Help ATS with a contribution via PayPal:
learn more

Is thorium the future of nuclear power?

page: 1
7
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join

posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 06:05 PM
link   

Is thorium the future of nuclear power?


www.msnbc.msn.com

With the nuclear industry in a bit of a post-Fukushima funk right now, advocates of clean energy are dusting off plans to use the lesser-known metal thorium to run power plants and vehicles as an alternative to fossil fuels.

Supporters say thorium — an element named for Thor, the Norse God of Thunder — is more abundant, produces less waste and is less dangerous than uranium, while at the same time a great source of energy that won’t add to greenhouse gas emissions.

"We are spreading the word and reacting to an amazing amount of interest," said John Durham, an entrepreneur and co-founder of the London-based Weinberg Foundation, which launched last month to promote thorium as a fuel source.

Durham points to China, which announced earlier this year that it was building a new thorium-based molten-salt reactor, a significant step in technology development. India, too, is on track to do the same.

"Thorium is a tremendous alternative to uranium fuel cycle," Durham said. "We want to pull together a forum for discussing thorium with robust and truthful conversations."
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on 10/7/2011 by KILL_DOGG because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 06:05 PM
link   
This is a great story on a cleaner (not clean) energy source that does not add to greenhouse emissions. I know that the Oil and Nuclear energy industries have their hands in every politician's pocket in Washington, but this is something that has me excited for the future.

It seems more and more people are coming out with cleaner energy alternatives and they're really starting to take hold in the MSM; which means folks that don't frequent alternative news sites like ATS will finally start to realize that we're living in the stone ages and it's time to move forward.

My two cents worth.

www.msnbc.msn.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 06:12 PM
link   
This is all well and good, but what will we do with all the left over fuel rods made of uranium or plutonium or whatever?

Seems like we should have considered that BEFOREHAND.



posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 06:15 PM
link   
reply to post by DieBravely
 


launch the waste in to the sun?



posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 06:34 PM
link   
reply to post by Tobree
 


That would be awesome until one of the rockets blows up on launch and sprays nuclear waste all over the northern hemisphere.



posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 06:35 PM
link   
reply to post by Tobree
 


I love smelting Thorium into Thorium Bars. In addition to its inherent strength, Alchemists and Enchanters can further improve on Thorium to allow for the creation of more powerful items!




posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 06:35 PM
link   
Greetings,

The uranium and plutonium waste can be consumed in thorium reactor.

Present reactors can be converted.

Thorium reactors do not need a water source. Can be built anywhere.

Thorium reactors are cheaper to build.

Inherently safe. Automatic shut down in case of earth quake, etc.

The ONLY reason we use uranium fueled reactors is for the plutonium for nuke bombs. No other reason.

Can be scaled for regional needs.



posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 06:39 PM
link   
The bonus of Thorium is that the wastage cannot be used for weapons if proper measures are put into waste. Also with the molten lead, the background radioactivity is absorbed so to speak.

I've been looking at this for quite some time and it seems to be the best option.

The efficiency of Thorium is incredible, able to run London for a week on a fistful of the stuff and yet we are throwing the material away from rare earth element mining. Also the states could be powered for 5 years on a football field of the stuff.

There are also designs that allow the process to occur through a laser to sustain the reaction, thus meaning in the event of an earthquake, tsunami or other natural disaster, if the power is blown, the reaction stops. The energy required for the laser is powered by the first reactor, with the extra electricity from the reaction being used to power another laser in the another reactor.

The radioactive wastage provided by the reactor is radioactive for a few hundred years, not thousands like some of the current wastage.

In all honesty, the only reason we aren't using this fuel is due to the public perception that Nuclear Power is bad.

However if you compare Coal power to Nuclear, there are some extremely interesting facts.

Each year the world governments subsidizes the Fossil fuel industry, 200 billion US dollars to keep in operation.
Coal kills 12,000 people a year whilst producing more radioactivity than a current Nuclear Power plant does.


www.ritholtz.com...

But you're right, Nuclear power is not the way is it...


It's not 100% clean but it's a lot cleaner than the current sources we're using today.



posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 06:59 PM
link   
reply to post by TopherWayne
 


You have no idea how long it takes to grind rep with the thorium brotherhood ;3



posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 07:07 PM
link   
Am I the only one wondering why we weren't using this already if it was abundant, safer and cleaner? Did I miss something about it being a recently developed process?



posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 07:20 PM
link   
reply to post by Wolf321
 


Due to the current opposition against Nuclear Power, we cannot continue to research it as fast as we'd like. If there was a common understanding of Nuclear Power, then we would be far ahead in the terms of technology and such.

And of course the oil companies and such do not want this fantastic new energy source to come about.

www.popsci.com...



posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 07:24 PM
link   
reply to post by Wolf321
 


Nope, Thorrium reactor designs have been around for as long as any other reactor design. The problem is, as stated before, you can't make weapons from the byproducts, which was the main thrust behind the initial development of civil nuclear power.

Lately though, in the past decade expecially, there has been a lot of research, with test reactors being built and designs being refined. It won't be long before we see these commercialised.



posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 07:40 PM
link   
Are there nations who do not have nuclear weapons, but have nuclear power plants? If so, are they thorium plants?

This technology makes me wonder about the issue of Iran having a nuclear program. If you really wanted a nuclear program for energy and not weapons, this would be the way to go. To go with a more expensive and dangerous program makes a peaceful purpose argument suspect.

Additionally, it said vehicles, and it seems not to mean subs and aircraft carriers. How would thorium be used in vehicles?



posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 08:06 PM
link   

Originally posted by Wolf321
Am I the only one wondering why we weren't using this already if it was abundant, safer and cleaner? Did I miss something about it being a recently developed process?


You must have missed the comment earlier by GeorgeH.

The only reason uranium is used is so the process can produce the byproduct plutonium that is used in nuclear weapons.

Sad but true.
edit on 7-10-2011 by TheComte because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 08:13 PM
link   

Originally posted by Wolf321
Are there nations who do not have nuclear weapons, but have nuclear power plants? If so, are they thorium plants?


Yes, there are nations who do not posses nuclear weapons but do have uranium/plutonium reactors. Places such as Japan and Germany for example. Japan, however, has always reserved the right (and has the capability) to produce nukes for it's defence and can make a weapon with launch capability within 6 months. Other countries choose reactor designs for strange reasons, it's quite an interesting read. Usually, common sense didn't come into play and some strange reasoning is used...

Here is a BBC article on the history of reactor design.


Originally posted by Wolf321
Additionally, it said vehicles, and it seems not to mean subs and aircraft carriers. How would thorium be used in vehicles?


Thorium reactors can be quite small, so I am led to believe...



posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 08:36 PM
link   
What a timely thread.

On the front page of my local paper yesterday was the headline...

Radioactive Alarm



A number of mining companies have asked for exploratory permits in the area due to the amount of mineral sands that has been mined here the last 30 odd years.

It seems that thorium is found in monazite which was left over from the mineral sands mining and thrown back in the pit as waste.

The newspaper is trying to scaremonger of course, that was obvious with such a headline. but after catching this thread and then doing a bit of reading, I've come to the conclusion that a thorium fueled molten-salt nuclear reactor is not such a bad thing

I say a molten salt reactor because we've just had a 100 gigalitre desalination plant open too.

I'm only assuming here but the left over salt from the desalination plant could be used in the salt reactor.

I know that's a far cry from exploration but we have a bit of an energy issue here, the main source is an aging coal fired power plant that is failing to meet demands.

A thorium reactor may solve a lot of issues.



posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 10:57 PM
link   
So reading between the lines, what do we see here?

They had these reactors back in the 60's. They do not produce waste suitable for your nuclear program. They were cannned (even though they are a cleaner and safer technology) for Uranium reactors, which DO produce fuel for your nuclear program. Countries which don't have access to uranium (As the US does) were therefore not given the option to use thorium reactors, even though those countries were rich in thorium.

And now we are so heavily invested in uranium reactors, people naturally say there is not ebough benafit to switch tecchnologies.

All smells very fishy to me. But if countries do start to use the technolgy, even though it still produces unsafe nuclear waste, well, perhaps it is the least of two evils?
edit on 7-10-2011 by Shamatt because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 11:30 PM
link   
reply to post by Tobree
 




2nd



posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 11:41 PM
link   
Post-Fukushima?

We're still living in the Fukushima disaster. The media ignoring it doesn't mean it isn't there. You ignoring it doesn't mean it isn't there. The rain is radioactive, the radioactive particles are building up all over the place. Milk, meat, seafood... they stopped testing for it to cover up the truth. This stuff doesn't just go away.

Enjoy.



posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 11:54 PM
link   
how is this breaking news?





new topics

top topics



 
7
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join