ThorCon TMSR500 is an offshore version in which an entire
500 MW plant is encapsuled in a hull, entirely built in a shipyard,
towed to a nearshore or offshore site with a water depth of 10 m,
ballasted down to the seabed, and if necessary surrounded by breakwater.
ThorCon TMSR500 Advantages
- Built on a barge platform as a complete nuclear power olant so it is VERY COMPACT and HAS HIGH MOBILITY
- Built in a shipyard with FAST CONSTRUCTION (only 2 years from order to commissioning)
- Contruction for the NOAK are approx. $1000/kW – VERY COMPETITIVE WITH COAL
- Can operate as BASELOAD or LOAD FOLLOW with a minimum of 40% (200 MW), ramping rate 5% per minute, and capacity factor >90%
- LOW PRESSURE reactor (<10 bar) – Guaranteed that Fukushima and Chernobyl will not happen
- Have a PASSIVE SAFETY SYSTEM (walkaway safety) – No electricity required for cooling system
- EARTHQUAKE RESISTANCE with 0.8 g PGA capacity
- Reactor and other components can be built in Indonesia
- Have the capability of BLACK START – the first to rise and the last to go down
Basic Shipyard Terminology
Bow: the front of the plant where the used fuel storage vault located.
Stern: the rear of the plant where the switchgear located.
Forward: the direction toward the bow.
Aft: the direction toward the stern.
Port Side: the left-hand side of the plant when facing forward.
Starboard Side: the right-hand side of the plant when facing forward.
Hull: the steel structure containing the plant.
Deck: similar to a building floor or roof.
Main Deck: cover of the hull extending from bow to stern
Superstructure: physical structure above the main deck
TMSR500 Design Overview
ThorCon Design (the TMSR500) is a game changer in the nuclear industry and a disruption technology to the energy sector. Low-cost zero carbon complete 500 MW power plant in a barge fast to build and fast deploy which can act a baseload or load follower with blackstart capability.
ThorCon employs FOUR LOOPS in converting fission heat into electricity
The primary loop inside the Can. The primary loop salt is highly radioactive.
The secondary salt loop. The heat in the primary loop is transferred by the PHX to a secondary salt, which is far less radioactive. The secondary salt is a 57/43 molar mixture of sodium fluoride and beryllium fluoride containing no uranium or thorium.
A solar salt loop. Hot secondary salt is pumped out of the top of the Primary Heat Exchanger to a Secondary Heat Exchanger where it transfers its heat to a mixture of sodium and potassium nitrate called solar salt from its use as an energy storage medium in solar plants.
A supercritical steam loop. The solar salt in turn transfers its heat to a conventional, supercritical steam cycle, the same steam cycle used by modern coal plants.
Totally passive, totally unavoidable shutdown and cooling. ThorCon combines a strongly negative temperature coefficient with a massive margin between the operating temperature of 700C and the fuelsalt’s boiling temperature (1430C). As the reactor temperature rises, ThorCon’s power output drops. This is an intrinsic, immutable property of the reactor physics. In any casualty that raises the temperature of the salt much above operating level, ThorCon will shut itself down.
If the high temperature persists, the freeze valve will thaw and drain the fuel from the primary loop to the drain tank, where the silo cold-wall will passively handle the decay heat.
There is no need for any operator intervention. Not in 3 days, not in 300 days, not in 3000 days. Nor are there any valves that must be realigned by either system or operator control as in some so called passive systems. In fact there is nothing the operators can do to prevent the shutdown, drain, and cooling.
Release resistance. ThorCon has three gas tight barriers between the fuelsalt and the atmosphere. Here is a sectional view of the hull in way of the fission island. The structure is similar to the cargo hold section of a large tanker with a 3 meter wide double bottom and double sides. In addition, a 3m deep double roof is provided in way of the fission island. The double sides and roof are filled with sand or concrete. This is an extremely strong structure. It will not be penetrated by a Boeing 777 engine in a perpendicular impact at 400 knots. The hull, which is a double barrier, is only one of at least three gas tight barriers between the the fuel salt and the atmosphere. The Can silo is a gas tight structure; and the Can itself is a gas tight structure. All these must be breached to allow a release.
But even if they were, there is no internal dispersal mechanism. The ThorCon reactor operates at near-ambient pressure. In the event of a primary loop rupture, there is little pressure energy and no phase change. The spilled fuelsalt merely flows to the drain tank where it is passively cooled.
Moreover, the most troublesome fission products, including iodine-131, strontium-90 and cesium-137, are chemically bound to the salt. They will end up in the drain tank as well.