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Thorium power (Read 11248 times)
Bobby.
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Re: Thorium power
Reply #120 - May 3rd, 2019 at 7:10am
 
BigP wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:02am:
Bobby. wrote on May 2nd, 2019 at 6:49pm:
Thanks JuLiar - the future looks bright for the world.
Cheap, safe, unlimited power will answer nearly all our problems.



And then you awoke from your dream lol



Listen Buddy - it's true - I heard one estimate
that the cost would be below 3 cents per kilowatt hour
for Thorium power.
What do we pay now?
30 cents?
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Re: Thorium power
Reply #121 - May 3rd, 2019 at 7:11am
 
BigP wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:03am:
juliar wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 6:42am:
Nuclear power is carbon neutral, right? And Thorium reactors are safer and cleaner (produce less dangerous waste, as I understand.) So, what are we waiting for?
Mikel Syn, Mechanical Engineer by degree.

Because the facts of the case are so muddled that both advocates and opponents are equally confused about what is correct.

Let’s get the two points you misunderstood out of the way.

Nuclear power is not carbon neutral. No product of any process performed by any human has been carbon neutral since the advent of civilisation. Nuclear power plants consist of large amounts of cement and steel, and producing either produces lots of CO2. At the same time, mining is carbon intensive, and so is the enriching of uranium to produce nuclear fuel.

However (I bold and italic this because some nutcase is bound to get triggered by the last paragraph, or quote mine me), nuclear power plants also produce a humongous amount of energy, as a result of it having high capacity, capacity factor, as well as extremely long lifespan.

If you take both factors into consideration, the sheer amount of electricity wins out and you end up with approximately 12gCO2/kWh.

This is roughly comparable with wind, and a factor of 2 lower than the next lowest emitter. For the purposes of p̶o̶l̶i̶t̶i̶c̶s̶ ease of understanding, we classify all power generation sources that do not produce CO2 during operation as zero emission sources.

A corollary to the above paragraph is this. We are far beyond the point where we can be slightly carbon positive. We need to be carbon neutral right now, or we will have to start being intensely carbon negative in the near future. We will need to start using low carbon sources to directly capture and store CO2 that has already been released into the air.

Thorium reactors are not safer and cleaner than Uranium reactors. The unfortunate blessing from Kirk Sorensen’s famous LFTR presentation is that the nuclear reactor design, the Molten Salt Reactor, is now a favourite of the new age nuclear advocate, but has been conflated with the fuel, Thorium.

Every advantage that has been touted for the LFTR actually comes from the MSR design, and not the Thorium Fuel. It is entirely possible to manufacture fuel rods that contain a mix of high assay LEU or reactor grade plutonium and Thorium that fits right in our current LWRs with minor design modifications.

These reactors will be no safer than they were before. Shippingport Atomic Power Station was precisely that: a modified LWR that ran on thorium. On the other hand, Terrestrial Energy’s iMSR, Moltex Energy’s SSR, and TerraPower’s MCFR, among others are MSRs that run on Uranium, all as safe, if not safer than the LFTR design by Kirk Sorensen.

Now to answer your question: What are we waiting for? We aren’t. The previously mentioned companies, plus other MSR companies that run thorium like Thorcon Power are already seeking licensing in their respective countries to build their first demonstration reactors.

The processes have already been kicked off, with 50 other companies right on their heels. This is happening right now, with or without our help, whether or not green movements like it.



"""Nuclear power is carbon neutral, right? And Thorium reactors are safer and cleaner (produce less dangerous waste, as I understand.) So, what are we waiting for?""


No such thing as a free lunch Julie



Listen to JuLiar,
he/she is posting some very good articles.
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BigP
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Re: Thorium power
Reply #122 - May 3rd, 2019 at 7:21am
 
Bobby. wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:11am:
BigP wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:03am:
juliar wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 6:42am:
Nuclear power is carbon neutral, right? And Thorium reactors are safer and cleaner (produce less dangerous waste, as I understand.) So, what are we waiting for?
Mikel Syn, Mechanical Engineer by degree.

Because the facts of the case are so muddled that both advocates and opponents are equally confused about what is correct.

Let’s get the two points you misunderstood out of the way.

Nuclear power is not carbon neutral. No product of any process performed by any human has been carbon neutral since the advent of civilisation. Nuclear power plants consist of large amounts of cement and steel, and producing either produces lots of CO2. At the same time, mining is carbon intensive, and so is the enriching of uranium to produce nuclear fuel.

However (I bold and italic this because some nutcase is bound to get triggered by the last paragraph, or quote mine me), nuclear power plants also produce a humongous amount of energy, as a result of it having high capacity, capacity factor, as well as extremely long lifespan.

If you take both factors into consideration, the sheer amount of electricity wins out and you end up with approximately 12gCO2/kWh.

This is roughly comparable with wind, and a factor of 2 lower than the next lowest emitter. For the purposes of p̶o̶l̶i̶t̶i̶c̶s̶ ease of understanding, we classify all power generation sources that do not produce CO2 during operation as zero emission sources.

A corollary to the above paragraph is this. We are far beyond the point where we can be slightly carbon positive. We need to be carbon neutral right now, or we will have to start being intensely carbon negative in the near future. We will need to start using low carbon sources to directly capture and store CO2 that has already been released into the air.

Thorium reactors are not safer and cleaner than Uranium reactors. The unfortunate blessing from Kirk Sorensen’s famous LFTR presentation is that the nuclear reactor design, the Molten Salt Reactor, is now a favourite of the new age nuclear advocate, but has been conflated with the fuel, Thorium.

Every advantage that has been touted for the LFTR actually comes from the MSR design, and not the Thorium Fuel. It is entirely possible to manufacture fuel rods that contain a mix of high assay LEU or reactor grade plutonium and Thorium that fits right in our current LWRs with minor design modifications.

These reactors will be no safer than they were before. Shippingport Atomic Power Station was precisely that: a modified LWR that ran on thorium. On the other hand, Terrestrial Energy’s iMSR, Moltex Energy’s SSR, and TerraPower’s MCFR, among others are MSRs that run on Uranium, all as safe, if not safer than the LFTR design by Kirk Sorensen.

Now to answer your question: What are we waiting for? We aren’t. The previously mentioned companies, plus other MSR companies that run thorium like Thorcon Power are already seeking licensing in their respective countries to build their first demonstration reactors.

The processes have already been kicked off, with 50 other companies right on their heels. This is happening right now, with or without our help, whether or not green movements like it.



"""Nuclear power is carbon neutral, right? And Thorium reactors are safer and cleaner (produce less dangerous waste, as I understand.) So, what are we waiting for?""


No such thing as a free lunch Julie



Listen to JuLiar,
he/she is posting some very good articles.



He she is, but that doesnt change the fact that thorium may not be the silver bullet you are looking for bob, As i have posted it has some serious challenges, You can only hope that the science community give it a fair hearing
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Re: Thorium power
Reply #123 - May 3rd, 2019 at 7:24am
 
Bobby. wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:10am:
BigP wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:02am:
Bobby. wrote on May 2nd, 2019 at 6:49pm:
Thanks JuLiar - the future looks bright for the world.
Cheap, safe, unlimited power will answer nearly all our problems.



And then you awoke from your dream lol



Listen Buddy - it's true - I heard one estimate
that the cost would be below 3 cents per kilowatt hour
for Thorium power.
What do we pay now?
30 cents?

Bobby even if it was 3 cents, the government would give it to big business, they would spin it as clean energy and we will pay 40 cents for the privilege…. Wink
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Bobby.
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Re: Thorium power
Reply #124 - May 3rd, 2019 at 7:27am
 
BigP wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:21am:
He she is, but that doesnt change the fact that thorium may not be the silver bullet you are looking for bob, As i have posted it has some serious challenges, You can only hope that the science community give it a fair hearing



But it is the silver bullet.
It's not a dream - it's not pie in sky -
there was already a working reactor in 1967.
have a good look through this thread.

The science is real - it works.
Thorium is dirt cheap and is everywhere.
there is also plenty of nuclear waste out there
that can be used to provide the neutrons to fire up the Thorium.
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Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
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Bobby.
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Re: Thorium power
Reply #125 - May 3rd, 2019 at 7:27am
 
DonDeeHippy wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:24am:
Bobby. wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:10am:
BigP wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:02am:
Bobby. wrote on May 2nd, 2019 at 6:49pm:
Thanks JuLiar - the future looks bright for the world.
Cheap, safe, unlimited power will answer nearly all our problems.



And then you awoke from your dream lol



Listen Buddy - it's true - I heard one estimate
that the cost would be below 3 cents per kilowatt hour
for Thorium power.
What do we pay now?
30 cents?

Bobby even if it was 3 cents, the government would give it to big business, they would spin it as clean energy and we will pay 40 cents for the privilege…. Wink



No they wouldn't -
the largest charge on you bill by far
would be to maintain the power lines.
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Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
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BigP
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Re: Thorium power
Reply #126 - May 3rd, 2019 at 7:40am
 
Bobby. wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:27am:
BigP wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:21am:
He she is, but that doesnt change the fact that thorium may not be the silver bullet you are looking for bob, As i have posted it has some serious challenges, You can only hope that the science community give it a fair hearing



But it is the silver bullet.
It's not a dream - it's not pie in sky -
there was already a working reactor in 1967.
have a good look through this thread.

The science is real - it works.
Thorium is dirt cheap and is everywhere.
there is also plenty of nuclear waste out there
that can be used to provide the neutrons to fire up the Thorium.



If it was that simple Bob third world countries would be adopting it ,
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DonDeeHippy
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Re: Thorium power
Reply #127 - May 3rd, 2019 at 7:41am
 
BigP wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:40am:
Bobby. wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:27am:
BigP wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:21am:
He she is, but that doesnt change the fact that thorium may not be the silver bullet you are looking for bob, As i have posted it has some serious challenges, You can only hope that the science community give it a fair hearing



But it is the silver bullet.
It's not a dream - it's not pie in sky -
there was already a working reactor in 1967.
have a good look through this thread.

The science is real - it works.
Thorium is dirt cheap and is everywhere.
there is also plenty of nuclear waste out there
that can be used to provide the neutrons to fire up the Thorium.



If it was that simple Bob third world countries would be adopting it ,

Or indeed any country...... Wink
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Bobby.
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Re: Thorium power
Reply #128 - May 3rd, 2019 at 8:32am
 
DonDeeHippy wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:41am:
BigP wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:40am:
Bobby. wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:27am:
BigP wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:21am:
He she is, but that doesnt change the fact that thorium may not be the silver bullet you are looking for bob, As i have posted it has some serious challenges, You can only hope that the science community give it a fair hearing



But it is the silver bullet.
It's not a dream - it's not pie in sky -
there was already a working reactor in 1967.
have a good look through this thread.

The science is real - it works.
Thorium is dirt cheap and is everywhere.
there is also plenty of nuclear waste out there
that can be used to provide the neutrons to fire up the Thorium.



If it was that simple Bob third world countries would be adopting it ,

Or indeed any country...... Wink


India and China are working day and night on it.
The first working reactor was only 1 megawatts.
They need to scale it up to at least 1 gigawatts.
They'll succeed whereas the Yanks are
stuck with 70 year old uranium technology
and are hampered by nuclear regulations.


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Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Carl Sagan
 
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BigP
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Re: Thorium power
Reply #129 - May 3rd, 2019 at 8:43am
 
Bobby. wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 8:32am:
DonDeeHippy wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:41am:
BigP wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:40am:
Bobby. wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:27am:
BigP wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:21am:
He she is, but that doesnt change the fact that thorium may not be the silver bullet you are looking for bob, As i have posted it has some serious challenges, You can only hope that the science community give it a fair hearing



But it is the silver bullet.
It's not a dream - it's not pie in sky -
there was already a working reactor in 1967.
have a good look through this thread.

The science is real - it works.
Thorium is dirt cheap and is everywhere.
there is also plenty of nuclear waste out there
that can be used to provide the neutrons to fire up the Thorium.



If it was that simple Bob third world countries would be adopting it ,

Or indeed any country...... Wink


India and China are working day and night on it.
The first working reactor was only 1 megawatts.
They need to scale it up to at least 1 gigawatts.
They'll succeed whereas the Yanks are
stuck with 70 year old uranium technology
and are hampered by nuclear regulations.




I  thought one of the vids I watched said they dont scale up very well ?
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Bobby.
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Re: Thorium power
Reply #130 - May 3rd, 2019 at 8:54am
 
BigP wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 8:43am:
Bobby. wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 8:32am:
DonDeeHippy wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:41am:
BigP wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:40am:
Bobby. wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:27am:
BigP wrote on May 3rd, 2019 at 7:21am:
He she is, but that doesnt change the fact that thorium may not be the silver bullet you are looking for bob, As i have posted it has some serious challenges, You can only hope that the science community give it a fair hearing



But it is the silver bullet.
It's not a dream - it's not pie in sky -
there was already a working reactor in 1967.
have a good look through this thread.

The science is real - it works.
Thorium is dirt cheap and is everywhere.
there is also plenty of nuclear waste out there
that can be used to provide the neutrons to fire up the Thorium.



If it was that simple Bob third world countries would be adopting it ,

Or indeed any country...... Wink


India and China are working day and night on it.
The first working reactor was only 1 megawatts.
They need to scale it up to at least 1 gigawatts.
They'll succeed whereas the Yanks are
stuck with 70 year old uranium technology
and are hampered by nuclear regulations.




I  thought one of the vids I watched said they dont scale up very well ?



There are going to be problems to
make something 1000 times larger.
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juliar
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Re: Thorium power
Reply #131 - May 3rd, 2019 at 9:00am
 
It is good to hear from both for and against to develop a genuine practical understanding of the thorium idea.

India and Holland are having go but progress is slow as there are so many technical problems to solve such as the molten salt is extremely corrosive.




What are the cons of thorium nuclear energy?
Answered Oct 16, 2012

Thorium molten salt reactors are extremely dangerous.

It's almost a joke among my nuclear engineer friends that this design has gotten so many advocates, and that people seem so to have hypnotized themselves to overlook the very obvious dangers.

An amazing example of how a few guys with good web argument skills can create a "movement".

Unlike solid fuel reactors, every molten salt reactor has built into it a system for separating weapons-grade material.  In a Thorium MSR, there is any any given time, enough U-233 already separated (decaying from Protactinium to U-233 in a special chamber) to build 2 nuclear weapons. 

The technical skills required to divert this 2 weapon's-worth of bomb-grade materials out of the reactor, and into a lead-lined truck for transport are completely trivial.  Once trucked away, you just let this mix sit for a couple years so it fully decays into U-233, do a little chemical separation, and voila, you have pure weapons-grade material.

Ok, let's make it even simpler.  The reactor has an accident.  Radiation spreads.  You have to shut it down.  2 years later, you have 2 bombs worth of purified U-233 sitting in a tank and piping of the reactor.  How exactly do you propose to protect this material?  How do you retrieve it?  What if the pipes break and the U-233 pools into a single mass?  Oh boy. 

Thorium advocates like to state that U-233 "can't be used to build weapons" which is utter nonsense.  There are published longstanding articles on the Internet that describe exactly how U-233 could (and would) be used to build terrorist bombs.  I won't describe the process here for obvious reasons.   

The only reason the big nations didn't historically use U-233 to build bombs was that it can't be stored for any period of time.  It's useless for nuclear arsenals, but perfectly good for terrorists.  U-233 is as powerful as Plutonium -- which is to say, very very powerful indeed.

Every single Thorium reactor is a weapons-grade material factory.  And we're going to build thousands of them across the world?  Huh?  You've gotta to be kidding me.

If you are one of the people who have invested in one of these Thorium reactor companies...well, sorry.   Trust me when I say, they will never *ever* be built, because every nuclear watchdog agency, joined by every qualified nuclear engineer in the world, would instantly shut down any such project.  End of discussion.


Meanwhile, there will be a lot of talk.  But none of it will materialize into anything except some cash for the promoters.

((Now, we'll see if my comment here survives.  Several other engineers have reported that their critique of Thorium reactors has been removed after the thorium fans voted them down or used the "offensive" buttons on the comments page.  Amazing how the internet can be manipulated to spread untruths.))
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Bobby.
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Re: Thorium power
Reply #132 - May 11th, 2019 at 6:40pm
 
Quote:
Unlike solid fuel reactors, every molten salt reactor has built into it a system for separating weapons-grade material.  In a Thorium MSR, there is any any given time, enough U-233 already separated (decaying from Protactinium to U-233 in a special chamber) to build 2 nuclear weapons.


That's not true.
The U233 is dissolved into a large amount of fluoride salt.
It's only a state actor that would have the technical &
financial and industrial resources to separate it out.
I believe the Indian Govt. did it once.

Uranium reactors are far more dangerous -
they work at 70 atmospheres of pressure
& can melt down.
They create mountains of nuclear waste including plutonium -
perhaps the most poisonous substance known.
Thorium doesn't have those problems.
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Re: Thorium power
Reply #133 - May 21st, 2019 at 6:45pm
 
A broad discussion of the practical aspects of thorium.




Thorium
(Updated February 2017)

Thorium is more abundant in nature than uranium.
It is fertile rather than fissile, and can only be used as a fuel in conjunction with a fissile material such as recycled plutonium.
Thorium fuels can breed fissile uranium-233 to be used in various kinds of nuclear reactors.
Molten salt reactors are well suited to thorium fuel, as normal fuel fabrication is avoided.


The use of thorium as a new primary energy source has been a tantalizing prospect for many years. Extracting its latent energy value in a cost-effective manner remains a challenge, and will require considerable R&D investment.

This is occurring preeminently in China, with modest US support.

Nature and sources of thorium
Thorium is a naturally-occurring, slightly radioactive metal discovered in 1828 by the Swedish chemist Jons Jakob Berzelius, who named it after Thor, the Norse god of thunder.

It is found in small amounts in most rocks and soils, where it is about three times more abundant than uranium. Soil contains an average of around 6 parts per million (ppm) of thorium.

Thorium is very insoluble, which is why it is plentiful in sands but not in seawater, in contrast to uranium.Thorium exists in nature in a single isotopic form – Th-232 – which decays very slowly (its half-life is about three times the age of the Earth). The decay chains of natural thorium and uranium give rise to minute traces of Th-228, Th-230 and Th-234, but the presence of these in mass terms is negligible.

It decays eventually to lead-208.When pure, thorium is a silvery white metal that retains its lustre for several months. However, when it is contaminated with the oxide, thorium slowly tarnishes in air, becoming grey and eventually black. When heated in air, thorium metal ignites and burns brilliantly with a white light.

Thorium oxide (ThO2), also called thoria, has one of the highest melting points of all oxides (3300°C) and so it has found applications in light bulb elements, lantern mantles, arc-light lamps, welding electrodes and heat-resistant ceramics. Glass containing thorium oxide has both a high refractive index and wavelength dispersion, and is used in high quality lenses for cameras and scientific instruments.

Thorium oxide (ThO2) is relatively inert and does not oxidise further, unlike UO2. It has higher thermal conductivity and lower thermal expansion than UO2, as well as a much higher melting point. In nuclear fuel, fission gas release is much lower than in UO2.

The most common source of thorium is the rare earth phosphate mineral, monazite, which contains up to about 12% thorium phosphate, but 6-7% on average. Monazite is found in igneous and other rocks but the richest concentrations are in placer deposits, concentrated by wave and current action with other heavy minerals. World monazite resources are estimated to be about 16 million tonnes,

12 Mt of which are in heavy mineral sands deposits on the south and east coasts of India. There are substantial deposits in several other countries (see Table below).

Thorium recovery from monazite usually involves leaching with sodium hydroxide at 140°C followed by a complex process to precipitate pure ThO2.

Thorite (ThSiO4) is another common thorium mineral.

A large vein deposit of thorium and rare earth metals is in Idaho.The IAEA-NEA publication Uranium 2014: Resources, Production and Demand (often referred to as the Red Book) gives a figure of 6.2 million tonnes of total known and estimated resources.

Data for reasonably assured and inferred resources recoverable at a cost of $80/kg Th or less are given in the table below, excluding some less-certain Asian figures. Some of the figures are based on assumptions and surrogate data for mineral sands (monazite x assumed Th content), not direct geological data in the same way as most mineral resources.

Read the rest here

http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/t...
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Bobby.
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Re: Thorium power
Reply #134 - May 21st, 2019 at 8:17pm
 
Thanks Juliar.
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