Thorium Power Plants Could Solve The World's Energy Problems

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posted on May, 23 2007 @ 10:15 PM
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Now I'm embarrassed. I don't know my + from my - . Living on this side of the Atlantic, we tend to think everything here is positive, over there is negative.

I did learn once the 0 degree prime meridian ran through Pairs, until Lord Nelson met the French at Trafalgar. The Brits promptly relocated the prime meridian at Greenwich. Barely a half dozen miles westward.

OK on Norway. Early into nuclear research with heavy water in the 1940s.


[edit on 5/23/2007 by donwhite]




posted on May, 27 2007 @ 02:56 PM
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Seems like they are exploring for Thorium in Sweden as well now. And Bergen Energy (Norwegian) has applied to build a thorium-based power plant in Norway.


All Star in thorium push


23/05/2007


PLUS-quoted All Star Minerals has registered a licence to explore for thorium, the ‘safe’ nuclear power source, in Sweden.

[---]

Young argues thorium, which resembles uranium but is virtually useless for military applications and remains radioactive for much less longer, is beginning to win recognition for its properties. In Norway, with some of the world's largest thorium deposits, Bergen Energy has applied to build a thorium-based power plant and others are under consideration.

"virtually useless for military applications"
That's a strong key point.



posted on May, 27 2007 @ 05:36 PM
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The two biggest obstacles to development of Thorium reactors are an odd couple:

(1) Greenies

Here in New Zealand where I lived we were propositioned with a nuclear power scheme using a lead moderated, Thorium ADS reactor. Prime Minister Helen Clark, former left wing activist automatically reverted to tired old prejudices about Uranium based nuclear power. She cited Chernobyl as the reason why the NZ government would not even consider proposals.

(2) the Uranium industry

Australia one of the few countries enthusiastically embracing development of developing new nuclear power stations is also a big miner of Uranium. Those in the Uranium industry have earned their stripes by building a whole infrastructure around Uranium and how to solve it's problems. Along comes Thorium which because it's safer and simpler, threatens their jobs and their profits. Here we have the irony that many in the nuclear power industry are the biggest opponents.





[edit on 27-5-2007 by sy.gunson]



posted on Mar, 13 2008 @ 05:38 PM
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Thorium reactors incidentally can be used to burn radioactive waste like Plutonium and reduce it to safe non radioactive materials like Lead, or Cesium etc. Think how wonderful it would be to get rid of nuclear waste.

Thorium ADS reactors burn nuclear waste like tossing it in a fireplace. What comes out is nice harmless equivalent of ash.

It could even be a lucrative way of harvesting lead for resale.

Most important however is that it will allow the total outlawing of material used to make nuclear weapons.



posted on Mar, 17 2008 @ 07:45 AM
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There needs to be a push for this now. At all levels. The US seems on the verge of war with Iran over a nuclear program, yet if this alternative were used, it seems there would be no question of misuse.

I know some people jump right in to the end of a thread, but I suggest a careful reading of this thread. Here's a chance to push for something that could change our future. And building/paying for such reactors would certainly be cheaper than a war with Iran.



posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 05:03 PM
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reply to post by Hellmutt
 


The LPS "MaxFelaser" laser," generates tunable, coherent, Ultra-high power radiation, while an MaxFelaser beam shares the same optical properties as conventional lasers such as coherent radiation, the operation of an MaxFelaser is quite different. Unlike gas or diode lasers which rely on bound atomic or molecular states. Free electron lasers can be used to generate terahertz radiation. LPS MaxFelasers uses a Proprietary excitation system (other details require NDAs) to produce a laser beam powerful enough to flash water to steam driving a turbine/generator. The power of the MaxFeLaser comes from its Fuel “Thorium”. The amount of free energy contained in thorium fuel is 20 million times the amount of free energy contained in a similar mass of chemical fuel such as coal making thorium an ideal source of energy. The investment opportunity is not in the thorium itself, it's in the technology that unlocks the value of thorium. The MaxFelaser system is that technology.



posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 09:58 PM
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Originally posted by NGC2736
There needs to be a push for this now. At all levels. The US seems on the verge of war with Iran over a nuclear program, yet if this alternative were used, it seems there would be no question of misuse.

I know some people jump right in to the end of a thread, but I suggest a careful reading of this thread. Here's a chance to push for something that could change our future. And building/paying for such reactors would certainly be cheaper than a war with Iran.


HINT: Iran probably does want nuclear weapons, and so the fact that their civilian reactors can breed weapons grade fissionable is desirable. They know the US, for all it's saber-rattling won't directly attack any country with a nuclear arsenal.



posted on Nov, 9 2008 @ 04:39 PM
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posted on Nov, 10 2008 @ 05:29 AM
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I was running a thread considering the efficiency of fast breeders and it got bumped into Skunkworks.

How can yours be any different that it can remain here?



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 03:29 AM
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A majority of Danes are now in favor of nuclear power. Their only concerns about it are the risks of a possible meltdown and the spread of nuclear weapons.



COP15: Majority for nuclear power


07. dec 2009


Danes have changed their negative views on adopting nuclear power

A majority of Danes are now in favour of nuclear power being used by world leaders to help reduce CO2 emissions according to the latest Gallup poll from Berlingske Tidende.

[---]

The Young Conservatives have gone a step further and said they want nuclear power introduced in Denmark as soon as possible.



Hello?! Thorium is the answer! From the OP:


•There is no danger of a melt-down like the Chernobyl reactor
•It produces minimal radioactive waste
•It is not suitable for the production of weapon grade materials
•The energy contained in one kilogram of Thorium equals that of four thousand tons coal
•The global Thorium reserves could cover the world’s energy needs for thousands of years

What are we waiting for?



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 03:44 AM
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Originally posted by Hellmutt
A majority of Danes are now in favor of nuclear power. Their only concerns about it are the risks of a possible meltdown and the spread of nuclear weapons.


Hellmutt,

an old post from "porky" contains lots of technical info, in particular outlining drawbacks.

The claims in the OP are at least partially exaggerated. I'm all for thorium use, but let's not get too excited.

PS. I know thorium first hand, so to speak, because I was sprayed in the eye with a solution of a thorium salt years ago, in a chemistry experiment that went slightly wrong.



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 06:16 AM
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an old post from "porky" contains lots of technical info, in particular outlining drawbacks.

Ok.....


. Your first point makes no sense.....just because the reactor uses thorium does not exempt it from the possibility of power surges, fuel element overheating, etc.... (i.e., meltdown).

That is correct. However it is possible to design a reactor fueled by Thorium (or Uranium for that matter), which is immune to the aforementioned power surges, and fuel element overheating. The Pebble Ped Modular Reactor (PBMR) and Molten Salt Reactor MSR / LFTR are both reactor designs which will be Uranium / Thorium fueled respectively, both can not have a meltdown or many other types of accidents involving the reactor itself. Also, given civilian and military reactor safety in the western world during the previous 40 years, it is my opinion that safety issues are perceived, and not actual.


2. What is the definition of minimal radioactive waste? waste is waste, and it is still a problem for thousands of years....

Depends on reactor design. A conventional Light Water Reactor (LWR) of 1000MW capacity will generate 35 tons of "waste" per year, a small component of which is dangerously radioactive for thousands of years (known as actinides). I don't like the term "waste" because if you put that in a Fast Reactor then you can convert that nasty stuff into energy, and be left with very, very, very small amounts of far less potent waste (no actinides). This was the idea behind the Integral Fast Reactor, which was canceled during the 1990s (for no reason), but it is still in development by corporations such as GE-Hitachi.

It is possible to go a step further in nuclear fuel efficiency, with the Liquid Fueled Thorium Reactor (LFTR). For a 1000MW capacity plant of this design, you get 1 ton of waste. 83% of that can be sold after 10 years as the waste is made out of quite expensive materials. The rest is much less potent compared to the stuff coming out of todays reactors, has no actinides and therefore will only need to be in isolation for 300 years. Running your life for 10-15 years will only need about one square meter of the average rock in the Earths crust, using this in a LFTR would create less than 3 grams of that bad stuff which needs storage for 300 years (And that is very easy to accomplish).

Actually, one of the biggest arguments for this type of technology, fast reactors, is that it could significantly reduce our current waste, while creating massive amounts of energy. It's simply a waste of money spending money on repositories such as Yucca Mountain when you can generate energy out of it. Also, a small fraction of each kilowatt hour of electricity generated from Nuclear goes to a waste disposal fund, so far billions of dollars have been collected in the US. I think we should use that money to develop the LFTR (or IFR). Getting rid of our nuclear waste is well... integral.


One disadvantage is that the thorium cycle produces more fission gas per fission, although experience has shown that thorium dioxide is superior to uranium dioxide in retaining these gases.

That's why you use a liquid fuel. Thorium Tetrafluoride. The gas will bubble right out of it. We know the LFTR works because, well, they did it, during the Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment.


The decay chain of 228Th produces strong gamma and alpha emitters. All handling of such material must be done under remote conditions with containment. (this was taken from another website).

That's why you burn up all the fission products. All of it. i.e. Thorium goes into the reactor, it and its by-products get completely burned up. Turned into energy.

[edit on 8/12/2009 by C0bzz]



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 06:17 AM
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It sounds good, but would rather see more research go into solar, that way the energy companies don't have a grip on us like they do now.



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 06:25 AM
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It's impossible to run an industrialized nation from solar. I feel we have spent enough money on solar without it producing any tangible results. I'd rather invest in Nuclear research, because it can actually reduce our need for fossil fuels, solar never has, and never will.

(& yes adding solar panels to buildings can be a good thing if you can afford it, because it will reduce dependence on energy companies).

[edit on 8/12/2009 by C0bzz]



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 06:40 AM
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Originally posted by wycky
It sounds good, but would rather see more research go into solar, that way the energy companies don't have a grip on us like they do now.


That is why it will never happen. Solar isn't going to become viable until it can be properly taxed and people can be forced to continue paying for it for eternity. "They" don't want energy independence because that would be a huge reduction in profit and control for TPTB. Just think how the power structure would change If everyone simply unplugged from the grid.

And FWIW, my cynicism applies to the OP as well. Thorium reactors also sound too good to be true. TPTB aren't as concerned about energy problems as the average Joe is. TPTB want there to be an energy crisis. More money... more control. They will keep a lid on this as long as possible. We won't see any real energy reform until we really do run out of oil and our hand is truly forced. Once that rolls around, I am sure they will have the next "answer" ready for us to be shackled to.

[edit on 8-12-2009 by Karlhungis]



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 06:44 AM
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But you cannot unplug from the grid unless you want very small amounts of electricity, which you cannot run an industrialized nation on. Solar isn't viable at the moment unless you want electricity two hours a day, or want expensive energy storage which adds to the already uneconomical price.




(the "advanced nuclear" is really current nuclear)

Ten nations today have joined the GENIV comittee, researching 4th generation Nuclear Power. A roadmap on all the designs that are being researched and considered can be found here.

[edit on 8/12/2009 by C0bzz]



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 07:30 AM
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All you guys are right, Solar is currently inadequate which is why i said more research is needed, especially in a way to store the power so it can be used after dark and i am referring more to home use not manufacturing.

I believe the technology is there but is kept quiet.

Your guys heard of Professor Searl? in the 40's he invented a Magnet Motor which supplied unlimited power and was apparently anti gravity.
He had is home running from the device, after a few months of not paying for electricity the electrical company thought he was stealing power, they came out and couldn't work it out, later realising he had is own energy came and stole the device, destroyed his research papers and he spent a small amount of time in prison.
He came out a few years ago and told his story and he now building another machine.
here is his site where you can keep tabs on his progress www.searlsolution.com...
and go to you tube and type Professor Searl and there is a lot of info, documentaries and his story you can watch



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 09:19 AM
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Originally posted by Murcielago

Originally posted by porky1981
waste is waste, and it is still a problem for thousands of years....

I wouldn't say thousands of years...

Once wee have a cheap and very safe and reliable way of getting off earth, we can just send big containers full of waste into our sun...and problem solved.
Its not feasable today, because a rocket couldn't hold much...plus it wouldn't be good if it blew up on launch.
But I doubt we would have to store the waste on earth for more then 100 years...I would assume by then access to space would be extremely cheap, safe, easy, and virtually common place.


So you would just send truckloads of earth into the Sun!?!? And where do you suggest that we start searching for a source to replace the terrestrial matter you call "waste"? Or would you suggest that we export our "trash" until the planet itself is all gone?

Why not just detonate all of the planets nuclear arsenal simultaneously and save us the disgrace?



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 11:38 AM
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The energy content in the fuel that goes into todays conventional reactors only gets used up by about 0.6%. Given the waste has 99.4% of the energy content still there, then I feel that is the best energy source available. Firing it into space if that were even possible, would be a massive waste.


[edit on 8/12/2009 by C0bzz]



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 02:49 PM
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reply to post by buddhasystem
 


BS, you would know about fast breeders, wouldn't you? They use an accelerator to produce more fissile material than they consume, cutting down on so called waste even more. Never mind the reprocessing of spent nuclear weapons slant. Thing is they have been around for years and the public still doesn't catch on. Seems to always come down to the stupid politicians.

I am still warm around the collar seeing my thread on fast breeders bumped to skunkworks and then seeing this old nag resurrected. Quite out of the Cherenkov blue may I add.





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