Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Canada to export the Darlington reactor design


With the Return of the Little Ice Age, the whole weather thing has become boring.  I can go back to my old love of reactors and earthquakes.

Actually, not earthquakes, because we are in a big lull, and nobody cares about them.

Here's the speed dating version of Canadian reactor history -- candu (really, can-do!), was made because we had no access to enriched uranium.  Now, everybody wants enriched-using tiny reactors because enriched U from Russia was a dime a dozen -- oops!  Now it's back to c-doo.

We slowly bumped up the energy density and total output of each reactor by bumping up the heavy water flow through the fuel channels -- willy nilly, without physics.  I loved helping to build Darlington, but it is an insidious design.  Now, we get to do the same thing all over the world.  The reactor lifetime is 20 years.  

Of course, with only a dozen readers in the whole world, we are slaves to the PR departments, and this is a great fantasy story.  I only read those, because 'real' novels always muck with the physics.

Our fun in the future comes from having no enriched fuel for the Darlington toy reactors, and Bruce trying to put a full candoalot 4 reactor unit on the Bruce C site, that I dissed many years ago.  Remember that they tried to put a reactor on Lake Erie, but it is going to start freezing solid again.

We also have the deep hole -- II, for waste disposal in the worst rock in the world.  All of this courtesy of people believing their own PR, like eating your own poop.

If anybody wants to up the lifetime back to 70 years, they can read my 'water laser' article, hidden somewhere in all my muck.  I really don't recommend reading physics or geology because that puts you in the English Major doghouse.

ps. during my time at the old company, I worked with the PR department for a while, feeding them physics, so they could write better fantasy.  So, I worry about the Maserati crowd turning on me.  My disclaimer is that our reactors are 'safe as houses'.  There.

pps.  although the original D-reactor was rated at 1000, it has to be crippled so it doesn't shake itself apart.  The new refurb was a slavish copy of the old one.

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