24 July 2011

Radioactive Nuclear Waste from LFTRs - There's Almost None!

I failed to spot this 14 June 2011 comment to my 09 January 2011 post, about a couple of excellent articles from two of the foremost LFTR proponents Robert Hargraves and Ralph Moir: 

Anonymous said...
Excellent article; One question: Fig.6 , the decay graphs is hard to reconcile with the 330 years decay to one 10,000th of waste from the LWNR

Similar graphic information is available from:  LPSC. the Laboratory of Subatomic Physics and Cosmology that published this paper, in July 2001: Nuclear Energy With (Almost) No Radioactive Waste. It is a comprehensive analysis of fast/thermal spectrum reactors and solid/liquid fuel reactors. It channels the wide-ranging data to thorium fuelled, thermal Molten Salt Reactors (aka: LFTRs), as producing less, even orders of magnitude less, radiotoxic waste than the others.

This graph, from the paper, shows that in the 300 to 500 year period, MSR waste is indeed 4 orders of magnitude less radiotoxic than PWR waste. This is the crucial comparison, in respect of the UK's new-build reactor programme.

Adding the line of background radiation level (natural uranium ore) shows when the waste can be regarded as safe:

LFTR actinides are safe after 150 years and the fission products, which are (approximately) common to LFTRs and PWRs are safe after about 500 years. This graph is available from another article by Robert Hargraves and Ralph Moir on an American Physical Society website:  http://aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/201101/hargraves.cfm



  1. There's also a new, fast paced video of Aim High on the website

    It was filmed at TEAC3

  2. Thanks for your link Robert. Saw you at ThEC2010, but didn't get a chance to introduce myself. I used some of your ppt slides at a recent presentation and think that your list of environmental and technical advantages of LFTRs is an excellent reference resource, to be sure not to miss anything.

    Any chance of linking your UK followers to '38 Degree', which is a Campaign Website? They can vote for UK manufacture of LFTRs at: http://38degrees.uservoice.com/forums/78585-campaign-suggestions/suggestions/2017457-uk-manufacture-of-liquid-fluoride-thorium-reactors?ref=title