How much heat can radionuclides in HLNW generate?

  • Thread starter joknhial
  • Start date
  • #1
5
0
The united kingdom has a 120 tons of nuclear waste, i have no idea which radionuclides constitute the largest portion, i want to know this. furthermore, if you can find which radionuclide it is, can you please tell me the decay mode it uses, its half life, and if it emits any decay heat. Thank you very much in advance. I know I don't live in the UK, but the UK has the largest civilian reserves for radioactive substances, hence the the reference. I'm thinking of devising a method, where nuclear waste is used to generate surplus energy. you send a highly volatile yet abundant liquid such as dry cleaner fluid or previously heated water ( has a lower boiling point) through a beta or alpha irradiated chamber with radionuclides that produce vast of amounts decay heat, in the range of 200 mega watts. this heated liquid will spin a turbine, generating electricity.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
russ_watters
Mentor
20,580
7,243
Thread moved to nuclear engineering forum.

We have some nuclear engineers here who can probably answer the specifics. But my gut tells me that while it's a nice idea, but an obvious one and so if it were economical it would already be done.
 
  • #3
5
0
Thread moved to nuclear engineering forum.

We have some nuclear engineers here who can probably answer the specifics. But my gut tells me that while it's a nice idea, but an obvious one and so if it were economical it would already be done.
Hi, thanks for the quick reply, i was also thinking of that, it is a very simple idea indeed, however i have not taken the economical dimensions into my consideration. it would be great to hear back from some nuclear engineers.
 
  • #4
35,442
11,881
This has been studied multiple times, and it is too expensive. Nuclear reactors are designed in the GW-range for a good reason, 200 MW thermal (where does that number come from?) wouldn't allow to sell enough electricity to make it worth building a power plant.
 
  • #5
1,919
1,167
The decay heat decreases rapidly once the reactor is shut down. For a typical commercial power reactor here's a breakdown showing how the decay power reduces over time. This is the decay power, as a percent of the steady-state operating power of the reactor:

$$\begin{pmatrix}
1 & second & 6.599\\
1 & hour & 1.454\\
1 & day & 0.625\\
1 & month & 0.182\\
1 & year & 0.040\\
3 & year & 0.013
\end{pmatrix}$$
So for a typical 3400 MW core, the decay power 3 years after shutdown is only ~450 kW.
 

Related Threads on How much heat can radionuclides in HLNW generate?

  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
4K
Replies
7
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
799
Replies
51
Views
33K
Replies
7
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
6K
Replies
12
Views
8K
Replies
16
Views
5K
Top