Thorium Nuclear Power

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Milo
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Thorium Nuclear Power

Post by Milo » Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:38 am

Undoubtedly many of you remember my enthusiasm for this topic from elsewhere but I wanted to put a pin in it here.

For those of you who haven't heard of the potential of Thorium nuclear energy, here is a primer on what is generally considered the most viable technology to utilize it, Liquid Floride Thorium Reactors.

https://youtu.be/uK367T7h6ZY

In my view there is little to report since that video. Nobody has started such a reactor yet. I hope that soon someone will at least give this technology a chance to fail.

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Re: Thorium Nuclear Power

Post by SteveFoerster » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:00 pm

Milo wrote:In my view there is little to report since that video. Nobody has started such a reactor yet. I hope that soon someone will at least give this technology a chance to fail.
Agreed. And even if it took a bit of effort to make it work that seems like a much better use of research funds than fusion.
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Re: Thorium Nuclear Power

Post by Doc » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:29 am

SteveFoerster wrote:
Milo wrote:In my view there is little to report since that video. Nobody has started such a reactor yet. I hope that soon someone will at least give this technology a chance to fail.
Agreed. And even if it took a bit of effort to make it work that seems like a much better use of research funds than fusion.
Fusion has had some advances recently. ITER is set to start running in 2020.

http://www.sciencealert.com/this-14-bil ... sion-power
“"I fancied myself as some kind of god....It is a sort of disease when you consider yourself some kind of god, the creator of everything, but I feel comfortable about it now since I began to live it out.” -- George Soros

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Milo
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Re: Thorium Nuclear Power

Post by Milo » Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:32 am

Doc wrote:
SteveFoerster wrote:
Milo wrote:In my view there is little to report since that video. Nobody has started such a reactor yet. I hope that soon someone will at least give this technology a chance to fail.
Agreed. And even if it took a bit of effort to make it work that seems like a much better use of research funds than fusion.
Fusion has had some advances recently. ITER is set to start running in 2020.

http://www.sciencealert.com/this-14-bil ... sion-power
I think everyone agrees that we need to get off hydrocarbons.

Who knows which technology will succeed?

So, it seems obvious to me that there is one characteristic necessary to do so: a technology that will work through the grid. For that, we need a technology capable of delivering high, sustained power. IOW, it's great that individuals choose solar or wind but it is difficult to imagine technologies like that developing in any other way.

So it seems that our best prospects are some kind of nuclear. It seems sensible that fission will yield faster results, as we've already got it working, just not very well.

That being said, I can't imagine bringing either fission or fission to market costing less than the failed multi trillion dollar attempt to turn the ME into middle America but, if we got off hydrocarbons, any real reason for caring about that benighted region will vanish.

So, throw money at nuclear! It can't be more wasteful than what we're doing now.

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Re: Thorium Nuclear Power

Post by Doc » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:28 am

Milo wrote:
Doc wrote:
SteveFoerster wrote:
Milo wrote:In my view there is little to report since that video. Nobody has started such a reactor yet. I hope that soon someone will at least give this technology a chance to fail.
Agreed. And even if it took a bit of effort to make it work that seems like a much better use of research funds than fusion.
Fusion has had some advances recently. ITER is set to start running in 2020.

http://www.sciencealert.com/this-14-bil ... sion-power
I think everyone agrees that we need to get off hydrocarbons.

Who knows which technology will succeed?

So, it seems obvious to me that there is one characteristic necessary to do so: a technology that will work through the grid. For that, we need a technology capable of delivering high, sustained power. IOW, it's great that individuals choose solar or wind but it is difficult to imagine technologies like that developing in any other way.

So it seems that our best prospects are some kind of nuclear. It seems sensible that fission will yield faster results, as we've already got it working, just not very well.

That being said, I can't imagine bringing either fission or fission to market costing less than the failed multi trillion dollar attempt to turn the ME into middle America but, if we got off hydrocarbons, any real reason for caring about that benighted region will vanish.

So, throw money at nuclear! It can't be more wasteful than what we're doing now.
I really don't have a problem with hydro carbons. I do have a problem with importing them however. Currently the US is the largest oil producing country in the world. IF the US had its act together it would use thorium reactors as you mention here or push harder to get fusion done.Wind power is a joke. It will never pay for itself. Solar eventually probably will but without subsidies it is not ready for prime time. We can still product plenty of oil for cars and for export. Natural gas from fracking is great. Lots of things are made from Nat gas It is just not for home heating and cooking. There is enough Nat gas to use it at the current rate for 90 years.
“"I fancied myself as some kind of god....It is a sort of disease when you consider yourself some kind of god, the creator of everything, but I feel comfortable about it now since I began to live it out.” -- George Soros

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Re: Thorium Nuclear Power

Post by SteveFoerster » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:49 am

Milo wrote:So, it seems obvious to me that there is one characteristic necessary to do so: a technology that will work through the grid.
Why?
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Re: Thorium Nuclear Power

Post by Milo » Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:43 pm

SteveFoerster wrote:
Milo wrote:So, it seems obvious to me that there is one characteristic necessary to do so: a technology that will work through the grid.
Why?
Because we can't force everyone to get home batteries and solar panels. Even if we could, people wouldn't tolerate any gap in their power supply, which would be inevitable with solar in many regions, if not everywhere. Wind even more so.

There is in theory enough thorium to power the world for centuries, using the same grid as now.

The practical solution is to replace the current grid sources with more sustainable ones, rather than social engineering.

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Re: Thorium Nuclear Power

Post by SteveFoerster » Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:41 pm

Milo wrote:
SteveFoerster wrote:
Milo wrote:So, it seems obvious to me that there is one characteristic necessary to do so: a technology that will work through the grid.
Why?
Because we can't force everyone to get home batteries and solar panels. Even if we could, people wouldn't tolerate any gap in their power supply, which would be inevitable with solar in many regions, if not everywhere. Wind even more so.

There is in theory enough thorium to power the world for centuries, using the same grid as now.

The practical solution is to replace the current grid sources with more sustainable ones, rather than social engineering.
Okay, I see. I tend to think of these things from a tropical perspective, but you make a good point that solar doesn't work at high latitudes and wind isn't reliable.
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It begins!,?

Post by Milo » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:48 pm

On August 10, 2017, a set of concentric sealed tubes was entered into the core of the High Flux Reactor in Petten, Netherlands. In the smallest of these tubes sits an even smaller set of four graphite crucibles, containing a mixture of salts: lithium fluoride and thorium fluoride.

The radiation in the core will provide the heat for the salt sample in the inner tube to melt. Within the salt mixture, due to the presence of thorium in the high neutron flux, over time a fission reaction will start. And although the outer tube is in contact with the hand-warm water of the reactor basin, the concentric set of tubes provides enough insulation to let the temperature of the salt raise to about 620 degrees Celcius.

This tiny set of crucibles is the world´s first molten-salt-reactor-related fission experiment in over 45 years. The experiments have been initiated by the Nuclear Research and Consulting Group (NRG) in Petten, Netherlands, and take place at the High Flux Reactor (HFR), the research reactor that NRG operates.

https://articles.thmsr.nl/petten-has-st ... 8351fce5d2

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