Fusion Message Board

In this space, visitors are invited to post any comments, questions, or skeptical observations about Philo T. Farnsworth's contributions to the field of Nuclear Fusion research.

Subject: Re: Recycling and using the
Date: Oct 17, 3:47 pm
Poster: Clay Codner

On Oct 17, 3:47 pm, Clay Codner wrote:

What if a fusor is designed to use neutron-stripping and related processes to convert long-lived nuclear waste, including depleted uranium from the leftovers of the initial enrichment process, by periodically convert small amounts of the materials to short-lived materials and just collect the energy released.

--> It would be much more efficient to use a "Fast Neutron Reactor" to do what you describe. A fast reactor, in theory, has many advantages over current reactors.
1) Efficient fuel use. A fast reactor uses its fuel almost to exhaustion. In theory a year's worth of uranium for a regular reactor would fuel a fast reactor for 99 years.
2) Closed fuel cycle. The prototypes are able to recycle the "waste" from fusion and reform it into more fuel. This is what allows the efficiency above. It also reduces waste by 100x.
3) More efficient heat cycle. My stats may be off, but I believe that a normal reactor has a thermal efficiency of 40-50% while a fast reactor has a 60-70% efficiency. This is because they use a wider temperature range for the heat transfer.

There was a prototype fast reactor run by the DOE that claimed all of these benefits, plus had tested various failures (Such as uncovering the core) with 100% success. It was canceled by Clinton for reasons unknown.