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View Diary: New Nukes: Obama will name Steven Chu his choice for Energy secretary (124 comments)

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  •  The Chinese all did a full stop/trip (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plan9, bryfry, Mcrab

    on their Pebble Bed HTR in 2004. Thus cut all the power to the reactor and watched what happened. Which was nothing, of course.

    I think Rei's arguement that it is not a 'mature' technology is false. They've run these reactors for years and, as you point out, have a LOT of data. In fact, most of the papers written on the subject are based almost entirely on the AVR experience in Germany. There should be a whole spate of data coming out of China over the next few years.

    The S. African PBMR has no liquid in it, as far as I can see. In fact, even the bearings use magnetic one, not lubricating ones.

    David

    •  Yes, you are correct (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Plan9, Mcrab

      There are plenty of data today and there will be plenty more in the future, not only from the Chinese, but also from the Japanese who have their own TRISO-based nuclear program (although not based on pebbles).

      The South African PBMR design is actually a rather conservative design. They have stepped down on the power level from earlier concepts; they use a direct cycle gas-turbine configuration (thus, no leaky steam generators or other heat exchangers). Furthermore, after the experience at Fort St. Vrain, I seriously doubt that anybody would use something other than magnetic bearings for components in the primary circuit.

      Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.
      -- George Eliot

      by bryfry on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 08:56:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh yeah, forgot about Fort St. Vrain (0+ / 0-)

        A lovely experience with HTGRs there too, wasn't it?  Wait, what was that?  Air in the core?  Water in the core?  Stuck control rods?  Fuel failures?  Almost three hundred incidents?

        Hey, but at least HTGRs have a long "history"!   ;)  

        (If I were speaking that line out loud, I would have used air-quotes around the word "history")

    •  The NRC disagrees with you (0+ / 0-)

      about whether it's a mature tech.  Take it up with them.

      FYI, about the South African design, I've seen people who work on HTRs basically making fun of them for that -- overengineering certain parts while not focusing nearly enough on others.

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