Texas A&M Physicist Pursues Green Nuclear Power Technology

Texas A and M physicist Peter McIntyre is seeing green - from energy savings to solutions - in his nuclear power technology capable of burning spent nuclear fuel and producing 10 times more energy than is currently extracted by exploiting the chemical properties of salt within a high-efficiency accelerator. (Credit: Robb Kendrick, courtesy of the Texas A and M Foundation.)

Texas A and M physicist Peter McIntyre is seeing green – from energy savings to solutions – in his nuclear power technology capable of burning spent nuclear fuel and producing 10 times more energy than is currently extracted by exploiting the chemical properties of salt within a high-efficiency accelerator. (Credit: Robb Kendrick, courtesy of the Texas A and M Foundation.)

T Lee Buyea Fla.News Service brought this article from NuclearPowerDaily to our attention.

Here’s an excerpt:

In the mind of Texas A and M University physicist Peter McIntyre, two of America’s most pressing energy challenges – what to do with radiotoxic spent nuclear fuel and dwindling energy resources – can be solved in one scientific swipe. He is developing the technology that is capable of destroying the dangerous waste and, at the same time, potentially providing safe nuclear power for thousands of years into the future.

In his high-energy physics laboratory east of the Texas A and M campus, McIntyre and his research team are developing a new form of green nuclear power that would extract 10 times more energy out of spent nuclear fuel rods than currently obtained in the first use, as well as destroy the transuranics – the chemical elements beyond uranium in the periodic table – lurking within the hazardous toxic soup of used nuclear fuel.

[...]

To destroy the transuranics, McIntyre’s team has developed a conceptual design for accelerator-driven subcritical fission in a molten salt core (ADSMS). With this technology, the transuranics are extracted into molten salt using a process called pyroprocessing, in which the spent fuel pins are chopped up and loaded into a basket, which is placed in a pot of molten salt.

The oxide fuel inside the pins dissolves in the molten salt so that all of the remaining fuel – along with all of the transuranics – is extracted into the molten salt. The transuranics could then be destroyed through subcritical nuclear fission, which is driven by a beam of energetic protons within the custom-built, high-efficiency accelerator he envisions.

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See also:

NUCLEAR FOOTER

TYPES OF REACTORS

NUCLEAR WASTE

SPECIFIC PROJECTS