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Safe nuclear does exist, and China is leading the way

 
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Lord Beria3



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
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Location: Moscow Russia

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:45 pm    Post subject: Safe nuclear does exist, and China is leading the way Reply with quote

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/8393984/Safe-nuclear-does-exist-and-China-is-leading-the-way-with-thorium.html

Quote:
This passed unnoticed –except by a small of band of thorium enthusiasts – but it may mark the passage of strategic leadership in energy policy from an inert and status-quo West to a rising technological power willing to break the mould.

If China’s dash for thorium power succeeds, it will vastly alter the global energy landscape and may avert a calamitous conflict over resources as Asia’s industrial revolutions clash head-on with the West’s entrenched consumption.

China’s Academy of Sciences said it had chosen a “thorium-based molten salt reactor system”. The liquid fuel idea was pioneered by US physicists at Oak Ridge National Lab in the 1960s, but the US has long since dropped the ball. Further evidence of Barack `Obama’s “Sputnik moment”, you could say.

Chinese scientists claim that hazardous waste will be a thousand times less than with uranium. The system is inherently less prone to disaster.

“The reactor has an amazing safety feature,” said Kirk Sorensen, a former NASA engineer at Teledyne Brown and a thorium expert.


OK, I have no idea whether this is true... if it is, than it is amazing news and will at least give China a chance to escape the 'limits to growth' in the coming decades.

Oddly, I predicted that China (along with a few other core strategic centres around the world) would survive the coming decades of chaos and come out self-sufficient.

What do you people think?
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RenewableCandy



Joined: 12 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's been a lot of wittering about "Thorium in India" too. Mostly from the sort of people/publications who are desperate to support nuclear power, come what may.

So there might be something to it, for all I know. But it's probably tosh. And if the original source for the Chinese info is XinHua, it's certainly tosh.
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Lord Beria3



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium#Thorium_as_a_nuclear_fuel

Anather take...

Quote:
Benefits and challenges

In a 2005 report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, it discusses potential benefits along with the challenges of thorium reactors.[18] According to Australian science writer Tim Dean, "thorium promises what uranium never delivered: abundant, safe and clean energy - and a way to burn up old radioactive waste."[19] With a thorium nuclear reactor, Dean stresses a number of added benefits: there is no possibility of a meltdown, it generates power inexpensively, it does not produce weapons-grade by-products, and will burn up existing high-level waste as well as nuclear weapon stockpiles.[19] Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, of the British Daily Telegraph, suggests that "Obama could kill fossil fuels overnight with a nuclear dash for thorium," and could put "an end to our dependence on fossil fuels within three to five years."[14]

Turkish nuclear expert Ayhan Demirbas has summarized some of the benefits of thorium when compared with uranium as fuel:[20]

Weapons-grade fissionable material (U-233) is harder to retrieve safely and clandestinely from a thorium reactor;
Thorium produces 10 to 10,000 times less long-lived radioactive waste;
Thorium comes out of the ground as a 100% pure, usable isotope, which does not require enrichment, whereas natural uranium contains only 0.7% fissionable U-235;
Thorium can not sustain a nuclear chain reaction without priming, so fission stops by default.
However, unlike uranium-based breeder reactors, thorium requires a start-up by neutrons from a uranium reactor. But experts note that "the second thorium reactor may activate a third thorium reactor. This could continue in a chain of reactors for a millennium if we so choose." They add that because of thorium's abundance, it will not be exhaused in a 1,000 years.[21]

The Thorium Energy Alliance (TEA), an educational advocacy organization, emphasizes that "there is enough thorium in the United States alone to power the country at its current energy level for over 1,000 years." [22] Reducing coal as an energy source, according to science expert Lester R. Brown of The Earth Policy Institute in Washington DC, would significantly reduce medical costs from breathing coal pollutants. Brown estimates that coal-related deaths and diseases are currently costing the U.S. up to $160 billion annually."[23

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RenewableCandy



Joined: 12 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Thorium can not sustain a nuclear chain reaction without priming, so fission stops by default.

Now that is useful.

But it doesn't say owt about what kind of waste such a plant would produce. Or whether you can go small/modular.
Quote:
India, which has about 25% of the world's thorium reserves, is developing a 300 MW prototype of a thorium-based Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR). The prototype is expected to be fully operational by 2011
Anyone seen the upshot of this (oh-oh...bad metaphor day...)?
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Mean Mr Mustard



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cabrone wrote:
This might help.

Thorium Thread

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