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