Lockheed fusion reactor

Does anyone know anything about this? Normally I'd just turn the page, but this is the Skunk Works they're talking about.
Apparently it broke in four or five news sources yesterday, including Aviation Week, which is another one I never brush off. This text is from the SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers) Daily Briefing:
"Lockheed Announces Plans For New Compact Fusion Reactor Concept.
lab planned to unveil a new concept nuclear fusion reactor in 10 years received significant attention from business, energy and technology news outlets...."
cleaner and more powerful than much larger, current nuclear systems
also be small and practical enough for applications ranging from interplanetary spacecraft and commercial ships to city power stations. It may even revive the concept of large, nuclear-powered aircraft that
abandoned more than 50 years ago because of the dangers and
Wow, if they're right.
--
Ed Huntress


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On 10/17/2014 3:31 PM, Ed Huntress wrote:

Just was I saw in the news yesterday. Yeah, Wow!
I liked the very last part best. The suggestion that it may be able to work with non-radioactive fuels.
Ten years?
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wrote:






Well, as far as I know, the controlled-fusion experiments have been done with deuterium, which is non-radioactive, for more than 40 years. When I co-owned a job shop in Princeton we made half our living by making parts for the Princeton Plasma Physics Tokomak reactor. That was a magnetic-containment project, too, and it fused deuterium.
But this is some kind of enormous advance in containment, and possibly in ignition. I haven't followed it for years but this sounds like a very big deal.

Yeah. I might even live to see it.
--
Ed Huntress

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On Fri, 17 Oct 2014 17:33:55 -0400, Ed Huntress

Its been ten years in the future for the last 50 years.
LFTR/MSTR is proven, and only needs commercialization. Can use thorium, "spent" nuclear fuel rods (which still have

nuclear warhead material, solving those problems as well a generating cheap energy. From studies done, it appears to be practical to design a small rail possibly road transportable modular unit that can directly retrofit existing powerplants eliminating coal fired boilers, and making considerable numbers of smaller power generating stations again economically viable.
The PRC is known to have an intensive LSTR/MSTR program in operation as does India.
--
Unka' George

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wrote:

Thorium reactors will never be approved.
The promoters, lobbyists, marketeers, and scientists paid by the thorium consortium have overstated the bennifits and understated the risks. They have also published outright lies to push thier possition.
For some reason the salesmen forget to mention that in1955 the united states detonated a nuclear device that used fuel derived from a thorium reactor that operated at oak ridge national labs form the 1950's to the 1970's. "Operation Teapot".
Claim: thorium reactors do not produce plutonium, and so create little or no proliferation hazard.
Response: thorium reactors do not produce plutonium. But an LFTR could (by including 238U in the fuel) be adapted to produce plutonium of a high purity well above normal weapons-grade, presenting a major proliferation hazard. Beyond that, the main proliferation hazards arise from:
a.. ? the need for fissile material (plutonium or uranium) to initiate the thorium fuel cycle, which could be diverted, and
b.. ? the production of fissile uranium 233U.
Claim: the fissile uranium (233U) produced by thorium reactors is not "weaponisable" owing to the presence of highly radiotoxic 232U as a contaminant. Response: 233U was successfully used in a 1955 bomb test in the Nevada Desert under the USA's Operation Teapot and so is clearly weaponisable notwithstanding
any 232U present. Moreover, the continuous pyro-processing / electro-refining technologies intrinsic to MSRs / LFTRs could generate streams of 233U very low in 232U at a purity well above weapons grade as currently defined.
Claim: 100% of the thorium is usable as fuel, in contrast to the low (~0.7%) proportion of fissile 235U in natural uranium.
Response: Thorium must be subjected to neutron irradiation to be transformed into a fissile material suitable for nuclear fuel (uranium, 233U). The same applies to the 238U that makes up depleted uranium, which as already observed, is plentiful. In theory, 100% of either metal could be bred into nuclear fuel. However, uranium has a strong head start, as 0.7% of it is fissile (235U) in its naturally-occurring form.
Claim: Liquid fluoride thorium reactors generate no high-level waste material.
Response: This claim, although made in the report from the House of Lords, has no basis in fact. High-level waste is an unavoidable product of nuclear fission. Spent fuel from any LFTR will be intensely radioactive and constitute high level waste. The reactor itself, at the end of its lifetime, will constitute high level waste.
Claim: LFTRs can 'burn up' high level waste from conventional nuclear reactors, and stockpiles of plutonium.
Response: if LFTRs are used to 'burn up' waste from conventional reactors, their fuel now comprises 238U, 235U, 239Pu, 240Pu and other actinides. Operated in this way, what is now a mixed-fuel molten salt reactor will breed plutonium (from 238U) and other long lived actinides, perpetuating the plutonium cycle.
Claim: Thorium and the LFTR offer a solution to current and medium-term energy supply deficits.
Response: The thorium fuel cycle is immature. Estimates from the UK's National Nuclear Laboratory and the Chinese Academy of Sciences suggest that 10-15 years of research will be needed before thorium fuels are ready to be deployed in existing reactor designs. Production LFTRs will not be deployable on any significant scale for 40-70 years.
http://nuclearfreeplanet.org/thorium-not-green-not-viable-and-not-likely-oliver-tickell-june-2012-.html
Best Regards Tom.
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On Sat, 18 Oct 2014 12:48:37 -0700, Gunner Asch

Both. Fusion would be ideal, if it can be made to work, which is a big question with the existing technology. While LFTR/MSTR is still fission, it solves several problems such as the disposal of "spent" fuel rods, is much safer as it operates at zero system pressure, and produces no bomb material, in addition to being "fail safe" if properly designed. To a considerable extent LFTR/MSTR builds on existing nuclear technology, and appears to be far more of an engineering/development challenge than a Nobel prize physics challenge. for more details on problems solved see http://tinyurl.com/k5hb4u3
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wrote:

George you got it wrong on fission. Its a simple law of physics that fission will produce radioactive fission products. It makes no difference if the fuel is a fuel rod or a molten salt. You also have it wrong on bomb making material. LFTRs are simply breeder reactors, they convert thorium into uranium 233 a proven bomb making material. Last but not least its not an engineering challenge, engineers work within the laws of physics they cannot change them.
Best Regards Tom.
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typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    [thorium reactor arguments snipped]

    Snip

    IF it involves 'heavy' elements like Thorium, Uranium, or Plutonium it is fission.
    IF it involves light elements like Hydrogen (either Deuterium or Tritium), then it is Fusion. -- pyotr filipivich "With Age comes Wisdom. Although more often, Age travels alone."
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On Sun, 19 Oct 2014 00:29:55 -0700, pyotr filipivich

The indian nuclear establishment have been using thorium augmented fuel rods in their commercial power reactors for some time now, and plan to have a 300 mw hybrid prototype reactor in 2016. http://tinyurl.com/qyftjdl

Ridiculous estimate by people who don't want to do it.
LFTR/MSTR builds on existing expertise, and most of the components, such as control systems are available "off the shelf." Starting from the "ground zero" of the Manhattan Project [ 1942 http://tinyurl.com/4een3 ] to first commercial power reactor [ 1958 http://tinyurl.com/4sz9dqa ] took only 16 years.
But not to worry, the PRC will build the units for US. ;-(
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wrote:

That design uses conventional fuel rods it is not a LFTR.

There are new uranium reactors being built to replace the obsolete units that have shut down. At this point in time there realy is no need to build thorium based reactors. If lockheed realy has a working fusion reactor fission reactors will become a footnote in history.
Best Regards Tom.
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wrote:

LFTRs are fission based reactors. Nothing special they are simply breeder reactors. Breeder reactors have been around since 1944. Neutron capture transmutes the thorium into uranium (U233). They operate on the same physics principles as the hanford B reactor:
http://www.atomicheritage.org/tours
All fission reactors produce unavoidable fission products, the problem is these fission products if allowed to accumulate in the fuel will poison the reactor ( fission will stop) and the reactor will shut down. This is the reason comerical reactors use such a small ammount of available fissile material. LFTRs have the same problem they generate unwanted fission products ( nuclear waste ) that will have to be disposed of somewhere.
Now if the good folks at lockheed have indeed produce a working fusion reactor that can be scaled up to commercial scale power generation that would be a big leap forward in producing energy. A working fusion reactor would produce very little radioactive waste in comparison to a fission reactor and could use 100% of the fusion fuel. I realy hope they have done it and it is cost effiecient. Might be they have achieved self sustaining cold fusion?
Best Regards Tom.
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On 10/17/2014 4:33 PM, Ed Huntress wrote:

Might be Oxygen and Hydrogen Fusion unit. Might be quarks..... :-) Martin
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Richard wrote:

It is certain that we can get commercially viable fusion systems up and running in a ten year period. We just have no idea when that ten year period will start.
--
Paul Hovnanian
Have gnu, will travel.
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I've been following this for several years: http://www.opednews.com/articles/Low-Energy-Nuclear-Reactio-by-Christopher-Calder-Andrea-Rossi_Energy-Policy_Industrial-Heat-Llc_Lenr-141013-530.html
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On Fri, 17 Oct 2014 17:14:15 -0400, "Jim Wilkins"

Let's keep our fingers crossed.
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Ed Huntress

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http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2014/october/141015ae_lockheed-martin-pursuing-compact-nuclear-fusion.html
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/15/lockheed-breakthrough-nuclear-fusion-energy?CMP _gu
A miniature deuterium-tritium tokamak?
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On 10/17/2014 4:14 PM, Jim Wilkins wrote: ...

When they publish this you _know_ it's bogus...
"LENR produced energy will be so low in cost that subsidies and mandates for using pollution free LENR products will be totally unnecessary."
"Too cheap to meter" in wolf's clothing.
I seriously doubt this has much likelihood of having any success and also question that the Lockheed announcement is at all related.
I'll believe it all when I see it and doubt that will live that long...
--



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On 10/17/2014 4:31 PM, Ed Huntress wrote:

I've talked to my friend the physicist and he thinks that Lockheed doesn't actually have a working system yet but there have been "better than break-even" reactions done by various projects. It's said that fusion is only ten years away, and they have been saying that for fifty years...I guess it must be difficult. I do hope I see it in my lifetime and it's not pure politics.
Fission reactors have come a long way with new designs and fuels that show huge potential but it's all politics.
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"Tom Gardner" <







Some years ago I heard something about thorium reactors. I wonder what is the latest on that.
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On 10/17/2014 6:29 PM, Phil Kangas wrote: ...

Thorium-cycle is just a variant of the fission fuel cycle. Had some advantages in reprocessing over Pu but since Carter nixed allowing any licensing of any reprocessing whatsoever, it's been over since then.
We had Thorium cycle designs in design at B&W when I was there in the 60s that could have delivered then if utilities had wanted to go that route. Of course, w/ the uncertainty looming, nobody wanted to take a chance (and they were proven right to not have done shortly thereafter).
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