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Thorium Power Plants Could Solve The World's Energy Problems

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posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 07:22 AM
a new story from the telegraph

They try and spin this to say that its all down to Obama to fix the power needs of the world.

I am glad I did a search before posting this story to see that Scandinavians started looking at thorium as a viable alternative several years ago.

The most revealing aspect of the article for me is the cessation of exploration into the use of Thorium as nuclear fuel as it did not provide the Plutonium by product of uanium needed for US weapons.

Further more the revelation that Thorium in effect will 'clean' existing nuclear power plants by 'eating' the harmful waste products of our existing nuclear technology.

Even better! The energy/volume ratio of Thorium is staggering - in effect 1/200th of the volume for the same energy output as Uranium.

The final factor in the discovery of Thorium and the technique to exploit the technology is its abundance all over the globe - in particular the USofA. Until now Thorium has been considered a waste product by mining companies seeking the rare metals.

posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 12:32 PM

Originally posted by spacedonk
Even better! The energy/volume ratio of Thorium is staggering - in effect 1/200th of the volume for the same energy output as Uranium.

That statement is kind of twisting figures.

It has 200X the energy per ton of fuel mined, as uranium…….. With current fuel handling practices.

That is taking advantage of the fact that the US prevents fuel reprocessing, which means that uranium goes through the system once, then to the dump.

Reprocessing alone will take that figure down greatly, by an order of magnitude.

And the other big loss in uranium in enrichment. Most of the uranium is lost as depleted uranium. You have striped the U235 so you can’t do anything with it, so you use it in bullets and stuff.

The entire reason for that is……. The environmentalists shut down fast breeder reactor development in it’s tracks.

If we had fast breeder reactors, all that depleted uranium could be turned into usable fuel!!! It would be way to valuable as a fuel to be shooting into the empty desert!!!!!!!

If the environmentalists had kept their butt out of things, the retrievable energy content per ton would be about the same for both fuels.

[edit on 31-8-2010 by Mr Tranny]

posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 01:01 PM

Originally posted by makeitso

the Netherlands has had an Thorium reactor running at 1MWth for three years.

The company doing the testing says they will be able to make Commercial reactors for the new fuel in 3 years.

Could it save the world? I doubt it, but it could go a long way to making things a lot safer.

Oh, and Mr said

"...which means that uranium goes through the system once, then to the dump. " ->

No dump .... they had to get rid of depleted uranium somewhere, so they made bullets & projectiles & mortars that that go boom!


Thanks for the info...

it seems to me the OP report,
that it would take 15 years of R&D is a dead give-away with the info that makeitso has provided us.

There must be a group of shysters that want funding like the too-big-to-fail banksters for 15 years of largess, big pay check & bonuses...
to hand us another half-empty sack of promises of safe energy.

sskrew these fleecers no matter if they are scientists or elite businessmen...
i say if it sounds to-good-to-be-true ---it likely is: 2-good-2-B-true

[edit on 31-8-2010 by St Udio]

posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 01:20 PM
I've seen estimates of radioactivity going straight to electricity.
Of course you don't get steam for the winter.
There was some con as to being explosive if the load drops and
the gas accumulates.
As a current generator and not a voltage generator a load must
always be applied. This is basic electrical engineering analysis
as I remember one student ask what a current generator was.
So now we know and don't remember the teachers answer,
most likely due to occultation of the technique, but probably
said it was just an analysis duality thing.
Yeah right Kemosabi as we go down the Illuminati educational
So to avoid exploding home generator we must have the large
centralized power plant. Skipping the Tesla system of course
we might have multiple current generators instead of local
steam plants but thats not on the drawing boards of the city
planners. City planners or city crooks of Illuminati wanna bees.

posted on Aug, 31 2010 @ 02:29 PM
When the Tea Baggers Party get into power it will be "Drill baby, drill!" so you can hang up Thorium reactors. Maybe pay Canada for electricity.

posted on Oct, 22 2010 @ 11:26 AM
i posted already, in another thread, but i believe it can be re-used without alteration:

reply to post by zzombie

the reason they didn't pursue molten salt may have been success in a light water design:

t 12:30 am, on August 26, 1977, the operators at the Shippingport Atomic Power Station began lifting the central modules of the experimental breeder reactor core into the blanket section. At 04:38 am, the reactor reached criticality. During the next five years, the core produced more than 10 billion kilowatt-hours of thermal power - equivalent to about 2.5 billion kilowatt hours of electrical power - with a current retail value of approximately $200 million.

It showed no signs of approaching the end of its useful life. It was obvious from the core performance that the reactor was at least a very efficient converter with a long life core. However, in October, 1982, the reactor was shut down for the final time under budgetary pressures and a desire to conduct the detailed fuel examination needed to determine if breeding had actually occurred.

A report on the experiment was quietly issued in 1987. The core contained approximately 1.3% more fissile material after producing heat for five years than it did before initial operation. Breeding had occurred in a light water reactor system using most of the same equipment as used for conventional reactor plants.

the reactor was a pretty standard LWR including some thorium for breeding purposes. the advantages are clear, no new design, much less frequent reloads, therefore longer operation intervals (barring some other limitation like fuel rod embrittlement) and tadaaa: much less byproducts, because you can actually burn them over time, actually adding power....

that's why i'm truely sceptical about _ANY_ energy source like this (read: reliable and powerful) ever taking off, it has been done already (with success) and ignored, the technology is apparently undesired by certain people who happen to have enough clout to stop it.

of course, part of the game is telling people about liquid sodium cooling, (slightly more) dangerous fast spectrum reactor designs, or unproven and problematic types (pebble & molten salt, for example). just for the record: any 'nuclear waste' isotope can either be bred to a higher one or, ultimately, fissioned by just thermal neutrons, as used in any light water reactor (most common type). the reason LWRs have to be refuelled is not lack of fuel, but accumulation of neutron scavengers ('poisons'). breeding helps keeping the neutron balance positive for a longer time, which allows more of these transuranic isotopes to be burned, alleviating the waste problem a great deal. with reprocessing, they could of course be subjected to any number of cycles, effectively keeping the total amount existing at a given time to a minimum.

the only alterations needed for today's LWRs would be removal of absorbers that aren't breeding (except in emergencies of course), power fine tuning using fuel and breeding material geometry rather than absorbing materials and a neutron reflecting blanket for optimized neutron economy for breeding and better reactor shell life. it has been done (see above) why it's not in use is anybody's guess, but one thing is imho certain: we aren't going to see it, which means energy is kept artificially scarce. Thorium is a cheap byproduct of rare earth mining, what's usually considered nuclear waste isn't (it's just another type of fuel) and safety is a concern than can be alleviated by burying the thing (core) at an appropriate depth.

still, it's going to happen just as much as regenerative medicine, which means 'a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away'. there is just too much fissile material around from bombs, which can be sold again at a premium (first as a bomb, now as a fuel, first enrichment then dilution
) along with the prospect of literally life long contracts for depositing and guarding perfectly usable transuranics, which could be unearthed and used in a pinch - once people have paid three times through the nose already and for essentially the same thing.


It's been done, the experience is there, it's just not used, add this one to suppressed tech!

posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 09:54 AM
reply to post by Long Lance

Interesting old thread, loads of information and links, many stars given, thanks for the heads up Hellmutt

posted on Apr, 23 2011 @ 12:00 PM
There's also Thorium on the moon!

posted on Apr, 23 2011 @ 04:14 PM
reply to post by Hellmutt

yes? chances are it's literally everywhere, sometimes even in useful concentrations.

so far, prospecting for it must have been minimal, since there are few non-nuclear uses but even with known deposits, at ~1 ton per GWyear (electric)

take india alone:

By contrast, it has more than 360 000 tons of high quality thorium deposits. The benefit for India in realising this resource as part of its nuclear programme is clear.

world total electricity generation is around 20000TWh, or around 2300GWyears enough for 150years+

interestingly, even at space travel prices, nuclear fuel would still be affordable...

posted on Apr, 24 2011 @ 01:12 AM
This same type Accelerator-Driven reactor could be powered by depleted uranium just as safely.

And in the US we already have a major stockpile of DU.

Right now there is no use for DU except in weapons.

The US has over 560,000 metric tonnes of DU that could be burned as fuel.

Its already been mined and is waste from processing uranium.
So most of the CO2 from the mining has already been spent.

From a CO2 standpoint its a lot cleaner then mining thorium and processing it for fuel.

The bulk (96%) of the byproduct from enrichment is depleted uranium (DU),

That means we have 96% more DU then we have ever used as U-235 in reactors in the US.

At least 97% more fuel then we have ever used in the US since we built the first reactor.

This would supply the US for at least 100 years.

Then we have spent fuel rods and thorium to burn up with the same type reactor.

This would give us fuel for at least 300 years till we can invent a new type power source be it fusion or solar power satellites.

Plus it would get rid of much of the nuclear waste like spent fuel rods we have now.
and in 300 years we would have a way to remove the rest from the planet.

posted on Apr, 24 2011 @ 03:14 AM
reply to post by ANNED

Thorium (232) offers a larger absorption cross section at thermal neutron energies which is a desireable trait in any moderated reactor. Th is a waste product from rare earth mining, mind you.

accelerators would in any case only provide a minimal fraction of the neutron flux, which implies a system that is already close to criticality with all the risk that implies. i'd rather have a critical reactor designed as such than one that reaches it accidentially (through an unexpected change in geometry, for example) without useful safeguards in place, 'because it can't happen'.

accelerators would eat a significant percentage of the electrical energy produced. now, how much effort does it take to gain a few percent thermodynamic efficiency in terms of exotic materials, turbine construction and so on? ADS is enough of a drain to make a highly profitable system commercially unviable, but: if you can't sell it you can't build it, so the point is moot, imho.
edit on 2011.4.24 by Long Lance because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 09:41 PM
Cars powered by thorium

U.S. Researcher Preparing Prototype Cars Powered by Heavy-Metal Thorium

“This car will run for a million miles. The car will wear out before the engine. There is no oil, no emissions – nothing.”

using just 8 gm of thorium in a car should mean it would never need refueling.

"It would eliminate the major need for oil,” he says. “The main (remaining) demand would be for asphalt for roadways, natural gas, plastics and lubricants."

posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 12:02 AM
reply to post by Hellmutt

Now THAT is cool. Would love me a Thorium generator in my back yard...and my pickup.

posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 07:37 AM
reply to post by Hellmutt

the system might work, but sentences like:

This means no nuclear reaction occurs within the thorium. It remains in the same state and is not turned into uranium 233, which happens only if thorium is sufficiently super-heated to generate a fission reaction.

leave me shaking my head. do these people actually believe that fission just needs high temperatures?


Processed thorium can produce uranium 233 as a byproduct. Would governments allow charging an electric vehicle using radioactive material in private garages?

no clue whatsoever?! U233 is the fissile isotope that keeps the whole thing going. proliferation concerns take a backseat to containing the radioactive fission products, which are high level waste. i wish people would research or just ask someone before they write, unless their reactor is supposed to operate without neutrons (riiiiight..)

the entire concept, imho, isn't clear from the article.

posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 11:38 AM
reply to post by Hellmutt

Read this sentence from the source you quote and tell me it's not written by somebody's who's brain dead:

The key to the system developed by inventor Charles Stevens, CEO and chairman of Connecticut-based Laser Power Systems, is that when silvery metal thorium is heated by an external source, it becomes so dense its molecules give off considerable heat.

Same applies to this jewel of physics knowledge:

Because thorium is so dense, similar to uranium, it stores considerable potential energy: 1 gm of thorium equals the energy of 7,500 gallons (28,391 L) of gasoline Stevens says. So, using just 8 gm of thorium in a car should mean it would never need refueling.

posted on Oct, 8 2011 @ 04:27 PM

posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 11:28 AM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Nov, 6 2011 @ 12:22 PM
Thorium power pushed in Australia.

Thorium pushed as uranium alternative

November 7, 2011

A SCIENTIFIC movement to promote thorium as a nuclear fuel, due to its abundance and improved safety, is developing around the world and Australia could lead the way.

With the world's largest reserves of the radioactive mineral, Australia could be a leader in developing and adopting the technology.

''It is completely proven and feasible,'' Dr Hashemi-Nezhad said. ''The only thing required here is government acceptance.''

Unlike uranium, thorium cannot undergo nuclear fission by itself, and must be bombarded with neutrons from a particle accelerator to start the nuclear chain reaction that produces energy.

The association's chairman, Bob Cywinski, of the University of Huddersfield, has predicted that recent advances in particle accelerators mean these safe, thorium-based reactors could be on stream within 15 years with appropriate investment.

posted on Jan, 28 2012 @ 10:28 AM
I have been trying to get my head around this tech..
I am not as schooled in the science as many on ATS, but I do know that we are quickly being destroyed by fossil fuels, that is our pollution, politics and futures are being retarded by our unwillingness, for obvious reasons, to let go off antique energy sources.
We are using the, basically, same energy production today as we had a century ago. Super tech being powered by dinosaur goo.

Anyway, here's a couple more vids for the discussion.......
Thorium fuel of the future. Safe, abundant, dense. Russia Today

BTW ------- I wonder what type of reactor Iran may be building?? India and Russia involvement with Iran??
edit on 103131p://01America/Chicago28 by Tinman67 because: fixing malformed video

posted on Jan, 28 2012 @ 12:18 PM
This seems to be a very useful site also...

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