Re-Examining

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Nuclear Hydrogen Production: Re-Examining the Fusion Option

Nuclear Hydrogen

Production:

Re-Examining the Fusion

Option

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

sbaindur@ottawapolicyresearch.ca

http://ottawapolicyresearch.ca

May 30th, 2007

Canadian Hydrogen Association Workshop

on Hydrogen Production from Non-Fossil

Sources

1


Outline of Presentation

Part I: Introduction

Part II: Fusion

Part III:NHP

by Fusion

Part IV: Policy, R&D, Techno-Economic Issues

Part V: Conclusions

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

2


NHP by Fusion? ? The Very Idea!




Use nuclear energy of Fuel (Hydrogen plasma)

Create molecular Hydrogen

• From Carbon-free Hydrogen-rich rich compounds

Store and Use

• Electro-chemically chemically (Fuel Cell) or chemically (H2

ICE)

So, the fuel is also the product !!


Is that all?

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

3


NHP by Fusion? ? The Very Idea!








The nuclear fuel needed (rare isotope, 1 T 3 ) is

bred by the process

Can also breed other nuclear fuels (U, Th, Pu)

Transmute long-lived lived radioactive wastes

Is that really all?

No, you can also boil water with it!

Why isn’t t it here yesterday??

Well, it was here, 15 billion years ago, for about

400 seconds. Sorry you missed it ?!

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

4


NHP by Fusion? ? The Very Idea!

So is it worth trying to do again?

You Betcha!

But is it going to happen in my

lifetime?

Not if we don’t t give it a really good,

no, our very best shot!

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

5


Goals of This Presentation

NHP by Fusion

Re-examine

examine idea


For NHP, Fusion came first.

• Look Ahead & Look Around

• Assess Fusion/NHP as it may apply to Canada

• Outline Policy Issues Fusion/NHP:





Technological

Commercial

Socio-economic

Canadian Context

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

6


Part I

Introduction

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

7


Introduction


Hydrogen Economy only makes sense

• If Hydrogen produced with no greenhouse gas

emissions (Climate Change)



Non-fossil energy options :

• Nuclear fission

• Solar

Renewables: : Wind, Hydro, Tidal, Geothermal

• Clean coal & gas – Need Hydrogen + CCS

• Fusion – fusion is nuclear hydrogen energy

All fossil and non-fossil energy derives from

solar. And solar energy derives from Fusion!

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

8


Introduction (Cont’d)

Some History

Considerable Fusion R&D 1970s and 80s:

• Hydrogen Economy significant focus

• Thermochemical Hydrogen Production



First proposed General Atomics

Analyzed several dozen chemical cycles


Future Fusion reactor proposed as source of heat


As commercial fusion receded, suggested:

• High Temperature Fission Reactor (HTGR)

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

9


Part II

Fusion

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

10


Fusion


Two Main Directions

• Inertial Fusion Energy (IFE)

• Magnetic Fusion Energy (MFE)


Inertial Fusion Energy

• Fast implosion D-T fuel capsules.

• 200 Gbar pressure created.

• Several ~ 350 MJ bursts of energy per second.

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

11


Fusion (Cont’d)


Magnetic Fusion Energy (MFE)

• Magnetic pressure (100’s atm) confine lowdensity

plasma.

• In “toroidal magnetic bottle” for ~ 10 km;

100’s of collisions per event.

• Fusion power density (~10 MW/m 3 )

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

12


Other Contenders

Fusion (Cont

(Cont’d)

Possible Technologies

Magnetized Target Fusion (Canadian company,

General Fusion in Vancouver) – acoustic pressure +

magnetic containment

Muon-catalyzed Fusion (TRIUMF, Vancouver)

Sonoluminescence (light + sound pressure)

Bubble Fusion

Cold Fusion

Still others

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

13


Fusion (Cont’d)

International Developments

ITER got going 2005.

US, China, Russia, India joined 2003-06.

06.

Administrative, IP-related, Cost-sharing sharing sorted

out.

US, UK, EU, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, India:

each pursuing National Fusion Programs.



Fusion emerging as likely (possible) component of

Nuclear Technology Mix ~ 2030-2060.

2060.

Canada now only G-8 G 8 nation without a National

Fusion Program

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

14


Fusion (Cont’d)

Canada and Fusion: Complicated History

Bid for ITER in Clarington

Canadian National Fusion Program, admin by AECL.

Cancelled 1997; Varennes Tokamak shut down.

Canada Big Picture strategy

Energy Superpower

Fusion Science is ‘free’,, but ITER technology is IP of

participants.

This may represent significant upside risk to Canada.

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

15


Fusion (Cont’d)

Layout of a D-T D T (Li) Magnetic Fusion Plant

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

16


Schematic of a Fusion Power Plant:

Studied by EFDA

NHP

Courtesy: European Fusion

Development

Agreement

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

17


Fusion (Cont’d)

IFE System Layout

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

18


Fusion (Cont’d)

ITER Design Parameters

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

19


Fusion (Cont’d)

Commercialization Strategy

Llewellyn

Smith,

2005

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

20


Fusion (Cont’d)

Planned Fusion Commercialization Timeline

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

21


Part III

NHP by Fusion

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

22


NHP by Fusion


Why Fusion for Hydrogen?

• Other than ‘big picture’ – molecular H 2

from nuclear 1 H (proton)


Fusion Neutrons more energetic: Higher

temperature may be more easily reached


Enables all the NHP processes fission does

(if commercialized)


Perhaps, maybe, , intrinsically more safe –

but Gen-IV might be as safe (?)

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

23


NHP by Fusion



Fusion Electricity => Electrolysis

Fusion Electricity + Fusion Heat


Nuclear SMR, HTE, Thermochemical

• Efficiencies ~ 50% temperature dependent

• Technologies for NHP both with MFE and IFE

• Also:

Fusion-unique unique processes for NHP studied

And Hydrogen-only only schemes for Fusion

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

24


NHP by Fusion

Fusion-’Unique

Unique’ Hydrogen Production ‘Technologies’

Radiolysis – Extremely energetic neutrons

break chemical bonds in H 2 O, , releasing H 2 .

E.g., H 2 O H 2 + ½ O 2 ;

Issues: Recombination, competing reactions.

Also occurs in Nuclear Fission reactors, a problem

Thermal Spike Chemistry – Neutrons create

transient high temperature zones, enabling

non-equilibrium chemistry – catalysis effect

Problems: low yields, instability, tritium

contamination, neutron activation – some of

these also possible with fission.

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

25


NHP by Fusion: Hydrogen Only

Fusion Island

(Nuttall, Glowacki, , Clarke 2005 – Culham, , Cambridge UK)

Courtesy: Prof. Bill

Nuttall, Cambridge

University

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

26


NHP by Fusion

Fusion Island – The Concept


Fusion Island:

• About producing only Hydrogen, not

Electricity (Nuttall, Glowacki, Clarke, 2005)


Hydrogen proposed to be made thermochemically

from Fusion Heat


100 MWe on-site H 2 Gas Turbine generator (for

reactor restart, safety and cryogenic plant

operation).

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

27


NHP by Fusion

Fusion Island – The Concept

Hydrogen proposed as

• The Product Shipped (“ frozen” H 2

)

• The Coolant in the Reactor (liquid H 2 )

• The Fuel in the Reactor (D-T Plasma)

• The Fuel Bred in the Blanket (T)

• The Fuel for Gas Turbine cryogenic plant (H 2 gas)

• Hydrogen Everything

All 4 states of matter

All major isotopes

A True Hydrogen Economy

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

28


Fusion Island

Strategic Vision

Hydrogen is proposed as:



The Future Product of Current Oil Industry

• In Canada, Oil Industry a Current (and Growing) Heavy

User of Hydrogen

Hoped-for co-investor in Fusion R&D

Coupling to on-site desalination or ammonia

manufacture also envisaged

Aside: Russia builds 6 Floating Nuclear Fission Plants this

decade – shipyards, submarines, captives, off-grid

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

29


NHP by Fusion

Fusion Island – In Canada?

Hydrogen-Only by Fusion Production

Imagine H2E in Canada 40-100 years out.

Impacts: Oil, Nuclear, Hydrogen, Auto, Heavy Engg

Great Lakes region and/or Quebec and /or BC-Alberta.

Great Lakes: Strong Auto Sector

BC and Quebec: Strong H 2 E Base

Alberta – Current User of Hydrogen Future Producer ?

Island location not critical to concept

Hydrogen for Canadian Consumption and Export: ‘Made in

Canada’ manufactured fuel may substitute Oil and

Natural Gas exports today.

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

30


Part IV

Policy Issues

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

31


Commercializing Fusion

Policy Issues

Conception and Vision

• Many see: Organizational, not technical challenge.

Fusion Technology Commercialization Vision:

• Develop, Deploy, Export – like CANDU

EFDA – studied 4 Fusion Reactor Concepts, costing both

Hydrogen and Electricity – comparable with other sources

• But will assumptions be valid in Canada?


Some technical problems in Fusion common with Generation IV

fission reactors

• Materials issues (high temperature & radiation-strength, Helium)

Coolant (‘thermal(

blanket’) ) for fusion reactors

• Supercritical CO 2

– already being studied at AECL for SCWR.

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

32


Schematic of a Fusion Power Plant

NHP

Courtesy: European Fusion

Development

Agreement

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

33


Commercial:

Policy Issues

Commercial: Fusion Plant Economics

Scale: Is Fusion better for Hydrogen or Power?

Larger more stable plasma, more energy

Typical commercial plant size 3000 MWth

ITER 500 MWth

DEMO 3000 MWth 1GWe (?)

Fusion Power may be difficult to bring into Grid

A 1GWe Power Plant with possible instability.

So H 2 production Fusion plants also proposed.

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

34


Policy Issues

R&D Issues Common: Gen-IV and Fusion

Reactors

Reactor Physics




Especially epithermal ‘fast’ neutronics

Insights from Fission R&D may benefit Fusion R&D

Insights from Fusion R&D may benefit both Gen-IV and

Gen-V V Fission.

• Fusion-Fission Fission Hybrids

• Power conversion technologies (‘thermal(

hydraulics’)

Fusion coolant (‘blanket(

blanket’) ) possibilities vs ‘Cladding’

• Water-cooled Lithium-Lead

Lead

• Helium-Pebble Bed (European Fission Development

Agreement).

• Hydrogen and Helium Embrittlement, , Tritium

Contamination etc.

• Many others. This type of commonality enables elements

of Fusion Reactor R&D Program to ‘piggy-back’ on Gen-

IV.

• Synergy and Complementarity

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

35


Fusion and its Ramifications

‘Physicists in Wonderland’

Commercializing Fusion needs ‘Can-Do’ Culture instead

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

36


Technical:

Policy Issues

Technical: Fission Fusion Synergies

Future: Complements, not Competitors



CANDU fission reactors may supply tritium for ITER, could

have continuing role

Fusion plants could breed fission fuel; transmute actinides


Fission-Fusion Fusion Hybrids

Generation ‘V’ Fission reactors could include

‘Non-classical’ Reactor Concepts

• Gas cores, magnetic containment, MHD: higher efficiency,

burn-up

up

• Fusion R&D could benefit Fission later and vice-versa

versa

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

37


Toward A Possible Strategy for Canada

Costs and Options



Commercial MFE Fusion: Both Reactors and

R&D may require large investments. May also

be true of IFE.

Lower cost options leveraging existing technical

capabilities also proposed (e.g. General Fusion)



Oil companies long-term strategic interest to

invest. Government may have enabling role.

ITER and/or IFE cost-sharing sharing with existing

strong player: EU, US or Japan also possible.

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

38


Policy Issues

Toward a Possible Canadian Fusion Strategy

Pressure building for DEMO plant without waiting for ITER

A sustained, committed effort will be necessary for Fusion

to become commercial as well. ‘Can-do’,, like CANDU,

less ‘Physics’.

Fusion is ‘Next Generation’ Nuclear, and NHP is ‘Next

Generation’ Oil – NHP by Fusion marries the two.

Curiosity-driven

‘science’ can be a start, but dedicated,

mission-driven laboratory similar to and/or expanding

Chalk River Labs more likely to yield results.

UK announced a new National Nuclear Laboratory late

2006, ground has been broken already.

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

39


Part V

Conclusions

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

40


Conclusions

Although contrary views also exist, significant

consensus commercial fusion mid-century or

sooner. (Contrary views: no, not now, not ever)

EU, UK, Japan, US seriously exploring MFE, IFE

and NHP with both, as components of Energy

R&D portfolio

As only G-8 G 8 country today without a National

Fusion Program, Canada runs upside risk of

losing out on key developments.

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

41


Conclusions

Commercial Fusion:

Place in Canadian Energy technology suite

Possible advantages in NHP

Public and regulatory acceptance

Hydrogen yield, Energy efficiency, Process flexibility.

Decision to commit to Fusion R&D Program:

Opportunity cost versus Upside Risk

NHP by Fusion – Could be future of Oil and Nuclear

Other stakeholders: Auto, Hydrogen, Public

Fusion = Hydrogen + Nuclear !

Satyen Baindur

Ottawa Policy Research Associates

42

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