Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Kazakhstan signs nuclear weapons ban treaty – urges others to do the same

Kazakhstan signs the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, Azer News, 5 Mar 18 On the day of the 26th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s accession to the United Nations, an official ceremony was held at the UN Headquarters for signing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kazinform to the Foreign Office’s press service reports.

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March 5, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Thorium nuclear reactors are NOT safer than conventional uranium reactors 

Dispelling Claim 4: Thorium reactors are safer than  conventional uranium reactors  Thorium ‒ a better fuel for nuclear technology? Nuclear Monitor,   by Dr. Rainer Moormann  1 March 2018

The fission of U-233 results in roughly the same amounts

of the safety-relevant nuclides iodine-131, caesium-137

and strontium-90 as that of U-235. Also, the decay heat is

virtually the same. The differences in produced actinides (see

next claim) are of secondary importance for the risk during

operation or in an accident. In this perspective, thorium use

does not deliver any recognisable safety advantages.

Of greater safety relevance is the fact that uranium-233

fission produces 60% less so-called delayed neutrons than

U-235 fission. Delayed neutrons are not directly created

during the fission of uranium, but from some short-lived

decay products. Only due to the existence of delayed

neutrons, a nuclear reactor can be controlled, and the

bigger their share (for instance 0.6% with U-235), the

larger is the criticality range in which controllability is given

(this is called delayed criticality). Above this controllable

area (prompt criticality) a nuclear power excursion can

happen, like during the Chernobyl accident. The fact that

the delayed super-critical range is with U-233 considerably

smaller than with U-235, is from a safety point of view an

important technical disadvantage of thorium use.

During the design of thermal molten salt reactors (breeders),

the conclusion was that the use of thorium brings problems

with criticality safety that do not appear with classical

uranium use in this type of reactors. For that reason, it was

necessary to turn the attention to fast reactors for the use

of thorium in molten salt reactors. Although this conclusion

cannot be generalised, it shows that the use of thorium can

lead to increased safety problems.

As mentioned, a serious safety problem is the necessity to

restart breeder and reprocessing technology with thorium.

Thorium is often advertised in relation to the development

of so-called advanced reactors (Generation IV). The

safety advantages attributed to thorium in this context are

mostly, however, not germane to thorium (the fuel) but

rather due to the reactor concept. Whether or not these

advanced reactor concepts bring overall increased safety

falls outside the scope of this article, but that is certainly

not a question with a clear “yes” as the answer.

 

March 5, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Revealed: the extent of job-swapping between public servants and fossil fuel lobbyists — RenewEconomy

The so-called “revolving door” between the political and corporate realms is more like a “golden escalator”, such are the financial rewards. It begs the question of who is setting policy in Australia.

via Revealed: the extent of job-swapping between public servants and fossil fuel lobbyists — RenewEconomy

March 5, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

W.A.’s largest solar farm- Emu Downs – opens for business — RenewEconomy

APA completes largest solar farm in West Australia, and first in that state to be co-located with a wind farm.

via W.A.’s largest solar farm- Emu Downs – opens for business — RenewEconomy

March 5, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thorium nuclear reactors do NOT decrease the nuclear waste problem

Dispelling Claim 5: Thorium decreases the waste problem  

Thorium ‒ a better fuel for nuclear technology? Nuclear Monitor,   by Dr. Rainer Moormann  1 March 2018

Thorium use delivers virtually the same fission products

as classical uranium use. That is also true for those

isotopes that are important in issues around long-term

disposal.  Those mobile long-lived fission products

(I-129, Tc-99, etc.) determine the risk of a deep geological

disposal when water intrusion is the main triggering event

for accidents. Thorium therefore does not deliver an

improvement for final disposal.

Proponents of thorium argue that thorium use does not

produce minor actinides (MA)5, nor plutonium. They argue

that these nuclides are highly toxic (which is correct) and

they compare only the pure toxicity by intake into the body

for thorium and uranium use, without taking into account

that these actinides are hardly mobile in final disposal

even in accidents.

 

March 5, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment