Thorium instead of Uranium

Thorium instead of Uranium

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:48 am

Wow! I've neaver heard of this potential fuel source before:

http://www.peakprosperity.com/featuredvoices?utm_campaign=weekly_newsletter_20&utm_source=newsletter_2012-08-10&utm_medium=email_newsletter&utm_content=header_podcast

Kirk Sorensen, NASA-trained engineer, is a man on a mission to open minds to the tremendous promise that thorium, a near-valueless element in today's marketplace, may offer in meeting future world energy demand.

Compared to Uranium-238-based nuclear reactors currently in use today, a liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LTFR) would be:
Much safer - No risk of environmental radiation contamination or plant explosion (e.g., Chernobyl, Fukushima, Three Mile Island)
Much more efficient at producing energy - Over 90% of the input fuel would be tapped for energy, vs. <1% in today's reactors
Less waste-generating - Most of the radioactive by-products would take days/weeks to degrade to safe levels, .decades/centuries
Much cheaper - Reactor footprints and infrastructure would be much smaller and could be constructed in modular fashion
More plentiful - LFTR reactors do not need to be located next to large water supplies, as current plants do
Less controversial - The byproducts of the thorium reaction are pretty useless for weaponization
Longer-lived - Thorium is much more plentiful than uranium and is treated as valueless today. There is virtually no danger of running out of it given LFTR plant efficiency

Most of the know-how and technology to build and maintain LFTR reactors exists today. If made a priority, the US could have its first fully-operational LFTR plant running at commercial scale in under a decade.

But no such LFTR plants are in development. In fact, the US shut down its work on thorium-based energy production decades ago and has not invested materially in related research since then.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Stockton Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)

Re: Thorium instead of Uranium

PostBy: Black_And_Blue On: Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:53 am

The byproducts of the thorium reaction are pretty useless for weaponization

as Paul Harvey used to say :

..and now you know, the rest, of the story.......
Black_And_Blue
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska 140

Re: Thorium instead of Uranium

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:11 am

lsayre wrote:In fact, the US shut down its work on thorium-based energy production decades ago and has not invested materially in related research since then


Yaaaa.... seems I remember that.... perhaps someone should research it. If I remember correctly the thorium plants were shut down after some awful thing... I can't remember! But, it was awful enough that we as a country said "Lesson learned, let's not do THAT again!"

I don't have time as we are leaving right now.... someone... find out the whole story!
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined


Re: Thorium instead of Uranium

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:28 am

If in the past we had ever fumbled on thorium, China has apparently picked up the ball and is running with it:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/8393984/Safe-nuclear-does-exist-and-China-is-leading-the-way-with-thorium.html
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Stockton Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)

Re: Thorium instead of Uranium

PostBy: cokehead On: Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:37 am

Freddy wrote:
lsayre wrote:In fact, the US shut down its work on thorium-based energy production decades ago and has not invested materially in related research since then


Yaaaa.... seems I remember that.... perhaps someone should research it. If I remember correctly the thorium plants were shut down after some awful thing... I can't remember! But, it was awful enough that we as a country said "Lesson learned, let's not do THAT again!"

I don't have time as we are leaving right now.... someone... find out the whole story!


Here is a place to start on the thorium story.
cokehead
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Locke, Godin, Tarm in da works
Stove/Furnace Model: Warm Morning 617-A, 3721, 502

Re: Thorium instead of Uranium

PostBy: cokehead On: Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:42 am

cokehead
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Locke, Godin, Tarm in da works
Stove/Furnace Model: Warm Morning 617-A, 3721, 502

Re: Thorium instead of Uranium

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:25 am

No past thorium disaster. In fact, hardly any past effort, thanks in good part to Nixon admitting that he failed in science and had to trust prevailing scientific opinion. Therefore, the only guy thinking about thorium at the time was fired, and tons of money and effort went toward breeder reactors (which became a totally dead end).
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Stockton Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)

Re: Thorium instead of Uranium

PostBy: btrowe1 On: Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:49 pm

UH OH you guys on the out of place artifacts sites again :smoke: .. This is a big topic lately, not here but other places I have seen, for some reason its popped back up, no radiation so to speak of, easy to load, and much less go away rate of time.
btrowe1
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska stoker 140 Coal
Stove/Furnace Make: alaska stove