CONCEPT OF A THORIUM DIAMOND FISSION NUCLEAR REACTOR

 

ABSTRACT

 

          Here will be presented a novel method for extremely efficient utilization of nuclear energy based on diamond technology. Diamond has best known thermal conductivity of all materials, it is excellent neutron’s moderator which is 50% better than graphite and it is also extraordinary transparent semiconductor which may be used for ultra efficient thermo-voltaic semiconductor supper-lattice junctions for direct conversion of heat into the electricity. Such reactor is so efficient that it may utilize mixture of ultra cheap thorium and uranium 235 or plutonium (MOX fuel), or even to utilize crude uranium-oxide obtained straight from seat! Its extreme efficiently greatly reduced the amount of nuclear waste and its robust stability will reduce accidental situation a lot. The robust stability is achieved trough thermo-dependent diamond moderator construction trough doping of diamond with suitable ingredients whose give it negative thermal moderator characteristic which automatically extinguish incidental vigorous nuclear reaction.

          Except that diamond might be used for the production of ultra-efficient LED light sources and ultra fast microprocessors whose could be at least three orders of magnitude faster than all existing ones based on silicon. Diamond is extraordinary transparent semiconductor which might be used for spatial light emission which is much better than existing ones whose planar emitters only while they are all opaque. Diamond could be used for extraordinary computer coolers too.

          There will be also demonstrated at the end of the text two quite simple methods for mass diamond productions and one of them is independently confirmed by National Autonomous University of Mexico which researcher made diamond from tequila.

          The reactors of smaller size could be constructed completely dry without any moving part at all entirely based on diamond moderator, diamond heat-pipes and diamond super-lattice thermo-voltaic junctions, while bigger size reactors could be realized with a special coolant and completely novel type of motionless turbine and special Bernoulli passive pump based auxiliary system.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Today when it is obvious that there is no alternative to EV cars and when climate warming demands anaerobic energy sources, we must find way to protect our way of life especially when reserves of the petroleum are leaking. Right solution for energy is choice of the future: will it look like the future or like the past, i.e. we shall decide right now whether we will use horses or cars. So, we cannot create the future with the technology of the future, we must do that with today’s technology. Maybe the fission is not the best solution, not the purest ideal we aspire, but it is the best available solution that we have available right now. And just small improvements of the concept could transform it into precious solution which will keep our progress running and even more – to enable all of us to see this bright future. This massive usage of electricity that should drive this future is possible only if there is availability of all this electricity. Only anaerobic and weather independent sources for all this electricity known to our civilization and which we could build instantly are fission power plants. If there is possibility of other solutions – it is nice, but let we pay attention to this operable solution and try to improve it as much as possible because we simply do not have any more time to gamble with some other possibly, maybe some better and cleaner solution that will drive our civilization for ever or maybe – for never.

Today, when the climate changes are frightening us all, and when price of oil barrel is rising every moment, there is only one escape for our civilization: massive usage of anaerobic energy sources. We shouldn’t forget that our civilization is driven by machines that push pistons with hot gases (steam or smoke mostly) and shake magnets near conductors (almost all electric machines) and that there have not been any conceptual progress for a very long time. If we want to preserve our environment from further devastation we must stop use atmospheric oxygen right now. We are spending oxygen mainly because we believe that green plants are releasing oxygen but it is false faith, simply because it is not true. These green plants do not have kidneys, and the only place where they can displace carbon remaining after the process of photosynthesis is their own tissues, i.e. branches and green leafs.

In photosynthesis carbon-dioxide molecule is decomposed into oxygen and carbon atoms. During the process oxygen is released in atmosphere and carbon stays captured in plant’s tissues. But, whenever a branch is cut and burnt or leafs have fallen down in autumn and decayed, nearly the whole amount of oxygen that was released during the entire life of a certain plant is being spent, i.e. combined with oxygen which amount is exactly the same to the amount of released oxygen during the entire process of photosynthesis for the particular plant [4]. And this is true why Biosphere projects 1 and 2 were quite unsuccessful [5].

This simple mechanism clearly shows to us that the amount of free oxygen in atmosphere has its own anti-oxygen in the discovered and the not‑discovered oil, coal and gas seats.

Even a small variation of concentration of carbon-dioxide affects the climate a lot, producing effect of greenhouse because humidity in the air altogether with carbon-dioxide creates carbonic acid (H2O + CO2 = H2CO3) whose temperature of boiling is quite different than the boiling temperature of water. This affects very much humidity of the air which is essential for creation of clouds and therefore weather conditions too.

If we use all these seats of fossil fuels we could stay completely without free oxygen in atmosphere. But, we shouldn't worry too much, because well before that the level of carbon-dioxide will reach a deadly limit, and therefore the carbonic acid rains will quickly and gently destroy all living creatures on the Earth.

One approach to surpass this gloomy prediction could be the improvement of the efficiency of combustion engines, which is about 28% today. With a level of 70%, we would extend doubly oil reserves and also dimidiate pollution. It should not be very difficult to achieve that by the slight modification of the piston dynamics geometry of internal combustion engines, as it is already shown by a simulation.

Let us analyze all anaerobic energy sources of today that are instantly available to humankind. These are: hydro-energy, wind and tidal energy, geothermal energy, solar energy, bio-diesel and ethanol fuels and finally nuclear energy.

Hydro-energy obtained by hydro power plants on rivers altogether with nuclear energy are the only widely used anaerobic energy sources today. The problem with hydro energy is that the alluvium replenishes the volume of accumulation’s lake with sand, whose volume decreases significantly after several decades, while thousands of hectares of arable lend remain permanently flooded. Beside that, this energy source is not constant and it depends on annual weather conditions, and, thus, other aerobic energy sources must be occasionally used. This type of power plants has temporary benefit with permanent loss in arable land flooded by the accumulation lake created by dam.

Geothermal energy is energy based on cooling of ground, but it is still unknown what causes the Earth’s internal heat. If there is some internal source of heat like nuclear one, then the approach has a sense, otherwise this is just cooling of ancient heat, and this can seriously affect the terrestrial protective magnetic field changing the temperature of the core, except in the volcanic areas.

Wind energy is not constant energy source and it can vary a lot during the seasons. This energy source requires a huge aerobic energy backup permanently and instantly available.

Tide energy is very bad option, because it can decrease angular velocity of earth’s rotation. Actually, it is re-using kinetic energy of globe rotation in a way that is not particularly clever.

Solar energy: The main problem with the solar energy is that it is not available during the significant period of the day (.i.e. night), and it can yield only  1 kWh/m2 during the clear summer day at noon, but an optimistic estimation of average annual power is about 100 W/m2 per day (24h). Efficiency of top solar cells is about 20% and this is about 20 W/m2 which is completely insufficient. The only reliable solution for solar energy is orbital solar cells with permanent sun illumination, Moon’s solar cells or plantations of oil beets. Bio-fuels are especially interesting because they could be stored, delivered and used in existing reservoirs and utilized in contemporary internal combustion engines almost without adaptations. But, solar energy is just a nuclear energy obtained from the Sun and much better solution is direct usage of the nuclear energy here on the Earth instead of to re-usage of Sun’s nuclear energy converted into the light and then to oil by process of photosynthesis or to alcohol by process of photosynthesis and fermentation. Perhaps, deserts near equator could be covered with solar cells, but anyway there is a problem with energy storage for nights’ usage, and there is also possibility of clouds. Modern batteries could not help us a lot, but it might be changed in the future.

Bio-diesel and ethanol from bio-mass are the most promising anaerobic non‑nuclear energy sources and they are variants of solar energy but their amount is greatly limited by the available arable land. The only solution is to convert deserts into arable land with climate control techniques [2] and then to raise oil-beets. But, this seems to be impossible because almost all available deserts in the equator's vicinity are settled in politically problematic regions which would require huge involvement of international military forces to protect these energy facilities – and that is the situation that we have today.

            The hydrogen energy approach is notorious deception: nobody tries to make wood from ash and than to sell it again as a fuel. But, strangely, there is such effort with hydrogen: there is an attempt to make fuel from the ash of hydrogen – water. Yes, water is ash of hydrogen! Hydrogen could be also obtained by the pyrolysis of natural gas (methane) and this process is extremely inefficient. But, remainder of the process if carbon powder, just like laser printer’s toner, which may be used for acceleration of snow melting in the spring which can increase crop – if there will be snow in the future. Such carbon can be added to the soil as active carbon’s filter to collect nutritive ingredients for plants which can further improve the crop very much. Then, hydrogen is extremely difficult to compress and storage – liquid hydrogen contains 3.4 times less energy per liter than gasoline. There is basic gas equation P · V = nm · R · T which clearly shows that for same temperature and volume 200 times greater pressure will store 200 greater mass. If the hydrogen is so god, why natural gas (i.e. methane) is transformed into the liquid and than stored and transported instead being compressed only on the way it should be doing with hydrogen? The real truth is that hydrogen vehicles have less autonomy than electrical vehicles because battery storage is much more reliable and effective than hydrogen fuel-cells. We also could make some chemical compounds adding three or more carbons to collect hydrogen atoms, but we already have such fuel and its name is gasoline. So, basically we can choose between electrical cars now or later, which depends on the choice whether the hydrogen concept will be rejected immediately or after billions of wasted dollars tomorrow.

And, finally, there is nuclear energy. It is only clear, continual and reliable anaerobic energy source that is not affected by climate at all and does not pollute environment… except during accidents. There is no smoke, ashes, CO2, dichlorodifluoromethane (Freon), etc. Astonishing energy density of nuclear fuel outstrips any other energy source several order of magnitudes and also the price of installation per megawatt is the lowest for the nuclear power plant installations compared to either hydropower plants or coal thermo plants. Price for construction of dam and loss of arable land surpass the price of the nuclear power plants several times. The situation is similar in comparison to the coal thermo plants; the price of lost arable land occupied by coal mines and costs of railways and conveyers installations and installations for coal preparation altogether with costs of transportation of coal and ashes outstrip price of a nuclear power plant including the cost of nuclear waste disposal.

            Allegedly there are two choices with nuclear energy: the hypothetic fusion hot fusion and already available fission reactors. Concept of hot fusion is based on ionized hydrogen atoms compressed by magnetic field only to waste pressure and temperature. Magnetic field belongs to electromagnetic interaction which is immensely weaker than nuclear interaction which it should be overpowered by this electromagnetic force. Many of these weak magnetic interactions have to be collected together to surpass only one strong nuclear interaction and this require great technological skill to achieve such level of efficiency per every magnetic interaction, which on the end should require less energy then released by this nuclear interaction. Nuclear interaction has region of repulsion and region of attraction, quite contrary to electric and magnetic interactions which are uniform; whose poles are either repulsive or attractive ones. We can agree that our theoretical technical level of technology is far away from production of such reactor.

We can conclude now that hydrogen fuel cells, solar energy and other fables have the only purpose to convince us that contemporary science has the solution for the present situation and to numb us for the coming global climate disaster and to further elongate our addiction to fossil fuels as long as possible.

So, we are talking here about two things: utopia and reality. There is no doubt that the only instantaneously available energy source for humankind capable to replace fossil fuel is nuclear fission energy, although we hope that hot fusion will take a great role in future, maybe together with cold fusion.

So, we are talking here about two things, utopia and reality. Reality is fission because in fission we act with nuclear force on another nuclear force, whereby energy is released and transferred to electrical forces that then transfer heat, electrical current and electromagnetic radiation into our technical world. It means that we are causing single nuclear fission event with penetration of neighboring nuclei by a particle that has been released and accelerated by a nuclear force too, just unleashed from previous fission event.

It seems that hot fusion could be utopia for the present level of science and technology, because we are trying here to use magnetic force to conquer immensely stronger nuclear force and at the same time we know neither what the magnetic field is, nor the essence of nuclear force which makes difficult technical realization of fusion nuclear power plant.

The only hope for short term realization of fusion is discovery of some physical effect which would be a technological shortcut giving us ability to act directly with a nuclear force to another nuclear force by somehow cancellation of the electric field that shields nuclei [8].

Perhaps, its operation could be based on the hypothesis that the faster than light particles are magnetons due to the imaginary nature of their charge and the fact that imaginary part of the complex electric field is magnetic one according to the classical electromagnetic theory. Such particles do not have repulsive electric field in front of them, thus they are able to penetrate deeply into the cores causing fusion reactions whenever they are supplied with sufficient amount of kinetic energy capable to exceed repulsive nuclear force of targets nuclei. Present fusion researchers do not try to find such effect and almost all of them persistently attempt to solve the problem with brutal force, i.e. enormous strength of magnetic field… which they have not achieved yet [8].

Although fission nuclear energy should not be final humankind energetic solution due to the existence of toxic nuclear waste, it would help us a lot by giving necessary time to our civilization to find cleaner and more reliable energy solution. So, the fission energy is the best operable and available energy solution known and instantly available to humankind today.

 

 

NUCLEAR ENERGY

 

Nuclear energy is being discriminated for years by the so called “green fighters” as an emphasized example of dirty technology which is guilty for major environmental pollution and it is nearly always mentioned right after carbon-dioxide and greenhouse effect, acid rains and ozone holes, although nuclear energy is not connected with anyone of these ones aforesaid. Chernobyl was their probably most (ab)used example. But, they forgot to mention millions of tons of ashes and poison gases released into atmosphere from coal power plants every single year.

Their threats might be partially applied only to light water reactors that require enriched Uranium 235. Fuel utilization in light water reactors is insufficient leaving plenty of nuclear waste. Therefore, we need to use reactors with much better efficiency to decrease amount of nuclear waste. Today, the only two types of reactors can offer such level of fission fuel utilization and these are heavy water reactors and graphite reactors. Heavy water and graphite reactors are able to use crude uranium nearly directly from seat. Although these reactors are more expensive than light water ones, their exploitations are much cheaper due to usage of inexpensive full and utilization that is many time better than for the light water reactors. Consequently, the amount of nuclear waste is also greatly reduced. Price of one kilogram of 4.4% enriched uranium is about 1400$ and only 40$ per kilogram for crude uranium. One arbitrary light water reactor spends 4000 tons of enriched uranium during working period, while the same size heavy water reactor spends only 80 to 220 of tons of crude uranium, and moreover the recycling of nuclear waste is also possible. It should be also consider that seats of uranium are not endless and idea of usage of only 1% of Uranium 235 and wasting of 99% of Uranium 238 as toxic depleted Uranium is crime and there is no political reason that can vindicate this lavishness. By usage of heavy water or graphite reactors the longevity of the uranium seats would be extended 100 times or described in engineering words it is gain of two orders of magnitudes. Could we even imagine a petroleum company that wastes 99% of petroleum? But, this is the current case with many of electric companies all over the world.

Therefore we can also notice that amount of nuclear waste released from heavy water and graphite reactors is nearly negligible compared to the light water reactors of the same size. Unfortunately, graphite and heavy water reactors are politically unacceptable, because they can be used for plutonium production that then could be potentially used by various terrorist groups for construction of various atomic weapons.

We must bear in mind that further development of global society is limited almost only by the price of energy. So, solution for contemporary situation despite the major political concerns for the heavy water and graphite reactors, is the mass production of cheap, safe and efficient fission reactors that can produce electricity ready to be used for charging batteries in electric cars and plug-in hybrids, or hydrogen production for hydrogen cars, tractors, buses and even for airplanes driven either by lifters or hydrogen jet engines, or even for production of the synthetic petroleum by Fischer-Tropsch process. These reactors must be made in the way which will make them absolutely inappropriate for plutonium harvest.

 

 

CONCEPT OF THORIUM DIAMOND REACTOR

 

Let us imagine one cheap and perfectly safe nuclear reactor with no moving parts and liquid circulation through its core and whose operation is entirely based on robust stability obtained by characteristics of materials used for its construction. Such reactor, due to its robust stability, is able to operate without any additional electronic system of automatic control and thus fault tolerance is greatly improved. At the same time lifetime operation is several times longer than lifetime of any other type of nuclear reactors. Is this possible?

Yes, it certainly is! We all know qualities of graphite reactors but their production is very complicated end expensive because the graphite must be cleaned from boron first. But, there is another allotropic modification of carbon – diamond. Diamond has nearly 50% greater density than graphite, i.e. 3052 kg/m3 compared to 2090 kg/m3, and, therefore, it should be nearly 50% better moderator. Furthermore, diamond is the best known thermal conductor and almost best semiconductor, thus diamond heat pipes can be used for cooling of the dry reactor core, transferring the heat to diamond-metal supper‑lattice junction diamond semiconductor based thermo couples enabling more than 60% efficiently transformation of heat into electricity completely without liquids, moving parts and turbines. Further transformation of this DC potential into AC suitable cords voltage could be done by extremely efficient PWPM [3] modulation of DC input. Dry reactor core will enable usage of metal uranium instead of uranium dioxide which would reduce the size of the reactor and increase its energy density which is extremely important for utilizations in vehicles and portable devices (cell phones?). This is the case of the portable reactor.

Special doping of boron and some additional elements added into diamond can cause that absorption-reflection ratio varies by temperature which is basic element of robust stability. Cadmium pipes with gunpowder injectors could be extremely efficient in critical situations due to the absence of water coolant that could inactivate the gunpowder which additionally increases safety of such reactor. The reactor with so efficient moderators should able to burn extremely cheap fuel based on alloy of uranium and thorium which is not able to produce plutonium! Such fuel is much cheaper then crude uranium which is initially already cheap!

 

MAIN BLOCKS OF PORTABLE DIAMOND REACTOR

Fig. 1

 

 

The diamond moderator is so efficient that even square shaped reactor could be used even with thorium-plutonium alloy.

 

 

STATIONARY DIAMOND REACTOR

 

Stationary Diamond Reactor of higher power requires working fluid like liquid sodium or liquid salt (NaCl). Exclusively for this purpose the induction pump is invented. This pump is able to pump extremely hot and corrosive conductive liquids without moving parts at all with extraordinary durability. The extraordinary characteristic of this pump is its ability to work as generator too, giving an outstanding efficiency of the stationary diamond reactor with liquid coolant. While this reactor operates on much higher temperature than the ordinary ones, its efficiency is also increased:

Fig. 2

 

            Linear electromagnetic pump or turbine without moving parts is designed to operate with PWPM driving algorithm exclusively. When operates as turbine it is actually a synchronous generator which require additional adequate spur potential.

 

 

MASS DIAMOND PRODUCTION

 

Fig. 3

There is a way of simple and cheap diamond production that does not require extreme pressures and temperature. Electrolysis of liquid carbon-dioxide with suitable impurity can greatly increase conductance of diamond which becomes p or n type semiconductor that can cause growth of diamond on crystal grain by electrolytic deposition. This process must be performed on temperature of at least -56.6°C (-69.8°F) and pressure of 5.11 atmospheres as it is shown on Fig. 1.

The diamonds production also cannot be used for jewelry because their color depends on particular impurity. These impurities are essential because they give necessary conductance and without them such diamonds will be insulators that are inappropriate for process of electrolysis.

The production itself is very cheap and diamonds can be shaped in arbitrary forms regarding the shape of cast. Cast should be made from conductive material able to be dissolved after the diamond crystal is formed filling the whole volume of the cast with mono-crystal diamond. Diamonds also can be produced by electrolysis of some organic solvents too even on room temperature and pressure but the fastest growth of the crystal should be in the case of liquid carbon-dioxide. Even pure alcohol could be used, but alcohol with appropriate impurities has tremendously internal electric resistance which requires usage of high voltage for electrolysis[1] which greatly increasing risk of fire and prevents massive production on the way. The appropriate impurity must be used because pure diamond is insulator, but with impurities it becomes either N or P semiconductor able to conduct electricity and therefore to grow on the appropriate electrode during the process of alcohol electrolysis.

The diamond impurity should be carefully chosen among many suitable ones because this is also a factor which enables and determines robust stability. This mixture should thermally control the ratio of neutrons’ absorption and reflection in the reactor moderator. Boron is a good candidate especially with mixture of aluminum, indium, nitrogen and arsenic. Exact mixture is ratio of these elements and it should be determined by the careful engineering of their characteristics and fitting of experimental data. Involvement of nitrogen into the diamond is art by itself because ions penetration can be performed only in thin layer and thus electrolysis of another organic liquid rich with nitrogen must be applied. Nitrogen can greatly improve diamond resistance to radiation.

Thus, we could have cheap, solid state, dry, safe, reliable and fault tolerant reactor capable to respond to any challenge from the earth and space. Existing reactors are not able to respond appropriately on eventual super-nova blast in our cosmic neighborhood, but diamond reactor with robust stability should be quite capable to deal even with this extraterrestrial challenge like just mentioned Super Nova blast.

Diamond reactor could be made very small and able to supply artificial organs with power like heart, kidney, lung, etc. It could be suitable for other medical purposes because diamond reactor could have same size and shape as coin cell batteries. Such sized reactor could supply with energy pacemaker, artificial eye, ear, etc for years.

This technology also may be used for production of diamond based semiconductors ready to operate on several tents of gigahertz which can keep microprocessors’ progress running and to resurrect Moore[2] law.

Even existing technologies for artificial diamonds productions (CVD, HPHT, etc.) could offer diamond reactors whose price is quite comparable to prices of contemporary graphite and heavy water reactors. But, concept of diamond reactor is much more an advanced approach than any other comparable one just because it has dry core without liquid, without moving parts which is able to utilize pure metallic fuel, not a fuel’s metal oxide. This means more power per mass of installation, better utilization and efficiency, less nuclear waste and more reliability and durability in exploitation. But, it is so efficient that it could utilize uranium ore directly from seat with minor purification only, which is extremely suitable for applications in huge power plants.

Diamond reactor could be used also for spacecrafts’ propulsion by supplying with electricity lifter ion jet engines repealing on rare gas molecules in free space.

The usage of diamonds for semiconductors’ production is obviously meaningless compared to the usage in energetic technologies through Diamond Reactors because mankind does not posses any comparable energy technology yet.

Diamond can give revolution in illuminating devices while it is transparent semiconductor in regards to Ga-As, silicon or germanium whose are opaque ones and thereby the light generation in those semiconductors is possible only in thin surface layer which greatly reduces their efficiency as light source. Contrary to them diamond is transparent semiconductor and it allows volumetric light generation which might increase its efficiency as light source to almost 98%. Its application to lasers is incredible and it might bring the true revolution in various materials processing. Therefore the bulbs based on the diamond LED would have efficiency of at least 90% and they will last forever…

 

 

ATTENTION

 

This concept is not public domain. It is copyright protected by the Serbian Patent Office with number A-228/06 at 2006-05-24. All rights reserved.

 

 

References:

  1. "DEAD-TIME CORRECTION FOR NONPARALYZING DETECTORS WHEN MEASURING SHORT-LIVED NUCLIDES", A. & S. Usman, Nuclear Technology Vol. 157, January 2007,
  2. A. , Journal of Theoretics, Volume 4, (Aug-Sept 2002): http://d1002391.mydomainwebhost.com/JOT/Articles/4-4/AR.pdf,
  3. Haag G., (2005). "Properties of ATR-2E Graphite and Property Changes due to Fast Neutron Irradiation",
  4. T. Loerting, …, K. R. Leidl "On the Surprising Kinetic Stability of Carbonic Acid", Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 39, pp. 891-895 (2001),
  5. "Реакторная Термометрия", Б. В. Лысиков & В. К. Прозоров, Атомиздат, 1980,
  6. Practical Quantum Mechanics, Siegfried Flügge, Springer-Verlag, 1971,
  7. КВАНТОВАЯ МЕХАНИКА, А. А. Соколов, Ю. М. Лоскутов, И. М. Тернов, 1962.

 

 

 

Contact:

 

Request for more detailed blueprint and for all additional information should be sent to reactor@andrijar.com or andrija_radovic@hotmail.com.

 

 

Author:

Dipl.-Ing. Andrija

Tel: +381 64 1404075

E-mail: andrija_radovic@hotmail.com



[1] High voltage unit from an old BW monitor is quite sufficient for that.

[2] Gordon Earle Moore, 1929-


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Author:
Andrija Radović
E-mail: andrijar@andrijar.com