Thursday 29th of July 2021

a safer fast-breeder nuclear energy source?...
















BREST Fast Neutron Reactor: Russia Offers a New Nuclear Paradigm for Sustainable Development


Rosatom's newly inaugurated nuclear energy complex with a BREST-OD-300 fast neutron reactor may become a breakthrough providing relatively inexpensive, safe, carbon-free, and nearly inexhaustible nuclear power as energy consumption is set to dramatically soar in the coming decades.


On 8 June, the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom inaugurated the construction of a 300 MW nuclear power unit with an innovative lead-cooled BREST-OD-300 fast neutron reactor in Seversk, in Russia's Tomsk region.

"Today we celebrate the pouring of the first concrete of Russia's BREST reactor!", tweeted Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Mariano Grossi. "This is part of the 'Proryv' ['Breakthrough'] project towards a closed nuclear fuel cycle, which will help to reduce the final waste burden. Milestone for the nuclear industry!"

Rosatom's project "Breakthrough" is aimed at developing a new nuclear technology platform based on a closed nuclear fuel cycle (CNFC) with advanced fast neutron nuclear reactors. Fast reactors are touted for their ability to increase energy yields from natural uranium and utilise nuclear byproducts and spent fuel. This would allow nuclear power programmes to be extended for thousands of years, while at the same time solving the radioactive waste problem. Thus, it is hardly surprising that major nuclear countries, such as China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, the UK, and the US have been developing fast neutron reactors as breeders and high-level waste burners.


Rosatom's newly inaugurated Pilot-Demonstration Energy Complex will combine a nuclear power plant (NPP), spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant, and fuel re-fabrication plant all on one site for the first time in history. Russia's fourth generation lead-cooled fast reactor with improved safety will serve as a core of the new complex.

Lead-cooled fast reactor technology was previously used in Soviet Project 705 Lira attack submarines (NATO reporting name "Alpha") that debuted in the early 1970s. The cutting-edge high-speed submarines were built of titanium with a compact nuclear reactor cooled by molten lead-bismuth.


Natural Safety

Although the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 and the Fukushima Daiichi catastrophe of 2011 triggered scepticism over the safety of the atomic industry, the lessons of the two deadly accidents have been learned by nuclear engineers across the world. In particular, they sought to mitigate the impact of external human factors and operator errors, as was the case with Chernobyl and prevent a "zirconium steam reaction" as at Fukushima, where the core of the reactor became exposed to steam.


Read more:


GUS: In the 1970s, the French "fast-breeder" coolant was mostly melted sodium which was transfering heat under high pressure... The technology, though superb on paper, encountered some mega obstacles, including the highly corrosive aspect of the coolant...





warming globally...


The Earth is trapping nearly twice as much heat as it did in 2005, according to new research, described as an “unprecedented” increase amid the climate crisis.

Scientists from Nasa, the US space agency, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa), reported in a new study that Earth’s “energy imbalance approximately doubled” from 2005 to 2019. The increase was described as “alarming”.

“Energy imbalance” refers to the difference between how much of the Sun’s “radiative energy” is absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere and surface, compared to how much “thermal infrared radiation” bounces back into space.

“A positive energy imbalance means the Earth system is gaining energy, causing the planet to heat up,” Nasa said in a statement about this study.


Scientists determined there was an energy imbalance by comparing data from satellite sensors – which track how much energy enters and exits Earth’s system – and data from ocean floats.

This system of data-gathering floats, which stretches across the globe, allows for “an accurate estimate of the rate at which the world’s oceans are heating up”.

Because about 90% of excess energy from an imbalance winds up in the ocean, the satellite sensors’ data should correspond with temperature changes in oceans.

“The two very independent ways of looking at changes in Earth’s energy imbalance are in really, really good agreement, and they’re both showing this very large trend, which gives us a lot of confidence that what we’re seeing is a real phenomenon and not just an instrumental artifact,” said Norman Loeb, lead study author and a Nasa researcher.

“The trends we found were quite alarming in a sense.”


Upticks in greenhouse gas emissions keep heat in Earth’s atmosphere, trapping radiation that would otherwise move into space. This warming spurs other changes, including ice and snow melt. An increase in water vapor, and changes to clouds, could further exacerbate this warming, Nasa said.

The study found that this doubling is the result, in part, by an increase in greenhouse gases and water vapor, as well as decreases in clouds and ice.

Researchers also said that a “naturally occurring” shift in the Pacific ocean from a cool phase to a warm one probably had a significant role in amplifying this energy imbalance.

“It’s likely a mix of anthropogenic forcing and internal variability,” Loeb said. “And over this period they’re both causing warming, which leads to a fairly large change in Earth’s energy imbalance. The magnitude of the increase is unprecedented.”

Loeb did say, however, that this research provides only a glimpse in relation to longterm climate change, and, according to Nasa, that “it’s not possible to predict with any certainty what the coming decades might look like for the balance of Earth’s energy budget”.

The study did determine that unless the rate of heat uptake slows, greater shifts in climate should be expected.


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Note: Gus Leonisky has predicted that the first major shift in climate will happen mid year 2032...  The proverbial muck will hit the fan... We needed to go carbon neutral in 1994-96 in order to avoid a rise of 2 degrees Celsius above the average then. By now we're on the road to between +4.5 and +6 degrees Celsius by 2100...


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