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Chris A

Thorium as an energy source

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I don't hide the fact that I'm an engineer by profession.  But I am actually excited to see someone talk about a subject that has the potential to change the current world order for the better and solve the most troublesome problems that we have (fossil fuel economics).  Here is that idea presented on Amazon Prime (free for Prime members):

 

https://smile.amazon.com/Thorium-2011-Kirk-Sorensen/dp/B086PJ2MK9/

 

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I ran into this subject about 10 years ago and talked to a few people about it.  No one seemed to know anything about it.  This is a really effective movie about that subject that will leave you with much fewer questions than answers.

 

If we're going to talk about topics far off-topic from audio, this is a good one in that it presents a (very) positive viewpoint. :emotion-55:  Highly recommended.

 

Chris

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Build their own Thorium energy sources like they are already building using Uranium energy sources in the Middle East...(duh).  Watch the movie before sniping cute retorts.

 

Chris

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1 minute ago, Chris A said:

Build their own Thorium energy sources like they are already building using Uranium energy sources in the Middle East...(duh).  Watch the movie before sniping cute retorts.

 

Chris

Sorry you thought I was sniping.  I'll leave the topic alone.

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Ditto on the no Prime.

Will you elaborate briefly?

.Edit: can buy...

Reading the reviews presently.

Edited by billybob
Thanks anyway...

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Too much information to briefly elaborate.  The subject is "a much smarter way to get energy from fission than we're doing it now".  It's safe, creates almost no dangerous wastes of the types that last thousands of years, and the fuel costs almost nothing..in fact, you'll get money back by using the element--because it's a by-product of mining neodymium and other rare earth metals.  Best time I've spent watching something on-line in a long, long time.

 

Here's a version of that same movie on YouTube (free of charge--albeit about 20 minutes shorter in overall length than the one on Prime):

 

 

Chris

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Thorium offers a clean nuclear fuel. Once spent it does not require isolation. It degrades to a safe isotope. Thorium can also be deployed in mini reactors small enough to support individual towns or segments of major cities. That makes them energy independent essentially off the grid and not subject to regional power failures. This is not a new subject. It’s an energy science long known and kept under wraps by the utilities industries that’d be impacted by their application. But countries other than America will develop these products for their own needs and eventually we’ll adopt their advantages.

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Watch the film--to get the end of that story.  It's happening now--just not in the US.

 

Chris

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6 minutes ago, Bosco-d-gama said:

Thorium offers a clean nuclear fuel. Once spent it does not require isolation. It degrades to a safe isotope. Thorium can also be deployed in mini reactors small enough to support individual towns or segments of major cities. That makes them energy independent essentially off the grid and not subject to regional power failures. This is not a new subject. It’s an energy science long known and kept under wraps by the utilities industries that’d be impacted by their application. But countries other than America will develop these products for their own needs and eventually we’ll adopt their advantages.

A question I have is, why have this technology not already been developed in other countries?

Edit: watch ending...

 

 

 

Edited by billybob

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I guess they decided to skip right over helium 3...

 

 

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Please watch the video...before commenting.  You'll thank me later.

 

Chris

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Now all we need is a couple of billion to build one. Where is Elon Musk when you need him.

 

JJK

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I read a book about this years ago.  Another feature is that if power to the reactor goes out, a 'frozen' metal plug melts, the fuel goes into a larger chamber and passively stops the reaction. 

 

2 hours ago, JJkizak said:

Now all we need is a couple of billion to build one. Where is Elon Musk when you need him.

 

JJK

 

The USA built one in Oak Ridge in the 1960s.  It was tested and passively shut itself down when power was cut.  You can go see it.  The Chinese already went and got all of the records.

 

A brilliant decision was made in the 60s, a general at the US Army said no way to this technology, we had to use the same technology in power plants as they use in bombs.  So Oak Ridge was boarded up and as our bonus gift we were given Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima.  The world would be a different place had this very bad decision not been made. 

 

These reactors can also use up all of the existing nuclear waster getting rid of that problem.  I think the problem to be solved is that these are molten salt reactors, which means corrosion must be dealt with.

 

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3 minutes ago, tigerwoodKhorns said:

I think the problem to be solved is that these are molten salt reactors, which means corrosion must be dealt with.

Hastelloy was developed to address that problem in the Oak Ridge LFTR reactor--and that discussion is in the Amazon Prime version of the video (not sure about the YouTube version, however).  There are more discussions on this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_fluoride_thorium_reactor

 

Chris

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7 minutes ago, Chris A said:

Hastelloy was developed to address that problem in the Oak Ridge LFTR reactor--and that discussion is in the Amazon Prime version of the video (not sure about the YouTube version, however).  There are more discussions on this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_fluoride_thorium_reactor

 

Chris

I will have to watch the Prime video.  I saw a documentary on Youtube years ago and then read the book. 

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One of the issues that the video raises is the apparent failure of the national decision-making system that led to the cancellation of the Oak Ridge LFTR efforts.  I suspect that there were "national security concerns" (i.e., assuring the availability bomb-making P-239) during the height of the Cold War at that time.  Also the U.S. Navy submariners under Rickover weren't exactly a "democracy in action" (in fact, quite the opposite).  Lots of pushing and shoving of the nuclear power industry with regard to the weapons industry that apparently continues to this day. 

 

I once had the opportunity to remotely facilitate (via telephone) a series of meetings on strategies to do upgrades to a notable U.S. fission power plant (whose identity will remain unnamed here).  I have to say that I'm grateful for not going into that industry early in my career. (I was facilitating the decision making as an employee from the Aerospace/Defense sector.)  It was UNBELIEVABLE in terms of the gridlock and extreme low productivity at the site due to the draconian safety measures that had a stranglehold on the plant's maintenance and upgrade operations.  I actually had Kafkaesque nightmares that ensued from just those remote facilitation sessions that lasted for months, i.e., no win--no way out scenarios.  That type of operation of a power plant simply has to change--and I'm not optimistic that the NRC will ever get out of the business in order to allow a LFTR site to come into being.  It's really that bad--in my experience.

 

Chris

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The disadvantages of having to use U-235 is the biggest difference with the LFTR mentioned in the original video: that's the major difference.  U-235 makes bombs (and so does P-239).   Additionally, they are talking about using steam generation instead of gas turbine generation mentioned in the original video.  There is a great deal of overhead associated with using steam generation.  You can put a LFTR-type reactor (the original video) into the desert without dedicated water supply.  That's a big deal.

 

Here is a much more recent video of the current situation:

 

 

Chris

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-  I heard a while back that with the regulations that are in place here in the US it currently it could take as long as 20 years to actually put a new Nuclear power plant into operation... seems crazy to me.

   I haven't had the chance to watch the video yet, so I'm not able discus what was said in it, but I have watched a few videos in the past about Thorium Reactors, and recently I saw another video trying to learn if anyone had begun building the reactors yet.  I don't know if it was mentioned in your video or not, but A team from the Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group (NRG) the Netherlands has built the first molten salt reactor powered by thorium in decades. I also believe that China and India have plans in place to have operating Thorium reactors in the very near future, and I think I heard that Indonesia also wants to move that direction as well.

--  Does anyone know more about who else is making plans and doing research on the reactors? 

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