10 September 2011

Read All About It: Media Alive with Launch of Weinberg Foundation.

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Thorium advocates launch pressure group

Huge optimism for thorium nuclear energy at the launch of the Weinberg Foundation

Here are a couple of mine: 


10 September 2011 9:29AM
Here's a bit of hyperbole - if the rare earth mines ever stop paying us to take away their 'waste' thorium ore, and we ever run out of ideas of where to get the stuff for next to nothing, we can 'mine' the fly-ash tips from our coal-fired power stations. If you crunch the numbers, at an average of 17 ppm, the energy we could get from the extracted thorium would be 50x greater than that from the original coal. There's enough thorium in our fly-ash tips to provide all of the UK's electrical energy for the next 50 odd years.

Vote for UK manufacture of LFTRs on 38Degrees, the Campaigning Website. If we get enough votes, we can maybe force the Government to put some money into LFTR R & D. We're at about 60th now!!


10 September 2011 12:26PM
If LFTR technology achieves widespread adoption, Alvin Weinberg, the Father of LFTRs, will become the most influential person, in the whole of recorded history, to enhance humankind's progress. Weinberg referred to a Molten Salt Breeder Reactors, or LFTR, as "The Breeder"; no words express the potential of LFTRs more eloquently than his, when he wrote in his essay "Energy as an Ultimate Raw Material, or Burning the Rocks and Burning the Sea": .....I spoke of "Burning the Rocks": the breeder, no less than controlled fusion, is an inexhaustible energy system. Up till then we had thought that breeders, burning 50% instead of 2% of the uranium, extended the energy derivable from fission "only" 25-fold. But, because the breeder uses its raw material so efficiently, one can afford to utilize much more expensive-that is,dilute-ores, and these are practically inexhaustible. The breeder indeed will allow humankind to "Burn the Rocks" to achieve inexhaustible energy!
Until then I had never quite appreciated the full significance of the breeder. But now I became obsessed with the idea that humankind's whole future depended on the breeder. For society generally to achieve and maintain a living standard of today's developed countries depends on the availability of a relatively cheap, inexhaustible source of energy .....

Continuing in this essay, he doesn't reveal a conspiracy theory - he thinks the human natures of the responsible parties simply keep them on a track to which they are already committed. He wrote: ..... Why didn't the molten-salt system, so elegant and so well thought-out, prevail? I've already given the political reason: that the fast breeder arrived first and was therefore able to consolidate its political position within the AEC. But there was another, more technical reason. The molten-salt technology is entirely different from the technology of any other reactor. To the inexperienced, molten-salt technology is daunting. This certainly seemed to be Milton Shaw's attitude toward molten salts-and he after all was director of reactor development at the AEC during the molten-salt development. Perhaps the moral to be drawn is that a technology that differs too much from an existing technology has not one hurdle to overcome-to demonstrate its feasibility-but another even greater one-to convince influential individuals and organizations who are intellectually and emotionally attached to a different technology that they should adopt the new path. This, the molten-salt system could not do. It was a successful technology that was dropped because it was too different from the main lines of reactor development. But if weaknesses in other systems are eventually revealed, I hope that in a second nuclear era, the molten-salt technology will be resurrected .....

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