Posts Tagged ‘reactor’

Gates to go nuclear with China?

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Looks like Bill Gates trying to partner up with China in order to test the TerraPower TWR. We’ve been wondering about this design, namely about the heat transfer medium, nuclear waste management and reactor decommissioning. There’s no information about these issues on the TerraPower website and we all know the devil is in the details. Then we found out about a guy named Kirk Sorensen criticising the concept. He addressed exactly the last two points while providing a hint about the first. It turns out the heat transfer medium to be used by the TWR is liquid metal. Probably sodium. TerraPower’s idea of decommissioning and nuclear waste management is burying the whole thing once the nuclear fuel has been used up. Sorensen thinks it’s a bad idea to simply bury a 60 year old container with sodium and plutonium in it and any sane person would fully agree with him. Why? Well, probably because sodium is flamable and will explode in contact with water, while plutonium is radioactive and accumulates in the human body. In the end you essentialy have a big dirty bomb buried underground.

Looking at the footnote about Sorensen’s criticism we’ve found this video. It’s mainly a description of the LFTR and how this techology differs from current designs.┬áReally interesting.