24 July 2011

If you are Anti-Nuclear, Non-Scientific and Fearful of Radioactivity - Read this Post

This is most of a paragraph from Wikipedia - Ecological Footprint - with nothing apparently disputed:

"Claims exist that the problems of nuclear waste do not come anywhere close to approaching the problems of fossil fuel waste.[35][36] A 2004 article from the BBC states: "The World Health Organization (WHO) says 3 million people are killed worldwide by outdoor air pollution annually from vehicles and industrial emissions, and 1.6 million indoors through using solid fuel."[37] In the U.S. alone, fossil fuel waste kills 20,000 people each year.[38] A coal power plant releases 100 times as much radiation as a nuclear power plant of the same wattage.[39] It is estimated that during 1982, US coal burning released 155 times as much radioactivity into the atmosphere as the Three Mile Island incident.[40] In addition, fossil fuel waste causes global warming, which leads to increased deaths from hurricanes, flooding, and other weather events".

If you are still opposed to nuclear power plants being part of the mix, to replace all fossil-fuel power production as soon as possible, study the next paragraph from Wikipedia:

"Paranoia is a thought process believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of irrationality and delusion. Paranoid thinking typically includes persecutory beliefs concerning a perceived threat towards oneself. Historically, this characterization was used to describe any delusional state".

Radioactive Nuclear Waste from LFTRs - There's Almost None!

I failed to spot this 14 June 2011 comment to my 09 January 2011 post, about a couple of excellent articles from two of the foremost LFTR proponents Robert Hargraves and Ralph Moir: 

Anonymous said...
Excellent article; One question: Fig.6 , the decay graphs is hard to reconcile with the 330 years decay to one 10,000th of waste from the LWNR

Similar graphic information is available from:  LPSC. the Laboratory of Subatomic Physics and Cosmology that published this paper, in July 2001: Nuclear Energy With (Almost) No Radioactive Waste. It is a comprehensive analysis of fast/thermal spectrum reactors and solid/liquid fuel reactors. It channels the wide-ranging data to thorium fuelled, thermal Molten Salt Reactors (aka: LFTRs), as producing less, even orders of magnitude less, radiotoxic waste than the others.

This graph, from the paper, shows that in the 300 to 500 year period, MSR waste is indeed 4 orders of magnitude less radiotoxic than PWR waste. This is the crucial comparison, in respect of the UK's new-build reactor programme.

Adding the line of background radiation level (natural uranium ore) shows when the waste can be regarded as safe:

LFTR actinides are safe after 150 years and the fission products, which are (approximately) common to LFTRs and PWRs are safe after about 500 years. This graph is available from another article by Robert Hargraves and Ralph Moir on an American Physical Society website:  http://aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/201101/hargraves.cfm


21 July 2011

Dylan Ryan of Glasgow, Age 32. Speaks English, and writes it very verbosely indeed.

Read the first paragraph of the 1200 word introduction to his blog ‘daryanenergyblog’ and he seems quite a reasonable chap. Obviously ‘daryan12’ self-described as: Engineer, expertise: Energy, Sustainability, Computer Aided Engineering, Renewables technology is going to answer his rhetorical question: “how do we continue to meet the worlds insatiable desire for energy?”

Read a little bit of the 3300 words of ‘Nuclear Reality Check – Chapter 2’ and there’s no doubt the vitriol, ridicule and selective ‘facts’ and opinions are the characteristic utterances of a typical anti-nuclear campaigner. Read a bit of the 7100 words of ‘Nuclear Reality Check – Chapter 3’ and you get the lot! What this guy doesn’t know about the nuclear industry – what it’s doing and where it’s going – isn’t worth knowing.

Part 8 – The Molten Salt Reactor concept: in 9100 words, Dylan debunks 18 years of work, by Alvin Weinberg and his team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Just a reminder: Alvin Weinberg was a protégée of Nobel Laureate, Eugene Wigner, when they worked together on the Manhattan project. Weinberg won the Enrico Fermi Award in 1980; the Citation reads: In recognition of his pioneering contributions to reactor theory, design, and systems; for untiring work to make nuclear energy serve the public good, both safely and economically; for inspiring leadership of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and for wise counsel to the executive and legislative branches of the government.
The MSR debunker’s level of expertise: What a howler - but you can see how it came about! When the thrill of debunking gets ahead of your brain, it’s easy to put his interpretation of the Wikipedia diagram as the operating fluid of the (Brayton) turbine being ‘a mixture of molten salt and fluoride fuel’ – because it’s yellow (like the core salt in the diagram). From this howler, he concludes by telling the world that the turbine will cost more than the reactor.
But, debunker-extraordinaire, this is how it really works: the (primary circuit) core salt passes heat to a coolant salt, via a low-pressure salt/salt heat exchanger; this non-radioactive (secondary circuit) coolant salt exits the primary containment and passes heat to a high pressure helium gas, via a salt/gas heat exchanger, and it is the helium which drives a closed cycle Brayton gas turbine.

The 3000 word ‘Part 11 – Summary and Conclusions is well worth suffering, as the excitement builds up in anticipation of the sagacious answer to the question posed at the very beginning. In the penultimate paragraph, the question has decayed (excuse the nuclear pun) to: “can renewables close the gap?” and further:Can we seriously power the world without (neither) fossil fuels nor nuclear power?”
And his answer is – wait for it – wait for it: “I’m going to take the coward’s way out and answer that I honestly don’t know! The answer to that question depends entire on the context in which one asks it (I’m planning a future article where I will tease this one out).” What does that mean? Can’t wait to find out the answer, you little tease you! Only kidding – I don’t intend to read another word of your expert comment!

PS: thanks for the links to ‘LFTRs to Power the Planet’. Any chance you could add your vote to ‘UK manufacture of Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors’ on ‘38 Degrees’? We’re down to 86th now.

17 July 2011

Those were the days! Slide-Rules, Tee-Squares and Protractors.

I've made up a 'Handout' from some PowerPoint slides, to distribute at an Institute of Physics (IoP) presentation next week: Fukushima - Lessons Learnt.

It's intended to be printed off as a double-sided A4 sheet, which anyone can do and use it as a handout/cribsheet/whatever. When you open the link, you need to click the blue 'File' tab in the top left-hand corner and scroll down to 'Print'.

50% of what needs to be done was achieved 'in t' gud ode days', when we overworked the pencil sharpeners. It doesn't take a lot of imagination to think how quickly and efficiently we could get to the first-of-a-kind LFTR, in these days of computer modelling and planning and CAD/CAM.


16 July 2011

NNL's Professor Paul Howarth RULES!! OK!!

Please! Please! Please! - Professor Howarth, listen to Kirk Sorensen's evidence of the past successes of thorium fuelled Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) and what the future holds for LFTRs. At the end of the summer, you can then present a balanced report to Chris Huhne, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change; this will rectify the omission of a mention of the use of the Thorium Fuel Cycle in MSRs, in your Position Paper of August 2010, of that name.

I do hope I shall get an early response to my letter, posted to you today, 16 July 2011, asking if you are willing and able to invite Kirk Sorensen to make the case, to you and your NNL staff, that any country with decent scientific, technological and economical resources can 'make LFTRs happen' - this means the UK.

In all probability, you and only you will influence politics to take the path of increased UK manufacturing jobs, growth and prosperity not seen in 3 generations, versus a bit-part in the future of nuclear power across the globe.

13 July 2011

Keep It Simple Stupid and Save £50 Billion!

Have you ever seen such a mish-mash, hodge-podge of a dog's-dinner than:  http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/emr_oral/emr_oral.aspx

Electricity Market Reform - Oral statement by Chris Huhne

How could we have ended up with such a woolly-minded believer in Renewables, driving through an energy policy, which might hold sway for decades, and cost an unnecessary extra £50 billion into the 'bargain'. And, most confidently, "commend this statement to the House".

Mr Huhne - Let's hope that the late-summer report by the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) will point out that:   The first-of-a-kind Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR) could be up and running in 5 years, at the piddling cost of £300 million. There are half a dozen UK companies that could manufacture this (glorified) hot-salt chemical plant, so 5 years after that, 100 MWe modular LFTRs could be rolling off production lines at one per day, for £150 million each. In 2 years, we could replace all of our coal and gas fired power stations (LFTRs are load-following), at a cost of £30 billion per year for 2 years.

Do the sums and you will see 'keeping it simple' will save you £50 billion of the £110 billion investment you quantified in the Commons. A few pats-on-the-back from colleagues and a few 'eyes to the heavens' and 'thank-goodnesses' from tax payers everywhere.

Drumming Up Votes for LFTRs on 38 Degrees.

I'm on 'Google Alerts' for things Nuclear, which comes up with many opportunities to add comments to on-line articles about varied nuclear subjects. Below is a copy of one of my responses to such an article and my hope is that anyone reading this might be disposed to respond in a similar manner to any article on which they might comment. Please help where you can to get votes on 38 degrees for LFTRs - would you all please ask your friends on facebook if they would care to vote also?


The first-of-a-kind Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR) could be up and running in 5 years, at the piddling cost of £300 million. There are half a dozen UK companies that could manufacture this (glorified) hot-salt chemical plant, so 5 years after that, 100 MWe modular LFTRs could be rolling off production lines at one per day, for £150 million each. In 2 years, we could replace all of our coal and gas fired power stations (LFTRs are load-following), at a cost of £30 billion per year for 2 years - saving £50 billion from the £110 billion Chris Huhne just announced in the Commons.
38 degrees is a Campaigning Organisation which can lobby parliament on behalf of important causes and your vote for LFTRs is needed. LFTR manufacture would create manufacturing jobs, growth and prosperity not seen in 3 generations. See: http://38degrees.uservoice.com/forums/78585-campaign-suggestions/suggestions/2017457-uk-manufacture-of-liquid-fluoride-thorium-reactors?ref=title 

10 July 2011

38 Degrees -- The hottest Campaigning Group in town.

Vote for LFTRs, to get it to the front of the '38 Degrees' campaigns. There is no single, more important issue, to prevent the Government wasting £billions of our hard earned taxes on inconsequential ways of meeting our carbon targets. LFTRs is the safest and most economical way of meeting carbon targets and it doesn't matter whether or not you believe in global warming, because carbon targets will impact you - in your pocket.

Whatever we save, by getting the Government to commit, full-bore, to LFTRs, we can spend on other services we believe in. Only our gross negligence will result in us allowing 120 m high wind turbines to decorate pristine landscapes and coastlines. Only dullards would pay the exorbitant cost of trying to squeeze carbon dioxide molecules into places in which physics will not allow them to reside.

38 Degrees is a force to be reckoned with, when it comes to effective campaigning. Please use the following link, to cast up to 10 votes for LFTRs