The Atomic Show #063 – NNadir interviews Rod Adams about Adams Engines(TM)
NNadir is a popular diarist on Daily Kos. He appeared recently as a guest of The Atomic Show and has returned to interview Rod Adams about the Adams Engine(TM)
As the host of The Atomic Show, I have occasionally shared some information about the Adams Engine(TM), my own design for an atomic power source that can be scaled to compete against large diesel engines and combustion gas turbines. Several listeners and recent guests have expressed an interest in learning more about the design, so I thought it might be more interesting and fun to have one of them interview me than to have me read from some of our sales and marketing literature.
NNadir, who recent appeared as a guest on The Atomic Show, kindly volunteered to ask me some unscripted questions about the engine, the history behind the project, and some of the design choices that we have made already and may make in the future. We talked about why the Adams Engine(TM) uses nitrogen as the coolant, the reactor conversion ration, our thoughts about future uses for used fuel materials, and some of the markets where we believe that the Adams Engine(TM) will be particularly competitive.
I hope you do not mind hearing about my “baby”. It has had a long gestation period and there is still a ways to go before it is time to apply for family leave after the birth. However, I think you will find some thoughts and ideas here that you may not have heard anywhere else, unless you happen to have engaged me in casual conversation during the past 17 years or so. If you have, you have probably had the experience of having me try to work in some of these thoughts – I am a little obsessed with the idea.
One small technical correction: I said that the turbine outlet temperature is about 600 C – I went back and checked the system process flow diagram – it is more like 360 C.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:00:46 — 21.0MB)
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I enjoyed hearing about your ideas. You have obviously given this a lot of thought.
Also, NNadir deserves some major kudos. I think that he asked some really good questions.
You mentioned possibly using a mixture of nitrogen and a bit of oxygen as the coolant. Would the oxygen have anything to do with dealing with the C14 generation? I’m just grasping at straws here… I’m an electrical engineer, so the chemistry and nuclear engineering bits sometimes leave me wondering.
One concern that has been expressed is the long term effect of operating machinery and piping systems designed for air breathing machines in a pure, hot nitrogen environment.
There is a phenomenon called nitriding that affects certain alloys. (See, for example, http://www.springerlink.com/content/j6w73vp3x237m49j/)
This aging effect does not happen as rapidly in a hot air because of the stable oxide layer that protects the alloys from further interaction.
There will be some testing and experience required to determine the right gaseous mix or if this consideration is even required once we have selected the turbines and compressors for our system.
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