Atomnet

AtomNet Executive Summary

Situation: CO2 emiting fossil fuel power plants are unsustainable and current nuclear power options are perceived to be fearful

Our Approach: Creatively apply proven technologies to produce safe, modular, mobile, nuclear pebble bed reactors to directly replace coal and other fossil fuels as a steam source, without perceived fearful consequences

Our Solution: The AtomNet global “network”

  • Design nuclear powered steam generation units sized to replace fossil fuel boilers and leverage existing plant electricity infrastructure in 100 MW to 400 MW increments, and 500 MW to 2,000 MW using thorium fuel
  • Mass-produce reactors and fuel pebbles in a controlled factory setting and transport complete units by rail to minimize on-site construction, for 100 MW units
  • Utilize TRISO pebble nuclear fuel – the safest of all nuclear fuels
    • First developed in Germany in the 1950’s and the subject of significant R&D by the U.S. Department of Energy and partners over the past 10 years
    • Small grains of nuclear material are encapsulated in multiple layers of graphite and silicon carbide to protect the material, moderate fission, and isolate the material from other articles and the atmosphere
    • TRISO pebble fuel does not require external cooling, is already encapsulated for long term storage, and has no known potential to be used in weapons

Impact: Achieving the blue sky goal of one AtomNet reactor produced per shift, 60% of all coal fired electricity generation may be replaced in 20 years

  • Using the high temperature cooling gas from AtomNet reactors to produce hydrogen enhances the economics and viability of Fuelcor utility scale CO2 to liquid fuel plants

Technology Basis

Concept: AtomNet has developed a unique combination of existing technologies to replace fossil fuels with nuclear fuels incorporated in a mobile modular design based on pebble bed nuclear fuel. The design is compatiable with the applications that must be replaced: oil, gas, and coal burning, plus wood.

Best Nuclear Alternative: The nuclear fuel is based on the concept of encapsula9ng nuclear fuel in a self contained graphite pebble. First invented in Germany in the 1950’s, this TRISO pebble concept is now accepted as a core part of the solution to many of the so-called drawbacks to generation II reactors built decades ago. Pebble bed fuel is:

1. The safest of all nuclear fuels

2. No known use for weapons

3. The fuel capable of highest “burnNup” or conversion, reducing waste

4. Already encapsulated for long term storage

Forward Looking: AtomNet intends to use Thorium as our primary fuel as soon as possible to lessen effects of inadequate capacity for enriched Uranium and to further reduce waste.

Integrated Solution: Based on the unique properties of the pebble, AtomNet has created a new combination of building blocks for developing a mass production infrastructure for replacement of fossil fuel electricity generation. The infrastructure includes manufacturing, distribution, and opera9on worldwide and minimizes site specific delays, cost adders, and licensing challenges.

TRISO Fuel Configuration

AtomNet Market Potential

Target Market

  • First Priority: Replacement of Coal-fired steam generation to produce electricity
    • Globally: 1,500,000 MWe of installed coal-fired electric generation capacity
    • Over 50,000 coal-fired power plants worldwide
    • Capacity to produce containment vessels for current nuclear reactor designs is not sufficient to replace coal
  • Approximately 80% of all coal fired generation capacity is in plants rated at under 400 Mwe
    • This market served by mass produced 100 MWe rail transportable AtomNet reactors operating at only 25 Bar pressure
    • Larger coal-fired plants could be fiLed by higher capacity AtomNet steam generators
  • Second Priority: License for replacement of natural gas in electric power generation
  • Additional Market: Fuelcor liquid fuel manufacturing plants can be powered AtomNet reactors

AtomNet Market Approach

  • Design, license and produce mobile Pebble Bed Modular Reactor steam generator with nominal 200 MW thermal power and 100 MW electric power rating using existing steam turbines and generators
  • Blue sky goal: develop manufacturing capacity to produce one 100 Mwe unit per ship, 2 per day
    • Will replace ~60,000 Mwe per year or 5% of total available market 600 units per year
  • Total Revenue from Steam Generation
    • Target pricing at ~20% less than coal7fired steam: Coal 2.4 c/kWh and AtomNet steam 1.9 c/kWh
    • Additional potential revenue from CO2 credits: 1.8 c/kWh based on CO2 credit of conservative $50 per ton
    • Total cost of AtomNet steam production including amortization, refueling, license, and financing: << 1.7 c/kWh
    • Each 100 MWe steam generation revenue over 300 operating days ~ $13.7 Million plus ~$13.0 Million in CO2 credits

Concerns

Safety

  • In the TRISO pebble, nuclear fuel is separated into 0.2 mm grains and encapsulated in 0.9 mm spheres of graphite and silicon carbide, an extremely durable material used to coat cutting tools. These spheres are aggregated into 60 mm balls with graphite shells acting as neutron reflectors. During operation, the heat released during fission of 0.2 mm nuclear grains builds up in the balls and is transferred to a cooling gas, in this case CO2 at 25 bar – one half the operating pressure of a gas pipeline. CO2 cooled reactors have operated in UK for decades and this technology is well established.
  • In the case of cooling system failure, the nuclear fuel specs will heat up to approximately 1,600 deg. C while contained by silicon carbide. The nuclear reaction subsides due to Doppler broadening – the atom nucleus moves so fast that it misses neutrons. Heat is only generated to support heat dissipation from the outer walls of the reactor. There is no phase change of any material in the reactor and so there is nothing to explode. There is no meltdown as all 0.2 mm grains of fuel are physically separated from each other. Loss of coolant and all controls was experimented with at Tsinghua University with a predictable result – nothing happened.

Proliferation

  • Pebble/Triso nuclear material is practically impossible to proliferate. There are no known methods or equipment to get 0.2 mm specs of nuclear fuel from 0.9 mm spheres that contain silicon carbide – a grinding material. It is much easier to reprocess spent fuel from exis9ng nuclear plants, so there is no motivation to reprocess TRISO particles. Technology designed specifically for proliferation is already available and unsuited to TRISO. Implementing Thorium as the AtomNet preferred fuel will further reduce proliferation concerns.

Storage

  • Triso fuel particles are already encapsulated and can be stored without any further processing for now. Improvements in burnNup and the poten9al shi] to Thorium will reduce the volume of waste produced.

Nuclear Fuel

  • Fuel for initial reactors will use enriched Uranium within the capabilities of existing enrichment plants, up to 8%. With China and other countries building dozens of nuclear plants, there is a forthcoming shortage of enrichment capacity. AtomNet will switch to use of Thorium for 90% of its fuel need as soon as possible subject to funding. Thorium is orders of magnitude superior to Uranium in all respect except making a bomb from plutonium.
  • University of Maryland
    (USA)

  • Atomic Energy
    of Canada
    (Proposed)

  • Kazatomprom

  • Toshiba

Contact Us

VIA Sustainable Technologies Pte Ltd

Republic of Singapore

ACRA Registration No: 200107851g

Registered Business Address

80 Raffles Place #32-01

UOB Plaza 1

Singapore 048624

For more information, please contact

dinesh.senan@via-group.com

+65 9093 1151