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Thorium Reactors the solution for the world's energy?

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by [FLUX], Sep 14, 2010.

  1.  Top
  2. More detail in this 2007 article: http://www.power-technology.com/features/feature1141/

    Berluddy interesting... and fully fledged thorium reactor has fewer or reduced downsides compared to current uranium based nuclear power reactors... I could be convinced to accept nuclear power... no China syndrome, fewer by products, less intricate and expensive power plant technology... it's not all good news though, but on balance looks better than Uranium based...

    More info on Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium
  3. Sounds perfect, except you can't make nuclear weapons from the leftovers....

    That'd be a big turn off for the US I expect.
  4. #4 chrome, Sep 14, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
  5. Direct from the wiki page:

    If they really wanted to make weapons grade uranium they would.

    I think the big turn off is the fact that it could upset many rich people in the power industry (who are probably very well connected) if we were to migrate across to cleaner alternative power sources for the majority of our power needs.

    I really believe if governments wanted to run their countries on cleaner energy sources they would be doing it already or mandating serious research with set goals for a cut over.
  6. :WStupid: it will only happen when these people/companies tell us it can at which time they will be set up to continue there monopoly, will just be a different power source and off course it won't be as free or cheap, why cos everyone needs it
  7. Hell yes Im a tech nerd. We really need to cut this oil addiction - totally agree.

    Clean nuclear energy is the future.
  8. Who's up for building a Thorium reactor motorcycle?
  9. Youre not far off. I believe there were plans for a nuclear powered plane which would fly for months at a time.

    Some radioactive substance would release intense radiation and heat when excited by xrays if I remember correctly. It was a compact nuclear reactor.

    The bike would be interesting though. You could boil water with nuclear fuel and the steam could drive an ordinary piston engine. Still a little primitive but it would be simpler than carrying around a coolant and electricity generation system.
  10. There have to be some massive disadvantages to using this stuff, otherwise it would already be powering nuclear plants all over the planet.

    More information needed, I think.

    Just found this on teh interwebs - haven't studied it in detail but some of the references look a bit lightweight. Anyway, I offer it here for others to study at their leisure.

  11. Anything nuclear is effectively taboo that's the problem.
  12. but could you put it in house ceilings and sell it to the public as a green initiative?
  13. Watch the google video I linked. It goes through the entire technology, along with why research was stopped.
  14. I read up a lot on thorium years ago... and yeah there were drawbacks, though without reading on it again i dont recall what.
    I remember it could even be used to destroy the likes of plutonium etc.

    Also amusingly if i recall correctly, most of the known thorium reserves are in the middle east and the US was unhappy about that.
    edit: watching that video shows otherwise... but im rather sure some of the papers i read showed the largest reserves was mid east *shrugs*.
  15. I like the idea of GeoThermal powerplants : sucking energy direct from the molten core of the Earth. Greenies should love that idea.
    One would imagine the big oil companies would now employ droves of scientific boffins researching new types of power sources/monopolies.
    One thing about conventional batteries too: the resources to make these are finite. I believe there is currently a worldwide lead shortage. Copper is an issue too.
    Heavy Metals like cadmium will run short as well.
    China is quietly buying up global suppliers/miners of all heavy metals as a strategic move.
    Whoever develops a cheap/safe fuel cell will rule the world maybe.
    But motorcycles won't be the same without that fuel/oil/engine/exhaust smell and noise.
    The day motorbikes go electric is the day I hang up my helmet.
  16. LOL
    You're getting cynical in your old age, Paul :)
  17. Aw cmon, nothing that you cant duplicate with a big speaker :p. Or some creative self made sound effects :D. Or some chemicals for the former...
  18. I'm always cautious when someone trumpets 'the' solution for energy. As I think I've said before, fossil fuels are artificially easy in that they meet a very wide range of energy needs. The future will be a wide ranging *set* of solutions, not a single magic bullet. Thorium reactors as one element of that, I can buy.

    I guess the other interesting question is whether a Manhattan Project is even possible these risk-averse, partisan, short-sighted days...
  19. The economics of engineering is a constantly changing phenomenon. When this was first proffered a number of different drivers were present. Firstly nuclear was well developed. Secondly fossil fuel was cheap and readily available. thirdly climate change wasn't on the agenda. fourthly fossil fuels were largely considered limitless.

    Now climate change is on the agenda, fossil fuel is becoming increasingly dear and many have lost nuclear technology and everyone know fossil fuels are not limitless.
  20. Speakers pfffft - All we need is a card and a peg!