment • Small amount of enriched uranium is used to start the reaction • Just one fuel load lasts for decades • No reprocessing • Reactor is sealed and below grade • Near zero proliferation risk

  14. AdvancedTraveling-Wave Reactors Making Fuel and Burning Itin One Pass, in One Place 14

  15. The Traveling-Wave Reactor (TWR) • Waves make, and then burn, fissionable material as they travel across the core. • Waves are launched with a kernel of enriched uranium, but sustained solely by fuel made from depleted uranium or natural uranium • Operates with well-developed technologies

  16. Familiar Breeder Reactor Physics, With a Twist

  17. Prismatic CoreWave Moves Through the Fuel

  18. Fission begins

  19. Burning wave Breeding wave

  20. At steady state, the power density is similar to that in a conventionalfast-neutron reactor

  21. Cylindrical Standing-Wave Reactor • Fuel is moved to the wave, instead of the wave moving through the fuel • After startup, the power density is typical of a conventional fast reactor

  22. TWRs can also run on Spent Fuel from Light Water Reactors • Existing nuclear plants in the U.S. are now storing about 60,000 metric tons of “spent” fuel • Enough fuel to power 100 TWRs—each generating1.2 GWe—for a century • No separation of uranium or plutonium required • China plans to have ~100 GWe of nuclear power by 2020 • These new reactors will expel similar amounts of “spent” fuel by mid-century

  23. TWRs Large and Small Different designs for different markets: • Small, modular reactors for factory production, flexible for applications and markets • Gigawatt-scale TWR that fits well within existing plant designs 100s of MWeModular TWR 1,150 MWeCTWR

  24. One-Gigawatt TWR • High temperature, so high efficiency • 1.2 Gwe net from 3 GWt • No spent fuel pool • Physics forces a shutdown if the temperature gets too high • Most components will be familiar to the NRC 29

  25. Next Step: Build a Demo Reactor • Traveling waves are feasible and stable • Confirmed by high-fidelity computer simulations of the nuclear physics • Nearly all pieces of the candidate design have been validated by previous fast reactors • EBR-II, Phénix, JOYO, FFTF, BN series and others • But we need a full-core demonstration • Demo will verify traveling-wave behavior and demonstrate fuel limits

  26. The First TWR: TP-1 • To begin operations in 2020, producing electricity for the grid • 350–500 MWe capacity (900–1,250 MWt) • No refueling needed for 40 years • Mainly fueled with depleted uranium, with U235 as starter fuel • Designed to accommodateadvances in fuels or materials • Also could be operated as a “standard” fast reactor • TP-1 core may be compatible with existing or planned sodium-cooled fast reactors • International cooperation will be needed to construct and operate TP-1

  27. TerraPowerReactors Approach The Ideal • Sustainable • Minimizes its environmental footprint • Burns waste • Meets global energy needs indefinitely • Safe • Meets the highest safety standards • Affordable • Competes with—or beats—existing nuclear systems • Sustainable • Phases out mining • Burns existing and future DU and other waste as fuel • Known fuel supplies are sufficient for many centuries • Safe • Uses latest safety features • Affordable • Needs no reprocessing, and eventually no enrichment

  28. The design provides “ the simplest possible fuel cycle,”says Charles W. Forsberg, executive director of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Project at MIT, “the and it requires only one uranium enrichment plant per planet.” Technology Review, march/april2009

  29. For More Details • “Novel Reactor Designs to Burn Non-Fissile Fuels,” International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants 2008 (ICAPP ‘08), paper 8319 • “A First Generation Traveling Wave Reactor,” ANS Transactions 2008, Vol. 98, p. 738 • “High Burn-Up Fuels for Fast Reactors: Past Experience and Novel Applications,” International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants 2009 (ICAPP ‘09), paper 9178 • “A Once-Through Fuel Cycle for Fast Reactors,” 17th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering (ICONE-17), paper ICONE17-75381 • “Extending the Nuclear Fuel Cycle with Traveling-Wave Reactors,” GLOBAL 2009, paper 9294 • Article in press at the Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power • http://intellectualventureslab.com and TerraPowerInfo@intven.com