Liquid Floride Thorium Reactors

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Simgar988, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Simgar988 macrumors 65816

    Simgar988

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    UYBAATC
    #1
    Heard of 'em?

    I could explain, but I know Kirk Sorensen can much more exquisitely.

    I'd suggest the 4th video down. Don't be intimidated by the length, the first 8 minutes is a montage of the entire video. I wouldn't be surprised if you find yourself delving deep into the entire talk.

    http://energyfromthorium.com/


    Cheers
     
  2. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #2
    The formerly widespread uses of thorium, for example as a light emitting material in gas mantles or as an alloying material in several metals, have decreased due to concerns about its radioactivity.


    Sounds the same as a nuclear reactor. Just different radioactive material.
     
  3. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #3
    Not true. I mentioned thorium in this thread. There are many ways that thorium is superior.

    This is what I remember from the thorium reactor articles in Popular Science Magazine:
    1. It is abundant.
    2. It is cheaper to turn into fuel.
    3. Is has more potential energy in it than traditional nuclear fuel resulting in less waste.
    4. Nuclear reactions with thorium require external energy and when that energy is removed, the nuclear reaction stops immediately.
    5. Spent thorium fuel does not require 10 years of cooling in a pool before it cools off enough to be stored in a barrel.
    6. Nuclear weapons can't be made from it.
     
  4. Simgar988 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Simgar988

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    #4
    Thorium is far more abundant than uranium235. It does not have to be refined.

    maybe more important is the molten salt bath that the thorium will be immersed in. Currently all reactors have a solid uranium or plutonium core which is cooled under pressurized water, which desperately wants to turn to steam and escape.

    The fissile material can be mixed in directly with the molten salt bath, which naturally responds to the pressures of fission.
     
  5. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #5
    This is like saying, "Titanium Dioxide? Sounds like the same as lead-based white paint, just with a different metal. Must still be unsafe." It shouldn't need saying, but different elements are different, and you can't just gloss over those differences. This attitude has hobbled American nuclear power research and made nuclear power relatively less safe for decades. The argument ends up being something like this:

    Nuclear power isn't ever safe. Any research into any more modern or alternative nuclear technology is still just nuclear power, which as we have already concluded, isn't ever safe. This includes technologies intended specifically to address the shortcomings of light water reactors. We won't allow you to endanger us by further research into nuclear power, so we'll have to make do with the known risks of 1960s technology rather than addressing them.

    We are stuck relying on exactly the technology you fear because your fear of that technology leads you to oppose developing safer versions of that technology. This attitude, applied to the steam engine, would have forestalled the industrial revolution, as we would still be sitting around insisting that all coal-fired boilers explode, so we must not let the coal genie further out of the bottle than it already is, or it will doom us all by making even bigger boilers that always explode. Those mad steam scientists will eventually make a boiler that will blow up the Earth! They must clearly be stopped.

    Nuclear hysteria was occasionally funny in 1980s movies (except when Superman fought Nuclear Man in Superman IV -- that was a national tragedy), but thirty years on, and with energy becoming a bigger and bigger problem, it's just getting sad, and we need to get over it.
     
  6. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #6
    At the time of my post I hadn't done any research on LFT's.

    I stand humbly corrected.

    carry on !
     
  7. Heilage macrumors 68030

    Heilage

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    #7
    Thorium has been discussed a lot here in Norway, since we are headed towards an energy crisis and we have one of the largest amounts of Thorium on the planet.


    However, the nuclear scare is still extremely dominant in Norwegian politics, and it affects this. Not much money has been spent on R&D for this technology, sadly.
     
  8. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #8
    This is truly sad.

    A 100-year event, and a vastly different technology, and the average citizen just doesn't "get it".

    They have learned to beware of officials selling anything.
     
  9. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68020

    SactoGuy18

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    #9
    I think the fact that:

    1. LFTR's don't need potentially dangerous pressurized reactor vessels.
    2. Don't need a huge amount of fuel to generate power.
    3. Generates a very small amount of radioactive waste, and that waste only has a half-life of under 300 years.

    Is the reason why both China and India are aggressively researching LFTR technology.

    Since thorium-232 is found in any part of the world where rare-Earth mineral mining is done, there is way more than enough fuel to operate potentially thousands of LFTR reactors around the world. Indeed, don't be surprised by 2035 we have over a thousand LFTR's operational, even in earthquake-prone areas.
     
  10. bassfingers macrumors 6502

    bassfingers

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    #10
    this is the most entertaining post I've read in a long time
     
  11. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #11
    And:
    4. Can't really melt down because it is not dependent on electrical power to prevent a melt down. The reaction is forced. Once power is lost, the reaction automatically stops. Heat buildup is not an issue.
    5. Does not require an active 10 years of technological commitment to prevent overheating of spent rods in cooling pools and dealing with a 1000 year half life.
     
  12. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 27, 2010
    #12
    India has massive amounts of thorium, they really love the stuff
     
  13. Simgar988 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Simgar988

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    #13
    Except they use it in rods, rather than immersed in a liquid salt bath
     

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