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(TED)   Old and Busted: Pressurized steam turbine nuclear reactors. New Hotness (pun intended): Molten salt nuclear reactors. Fark: Designed by a 19 year old   (ted.com) divider line 76
    More: Cool, nuclear reactors, Taylor Wilson, steam turbines, nuclear fissions, nuclear fusions  
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4529 clicks; posted to Geek » on 18 Jun 2013 at 10:14 PM (43 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-19 02:23:34 AM
that hyper simplified chalkboard representation and his self admittance to doing homeland security work tell me that he probably did make one.  It's most likely a military prototype and he couldn't bring on any detailed plans.  It's not that his design is new it's his design is safer and cheap to make.   In an age where we have to worry about terrorists/natural disasters/ computer malfunctions SAFE is good.
 
2013-06-19 02:25:38 AM

Hollie Maea: Using molten salt as your heat exchange fluid is not the least bit "new"


Its also not the least bit safe
 
2013-06-19 06:21:03 AM

ShadowKamui: Hollie Maea: Using molten salt as your heat exchange fluid is not the least bit "new"

Its also not the least bit safe


Breathing, eating, walking down the street isn't the least bit safe either. What's your point?

I'm interested to see what problem molten salt reactors have that you find more "unsafe" than pressurizing radioactive water/highly radioactive materials or burning hydrocarbons or utilizing heavy-metal(toxic) laced silicon sheets on roofs or gigantic rotating fan blades?
 
2013-06-19 06:26:16 AM
Came to join the chorus of "this ain't new".

/ and can subby please super size my fries?
 
2013-06-19 07:07:18 AM
DNRTFA, but from comments I'm assuming the kid's proposing a 2-loop system? Because iirc FLiBe Energy's proposal (of which Kirk Sorensen is the President, may be conflating between the two since it's what's usually shown in videos related to him) is for a 3-loop system, one molten salt loop for fuel which is entirely contained, one "clean" molten salt loop which exits containment and contains no fuel, and THEN one gas loop for the Brayton cycle turbine, with a preference for being located next to a non drinkable water source (usually the ocean) to desalinate and further cool the gas before it's heated again.

I've personally been wondering about the corrosion potential for the salt and if it could be overcome with something similar to Neverwet, since molten salt is a fluid when used in this kind of situation. Less salt in contact with the materials containing it could possibly net a small gain to thermal efficiency (thinking out of my keister here).
 
2013-06-19 07:10:55 AM
Right. Some company is going to start building nooclur reactors and market them, that were designed by a 19 year old.

You have to be in your late 50's or early 60's to have cred in the nuclear energy field.
 
2013-06-19 07:20:16 AM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Quantum Apostrophe: MaudlinMutantMollusk: How did this kid achieve a fusion reaction?

/I must be confused
//I didn't think controlled fusion was possible yet
///I'm certain, though, that someone will be along to tell me I'm an idiot shortly

I'm always surprised when someone hasn't heard of this by now, especially on here. Maybe you don't hang out enough in the geek tab?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusor

At this point, it's almost off-the-shelf parts. Still a lot of work to get working.

I guess my mistake was in the belief that a functional fusion reactor would create more energy than it consumes

/at least that's what I would consider "functional"


Weird, I didn't see the words "functional" or "reactor" in your beginning statement.

I see "fusion reaction" and "controlled fusion", which are both present in the table-top, net-energy-loss example given.

A truly functional fusion reactor does not exist.  Controlled fusion reactions do.

/the uncontrolled ones are much more interesting though
 
2013-06-19 07:29:51 AM
Look guys, I just designed a time machine

simpsonitos.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-06-19 07:30:10 AM
I'm doing a TED talk on my idea for an internal combustion engine using gasoline!
 
2013-06-19 08:04:56 AM
He seems to be a smart and personable enough young man, but why at age 19 did he "just graduate High School"?
 
2013-06-19 08:16:30 AM

Trayal: I got the impression from listening to his speech that he's referring to his specific design, i.e. the modular built-in-a-factory design that he put together, as new, not the underlying technology.

I don't know if an assembly line modular reactor idea really is new or not, but perhaps searching for a little perspective and context, before immediately accusing him of plagiarism, may be in order.

Less Judging, more Perceiving, no?


That isn't novel either.  Look up NuScale
 
2013-06-19 08:20:44 AM

Any Pie Left: Any disruption of water supply is an emergency.


Sure if it lasts more than like 72 hours
 
2013-06-19 08:23:06 AM
You don't need to explain the pun in your headline  Subby.   If they get it, they get it.  If they don't, its Fark.
 
2013-06-19 09:05:49 AM

Befuddled: He wants to bury his reactor underground. That would be a bad idea as when the thing leaks it will contaminate the ground.

This isn't a good topic for a TED talk as the subject is way too technical. There is too much 'trust me, this will work the way I say it will' going on.


TED talks are about higher-level ideas.  In this case the idea is the decentralization of the power grid using nuclear (instead of solar, which is the dominant decentralization paradigm).  The technical stuff is an argument that it's viable, not the core purpose of the talk itself.
 
2013-06-19 09:14:12 AM
Is this the thread where pompous old farts who know nothing about nuclear power and can't comprehend the subject matter of the TED talk come in and tell us how way in their heyday, the great 1940s when Hitler was president, the Russians already developed nuclear powered submarines using this very same technology this kid is proposing as being novel and that it'll never work because IHOP won't allow it?
 
2013-06-19 09:17:40 AM

Trayal: I don't know if an assembly line modular reactor idea really is new or not, but perhaps searching for a little perspective and context, before immediately accusing him of plagiarism, may be in order.


My general understanding is that nuclear reactors are designed specifically for whatever installation they're going in to rather than being a modular 'flat pack' design.

To my mind it's that aspect which is the new hotness not the molten salt heat exchanger.  OTOH the people reporting on this (and often those at a TED event) wouldn't necessarily know that'd been done before and people have picked up on the wrong aspect as being 'new and impressive'.

So basically the headline has it ass backwards.
 
2013-06-19 09:23:18 AM
my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food:

A truly functional fusion reactor does not exist.

*looks up at sky*

smellslikebullshiat.jpg
 
2013-06-19 09:28:28 AM

mr lawson: Ivo Shandor: Trayal: I don't know if an assembly line modular reactor idea really is new or not,

No, not even close to it. This 1985 patent for example.

See also: Thorium-fueled underground power plant based on molten salt technology (PDF) - Ralph Moir and Edward Teller, 2004. One of its references is about Brayton-cycle power generation.

yup...and yes...it is THE Edward Teller. you know..father of the H-bomb guy:-)
/Dr. Moir knows his stuff as well


Teller once used a hydrogen bomb to light a cigarette.
 
2013-06-19 09:39:18 AM

Vaneshi: My general understanding is that nuclear reactors are designed specifically for whatever installation they're going in to rather than being a modular 'flat pack' design.


This is true to an extent but it has a lot to do with the foibles of American construction or lack thereof over the last 50 years.  That's kind of how things ended up being built because different utilities were going with a host of vendors to do designs and had different ideas about what they wanted and needed in terms of core instrumentation etc.  Really the only things that need to be built to be site specific (assuming the site doesn't have some non-ideal characteristics like higher-than-design-basis seismic activity) is the ultimate heat sink (circulating water).  Typically you've got a river, or the ocean or maybe a really big lake, and depending on local regulations maybe a cooling tower.  The conventional island will vary a lot depending on what vendors the utility in question wants to go with to satisfy the BOP requirements for flow and pressure and such, but the Nuclear Island can essentially be 100% standardized between sites.
 
2013-06-19 09:53:31 AM
Befuddled: He wants to bury his reactor underground. That would be a bad idea as when the thing leaks it will contaminate the ground.

... which is far preferable to contaminating the air or waterways.

This isn't a good topic for a TED talk as the subject is way too technical. There is too much 'trust me, this will work the way I say it will' going on.

That I agree with.
 
2013-06-19 10:37:15 AM

acefox1: Meh, that's nothing.

I've got this amazing new idea of taking an engine, mounting a propeller on it and attaching it to some kind of structure with wings and stabilizers. I'll be in all the papers next week.


Sounds like you're on the wright track.
 
2013-06-19 10:51:59 AM

Vaneshi: my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food:

A truly functional fusion reactor does not exist.

*looks up at sky*

smellslikebullshiat.jpg


If that's a "reactor", surely you must have blueprints for it? And be able to build another one? Right? Right??

/That smell ain't coming from the sky, son
 
2013-06-19 11:14:38 AM

vossiewulf: And by new hotness, we mean used in Soviet and Russian nuclear subs for 40 years.


And we're done. "New to America" does not mean "new" or even "remotely not old".
 
2013-06-19 12:45:21 PM
We have a practically infinite fusion reactor located no far from us. Wouldn't it be better to try and harness more of it energy?

Why not orbital solar collectors that beam the power back to earth as microwaves? Plus, they would make a kick ass doomsday weapon (in the wrong hands [i.e. human]).
 
2013-06-19 01:02:58 PM

Valiente: vossiewulf: And by new hotness, we mean used in Soviet and Russian nuclear subs for 40 years.

And we're done. "New to America" does not mean "new" or even "remotely not old".


And molten salt does not mean liquid metal.
 
2013-06-19 08:53:03 PM
Blowups Happen.
 
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