Skip to comments.U.S. to restart construction of N-reactors / Toshiba arm to deliver new model
Posted on 11/30/2011 2:18:55 PM PST by Red Steel
TOKYO After 34 years, the United States is expected to resume construction of nuclear reactors by the end of the year, and Toshiba will export turbine equipment for the reactors to the U.S. early next month, it was learned Saturday.
According to sources, construction will begin by year-end on the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors of the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in Georgia and the Nos. 2 and 3 reactors of the Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station in South Carolina.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is expected to shortly approve the construction and operation of the reactors, which have been designed by Westinghouse, a subsidiary of Toshiba.
The decision to resume construction of reactors is expected to pave the way for Japan to export related equipment to the United States, observers said.
The reactors to be constructed are of the AP1000 type, an advanced 1,100-megawatt pressurized water reactor, and are targeted to go into operation in 2016 at the earliest.
(Excerpt) Read more at yomiuri.co.jp ...
No, this is the system used by the Navy on board Nuclear subs and Aircraft Carriers for years. Never one accident.
Thorium can be used as fuel in a nuclear reactor, and it is a fertile material, which allows it to be used to produce nuclear fuel in a breeder reactor. In 1997, the U.S. Energy Department underwrote research into thorium fuel, and research was also begun in 1996 by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to study the use of thorium reactors. Nuclear scientist, Alvin Radkowsky, of Tel Aviv University in Israel, founded a consortium to develop thorium reactors, which included other companies: Raytheon Nuclear Inc., Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow. Radkowsky was chief scientist in the U.S. nuclear submarine program directed by Admiral Hyman Rickover and later headed the design team which built the USA’s first civilian nuclear power plant at Shippingport, Pennsylvania, which was a scaled-up version of the first naval reactor. Some countries, including India, are now investing in research to build thorium-based nuclear reactors. A 2005 report by the International Atomic Energy Agency discusses potential benefits along with the challenges of thorium reactors. India has also made thorium-based nuclear reactors a priority with its focus on developing fast breeder technology.
Some benefits of thorium fuel when compared with uranium were summarized as follows:
Weapons-grade fissionable material (233U) is harder to retrieve safely and clandestinely from a thorium reactor;
Thorium produces 10 to 10,000 times less long-lived radioactive waste;
Thorium comes out of the ground as a 100% pure, usable isotope, which does not require enrichment, whereas natural uranium contains only 0.7% fissionable U-235;
Thorium cannot sustain a nuclear chain reaction without priming, so fission stops by default.
Great background, thanks. It is really appreciated. What do you know about getting around the enviros and the lawsuits as regards new plants on new sites?
Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor would be a good alternative to the more conventional uranium/plutonium types.
"Former U.S. President George W. Bush, who called for less dependence on Middle East oil, shifted policy toward resumption of construction of nuclear power plants. Since 2007, many electric power companies have applied to build new nuclear power plants. The NRC is currently screening 26 new reactors."
A Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR) would be a good alternative to the more conventional uranium/plutonium types.