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American military scientists are developing a weapon which kills by delivering an enormous burst of high-energy gamma rays, it is claimed today. The bomb, which produces little fallout, blurs the distinction between conventional and nuclear weapons, and experts have already warned it could spark a new arms race.
The science behind the gamma ray bomb is still in its infancy, and technical problems mean it could be decades before the devices are developed. But the Pentagon is taking the project seriously.
The device would not produce energy by triggering a nuclear fission or fusion reaction, like current nuclear weapons. Instead it would rely on the gamma rays produced when the high-energy nuclei of some radioactive elements decay.
Is there any real risk of meltdown?
From your avatar and quotes you appear to be a strong supporter of conventional Nuclear power.
Do you work in the industry?
Have you heard of any other cleaner/efficient ideas than Uranium, Plutonium reactors, other than Thorium and the Cold Fusion solution?
It seems like something that only a crazed conspiracy theorist would come up with. A source of carbon-free energy that holds the potential to provide base load power for the planet for thousands of years hence, and which could be built along the existing transmission grid and even be housed within retrofitted coal-fired power stations. A process that could eat existing nuclear waste instead of needing to store it in highly secure vaults such as Yucca Mountain for hundreds of millennia. A technology that enjoyed large investments in R&D by government, only to have the funding zeroed for political reasons when close to large-scale demonstration — and then the scientists involved told not to publicise this fact. Well that, in caricature, is the basic story of Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) nuclear power.
Regarding meltdown in a thorium reactor, Rubbia writes, “Both the EA and MF can be effectively protected against military diversions and exhibit an extreme robustness against any conceivable accident, always with benign consequences. In particular the [beta]-decay heat is comparable in both cases and such that it can be passively dissipated in the environment, thus eliminating the risks of “melt-down”.
Thorium reactors can breed uranium-233, which can theoretically be used for nuclear weapons. However, denaturing thorium with its isotope, ionium, eliminates the proliferation threat.
Originally posted by babybunnies
If it's true that it eats radioactive waste, why aren't the environmentalists pushing for its use? Oh, right, because they are all on the global warming bandwagon and every other issue just gets cast aside.
1 tonne versus millions on tonnes of coal? It's very, very easy to see why this has barely even seen the light of day.
Originally posted by marg6043
reply to post by Peruvianmonk
Sadly people needs to understand that while Obama can support clean energy and can talk his hart out of getting off "fossil fuels" for the time been the reality is that is not going to happen
WASHINGTON – Sens. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) and Harry Reid (D-Nev.) today introduced the Thorium Energy Security Act of 2010 to accelerate the use of thorium-based nuclear fuel in existing and future U.S. reactors.
Their legislation establishes a regulatory framework and a development program to facilitate the introduction of thorium-based nuclear fuel in nuclear power plants across the nation. The U.S. relies on foreign sources for about 90 percent of its uranium fuel needs. However, the most-recent U.S. Geological Survey’s Thorium Mineral Commodity report confirms the United States has the largest thorium deposits in the world.