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View Diary: Fishgrease: My War on Christmas Fundraiser Thing (203 comments)

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  •  So, future gazer ... what if we combined (1+ / 0-)
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    Future Gazer

    things? When I was in about 4th grade we had these posters all over school that said, IIRC, "Johnny has 3 truckloads of plutonium. He uses them to power nuclear reactors to produce electricity. After a year, how much plutonium does he have? 4 truckloads."

    I always wondered how come you couldn't use the 4 that resulted in a fission reactor after that, to keep the thing in balance.

    LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

    by BlackSheep1 on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 12:20:29 PM PST

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    •  Yes... (2+ / 0-)
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      BlackSheep1, Fishgrease

      Those are called breeder reactors where you get more of the fissile isotopes you want to produce the energy you need. The efficiency for breeder reactors theoretically is quite high and much better than the light water reactors. We have exactly one breeder reactor in the country that I know of that is still working.

      EBR-1 now decommissioned
      EBR-2 stopped operation in 1994
      Enrico Fermi Nuclear Generating Station Reactor 1 (there was an incident in this reactor) was decommissioned but #2 is still around I think
      Clinch River Breeder Reactor Project was never completed

      Now, we don't have anymore nuclear test reactors so anything we want to test we have to fork over lots of money to the Russians to test it in their reactors. For the test reactors that still exist in the world, it takes years to accumulate damage as if it were in operation. Some of the scientific literature I read had experiments spanning over a decade.

      A lot of materials/nuclear folks are not happy and of course, safety is a big, big concern. So to study radiation damage to materials, we have to resort to using substitutes like heavy ion beams and what not. Whatever existing data we have on materials that were tested in nuclear reactors will sort of be the gold standard in replicating damage with heavy ion beams... and perhaps implanting hydrogen and helium to better create the effect of neutron damage.

      The problem with shooting heavy ion beams is that the interactions between a heavy ion and the material are quite different (one, neutrons don't have charge).

      So as long as we can make materials withstand large amounts of neutron/light ion damage, I would be absolutely giddy about having fusion reactors... because I don't really like fission ones (the waste is just ugh). Fusion reactors are not so bad, I think the max you'd have to wait is about 10-15 years or so but the heavy radioactive isotopes from fission decay are just not fun to deal with.

      Why hello there reality, how are you doing?

      by Future Gazer on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 01:17:47 PM PST

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