Fission-Suppressed Fusion Breeder on the Thorium Cycle and Nonproliferation
R. W. Moir
Vallecitos Molten Salt Research, 607 E. Vallecitos Rd., Livermore, CA 94550 925-447-8804 phone/fax, www.ralphmoir.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fusion reactors could be designed to breed fissile material while suppressing fissioning thereby enhancing safety. The produced fuel could be used to startup and makeup fuel for fission reactors. Each fusion reaction can produce typically 0.6 fissile atoms and release about 1.6 times the 14 MeV neutron’s energy in the blanket in the fission-suppressed design. This production rate is 2660 kg/1000 MW of fusion power for a year. The revenues would be doubled from such a plant by selling fuel at a price of 60/g and electricity at $0.05/kWh for Q=Pfusion/Pinput=4. Fusion reactors could be designed to destroy fission wastes by transmutation and fissioning but this is not a natural use of fusion whereas it is a designed use of fission reactors. Fusion could supply makeup fuel to fission reactors that were dedicated to fissioning wastes with some of their neutrons. The design for safety and heat removal and other items is already accomplished with fission reactors. Whereas fusion reactors have geometry that compromises safety with a complex and thin wall separating the fusion zone from the blanket zone where wastes could be destroyed. Nonproliferation can be enhanced by mixing 233U with 238U. Also nonproliferation is enhanced in typical fission-suppressed designs by generating up to 0.05 232U atoms for each 233U atom produced from thorium, about twice the IAEA standards of “reduced protection” or “self protection.” With 2.4% 232U, high explosive material is predicted to degrade owing to ionizing radiation after a little over 1⁄2 year and the heat rate is 77 W just after separation and climbs to over 600 W ten years later. The fissile material can be used to fuel most any fission reactor but is especially appropriate for molten salt reactors (MSR) also called liquid fluoride thorium reactors (LFTR) because of the molten fuel does not need hands on fabrication and handling.
Keywords: Hybrids, thorium, U-233, fusion fuel breeder, nonproliferation PACS: 28.52.70