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American teenager designs compact nuclear reactor

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posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 10:45 AM
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reply to post by purplemer
 


Wow! But, what if that blow up?





posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 10:47 AM
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Originally posted by H1ght3chHippie
There is absolutely nothing new about this reactor design.

The Air Force had similar portable models back in the early 60ies already.

Seems to me like this article is used to push the agenda of the nuclear industry, making reactors appear harmless and a nice addition to every familys home.

Seriously that sounds like the Atomic Energy propaganda government movies from the 60ies.


About the only difference is that today we have a very clear idea of the alternatives.



posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 10:53 AM
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Originally posted by aggravatorio
The first and last words on power and energy of any kind is hidden in the 'secret' works of Nikola Tesla. In a collusion of theft and deception of great proportions the governments of Russia and the United States conspired against the general well being of the entire world taking Tesla's great works, most of which are unpublished, and used them, not for the betterment of mankind, but to their own evil ends and bad intentions.


Ummm, right. Well, I guess we'll just have to muddle through on our own devices.



posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 11:02 AM
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Originally posted by bdb818888
Are there any youtube videos on this ?


Oh, yeah, mainly of the lecture variety, just get there and search for "thorium" and they'll spill out all over the floor.. One chap put together an hour video from snippets of lectures and conversations which Kirk Sorenson had, which proves to be entertaining (who'd have thunk it?). It's a good intro if you're a little bit conversant with the technology, and it's at

LFTR in 5 minutes - THORIUM REMIX 2011 - An Energy Solution

(The 5 minute thing is an introduction; the whole video lasts 2 hours.)



posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 11:08 AM
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Originally posted by Cauliflower
All kinds of these small reactors were tested by the US Navy near Idaho Falls for power plants.

43°31'16.49"N, 112°49'19.00"W

They tested throttle-able designs, high efficiency designs, tiny reactors that could fit in a small submarine etc.

They all ended up producing radioactive waste that would need to be buried in a salt pit somewhere for a long time.
I agree a third generation fission design should be much safer than first generation but it might take a major fossil fuel shortage to make the contaminated storage issue seem less important.

Be a while before you can build a mobile home park on Fillmore ave.


None of them were MSRs, they were all solid fuel, and so they had the waste problem. Sorenson's company, FLiBe, is trying to build some for them as we speak, as the regulatory atmosphere in the military is a lot easier to live with than it is in the civilian world.



posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 11:20 AM
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Originally posted by pikestaff

Originally posted by Chrisfishenstein
reply to post by purplemer
 


I would feel more comfortable with a clean energy reactor! Nuclear stuff is all bad IMO.....

This just let's the government know they can continue to make nuclear bombs and test them because they can dispose of the materials with something like this!!

I like people making new things, but nuclear stuff I think we need to stay away from!

Would you really feel comfortable having one of these powering your home? Knowing you have a mini nuke right outside your house?
edit on 3/1/2013 by Chrisfishenstein because: (no reason given)


Nuclear reactors don't explode! Chernobyl (Russian for black cloud!) gasses exploded, not the reactor, if reactors get too hot, they melt. The Japanese reactor gasses exploded.


Agree, power fuel is not the same thing as bomb material; just ask Iran. The explosion at Chernobyl (wiki: The city name is the same as a local Ukrainian name for Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort or common wormwood), which is also чорнобиль "chornobyl". An alternative etymology holds that it is a combination of the words chornyi (чорний, black) and byllia (билля, grass blades or stalks), hence it would literally mean black grass or black stalks.) was a steam explosion, as was the one at SL1 in Idaho. The main problems at TMI and Fukushima are caused by high temperature degradation of water in the presence of zirconium, which dissociates into hydrogen and oxygen, and the subsequent explosive re-combination. Neither cause directly involves radiation, and while a nuclear excursion caused the steam generation, it was not in any sense an explosion itself.

The allegation that one might explode has been amply treated in this thread; that people continue to bring it up is nonsensical.
edit on 2-3-2013 by puncheex because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 11:24 AM
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didn't the company hyperion come out wih a similar unit 3 or 4 years ago you get it in one module you bury in ground theres were supposed to be capable of powering 25000 homes for 5 years before having to go back to hyperion for refueling



posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 12:05 PM
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What's the difference between MSR and Thorium-based nuclear reactors?

And did I read that MSR produces Pu-238? Isn't that weapons grade plutonium?

I swear that I read somewhere that Thorium reactors DO NOT produce weapons grade waste.

If Thorium is all that it's said to be, why're we not exploring it? I know it's more expensive, but it would reduce the dangers of the waste and this is what seems to receive so much of the hate. This is principally because it's not supposed to produce waste that can be used in weapons. I've also read that the waste decays in some 300 years, not thousands upon thousands. Phage stated that it's more intense, but how intense? And doesn't the fact that it produces less waste that only lasts 300 years mean that waste facilities don't have to be as expansive and long lasting? Because instead of talking about a facility that will last 2000 years and be big enough, we're talking about one that only needs to last some 300 years and might not be as large. I'm looking for solid answers.

As someone else stated, smaller reactors might be better than big ones. The big ones require billions of dollars to build and no company wants to handle this risk without the government. Perhaps if the risk and the cost of developing nuclear power plants were reduced it might work. It's true that small-scale plants would be less efficient, but less risks and smaller price tag might help.

If the industry starts to clamp down on Co2 emissions and on pollution in-general then it should actually give more encouragement to those companies that want to invest in nuclear. One of the big reasons that nuclear slowed in the 80's and 90's is because coal became cheaper due to regulation. But the problem is that coal power is still arguably unregulated by comparison. Once the government gets serious about AGW legislation then coal power is going to take a big hit.

To put this into perspective, I've read that some 200,000+ people died in the US due to coal power use from 1995 - 2005. In preceding years it was comparable to some 250,000+ per decade. Recently, this number has shrunk to some 100,000+ due to regulations measures enforced on coal power. Globally, this number is in the millions per decade. So in 50 years, it's possible that coal power has killed several million globally.

I've looked online and the best I can tell is that nuclear is tame by comparison. The estimates for the number of people killed by Chernobyl is some 30,000 - 200,000+. Even all the other nuclear disasters combined is trivial. I doubt that deaths due to normal nuclear power use is substantial. In fact, i've found some deaths/khw for differnent power plant types and nuclear is one of the LOWEST.

Look here:
nextbigfuture.com - Deaths per TWH by energy source...

..........
Coal – world average 161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
Coal – China 278
Coal – USA 15
Oil 36 (36% of world energy)
Natural Gas 4 (21% of world energy)
Biofuel/Biomass 12
Peat 12
Solar (rooftop) 0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
Wind 0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
Hydro 0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
Hydro - world including Banqiao) 1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
Nuclear 0.04 (5.9% of world energy)
........
edit on 2-3-2013 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 12:26 PM
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Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by TheComte
 


There is no "spent fuel" because you leave the fuel in the reactor until it is all used up. There is no radioactivity left.

No.

The products of nuclear fission include 235U and 239PU. Both radioactive but not fissionable.

Once the amount of fissionable fuel falls below critical mass the chain reaction stops and no power is produced. But there is still radioactive material remaining.

Normally inert materials (including the body of the reactor itself) become radioactive through neutron bombardment.

edit on 3/1/2013 by Phage because: (no reason given)


I believe you are mistaken. U235 is the main ingredient for the nuclear fission, Plutonium239 is a stable isotope but can be transmuted into a fissionable isotope.
Nuclear fusion on the other hand relies on reaction between light nuclei like Hydrogen (deuterium) to form heavier elements like Helium etc.



posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 01:46 PM
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Originally posted by milkyway12
How exactly do these " teens " keep finding new crap? Where do they get the labs, time, and funds to research and develop whatever they are trying to ... develop?

I don't understand what I'm missing. I have a combined 3.9 GPA and close to having two degrees at 22 years old and a semi-active member of Mensa. I mean what the hell. Why I haven't invented anything? I cannot be that dumb.

------

I just don't see, how simple this teen made it sound, that a company / university that receives millions of dollars a year hasn't researched what this boy has discovered.

Either there is a conspiracy, the tech doesn't work, or our scientist / researchers / post-grads are dumb as hell.
edit on 2-3-2013 by milkyway12 because: (no reason given)


Well do you have any area of focus? What problems do you think about and would you like solve? What technologies can be innovated by yourself? I can do all my homework and get ten degrees, but none of that will invent anything for the world...



posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 02:33 PM
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Originally posted by jonnywhite
What's the difference between MSR and Thorium-based nuclear reactors?


MSRs can use any suitable liquid fuel; most are molten salts of uranium, plutonium or thorium. The LFTR takes some advantage of some of the special characteristics of thorium in that regard.


And did I read that MSR produces Pu-238? Isn't that weapons grade plutonium?


No, bomb grade plutonium is Pu-239. It has a long half-life (about 22,000 years) which means it's not very radioactive by itself. Pu-238 has a half-life of about 88 years, so it is more intense radioactively than Pu-239. It is used simply as a reliable source of heat in Radioisotope Thermal Generators; it heats up thermocouples, and, contrasted against the cold that a radiator in space provides, is a fairly good source of electrical energy. The Voyagers have then, as does Curiosity and the Mars Viking landers of the 70s.


I swear that I read somewhere that Thorium reactors DO NOT produce weapons grade waste.


Well, they can - they produce U-233, which is the real fissionable (Thorium-232 isn't, but will convert to U-233 when bombarded by neutrons). It also produces U-232, which is not fissionable, but is very nasty in throwing off gamma rays, which makes Thorium effluent hard to handle safely, and thus is a deterent to terrorist nuclear proliferation efforts.


If Thorium is all that it's said to be, why're we not exploring it?


The answer to that is mainly political. Uranium reactors create plutonium as a by-product, and so can be used as a expedient source of plutonium for a bomb, and that was what the original reactors (at Hanford) did. When the idea to use all that waste heat arose, it is natural they turned to what they knew. There was power politics thrown in (jobs in LA was a big thing for Nixon, and that direction lead to fast uranium breeders), and there was science politics, and so on.Right now, the main reasons are lack of funding, liquid fuels ruin one on Big Atomic's best business models (proprietary solid fuels) and simple bureaucratic inertia. Then there's the whole anti-nuke lobby to worry about.


I know it's more expensive, but it would reduce the dangers of the waste and this is what seems to receive so much of the hate. This is principally because it's not supposed to produce waste that can be used in weapons. I've also read that the waste decays in some 300 years, not thousands upon thousands. Phage stated that it's more intense, but how intense? And doesn't the fact that it produces less waste that only lasts 300 years mean that waste facilities don't have to be as expansive and long lasting? Because instead of talking about a facility that will last 2000 years and be big enough, we're talking about one that only needs to last some 300 years and might not be as large. I'm looking for solid answers.


The waste products from solid and from MSRs are essentially the same for radioactivity per kilowatt produced in the short term (300 years). After that, the MSR's waste has decayed away, and that for solid fuel reactors has lessened, but doesn't go away, and in the long term (thousands of years) actually grows to become as radioactive as uranium ore, about 13x the metal by itself, and it stays that way, but very slowly declining, for billions of years.

You don't need to worry as much about tectonic fault damage in the storage site if the problem goes away in 300 years; in fact, you can store in such a way as to avoid damage from shake, rattle and roll. The country (and its authority to enforce not meddling) might actually last that long.

The other thing is that you need to add a chemical plant to the reactor in order to process the liquid fuel and remove the wastes. If you do that, then you might go the extra mile to separate the wastes and contemplate selling them to users that need them (medical is a biggy, and the aforementioned NASA use). Then your waste becomes an asset.

Read up on this, watch the videos for more information about it. There are some excellent wikipedia pages covering MSRs, LFTRs, and other Gen IV (and also old) reactor designs, pros and cons, etc.



posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 02:44 PM
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Originally posted by jonnywhite, comments continued...

As someone else stated, smaller reactors might be better than big ones. The big ones require billions of dollars to build and no company wants to handle this risk without the government. Perhaps if the risk and the cost of developing nuclear power plants were reduced it might work. It's true that small-scale plants would be less efficient, but less risks and smaller price tag might help.


The best thing about small reactors is that they can be buried (good for anti-proliferation), and they spread both risk and expense out. Building them will cost more than big ones in sum, but if the investment can be sread across years, that is not as hard to handle.


If the industry starts to clamp down on Co2 emissions and on pollution in-general then it should actually give more encouragement to those companies that want to invest in nuclear. One of the big reasons that nuclear slowed in the 80's and 90's is because coal became cheaper due to regulation. But the problem is that coal power is still arguably unregulated by comparison. Once the government gets serious about AGW legislation then coal power is going to take a big hit.

To put this into perspective, I've read that some 200,000+ people died in the US due to coal power use from 1995 - 2005. In preceding years it was comparable to some 250,000+ per decade. Recently, this number has shrunk to some 100,000+ due to regulations measures enforced on coal power. Globally, this number is in the millions per decade. So in 50 years, it's possible that coal power has killed several million globally.


It has often been reported that coal is a much worse radioactive polluter than any nuclear plant. The chief reason that this happened is that the coal companies argued that the uranium in the coal was there when it was dug up and is therefore "natural", and so the company should not be required to be liable for it's pollution. That that is a real sophistry is lost on lots of people, particularly the coal miners who spend their lives deep in the stuff, for which the coal companies aren't liable either (though that's changing).


I've looked online and the best I can tell is that nuclear is tame by comparison. The estimates for the number of people killed by Chernobyl is some 30,000 - 200,000+. Even all the other nuclear disasters combined is trivial. I doubt that deaths due to normal nuclear power use is substantial. In fact, i've found some deaths/khw for differnent power plant types and nuclear is one of the LOWEST.

Look here:
nextbigfuture.com - Deaths per TWH by energy source...

..........
Coal – world average 161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
Coal – China 278
Coal – USA 15
Oil 36 (36% of world energy)
Natural Gas 4 (21% of world energy)
Biofuel/Biomass 12
Peat 12
Solar (rooftop) 0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
Wind 0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
Hydro 0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
Hydro - world including Banqiao) 1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
Nuclear 0.04 (5.9% of world energy)
........


I'd argue about your Chernobyl figures, but that's irrelevant to your argument, and I agree with that, particularly with your table. Salut!!
edit on 2-3-2013 by puncheex because: (no reason given)
edit on 2-3-2013 by puncheex because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 02:47 PM
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reply to post by puncheex
 


Everything seems to point to the fact that Mr Wilson has re-invented small Molten Salt Reactor (that's a bit snarky; I know nothing of what he may have brought new to the idea, so I'll keep an open mind).

"Seems to point to..."

Some article.

With design concept, drawings, working prototype... not. Anything? Except some whiz kid reinvented the wheel?

You just keep selling that fancy water boiler, mon. I ain't buying it.



posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 02:49 PM
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Originally posted by intrptr
reply to post by puncheex
 


Everything seems to point to the fact that Mr Wilson has re-invented small Molten Salt Reactor (that's a bit snarky; I know nothing of what he may have brought new to the idea, so I'll keep an open mind).

"Seems to point to..."

Some article.

With design concept, drawings, working prototype... not. Anything? Except some whiz kid reinvented the wheel?

You just keep selling that fancy water boiler, mon. I ain't buying it.


Fine, but you're arguing with Mr. Wilson, not me. If you want to discuss it with me, make a point.



posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 03:23 PM
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reply to post by TheComte
 


They decided to not build these types of reactors because of political reasons,

As much as you try to convince me other wise, reactors don't run on politics. A 1000 factors influenced the design that was eventually chosen. Balance of cost verses capacity was the biggest deciding factor. How much money could be made selling the electricity vs. how little cost to produce it?

Apologize for what?



posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 03:31 PM
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reply to post by puncheex
 

That nuclear (New Clear) power was a hard sell for how safe clean, cheap and plentiful it was going to be. I remember the senate hearing where the industrial experts held up a half a glass of water and stated to the members, "Theres enough energy here in this glass to power New York for a year". Or something like that.

It is "New" and "Clear" (nu-clear). Boy were we sold a line of BS. Sure its "working". We're choking on it. I am not listening to any more speeches about the benefits of some "new" and "cleaner" cheap and plentiful industry reactors either. Either go back to benign power (sun, wind, water, geothermal) or choke on the fallout of nuclear, coal and gasoline. Like we ain't already.

Clear enough this time?



posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 04:35 PM
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reply to post by purplemer
 


Interesting stuff, clearly an exceptionally bright young man.



posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 05:51 PM
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Nuclear power can only end one way.Eventually there will be another mega-tsunami (there have been many in our past), and what would otherwise be a survivable event for much of the planet, will be an extinction level event as scores of nuclear power stations are obliterated. It's trading the future of all life on the planet, for a quick fix solution to our energy requirements. Adding to the problem is not intelligent, it's short sighted IMO.



posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 06:05 PM
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Originally posted by intrptr
reply to post by TheComte
 


They decided to not build these types of reactors because of political reasons,

As much as you try to convince me other wise, reactors don't run on politics. A 1000 factors influenced the design that was eventually chosen. Balance of cost verses capacity was the biggest deciding factor. How much money could be made selling the electricity vs. how little cost to produce it?

Apologize for what?


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by intrptr
reply to post by puncheex
 

That nuclear (New Clear) power was a hard sell for how safe clean, cheap and plentiful it was going to be. I remember the senate hearing where the industrial experts held up a half a glass of water and stated to the members, "Theres enough energy here in this glass to power New York for a year". Or something like that.

It is "New" and "Clear" (nu-clear). Boy were we sold a line of BS. Sure its "working". We're choking on it. I am not listening to any more speeches about the benefits of some "new" and "cleaner" cheap and plentiful industry reactors either. Either go back to benign power (sun, wind, water, geothermal) or choke on the fallout of nuclear, coal and gasoline. Like we ain't already.

Clear enough this time?


Whether a particular reactor is to be built is always a political decision. If it wasn't they'd be built in a couple of years, rather than ten. That's what democracy is for, and is good at. Technologists propose; governments dispose.

It is not my place to force you to listen to any speeches. Proceed with your benign power, I'll proceed as best suits me. Sorry if I'm disturbing your choking or your poetry.

Perhaps you'd like to propose some sort of substantial argument against nuclear power. Or not. It's OK, either way I'll understand.

(BTW, we're probably annoying those around us by going so far off topic. If you want to pursue this, please open a new thread or use one of the existing threads on nuclear power. Let us know where it is, and I'll meet you there.)



posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 06:43 PM
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Wow thats awsome!





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