Friday, June 05, 2009

Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor

Google Tech Talk Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor

The world needs safe nuclear energy by the Gigawatt and Terawatt. Since Thorium is far more abundant than Uranium, and less prone to being turned to nuclear weapons uses, the Thorium fuel cycle makes sense. The following Peswiki editorial discusses using the liquid fluoride thorium reactor in conjunction with coal gasification and solid oxide fuel cells, to provide the energy and fuel needed for the next few centuries -- or until cheap abundant nuclear fusion comes along.
For those individuals who understand the global energy situation the answer is quite clear and it involves advanced technology, chemistry, money, and political support. The comments in the clean coal comic truly express a viable technological solution which will lead to the realization of a long term solution going beyond the hundreds of years which coal and other fossil fuels would provide.

A 1000 MW nuclear reactor could produce 18,000 barrels of fuel a day with technology which currently exists. There have been several different Thorium reactors in operation within the past 40 years. So what happened? The era when these reactors were brought online was during the cold war. Uranium-fueled nuclear power plants are the suppliers of weapons grade plutonium which we use within our nuclear arsenal [hence their being favored]. The Yucca Mountain project is simply a nuclear weapons storage silo in disguise. The question I ask, which is more important, being whether we will destroy our planet or save it from our destruction?

There will always be a need for man to have the capability of defending itself but at what expense?

The thorium nuclear fission cycle eliminates the risk of meltdown and weapons proliferation while the byproducts have a reduced half-life on the order of 1/2 century rather than thousands of years. Thorium can be recycled and poses no direct risks to our environment unless the facilities themselves were attacked. Even in this situation we would not have another Chernoble. People fear nuclear energy because of the Three Mile Island incident and what they see on the History Channel. Thorium nuclear reactors have demonstrated their viability in the past so what is the problem? _Peswiki
Future energy needs will be filled using multiple energy sources. Biomass and microbe energy will be very important. But nuclear reactors of several types and sizes will be integral to the transition to clean and sustainable energy, power, and fuels. Coal, kerogens (oil shale), bitumens (oil sands and heavy oils), and various forms of gaseous fossil fuels will be critically important, using newer cleaner technology. Fuel cells will provide important improvements in efficiency in utilising liquid and gaseous fuels (solids too).

Looking at modern political planners who call themselves "green", we see that green is scarcity and death. The "green" approach is no cleaner and is far less sustainable than the wise multiple source approach. Today's leaders in Europe, the US, Australia, and other countries are stupidly green -- adherents of scarcity and death. We cannot afford these leaders or their bigoted and genocidal policies.

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