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THE Thorium Thread (merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: THE Thorium Thread (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 09 Aug 2014, 12:28:33

Startup company Transatomic Power has a new Thorium reactor design they want to build for real world testing.

Cofounders Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie began dreaming up the idea in 2010, while working on their Ph.D.s in nuclear engineering at MIT. “We realized this is probably the smartest we will ever be in our lives,” Dewan remembers. So the two decided to use their knowledge to design a better reactor, one that deals with what they see as the nuclear industry’s biggest problems: waste and safety.

The design they came up with is a variant on the molten salt reactors first demonstrated in the 1950s. This type of reactor uses fuel dissolved in a liquid salt at a temperature of around 650 °C instead of the solid fuel rods found in today’s conventional reactors. Improving on the 1950s design, Dewan and Massie’s reactor could run on spent nuclear fuel, thus reducing the industry’s nuclear waste problem. What’s more, Dewan says, their reactor would be “walk-away safe,” a key selling point in a post-Fukushima world. “If you don’t have electric power, or if you don’t have any operators on site, the reactor will just coast to a stop, and the salt will freeze solid in the course of a few hours,” she says.


Much more at the link
http://spectrum.ieee.org/at-work/start-ups/start-up-transatomic-power-wants-to-build-a-better-reactor
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Re: THE Thorium Thread (merged)

Unread postby StarvingLion » Sat 09 Aug 2014, 16:13:24

they need 15 million to do lab experiments and says this research will quickly reveal whether the reactor will work.If those experiments reveal no showstoppers, Transatomic hopes to find industrial partners to help build a 5-megawatt demonstration plant at a U.S. national lab site

If these start-ups can prove out their engineering and economics, they might find willing buyers for their intellectual property on other shores.

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Re: THE Thorium Thread (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Mon 03 Nov 2014, 09:45:17

Chinese going for broke on thorium nuclear power, and good luck to them

The nuclear race is on. China is upping the ante dramatically on thorium nuclear energy. Scientists in Shanghai have been told to accelerate plans (sorry for the pun) to build the first fully-functioning thorium reactor within ten years, instead of 25 years as originally planned.
“This is definitely a race. China faces fierce competition from overseas and to get there first will not be an easy task”,” says Professor Li Zhong, a leader of the programme. He said researchers are working under “warlike” pressure to deliver.
Good for them. They may do the world a big favour. They may even help to close the era of fossil fuel hegemony, and with it close the rentier petro-gas regimes that have such trouble adapting to rational modern behaviour. The West risks being left behind, still relying on the old uranium reactor technology that was originally designed for US submarines in the 1950s.
The excellent South China Morning Post trumpeted the story this morning on the front page of its website.
As readers know, I have long been a fan of thorium (so is my DT economics colleague Szu Chan). It promises to be safer, cleaner, and ultimately cheaper than uranium. It is much harder to use in nuclear weapons, and therefore limits the proliferation risk.
There are ample supplies of the radioactive mineral. It is scattered across Britain. The Americans have buried tonnes of it, a hazardous by-product of rare earth metal mining.
more at the link,
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/am ... o-them/?fb
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Re: THE Thorium Thread (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Wed 19 Nov 2014, 11:35:21

Nice YouTube from the Thorium future movement,

http://youtu.be/vFplTgRc--g
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Re: THE Thorium Thread (merged)

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Wed 19 Nov 2014, 19:43:46

China getting serious about thorium is the possible game changer.
Fast moving,focused, stable, one voice,government with long term agendas and heaps of cash and economies of scale, give it a massive advantage over western democracies.
You just look at their fast rail business it went from nothing to the biggest in a decade.
Thorium could do the same and drive the trains and factories.
Im sure thats the thinking. (along with wind and solar expansions)
Whether the motivation is altruistic measure to improve the lives of its citizens or to maintain stability for the ruling elite,doesnt really matter the end game is the same.

In an effort to reduce the number of coal-fired plants, the Chinese government has brought forward by 15 years the deadline to develop a nuclear power plant using the radioactive element thorium instead of uranium.

A team of researchers in Shanghai has now been told it has 10 instead of 25 years to develop the world's first such plant.

"In the past, the government was interested in nuclear power because of the energy shortage. Now, they are more interested because of smog," Professor Li Zhong, a scientist working on the project, told the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.

An advanced research centre was set up in January by the Chinese Academy of Sciences with the aim of developing an industrial reactor using thorium molten salt technology, the newspaper reported.


http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/m ... og-thorium
Even if thorium became a reality
You would need massive construction and spread to make it global if that was your aim???
It doesnt solve the limited resource problems
That will require a change in recycling,and business models and the way economies are structured and possibly a new religion/spirituality to replace the current dominant ones of capitalism/consumerism/the individual/greed.
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Re: THE Thorium Thread (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sat 10 Jan 2015, 13:42:56

http://moltensalt.org/references/static ... IR-332.pdf

Detailed study on Thorium Chloride systems, quite interesting.
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Re: THE Thorium Thread (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Wed 19 Apr 2017, 18:12:09

China is jumping on Thorium reactors like a WWF wrestler. They are pursuing multiple tracks of prototype and detail testing work, and are exploring both solid and liquid fuel versions.


https://youtu.be/5UT2yYs5YJs
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Re: THE Thorium Thread (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 23 Apr 2017, 03:01:04

A very good, but very long article on Thorium fueled reactors, much more at link below the quote.


Humanity may face an energy crisis as the world's population rapidly grows.

Nuclear power plants can generate bountiful, carbon-free electricity, but their solid fuel is problematic, and aging reactors are being shut down.
A Cold War-era liquid-fueled reactor design could transform thorium — a radioactive waste from mining — into a practically limitless energy source.
US engineers proved such a system works during the 1960s. However, the military canceled the project and it was nearly forgotten.

Companies and governments are now trying to revive and evolve the design, but development costs, engineering challenges, and nuclear-weapons concerns all pose hurdles.

The lifeblood of modern civilization is affordable, free-flowing energy.

It gives us the power to heat our homes. Grow and refrigerate food. Purify water. Manufacture products. Perform organ transplants. Drive a car. Go to work. Or procrastinate from work by reading a story about the future of energy.

Today's cheap, bountiful supplies make it hard to see humanity's looming energy crisis, but it's possibly coming within our lifetimes. Our numbers will grow from 7.36 billion people today to 9 billion in 2040, an increase of 22%. Rapidly developing nations, however, will supercharge global energy consumption at more than twice that rate.


http://www.businessinsider.com/thorium- ... ftr-2017-2
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Re: THE Thorium Thread (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 14 Jan 2018, 23:19:24

https://sciencealert.com/researchers-ha ... r-40-years

The First Thorium Salt Reactors in Over 40 Years Were Just Switched on in Europe


It's still early days, but the use to thorium as an alternative to uranium could provide a cleaner, safer fuel source that would be harder to weaponise. With nuclear energy a booming industry in countries such as China and fear of nuclear threats on the rise, returning to this controversial topic could be well worthwhile.

Netherlands-based nuclear power provider, NRG, are taking a gamble. They're conducting experiments that could see a shift from uranium-based nuclear power to thorium.

In the historical battle between using uranium or thorium as a nuclear fuel, uranium provided both sides of the Cold War with a potential source of weapons-grade plutonium.

But the world is changing, and with global warming, anxiety over nuclear accidents, and the promise of more countries going nuclear, thorium is back on the table as a viable energy resource.

"This is a technology with much perspective for large scale energy production. We want to have a head-start once the technology will break through," says NRG researcher Sander de Groot.

Thorium is an element high up on the periodic table. Similar to uranium, its various isotopes are unstable, meaning the atoms decay by spitting out alpha particles – helium atoms without the electrons.
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