diddly1234 i think this is why thorium wont see the light of day in the western world at least.
watch India or China. they will be the first to do it.
Too right! China does it…
India does it: www.newscientist.com...
The putting of what little R&D money we do have into dead horses like wind is destroying Britain’s future. Here’s another rare nuclear film.
Bradwell Power Station. Constructed between 1957 and 1962. Think about that… Only 12 years after the public discovered what the power of the atom
was like, just 12 after losing hundreds of thousands of brightest & youngest to WW2, and only 8 years after the shock of losing India as part of the
then British Empire here Britain still was, developing the latest technology on a MASSIVE scale…
Part 0: Not that interesting: www.youtube.com...
Part 1 better: www.youtube.com...
Part 2 better still: www.youtube.com...
And Part 3 actually shows you people working inside the nuclear reactor core itself, as its being built www.youtube.com...
Bradwell station in Essex operated from 1962 to 2002 without a hitch. It is now being slowly dismantled.
diddly1234 as for thr UK, we have a serious power problem coming up as we have already extended the life of the life of our aging
nuclear plants but no real plans to build new nuclear power stations.
A couple of things will happen…
1. Reactors will be kept running even longer than they were designed to be. It’s obviously unsafe, and I don’t support it, but it will happen
because we look to America, and over there they also don’t have a somewhat incompetent government and it’s exactly what they are doing.
2. More electricity will be imported from France (which makes mostly from nuclear anyway). This is good for France but not so good for the value of
the U.K pound, inflation, and therefore the preservation of living standards.
3. Gas turbines will be used. However it does look like public opposition is going to stop most of this Gas Fracking which is good (it would just be
better to use our own nuclear fuel).
tinhattribunal i heard that there was a process that could get almost 100% efficiency from the fuel rods using the liquid sodium
That’s any type of Fast Neutron Reactor. But you do not need Sodium to cool down a Fast Neutron Reactor -almost any metal
(including lead) will do. The only reason why engineers (originally) chose molten sodium-potassium was out of sheer greed (these metals conduct heat
more easily than lead and are therefore slightly
more cost effective). However it was a stupid type of greed; because using these flammable
metals is only a smart option if there is no way, anything can ever go wrong. Of course nothing ever never does go wrong on paper, then someone
actually built the Monju Reactor in Japan, and then England realised how lucky it had been decades earlier in choosing its welding team for at
Here’s A Science Lesson from the Horse’s Mouth…
Lead is very good coolant because it also absorbs the many useless, dangerous types of radiation (like Gamma, and X ray) any reactor produces.
However it absorbs very little Neutron Radiation. Neutron Radiation is also dangerous; but is the only radiation type useful to sustaining the nuclear
Almost all the world’s reactors are Moderated Reactors. But here’s the difference between a Fast and Moderated Reactor…
Whenever an atoms split the Neutron particles it releases initially travel at just under light speed. But these Neutron are easily slowed down, to
just a few hundred miles an hour (or less) using something called a Moderator (the moderator can be Heavy Water, Carbon in the form of graphite, or
several other light elements like Lithium) (heavy elements don’t work as well as they simply reflect the Neutron particle).
When neutrons are slowed down, the probability of them causing another unstable
atom to split is drastically raised. This is because there is
more time for it to be pulled into an atoms nucleus (which despite containing almost all an atoms mass, is up to 100,000 times smaller than the atom
itself! –atoms are mostly empty space).
With a good slower (i.e. moderator) you do not need very much U235 fuel to make a reactor work (several percent will quite easily do).
Unfortunately this logic only applies to very unstable
atoms such as U235.
But everywhere on Earth uranium is mined, it is exactly 0.72% U235. This is because the Earth was once liquid and all Uranium comes from the same
source (the stars that created the atoms in all of us billions of years before even the Earth was formed).
It’s also because (like all isotopes) U235 does not chemically behave any differently to the element it is named after. The only difference is in
its mass and radioactivity.
The other 99% of Uranium is mostly U238 which whenever purified is called “Depletive Uranium”. Depletive Uranium is almost worthless as there are
huge amounts of it left over (mostly from extracting U235 for power stations).
Ancient Nuclear Civilisation?…
The only place less than 0.72% U235 was found was a place in Oklo Africa where apparently a natural nuclear reactor once existed, others think it
might be the work of an advanced ancient civilisation: www.pureinsight.org...
Because it was discovered during the Cold War (when countless people feared a nuclear attack) it would certainly make much political sense for the
government to cover up the remains of an ancient nuclear reactor (hinting at a civilisation that wiped itself out with atomic bombs) by saying
“nature did it!”
Fast Neutron Reactors will consume both U238 and U235 and that’s what people mean when they say are a lot more efficient. Fast Reactors (by adding
an extra neutron to U238) also turn Uranium 238 into Plutonium 239, and this can keep the reactor going, whilst leaving some Plutonium left over.
This is not a violation of the laws of physics because all you are doing is taking something with a very long Half-Life (U238 has one of about 4.468
billion years) and turning it into Plutonium with a Half Life of 24,100.
So whilst it releases its energy 185,394.19 times more quickly than before (and is therefore more radioactive) you have nor created extra energy.
Moderated reactors also turn Depletive Uranium into plutonium (some is depletive uranium is always deliberately left with the U235) however most
Moderated Reactors can never create more plutonium than they consume.
Major Technological Evolution…
The main problem with Fast Neutron Reactors (of which Thorium is one version) was that in order to use the fuel they created, you needed to take it
out of the reactor, and then dip it in acid, and chemically separate it, and then dispose-reform the acid through complex electrochemical
The problem with all this is that when the fuel comes out of the reactor it is meagre radioactive, not a little radioactive, not a medium, but kill
you instantly kind of thing.
So everything that comes out of the reactor is very difficult to handle, and everything it touches (in order to transport it) becomes contaminated
waste in its own right. Even stuff that has touched the stuff it has touched is contaminated.
Moderated reactors have been much cheaper, because although you also have to take the fuel out, you can throw it away just 5 years after cooling it
down in water. Basically it’s been much cheaper to throw away than recycle.
Duh! Duh! Duh!!!
(With the reactor producing more fuel than it consumes) It should not have taken a genius to realise there were ways of leaving the fuel inside the
reactor without ever having to take it out again. This design also does away with fuel rods which has been a source of accidents to some workers.
It’s called The Travelling Wave Reactor terrapower.com...
is genuinely clean, and will probably change the world
(Bill Gates is investing big time in it news.cnet.com...
Unsurprisingly he’s in talks with China: gigaom.com...
We are fools. They should not be getting our technology, however you get what you pay for, and if they sponsor for it, then they’ll get
edit on 090705 by Liberal1984 because: (no reason given)