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Walkaway Safe

ThorCon is Walkaway Safe

ThorCon is a simple molten salt reactor. Unlike all current reactors, the fuel is in liquid form dissolved in a fluoride salt. In the event of any event that raises the temperature of this fuelsalt much above operating level, ThorCon will automatically shut itself down, drain the fuel from the primary loop, and 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 drain and cooling.

The 700C difference between ThorCon’s operating temperature (704C) and the fuelsalt’s boiling point (1430C) produces a robust safety margin.

ThorCon is Release Resistant

The ThorCon reactor is 30 m underground. ThorCon has at least three gas tight barriers between the fuelsalt and the atmosphere. At least two of these barriers are more than 25 m underground. Unlike nearly all current reactors, The ThorCon reactor operates at near-ambient pressure. In the event of a primary loop rupture, there is no dispersal energy and no phase change. The spilled fuel merely flows to a 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. Even if all the barriers are somehow breached, almost all these salt seekers will not disperse.

No Separate Spent-Fuel Storage

ThorCon eliminates the need for a separate, vulnerable spent fuel storage facility. The used fuelsalt that is cooling is as well-protected as the fuelsalt that is currently being burned.

Multiple Decay Heat Cooling Paths

ThorCon has two nearly independent paths for removing decay heat, both totally passive.

Four Loop Separation of Steam and Fuel Salt

ThorCon employs four loops in transferring heat from the reactor to the steam turbine.
  • The primary fuel salt loop.
  • The secondary fluoride salt loop.
  • A solar salt loop. This is the same salt used in thermal solar plants.
  • A high pressure steam loop.

The solar salt loop captures any tritium that has made it to the secondary loop, and more importantly ensures that a rupture in the steam generator creates no nasty chemicals and harmlessly vents to the Steam Generating Cell via an open standpipe.

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