Switching off the heater and letting the reactor run at thermal equilibrium

    • Official Post

    I would like to discuss what you think about switching off the heater and letting the reactor run at thermal equilibrium with a proper thermal insulation?

    Since the reactions are confined to the solid phase of the Nickel lattice, there should be no exponential chain reactions as it is the case for uranium.

    Therefore if the temperature of the reactor increases above 1455 ° C ( melting point under atmospheric pressure probably higher because of the hydrogen pressure?) the reactions should stop.

    The explosions we have seen in the Martin Fleischmann Memorial project are of chemical origin.

    @ [lexicon]Alexander Parkhomov[/lexicon]
    What do you think?

    Kind regards!

  • Thanks for initiating an interesting topic.

    But, what "equilibrium" would that be? It is my understanding that these reactors are not widely understood that well, yet. Recall all the effort Mitchell Swartz has put into the concept of OOP, or optimal operating point. If I recall that correctly, there was a curve or slope that clearly made "too high" too dangerous or too destructive. I am certain the reactor should be under automated control so that pre-defined parameters are not exceeded. With such control redundantly in place, "let her rip" might be OK, with the appropriate containment and liability insurance!

    • Official Post

    Thermal equilibrium would mean that the thermal power generated by the reactor equals the dissipated power. Which ,in practice, means that once the reactor has been heated to its working temperature, say 1100°C, The heater could be switched off and a radiation shield could be positioned around the reactor.

    If a shield would be chosen in such a way that the power it transmits equals the power generated by the reactor due to nuclear transmutations, then the Temperature of the reactor would stay 1100° C and the transmitted heat could be used to heat circulating water.

    boiling water or pressurized water design.

    This could be achieved by a radiation shield ( maybe as simple as a highly reflecting aluminium foil? )

    Of course you are right that a well adjusted control system would have to measure internal temperature and change the position of the foil in order to keep the temperature at a predefined value.

    But this has to be done because it is desirable to have a fixed output power and less variations.

    I, however, do not think that this has to be done because of a nuclear safety issue.

    My hypothesis is: The nuclear reactions stop as soon as the Nickel crystallites melt, which makes this technology even more attractive.