Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Thorium Fuel Cycle Reaction Initiation

  1. Feb 15, 2013 #1
    In an liquid fluoride thorium reactor, how is the reaction started? My assumption would be a piece of fissile material would be somehow inserted into the fuel to introduce neutrons to the solution, but I have not found any information to show if this is how the reaction is started. If this is not it, how do the reactors begin breeding and fissioning the U 233?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 16, 2013 #2

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    An LFTR would start with U-235 with U-233 increasing as it is produced in the system. U-233 would be chemically separated from the recirculating solution. Likely there would be 'neutron sources' placed in the reactor system.

    One can look at the operation of the MSR at ORNL.
     
  4. Feb 18, 2013 #3

    QuantumPion

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The liquid fuel becomes critical as it flows through graphite moderator channels, sort of like an RBMK.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook