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Safe nuclear does exist, and China is leading the way with Thorium

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posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 08:32 AM
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A few weeks before the tsunami struck Fukushima’s uranium reactors and shattered public faith in nuclear power, China revealed that it was launching a rival technology to build a safer, cleaner, and ultimately cheaper network of reactors based on thorium.



This passed unnoticed –except by a small of band of thorium enthusiasts – but it may mark the passage of strategic leadership in energy policy from an inert and status-quo West to a rising technological power willing to break the mould. If China’s dash for thorium power succeeds, it will vastly alter the global energy landscape and may avert a calamitous conflict over resources as Asia’s industrial revolutions clash head-on with the West’s entrenched consumption.

China’s Academy of Sciences said it had chosen a “thorium-based molten salt reactor system”. The liquid fuel idea was pioneered by US physicists at Oak Ridge National Lab in the 1960s, but the US has long since dropped the ball. Further evidence of Barack `Obama’s “Sputnik moment”, you could say.

Chinese scientists claim that hazardous waste will be a thousand times less than with uranium. The system is inherently less prone to disaster. “The reactor has an amazing safety feature,” said Kirk Sorensen, a former NASA engineer at Teledyne Brown and a thorium expert. “If it begins to overheat, a little plug melts and the salts drain into a pan. There is no need for computers, or the sort of electrical pumps that were crippled by the tsunami. The reactor saves itself,” he said. “They operate at atmospheric pressure so you don’t have the sort of hydrogen explosions we’ve seen in Japan. One of these reactors would have come through the tsunami just fine. There would have been no radiation release.”

Thorium is a silvery metal named after the Norse god of thunder. The metal has its own “issues” but no thorium reactor could easily spin out of control in the manner of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, or now Fukushima. Professor Robert Cywinksi from Huddersfield University said thorium must be bombarded with neutrons to drive the fission process. “There is no chain reaction. Fission dies the moment you switch off the photon beam. There are not enough neutrons for it continue of its own accord,” he said.

The earth’s crust holds 80 years of uranium at expected usage rates, he said. Thorium is as common as lead. America has buried tons as a by-product of rare earth metals mining. Norway has so much that Oslo is planning a post-oil era where thorium might drive the country’s next great phase of wealth. Even Britain has seams in Wales and in the granite cliffs of Cornwall. Almost all the mineral is usable as fuel, compared to 0.7pc of uranium. There is enough to power civilization for thousands of years.

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk...#

Well, hats off to them if they get it to work effectively. About time. There has to be something better-maybe this is it-or a good start.

I never heard of the stuff before-any of you?

I found this interesting info here-for additional reading etc.
en.wikipedia.org...

That info indicates that Russian and India & other countries are considering using it. It appears the USA has been there and done that--- and determined it wasn't for them.




posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 09:02 AM
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Let's not use solar power O.K.? It's too effective and too simple. No one can make 12 mini markets out of the 1 main market and keep the economy active in that aspect. We need this to be about money, money money. Forget about how illogical it is compared to solar energy, we don't care about logic, we want MONEY!!

That fact that this world is still turning just amazes me.



posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 09:05 AM
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But why did America decide it was not for them ?

Couldn't make enough money from it ?
Can not make depleted uranium shells from it ?



posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 09:42 AM
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reply to post by diddy1234
 


I think you hit the nail on the head with the second line.

It sure wasn't about concerns for employees/military personal's health!



posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 09:42 AM
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I'd like to point out one minor problem with claiming that thorium is exponentially better than uranium. They claim a neutron beam triggers the fission process. If you bombard thorium with neutrons, Thorium 232 becomes Thorium 233 , which, through a series of beta decays, turns into, you guessed it, Uranium 233, the fuel in the Japanese reactors. And they say,that if there is a problem, it will just melt into a pan. The trouble is that it doesn't melt until 3300 degrees, about 2000 degrees hotter than the melting point of uranium.Of What material will they make the pan?
So, to avoid Uranium 233 they use Thorium 232 which transforms into Uranium 233??



posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 12:13 PM
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reply to post by 4nsicphd
 


Wow, very interesting. Especially too a novice.

I don't see anyone differing from your reply. Star!


Are you being scarcastic in saying it is a minor problem?
edit on 3/21/2011 by anon72 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 01:38 PM
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reply to post by Taupin Desciple
 


Solar power alone will not be able to satisfy our energy needs, its too ineffective and doesnt work at night. Advanced nuclear (thorium reactors, breeder reactors..) is the best option we have, until fusion comes about.


edit on 21/3/11 by Maslo because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 02:29 PM
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reply to post by diddy1234
 


can't make bombs with it

as i understand most of the knowledge of this tech has been known since 40's-50's



posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 09:24 AM
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Originally posted by DerepentLEstranger
reply to post by diddy1234
 

can't make bombs with it
as i understand most of the knowledge of this tech has been known since 40's-50's

Bingo! The US actually dumped 3200 metric tonnes of processed throrium in the Nevada desert...but it's still there, eh? Now if TPTB could correct their rectal-cranial inversion, perhaps they won't let the Chinese run away with they technology and corner the market on cheap nuclear power. Oh, wait...coal beds, oil, and natural gas still to be exploited...few more pipelines to build and mountains to level. Never mind.




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