Register to reply

Gallium reactors

by snorkack
Tags: gallium, reactors
Share this thread:
snorkack
#1
Dec11-12, 04:52 AM
P: 386
How useful are reactors cooled by gallium alloys?

Ga has cross section for neutrons of 2,9 barns. Somewhat high - but K has 2,1 barns, and NaK is mostly (76 %) K.

Pure Ga melts under +30 Celsius. The reactor may freeze - but it is much easier to melt than Pb/Bi eutectic (+125 Celsius).

Ga melting point can be further lowered by alloying. While In, Cd and Hg are neutron poisons, the other low melting metals are reasonable - Pb, Bi, also Sn (0,62 barns) and Zn (1,1 barns).

Would a reactor with Ga-Sn coolant be convenient to handle? Ga/Sn melt is nowhere as reactive as Na/K melt, and also not poisonous until irradiated....
Phys.Org News Partner Science news on Phys.org
FIXD tells car drivers via smartphone what is wrong
Team pioneers strategy for creating new materials
Team defines new biodiversity metric
Astronuc
#2
Dec12-12, 08:56 PM
Admin
Astronuc's Avatar
P: 21,873
Gallium's price has been on the order of $650/kg but could be has high as $750 to $970/kg as compared to sodium at around $150/kg.

In a reactor, liquid metal embrittlement with fuel and structural materials is an issue. Liquid metals are usually used for fast reactors.
snorkack
#3
Dec21-12, 02:41 AM
P: 386
Clementine managed to work with mercury coolant - despite its huge neutron cross-section.

How does the quoted price of gallium compare with the price of highly enriched uranium 235, or plutonium 239? These are presumably priceless because no one wants to sell them....

Astronuc
#4
Dec21-12, 05:45 AM
Admin
Astronuc's Avatar
P: 21,873
Gallium reactors

Quote Quote by snorkack View Post
Clementine managed to work with mercury coolant - despite its huge neutron cross-section.

How does the quoted price of gallium compare with the price of highly enriched uranium 235, or plutonium 239? These are presumably priceless because no one wants to sell them....
It depends on the enrichment. One could develop a price based on the quantity of natural U (0.7%) needed to provide a particular enrichment and the cost of the separative work unit (SWU) to enrich it. Cost of Pu239 depends on cost of starting material (U), irradiation, and separation.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Gallium spoons - how does the human body metabolize gallium? Biology 1
Disagreements in published boiling temperatures of tin, gallium etc. Chemistry 1
Gallium nitride-how to produce? Materials & Chemical Engineering 1
Preparation of gallium nitride Materials & Chemical Engineering 1
Gallium Arsenide General Physics 0