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Can Thorium Solve All Of Our Energy Problems? An independent documentary in the making

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posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 06:24 AM
Can Thorium Solve All Of Our Energy Problems? An independent documentary in the making attempts to answer the question.

TWO IRISH FILMMAKERS want to know if thorium could be the answer to the world’s energy woes – and they have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough money to finish a documentary on the topic.

Frankie Fenton and Des Kelleher want to raise £40,000 ($51,640) so that they can finish post-production on The Good Reactor, their documentary looking into the alternative nuclear fuel and whether it can generate clean, safe energy.

Independent crowdfunded documentaries are a good way how to bypass the MSM information monopoly and discover and spread the truth about potentially revolutionary energy sources. There has been a lot of talk on the internet about LFTR lately, and the Chinese seems to be interested in it, so its certainly worth further look.

Another article about them: Irish documentary looks to Thorium as a fuel of the future

edit on 5/6/13 by Maslo because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 06:40 AM
Seems like the US is letting India be the Guinea Pig here.

Recently, thorium-based nuclear energy has experienced renewed attention as nations investigate new methods of meeting their growing energy supply requirements. Consideration of thorium as a potential energy source has reached the U.S. Congress, where in 2008 there are plans to introduce the Thorium Energy Independence and Security Act (Geotimes, v. 53, no. 6, p. 17). If India or another country proves successful in generating electricity safely and efficiently from a thorium-based nuclear power plant, then considerable interest and activity could focus on thorium exploration across the globe.

Considering India has around a quarter of thorium reserves, it's not surprising they are leading the field in throium research and energy production.

and discover and spread the truth about potentially revolutionary energy sources.

Thorium has been covered quite extensively and I believe there was a start up backed by some pretty big names and big money stateside. If you are only looking to CNN or the Times for your news though, I could see why you feel like it's being overlooked.

It's not as though thoriums a big secret or anything though.

Then again, it;s not really like it's a secret from the mainstream either:

Is Thorium the Biggest Energy Breakthrough Since Fire? Possibly.

Lightbridge Corporation, a pioneering nuclear-energy start-up company based in McLean, VA, is developing the Radkowsky Thorium Reactor in collaboration with Russian researchers. In 2009, Areva, the French nuclear engineering conglomerate, recruited Lightbridge for a project assessing the use of thorium fuel in Areva’s next-generation EPR reactor, advanced class of 1,600+ MW nuclear reactors being built in Olkiluoto, Finland and Flamanville, France.
edit on 5-6-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 04:28 PM
I did a report on thorium for a college class once, the US has had experimental thorium reactors before (there were a few in Europe aswell), and if I remember correctly they tried making bombs with thorium also, but the yield was too low to be of any use to them so they canned it. Thorium was scrapped in the US because it had no weapons potential, unlike uranium/plutonium. India, China, and I think Canada are leading in thorium development and reactor designs

posted on Jun, 6 2013 @ 02:04 AM
I can imagine getting the bill in the mail twice a year for 50 grand, itemized of course. A third of it goes to maintenance and forty percent goes into cleanup fund. The maintenance guys have to go through three years of rigorous training and if one of those canisters busts it could destroy a city block with the poisonous gases. But it gets you from here to about 50 miles away in a matter of minutes.

This is just for the flying car.

Ohh, wait you mean thorium to use to make something boil so you get steam power. Ohhh, riiight, that one. I was talking more like thorium as a radioactive dart-making thing that does some anti-gravity boson propulsion thing. My bad.

Thorium as a radioactive fuel of choice is a great idea. Cheap, abundant, sort of idiot-proof with the decay rates, and it has a snazzy name. I saw a downside that a big portion of the rare earth happens to be in China. So, that could become an economic entanglement in a future near you. It's all good until the nuclear nerds elect their king and start making rules about who has permission to go after that fuel. I'm not joking; they're usually brown-haired glasses wearing slightly chubby yet tall mathmagicians that think this business is good, so if image is a prerequisite for success regarding thorium I'm disqualified.

I was exuberant about this stuff two years ago. Good to see something is coming around.

To get into topic it cannot solve all the energy problems. The nerd ceiling is a problem. You can't charge a cell phone with thorium. There are always politicians wanting more money for the new energy than they are getting from the old energy. And petroleum hates nuclear. New problems can be made, like toxic gases, corruption and bad law-abiding groups. Think about it that if we had the right technology we could take any element and turn it around to benefit us but we're stuck with exotic out of reach things.
edit on 6-6-2013 by Sandalphon because: aliens might be jealous

posted on Jun, 6 2013 @ 02:09 AM
I'm thrilled by this. Thorium is definitely the way forward. Any responsible government should be pouring money into it right now.

posted on Jun, 6 2013 @ 10:10 AM
Uh, the liquid flourine thorium reactors have lots of problems.

Like that the high level radioactive waste is very hot, in a water-soluble liquid. Every reactor has to be a reprocessing plant (nasty nasty nasty). Most of the load of the waste products from years of operation will still be circulating. There Will Be Leaks. But you won't be able to enter the building for years to fix them.

Current reactors have waste products encased in zirconium steel in structurally sound tubing. Solid. Can be removed. That is how it should be. Even at Fukushima, most of the waste is still solid and sitting there and wasn't dispersed. What happens in a LFTR when it's all in a caustic liquid salt which is potentially reactive and water soluble?

This doesn't have to do with thorium vs uranium directly, but liquid vs solid.
edit on 6-6-2013 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-6-2013 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 04:45 AM
reply to post by mbkennel

Like that the high level radioactive waste is very hot, in a water-soluble liquid.

As far as I know fluoride salts are not particularly water soluble.

Every reactor has to be a reprocessing plant (nasty nasty nasty).

Its not nasty, because the reprocessing of fluoride salts is different from current solid fuel reprocessing and far easier.

Most of the load of the waste products from years of operation will still be circulating.

Actually, no. Since there is continual reprocessing and waste removal, the waste products get removed pretty quickly. Its one of the reasons why the LFTR is so safe, contrary to solid fuel reactors there are no years of operation worth of waste products at any time in the reactor core.

There Will Be Leaks.

Leaks of unpressurised liquid are far less dangerous than hydrogen explosions, and you can simply drain them into passively cooled dump tank through a floor drain. They dont disperse the radioactive material. The salt has no violent reactions with any other materials present in the reactor.

Current reactors have waste products encased in zirconium steel in structurally sound tubing. Solid.

Until hydrogen explosions disperse it around. And since its solid, you cannot drain them to safety, as you can with liquid fuel.

Stable coolant. Molten fluorides are chemically stable and impervious to radiation. The salts do not burn, explode, or decompose, even under high temperature and radiation.[44] There are no rapid violent reactions with water and air that sodium coolant has. There is no combustible hydrogen production that water coolants have.[45] However the salt is not stable to radiation at low (less than 100 C) temperatures due to radiolysis.

Low pressure operation. Because the coolant salts remain liquid at high temperatures,[44] LFTR cores are designed to operate at low pressures, like 0.6 MPa[46] (comparable to the pressure in the drinking water system) from the pump and hydrostatic pressure. Even if the core fails, there is little increase in volume. Thus the containment building cannot blow up. LFTR coolant salts are chosen to have very high boiling points. Even a several hundred degree heatup during a transient or accident does not cause a meaningful pressure increase. There is no water or hydrogen in the reactor that can cause a large pressure rise or explosion as happened during the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.[47][unreliable source]

Leak Resistance. Due to the low pressure operation and low pressure differences through the primary heat exchangers, the potential for large leaks is also greatly reduced.

No pressure buildup from fission. LFTRs prevent pressure buildup due to gaseous and volatile fission products. The liquid fuel allows for online removal of gaseous fission products, such as Xenon, for processing, thereby these decay products would not be spread in a disaster.[48] Further, fissile products are chemically bonded to the fluoride-salt, including iodine, cesium, and strontium, capturing the radiation and preventing the spread of radioactive material to the environment.[49]

Fail safe core. LFTRs can include a freeze plug at the bottom that has to be actively cooled, usually by a small electric fan. If the cooling fails, say because of a power failure, the fan stops, the plug melts, and the fuel drains to a subcritical passively cooled storage facility. This not only stops the reactor, also the storage tank can more easily shed the decay heat from the short-lived radioactive decay of irradiated nuclear fuels. Even in the event of a major leak from the core such as a pipe breaking, the salt will spill onto the kitchen-sink-shaped room where the reactor is in, which will drain the fuel salt by gravity into the passively cooled dump tank.[17]

edit on 7/6/13 by Maslo because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 14 2013 @ 11:00 PM

Originally posted by Echotebarknwhale
Thorium was scrapped in the US because it had no weapons potential, unlike uranium/plutonium.

I have read this as well and I wholeheartedly agree, knowing the reasoning of the maniacs in charge. It's crazy to think that Fukushima is still possibly a threat to the entire globe, let alone all the nukes out there.

In related news, below is a great article on possible energy breakthroughs.

posted on Jun, 14 2013 @ 11:12 PM
reply to post by Maslo

Well it is not so hard to find and most countries have some deposits. The problem is that the reactor is in part a particle accelerator. The technology exists but combining a nuclear reactor and an accelerator is not easy or cheap.

The positive aspect of such a reactor is that it can be turned off quickly and completely and has almost no residual waste like a traditional reactor.

If our governments would simply invest in such technology we may have a viable alternative.

But alas, true progress must be profitable in the long run. Dumb huh.

posted on Jun, 15 2013 @ 02:49 AM
reply to post by tadaman

The accelerator driven reactor is a different thing. There are many types of thorium reactors:

1. Thorium utilised in conventional reactors with solid fuel. This is what India is trying to do, and their reactor is relatively unsafe due to sodium. Thorium can also be burned in other types, like the much safer CANDU reactors. Many dont realize that we can already utilise thorium in some current reactors. But there are not any advantages to it except it solves the fuel scarcity problem. And this problem does not really exist because there is still plenty of uranium.

2. Liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR). This is the type thorium activists advocate, and is designed to be an optimal solution for burning thorium. It solves many other issues nuclear power has. The fluoride is in the form of a salt, not elemental, so it is not like the unsafe sodium in Indian reactor.

3. Accelerator driven reactors. These are for various reasons not a very practical idea.

posted on Jun, 15 2013 @ 08:27 AM
reply to post by Maslo

I agree with you, but the best reactor for thorium is the accelerator driven one, hands down. It is impractical though, for the moment. Like you said, if not we could just use existing reactors and fuel. If we invested in investigation and development of the accelorator driven reactor that impracticality may change.

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