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December 28, 2012

Accelerator driven sub-critical reactor could burn nuclear waste and create diesel at less than $2 per gallon

Muons Inc is partnering with ADNA Corp to develop a game-changing application of accelerator technology – designing and building a new form of intrinsically safe nuclear power called GEM*STAR (Green Energy Multiplier*Subcritical Technology for Alternative Reactors).

Muons’ first commercial application of GEM*STAR Power can be to use the process heat generated from the accelerator-driven GEM*STAR reactor to convert natural gas and renewable carbon into feedstock for the Fischer-Tropsch generation of ultra-clean, high quality diesel fuel. The initial plant will produce 70 million gallons of diesel fuel per year at an estimated cost of production of $1.75 per gallon.

GEM*STAR could achieve the following :

1. Reduces Weapons-grade Plutonium (W-Pu) and Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) Storage issues. GEM*STAR safely uses W-Pu or SNF (generated by traditional nuclear power plants and currently stored on a “temporary basis” around the country on the sites where it is generated with no permanent disposal plan presently available for it) to produce environmentally clean power. This technology can change unwanted nuclear materials into a valuable fuel for inexpensive carbon-neutral industrial processes and electricity production.

2. No Possibility for Large Volatile releases. GEM*STAR uses Molten-Salt fuel, derived safely and easily from W-Pu or SNF, which permits dangerous volatile radioactive elements to be continuously purged and safely stored.

3. GEM*STAR reactors never contain the critical mass of material needed for an uncontrolled self-sustaining chain reaction.

4. Major Nuclear Weapons Proliferation Impact! Nuclear proliferation issues are avoided since the molten-salt fuel does not need to be enriched or reprocessed.

5. GEM*STAR Adds Tremendously to U.S. Energy Independence and does not emit CO2. Using this technology, the 75,000 tons of U.S. stored SNF can be reburned without reprocessing, MOX fuel preparation, or danger of future weapons use, and with delayed and reduced storage requirements. This SNF is sufficient to provide all (500 GW) U.S. electrical power for over a hundred years.

The components exist and are proven technology

While GEM*STAR Power facilities do not currently exist, all of their distinct main components not only exist, but are, individually, proven technologies:





1. A superconducting radio frequency accelerator is needed to produce a powerful beam to generate neutrons. This is a process known as “spallation” that is used at facilities around the world, such as the Oak Ridge National Lab‘s (ORNL) Spallation Neutron Source. U.S. industry and Muons can use this proven technology for GEM*STAR.

2. Molten Salt Fuel can include natural uranium, depleted uranium, natural thorium, excess W-Pu, and SNF from conventional Light Water Reactors. The Molten Salt Fuel technology was successfully demonstrated at the ORNL Molten Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE) conducted from 1965 to 1969.

3. Muons Inc. has partnered on this important project with ADNA Corp, which has developed GEM*STAR based on the MSRE experience.

4. Muons is not the only enterprise working to develop this technology. Recently a Chinese roadmap for long-term development of accelerator-driven subcritical (ADS) technology was proposed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a start-up budget of $260 million has been approved for ADS test setup construction. The Chinese ADS program was started in the first half of 2011.


Initial Commercial Application for GEM*STAR –Making Ultraclean Diesel Fuel:

Muons’ first commercial application of GEM*STAR Power can be to use the process heat generated from the accelerator-driven GEM*STAR reactor to convert natural gas and renewable carbon into feedstock for the Fischer-Tropsch generation of ultra-clean, high quality diesel fuel. The initial plant will produce 70 million gallons of diesel fuel per year at an estimated cost of production of $1.75 per gallon.

Alternatively, 34 metric tons of W-Pu in the U.S. and an equal amount in Russia required by treaty to be made unusable for weapons, can each be reduced to 3.4 tons of commercial-grade Pu while producing power for diesel fuel production. Simultaneous production of He3 and tritium are additional commercial benefits of GEM*STAR technology.

Cost

The current cost estimates for Muons’ first pilot GEM*STAR power project is $25 million in design costs and $500 million in construction costs ($200M for the accelerator, $150M for the Reactor and $150M for the Fischer Tropsch diesel producing plant).

To burn 34 Tons of W-Pu in 30 years for the National Nuclear Security Administration requires a 10 MW proton accelerator ($600M) and four GEM*STAR units ($300M/each). This complex would produce 1,400M g/y of green diesel fuel. With more than $1/g profit expected, this is less than a 2-year payback.

Muons is seeking to raise the funding through federal and private investment.
Design work can be completed in less than 2 years and construction can be completed in 4.5 years.

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