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.


  1. Colin,

    Reading thro you’re critique of my critique of the MSR critique I am forced to the conclusion:

    Reading does not appear to be one of your strong points

    If you had actually bothered to read my critique you would have noted that I was attempting to debunk the idea of using a open salt cycle to run the system, indeed I went to great length to explain why an inert gas secondary loop (or a water/steam cycle) would provide greater thermal efficiency and improved safety, not to mention simplify construction. But don’t let pesky little facts get in the way of a character assassination.

    Of course the very fact that you and several other LFTR fans made such silly pronouncements merely serves to indicate to any neutral observer (such as politicians and scientists you’re currently stalking) that you are neither a sane nor rational individual and incapable of properly understanding technical data. Hence you’re analysis of the LFTR should be taken with a pinch of salt...and not the molten kind!

    I’m sorry my 9,100 word analysis was too long for you to follow. Next time I’ll cut it down to a few hundred words and drop it down to you’re reading age (Beano?). Seeing as you like pictures, I’ll leave a few blank so you can print them off and colour them in.

    You’re hero Kirk’s credentials have also come under scrutiny on my comments page (not by me but other contributors). See for yourself:

  2. No thanks. Sitting there in your 3 bedroom Glasgow semi, hunched over your worn out keyboard and negating in 9000 words the efforts of a man of Weinberg's stature, says all that needs to be said about your pompous,opinionated, self-esteem. You may just be wrong - a thought that will never have occurred to you!

    Must admit though, I might keep having a little peep until you finally tease out Dylan Ryan’s solution to humankind’s future energy needs – it’s got to be an improvement on ‘don’t know’.

  3. If you knew anything about science you’d know that vigorous technical criticism is an important part of the scientific method. The instant any science reaches the stage where you can’t criticise it because of a certain man’s “stature” (you know Alvin Weinberg trained as a biophysicist not a nuclear scientist? Look it up!) is the same time it ceases to be science and becomes a religion. Maybe you ought to build Weinberg (or Sorensen) a temple?

  4. As soon as I spot your teased out answer to our energy needs going forward, I'll be the first to propose you for the Enrico Fermi Award. The citation should make interesting reading - verbosity and confusion must feature somewhere.

  5. Colin,

    Apart from the fact that you either have not read or not understood the article that you're responding to, you are doing yourself no favours here.

    You've clearly invested some time in trying to find out where daryan12 lives and you think it is reasonable to publish that personal information. It makes you look quite creepy and unhinged. You should stop doing it - for the sake of both your mental health and to avoid interest from the police.

    Also, you have provided further confirmation of what I have believed for some time: the LFTR fan club is little different to a religious cult. You have little attachment to facts and reality - especially anything that exposes the massive holes in your LFTR fantasies. Personalising the 'debate' and attacking individuals who point out why there are no LFTRs in existence and why that is unlikely to change will not alter reality.

    P.S. You should invest some time in understanding why, for the last two or three years, more renewable energy has been deployed in Europe and the US than coal, gas and nuclear combined. As renewables continue to fall in cost that trend is only likely to accelerate. Your thorium dreams are going to remain just dreams.

  6. I haven't spent any time finding out out about him; it's all right there in his blog if you click the right buttons.

    I think you'll find that within the verbose dismisal of LFTR technology, the vitriol and putdowns were in evidence long before I started to wonder what this 'daryanenergyblog' was that kept showing up in my blog stats. Just an easy bit of payback when you look at some of the worthless opinions arising from the Joycean 'stream of consciousness' meanderings.

    I don't want to enter into a debate with you. I'll keep dreaming my dreams, but for sure - you'll need to keep dreaming yours.

  7. A detailed review of chapter 8 can be found here.


  8. And a rebuttal here!


  9. Has anybody noticed the dialogue between daryan12 and BlueRock in Ryan's blog? I realised something was up when Ryan commented on a news item - and like Mary's little lamb, BlueRock was there when needed. Now, when I see BlueRock rushing to daryan12's defence above, I can only wonder: Does dayan12 have a split personality? Is the one called Tweedledee and the other Tweedledumb?

    Colin Megson, I salute you Sir. Reading just one paragraph of this fool's blogs is like reading the writings of a medieval alchemist. He doesn't have a clue about science, let alone nuclear science. He admits as much - and then gaily continues to pontificate with the authority of God himself. I think he should go play in the traffic. With razor blades. And sulphuric acid. Just think, the world will be rid of two pests with the deprture of the one!

  10. There's no point trying to debate with anti-nuclear zealots like Dylan. It's a waste of time.

    I take comfort in the fact that no matter what drivel oozes out of their orifices, development is continuing on this safe, clean nuclear energy solution.

    Public sentiment continues to turn toward nuclear power, because the average person is coming to realize 100% 'renewables' (i.e., wind and solar) power is a dangerous myth.

    Once we have a commercial MSR or LFTR design, blogs like Dylan's will be shown to be the hysterical rants that they are.