1940s, 1944, 1950s, ABB, Applied Solar, AVR Reactor, Battelle, Brown-Boveri, Chicago Met Lab, Daniels Pile, Direct Use of the Sun's Energy, Farrington Daniels, Friedrich Krupp, German nuclear waste, German technology, Germany, Krupp, liver cancer, Monsanto, Nazi, nuclear accidents, nuclear energy, nuclear failures, nuclear waste, Pebble Bed Reactor, plutonium, Rudolf Schulten, Scotland, solar energy, Thorium High Temperature Reactor, THTR Reactor
The Nuclear Pebble Bed Reactor concept was invented by an American in 1944, and considered by the US government but “encountered numerous design problems” and was dropped. While initially disappointed, the inventor, Farrington Daniels, moved quickly to solar energy before eventually dying of liver cancer. He apparently paid the price for his stint with the Manhattan Project, as plutonium has a half life in the liver of around 50 years. Remaining a lifetime in the liver and bones, it has plenty of opportunity to cause cancer. Jimmy Carter would have been exposed to plutonium during the Chalk River Nuclear Accident clean-up, and was just diagnosed with liver cancer.
Later the US taxpayer funded more study of the Pebble Bed, which still proved a failure. In the same period, the Germans decided to adopt the Pebble Bed, which failed dangerously in nuclear accidents. The nuclear fuel waste from one failed Pebble Bed went to Dounreay Scotland for processing, and nuclear waste from the processing will be buried in Scotland. The German government is currently trying to dump pebble bed spent nuclear fuel upon America.
Unlike the modern day nuclear advocates who constantly recycle failed technology, in a bid to get taxpayer monies, Daniels, director at the Manhattan project, quickly changed to solar: “Daniels conceived the pebble bed reactor, in which helium rises through fissioning uranium oxide or carbide pebbles and cools them by carrying away heat for power production. The “Daniels’ pile” was an early version of the later high-temperature gas-cooled reactor developed further at ORNL without success, but later being developed as nuclear power plant by Rudolf Schulten” [in Germany]… “Dr. Daniels became a leading American expert on the principles involved with the practical utilization of solar energy” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farrington_Daniels
“Involvement with solar energy
Dr. Daniels became a leading American expert on the principles involved with the practical utilization of solar energy. He pursued understanding of the heat and the convection that can be derived from it, as well as the electrical energy that could be derived from it. As Director of the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Solar Energy Laboratory, he explored such areas of practical application as cooking, space heating, agricultural and industrial drying, distillation, cooling and refrigeration, and photo- and thermo-electric conversion, and he was also interested in energy storage. In particular, he believed there were many practical applications of solar energy for ready use in the developing world.
Dr. Daniels was active with the Association for Applied Solar Energy in the mid-1950s. He suggested that AFASE embark upon the publication of a scientific journal, and the first issue of The Journal of Solar Energy Science and Engineering appeared in January, 1957. Later, as Professor Emeritus of Chemistry of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, he led a group of solar scientists who proposed that AFASE be reorganized, that its directors and officers be elected by the membership, and that the name be changed to “The Solar Energy Society” – all of which was done. He supported solar energy because, he said in 1955, “We realize, as never before, that our fossil fuels — coal, oil, and gas — will not last forever.”
One of his classic books is Direct Use of the Sun’s Energy, published by Yale University Press in 1964. The book was reprinted in a mass market edition in 1974 by Ballantine Books, after the 1973 oil crisis, and was described as “The best book on solar energy that I know of” by the Whole Earth Catalog’s Steve Baer.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farrington_Daniels
“Monsanto’s principal concern was the Daniels Pile, named for Farrington Daniels who, at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory in 1944, had designed a reactor with a bed of enriched uranium pebbles moderated by beryllium oxide and cooled by helium gas. Some called it the pebble-bed reactor. In May 1946, the Manhattan Engineer District directed Monsanto to proceed with the design, leading to the construction of an experimental Daniels Pile to demonstrate electric power generation. To accomplish this task, Monsanto brought Daniels from the University of Wisconsin as a consultant. The company also recruited engineers from industry and brought them to Clinton Laboratories, where they formed a Power Pile Division headed by Rogers McCullough. This division identified materials suitable for high-temperature reactors and developed pressure vessels and pumps, piping, and seals for high-pressure coolants; it also studied heat exchanger designs… The project, moreover, encountered numerous design problems. Critics of the Daniels Pile contended that it would never become a practical power-generating reactor and that building a demonstration project wasted time and resources… Why, critics said, should we pursue a more complicated and expensive power-production strategy? Such criticism caused high-level support for the Daniels Pile to wane by 1948. It was never constructed, and Daniels, as a professor at the University of Wisconsin, would gain renown as a national expert on solar energy.“(ORNL-Johnson-Schaffer, Oak Ridge, First 50 Yrs, ISSN 0048- 1262) http://web.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/archive_pdf/vol25-3-4.pdf
In 1962 the US Oak Ridge lab wrote: “The pebble-bed reactor concept is an old one, having been among the proposals considered for the Daniels Pile in 1945. Little attention was devoted to it, until five years ago” [i.e. 1957] when the Sanderson & Porter Company, with AEC support, began to investigate the design and development of pebble-bed reactors. Most of their effort was devoted to the study of fuel-handling problems and to development of a fuel for the reactor, with, in particular, the aid of the Battelle Memorial Institute. In Germany, a combine of the Brown-Boveri Company and Krupp began actively in 1956 to develop a pebble-bed reactor and to plan for its construction…. construction in Germany began recently.” http://web.ornl.gov/info/reports/1962/3445605487489.pdf
Krupp was a major Nazi company and Swiss Brown Boveri morphed into ABB: “In August 1959 the contract was placed with Brown Boveri and Friedrich Krupp for construction of a prototype high-temperature gas-cooled nuclear reactor developed by them in collaboration. This prototype, with a net electrical output of 15 Mw, will be installed at Julich, Germany, and operated by Arbeitsgemeinschaft Versuchsreaktor. With the construction of this plant, the Brown Boveri concern has a major share in the realization of the first German project for a nuclear power reactor.” http://www.osti.gov/scitech/biblio/4071333 [Brown Boveri made electrical components for Nazi submarines.]
“The Krupp family, a prominent 400-year-old German dynasty from Essen, have become famous for their steel production and for their manufacture of ammunition and armaments, and infamous for their brutal use of slave labor during World War II. The family business, known as Friedrich Krupp AG, was the largest company in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1999 it merged with Thyssen AG to form ThyssenKrupp AG, a large industrial conglomerate…. In an address to the Hitler Youth, Adolf Hitler stated “In our eyes, the German boy of the future must be slim and slender, as fast as a greyhound, tough as leather and hard as Krupp steel” („… der deutsche Junge der Zukunft muß schlank und rank sein, flink wie Windhunde, zäh wie Leder und hart wie Kruppstahl.”) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krupp http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown,_Boveri_%26_Cie
The AVR reactor was connected to the grid from 1967 to 1988. The THTR (Thorium High Temperature Reactor) was connected to the grid in 1986 and only worked for about 423 days, so fraught was it with problems. Both suffered accidents, emitting radiation into the environment, and disease clusters have been found in the environs. Both are failed technologies, which Germany is apparently pawning off upon the US, and the US nuclear lobby will, in turn, surely pawn off on an unsuspecting public, as great new “German technological innovation”, along with the high level nuclear waste. [See details of these two reactors and their failures at the bottom under notes.]
The US should ask Scotland what they learned from playing around with the failed German radioactive waste pebbles, instead of making the same mistake. At least the fashion industry stopped recycling the same fashions. The nuclear industry has no originality and just keeps recycling the same dangerous radioactive crap. Aren’t people tired of being robbed, killed and taken for idiots by the nuclear industry yet? When will the English speaking world stop being so masochistic as to take everyone’s nuclear waste, and when will the German government invest in trying to develop nuclear waste solutions, rather than trying to work out sneaky ways of dumping their nuclear waste on others? The latest sneak plan was spear-head by the current German Ambassador to the Vatican, who had her Ph.D. revoked for plagiarism – Annette Schavan, the German chauvinist. No wonder! It seems that laziness is a way of life for her.
Notes, References, Further Reading
Although the THTR-300 was supposed to be safer because it couldn’t “meltdown”, in 1984 it was shown by the Institute of Nuclear Safety Research of Forschungszentrum Jülich, that a loss of coolant in the THTR-300 leads to very high temperatures (2300 ° C), which resulted in a massive radioactive release, even without a “meltdown”. A major disadvantage was that the pre-stressed concrete used for containment decomposes on heating water vapor release and the water vapor reacts chemically with the hot graphite. A report from 1988 for the NRW state government (Germany), long kept confidential, states that the THTR-300 in flooding incidents through steam generator pipe breaks could lead to similar scenarios to the Chernobyl accident. This similarity to the Chernobyl reactor is caused by the use of graphite as a moderator in both types of reactor. Proponents of the pebble bed technology, have failed to disprove this report. This reactor also had problems with reliability. Among other things were the absorber rods that are pressed from above into the pebble, causing significantly more often than predicted fracture damage to the fuel assemblies. A total of 25,000 damaged fuel elements were found, which were a thousand times more than expected in a 40-year operation. THTR-300 was only in full service for 423 days due to constant problems. Just 6 months after it was connected to the power grid, on May 4, 1986, fuel pebble became lodged in a fuel feed pipe to the core and some radioactive dust from ball breakage and erosion was released to the environment. This was just a couple of days after Chernobyl. The operators played down the incident, which caused a loss of trust in the controlling authority. The Westphalia ministry of commerce created a fact finding committee. After a couple of weeks the power plant was switched on again. The fuel elements broke more often than calculated. The fuel factory in Hanau was decommissioned for security reasons. The fuel supply was difficult before and at risk through this decision. It was decided to shut down THTR-300. 120 known incidents were logged in its short lifetime. In 1988 the reactor had to be shut down cold, after six weeks of operation for at least a week to remove defective fuel elements from the collection. The high fracture rate was probably a consequence of the unfavorable helium friction properties, for the THTR-300. Although the friction of the control rods could be reduced, this would cause an unacceptably high corrosion rate of the metallic components. The resulting ball break threatened to worsen the reactor cooling through blockage of coolant gas holes in the bottom reflector. In 2013 it was announced by an official inquiry that in the vicinity of the THTR-300 is an increased risk of thyroid cancer (64%) for women. According to the study the causes are not related to the THTR. This is disputed by parts of the environmental movement. The study on the incidence of cancer was originally requested by environmentalists, because of the uncertainties regarding the amount of radiation emitted during the incident on May 4, 1986. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kernkraftwerk_THTR-300 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/THTR-300
The AVR reactor (German: Arbeitsgemeinschaft Versuchsreaktor) was a prototype pebble bed reactor at Jülich Research Centre in West Germany. Construction began in 1960; the first grid connection was in 1967 and operation ceased in 1988. A 1988 report for the NRW state government, only made available in 2011, discusses the serious safety deficiencies of pebble reactors – especially the AVR. Since its accident there is radioactively contaminated soil and groundwater, under the reactor. According to a FZJ (Jülich Research Center) report by Moormann, published in 2008, excessively strong radioactive contamination of the reactor was due to inadequate monitoring of the reactor core, as well as due to long-lasting operation at excessive high temperatures [which apparently characterizes this reactor type], meaning that fission products could emerge from the graphite balls. Moormann emphasized that these are inherent problems of pebble bed reactors (ie not just an AVR problem) and the question arises whether the pebble bed concept is even feasible or justifiable. “In April 2014 a report of independent experts on the AVR operation was published. This report lists hidden or downplayed events and accidents, discusses an illegal manipulation of the reactor safety system during an accident and criticizes a far too optimistic interpretation of the AVR operation with respect to potential future pebble bed reactors. As a consequence of the report Juelich Research Center regretted failures and scientific misbehavior with respect to the AVR“. There was also a leukemia case cluster in children in the region of the Jülich Research Facility-Reactor. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVR_reactor. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVR_(Jülich)
“Brown, Boveri (BBC) was a Swiss group of electrical engineering companies.
Brown, Boveri synchronous motor of 1901 in the Électropolis museum of Mulhouse, France
It was founded in Baden, Switzerland, in 1891 by Charles Eugene Lancelot Brown and Walter Boveri who worked at the Maschinenfabrik Oerlikon. In 1970 BBC took over the Maschinenfabrik Oerlikon. In 1988 it merged with ASEA to form ABB Group, a company producing DC Motors, AC motors, generators, steam turbines, gas turbines, turbochargers, transformers and the electrical equipment of locomotives. Some of BBC’s technology went into German U-boats of World War II, such as the depth controls.”