On Fri, Nov 15, 2013 at 9:48 PM, Chris de Morsella <cdemorse...@yahoo.com>wrote:
> > LFTR reactors would produce U233 – which is very nasty stuff.
Yes but nasty can be your friend. Proliferation is a vastly smaller problem
with a LFTR and its U-233 than with a conventional reactor and its
Plutonium for a number of reasons:
1) Theoretically you can do it but it's hard to make a bomb with U-233,
much harder than with Plutonium. As far as I know a U233 bomb was
attempted only twice, in 1955 the USA set off a plutonium-U233 composite
bomb, it was expected to produce 33 kilotons but only managed 22; and in
1998 India tried it but it was a complete flop, it produced a miniscule
explosion of only 200 tons.
2) In a LFTR U-233 will always be contaminated with U232 which gives off
such intense Gamma rays it would screw up the bomb electronics, be easy to
detect, and probably killed the terrorist long before he was half finished
3) The U233 is completely burned up inside the reactor where its hard to
steal, unlike existing reactors where used fuel rods are shipped to
reprocessing plants to extract the Plutonium. In one case the potential
bomb making material needs to be shipped across the country, with a LFTR it
never leaves the reactor building.
4) A regular reactor produces lots of neutrons but a LFTR makes less of
them, so it needs all that U233 to keep the chain reaction going, if you
try stealing some the reactor will simply stop operating making the theft
John K Clark
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