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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Thorium Based Nuclear Power Is An Option

This page is not meant to be an in depth study of Thorium Reactors. Its an introduction to the fact that they have existed and are about to exist again. They have many benefits, and are a much more useful and manageable process than any current solid fuel Uranium based reactors.

You know those times , online usually, when some often well intentioned fellow traveller says that nuclear is the only truly green option ....

You / they / we may have read this
Treating the Symptom

Which doesn't really make a great case for keeping the current stock of Reactors. Or believing that a new crop has all bases covered.

    The core arguments include;
  • carbon capture is cool but not up to it.
  • safer than coal.
  • new reactors are safer than old designs

Well, assuming that the usage case implies a very high density fuel (as implied by Nukes), ask them why Thorium is not an option worth exploring.
If your going to exploit some of the most dangerous stuff in the solar system you may as well get it as right as it can be.
The safe operation of such potentially dangerous production, supply and disposal processes
should be intrinsically safe.
What are you going to be doing 200 years from now ?

The World Nuclear Association, has a page on thorium.
Wikipedia does as well. With references and cross links.
Thorium Nuclear power

Norway has a start and they have an abundance of North Sea Hydrocarbons.

This blended method can be readily used in rod type reactor... well maybe you wouldn't retrofit .. no idea how hard that would be.

Then there are Liquid (fluoride) Salt type reactors, a much better long term and scalable solution.
Liquid fluoride Thorium Reactor

Its all right there with references .

Finally point out that they are weighting the "base load" thing , and the "energy density" thing, mythologies way too highly in any case.
But hey, there are places it makes some sort of sense:
Norway India and China think so.

  • Places with high population densities and low access to space and renewable energy, are one.
  • Places where Nuclear and associated grid / support structures are already in place. These reactors can even help consume (some of) the waste.

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