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Nuclear energy as a renewable

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Lancaster University Management School

Lecture Theatre 11

Bailrigg

LA1 4YX

United Kingdom

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Nuclear energy as a renewable

Energy Seminar, Friday 1st December 11.30-13.00, LT11 Management School

Professor Claude Degueldre (Engineering Department, Lancaster University)

The review explores the conditions that would make nuclear energy renewable taking into account both front-end (uranium extraction) as well as fuel and reactor type.

Uranium extraction is the first step of the nuclear fuel cycle. Currently, uranium is only extracted from solid ores such as uranium rich minerals (% level) or minerals such as phosphates (ppm level). For some years extraction of uranium from sea water (ppb level) has been the topic of investigations. In the huge oceanic volume the amount of uranium is constant, regulated by river input (soluble) and balanced by scavenging (particulate) on the sea floor. This work shows that the uranium extraction with parsimony from sea water could be carried in a renewable way if its concentration remains quasi constant. Recommendations for the extraction with use of gel panels or with braid of fabric grafted by absorbing groups in high tide or oceanic pelagic current environments are suggested along with a reduction of the uranium consumption.

To use uranium with parsimony, a Gen IV+ (molten salt reactor MSR) unit park is suggested to optimize neutron economy and all safety features (safe, low levels of manageable waste and exemplary proliferation resistance). Liquid fuel makes fuel fission product accessible for in-line reprocessing (degassing and electrochemical reprocessing) reducing neutronic reactivation of the fission products,  heat decay and favoring fission in the core. In addition its advanced design makes it small and compact as a modular unit (e.g. SMR). Its high temperature during operation and its potential industrial applications makes MSR a very promising as energy convertor.

With the coupling of uranium extraction from the sea and its optimal utilization in MSR nuclear energy could gain the label renewable.

Biography:

C. Degueldre, “The analysis of nuclear materials and their environments” Springer 2017, http://www.springer.com/la/book/9783319580043

C. Degueldre, Uranium as a renewable for nuclear energy, Progr. Nucl. Energy, 94 (2017) 174-186.

For further details please contact Harry Hoster.

Please confirm attendance for catering purposes. There will be tea, coffee and cakes served from 11.30.

The presenter

Claude has been working in Nuclear Science since 1971. After a master in nuclear chemistry and radiochemistry at the University of Liege (1972), he was awarded Doctor of Science in 1978 for a thesis on the electroanalytical chemistry of actinides. He also followed successfully a third cycle diploma in Geel/Mol (IRSN), Belgium. After 5 years at University of Algiers, working on analytical chemistry of uranium and teaching “Introduction à la structure de la matière”, he joined PSI, Switzerland where he spent 30 years as head of the Colloid project for the Nuclear Waste Management Laboratory, and expert for the contamination LWR loop, coordinator of the inert matrix fuel initiative and more recently head of the coordination group on nuclear analytics for the Laboratory of Nuclear Materials. He also organised the colloquia of the Nuclear Energy Division during his last 20 years at PSI. In the meantime he received his ‘habilitation’ at the University of Geneva where he gave lectures on “Impact d’un réacteur dans l’environnement” and “Comportement des radionuclides dans l’environnement” and where he performed part of his research on single nano-particle analysis. He has today approximately 200 publications in peer review journals including chapters in text books. He has chaired sessions and symposia, and organised conferences for the EMRS, the MRS and the IUMRS and is now member of the executive committee of the EMRS. He also was chair of sessions in the conference series TopFuel and TopSafe. Claude’s research interest is multidisciplinary and goes from environmental science to solid state physics. He focuses on the nuclear fuel cycles and their green options. His work deals with nuclear energy and nature with its economic background and the ecological challenges. Claude is also very concerned by nuclear safety giving high priority to this issue in his work. Today he emphasises research on single nano-particle analysis e.g. in repository ground water or in reactor water; on the characterisation of safety relevant fission products in fuels and cladding, and on physical chemistry of actinide isotopes and compounds. He also discusses the raison d’être of a significant fraction of nuclear energy in an optimal energy mixt as well as the place of nuclear energy in a better world.

http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/engineering/about-us/people/claude-degueldre

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Lancaster University Management School

Lecture Theatre 11

Bailrigg

LA1 4YX

United Kingdom

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