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Thorium reactor article

 
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Cabrone



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:23 am    Post subject: Thorium reactor article Reply with quote

Obama could kill fossil fuels overnight with a nuclear dash for thorium

Telegraph

Sounds interesting but how much is true and how much is hype?

Any nuclear engineers on here?
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meemoe_uk
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes thorium. This is one of the main components in my take on the world energy situation.
As far as I've looked, thorium nuclear energy will save us even if PO is real.
- much safer than uranium, possibly enough for people to drive round in cars with thorium reactors and have car crashs.
- more efficient than uranium
- cleaner than uranium
- easier to use than uranium
- known world reserves of thorium already exceed uranium reserves by around 4 times. and there's no been no serious thorium exploration effort yet.

The energy engineers and other techies I know always enthuse about thorium.

The natural 1st question for me was :
If thorium is so much better than uranium, why did we get a uranium energy base in the 1960s rather than a thorium one?
A:
Because the world energy cartel would have a world revolt on it's hands, as countries the world over discover thorium reserves easy to exploit then with it bring prosperity to their land, thus getting out from under the thumb of the cartel. The cartel already has enough on it's hands supressing the oil and uranium industry around the world.
Also the cartel had already got a good grip on the world's uranium resources.

So I don't expect we'll be switching to thorium. If capable groups start developing thorium and enthusing about thorium too much, then I expect a full character assasination program, like the 3 mile island job, along with ensuing media+legal blitz.
So if you really want to know the truth about thorium, you'll have to get heavily into the science. The media, even the alternate media isn't going to cover it for you.
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JohnB



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Thorium is not new technology, but rather, it is as old as the nuclear age itself, with research ongoing since its inception. The first nuclear reactors in America and Russia were fuelled by thorium. It was then dismissed by policy-makers – the key reason being that the thorium fuel cycle provides no opportunity for obtaining bomb materials.

From here
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Pepperman



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:26 am    Post subject: Re: Thorium reactor article Reply with quote

The Telegraph wrote:
Obama could kill fossil fuels overnight with a nuclear dash for thorium... If Barack Obama were to marshal America’s vast scientific and strategic resources behind a new Manhattan Project, he might reasonably hope to reinvent the global energy landscape and sketch an end to our dependence on fossil fuels within three to five years.


Eh? It constantly surprises me how little people grasp how different sources of energy are used. And somehow he gets a voice in the Telegraph.
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Cabrone



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnB wrote:
Quote:
Thorium is not new technology, but rather, it is as old as the nuclear age itself, with research ongoing since its inception. The first nuclear reactors in America and Russia were fuelled by thorium. It was then dismissed by policy-makers – the key reason being that the thorium fuel cycle provides no opportunity for obtaining bomb materials.

From here


Interesting article and Thorium does seem to have some big advantages over Uranium.

However I'd like to see some more balance. The article makes Thorium sound like the perfect fissile material yet if Thorium was that good then why doesn't every new build use it? It all sounds too good to be true.

Not saying we shouldn't seriously pursue it but if we are to make an informed decision what is the other side of the argument?

I'd also like to see the powers that be to take a serious look at the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) technology developed by the US which, I believe, can take existing 'waste' and process\burn it over and over until there is virtually nothing left (Link).

Quote:
Did you know that our uranium waste is our nation's #1 energy resource? In fact, just in the depleted uranium (DU) waste alone (the stuff left over after natural uranium has been enriched), we have more than 10 times the extractable energy than we have from coal in the ground!

Using fast reactors (a type of fourth generation nuclear), we can make use of this "waste" and extract enough energy to power the entire planet (at the current usage rate) for 700 years. After 700 years, we can extract uranium from seawater. There is enough uranium in seawater to power the entire planet forever (we will be burned alive by the Sun before we run out of nuclear fuel).

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snow hope



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So is Thorium the silver bullet, at least as far as electricity generation is concerned?
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes.

Trouble is silver is a rubbish material for bullets and you don't win a war with one bullet.
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Mean Mr Mustard



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ambrose writes:

Quote:
Norway’s Aker Solution has bought Professor Rubbia’s patent. It had hoped to build the first sub-critical reactor in the UK, but seems to be giving up on Britain and locking up a deal to build it in China instead, where minds and wallets are more open.

So the Chinese will soon lead on this thorium technology as well as molten-salts. Good luck to them. They are doing Mankind a favour. We may get through the century without tearing each other apart over scarce energy and wrecking the planet.


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



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
However I'd like to see some more balance. The article makes Thorium sound like the perfect fissile material yet if Thorium was that good then why doesn't every new build use it? It all sounds too good to be true.


Thorium still needs a lot of work, hence Ambnroses, "if you really care about Green, throw you trillion dollars at this", arguement.
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PS_RalphW



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thorium reactors seem a lot like fusion reactors...

20 years from commercial production for the last 50 years...
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DominicJ



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ralph
Except no one has spent money researching thorium reactors, fusion has had bucket loads of cash chucked at it.
The UK group reckon they can prove the design for £300mn have a 600MW reactor up and running for an additonal £1.5bn

I've asked they form a PLC and do an IPO for the first £300mn
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Ippoippo



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cabrone wrote:

Interesting article and Thorium does seem to have some big advantages over Uranium.


Because Thorium doesn't have lots of lovely waste products which just happen to be very useful for making nuclear weapons.
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clv101
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DominicJ wrote:
Ralph
Except no one has spent money researching thorium reactors, fusion has had bucket loads of cash chucked at it.
The UK group reckon they can prove the design for £300mn have a 600MW reactor up and running for an additonal £1.5bn

I've asked they form a PLC and do an IPO for the first £300mn


Maybe add another naught to those numbers? You can barely build a conventional, cookie-cutter, nuclear power station for those numbers. The R&D, detailed design, prototype, trial, safety case work etc. is billions not billion.
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DominicJ



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Dr Cywinski is developing an accelerator driven sub-critical reactor for thorium, a cutting-edge project worldwide. It needs to £300m of public money for the next phase, and £1.5bn of commercial investment to produce the first working plant. Thereafter, economies of scale kick in fast. The idea is to make pint-size 600MW reactors


I'm just quoting the numbers....
It could be that £1.5bn already takes into account an additionalt £6bn to be borrowed from the banks.

I just threw out the idea that perhaps they could raise the amounts from private investors.
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