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Why aren't we building Thorium reactors instead of windmill farms?

Discussion in 'Topical Discussions (In Depth)' started by beastie, Mar 9, 2013.



  1. beastie

    beastie Seeker Seeker

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    I would encourage people to read it only because India is already building one. China is planning to and the US seems to have no interest

    slashdot.org/submission/2536393/due-to-ulterior-motives-the-energy-solution-ignored-since-1942

    and link to the original article is here

    rawcell.com/due-to-ulterior-motives-the-energy-solution-ignored-since-1942/
     
    BUILT TO LAST likes this.
  2. Fanakapan

    Fanakapan Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter

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    :eek: do you really want to see the PowerCo's relegated to bit players in the Market ?? Why thats a positively UnAmerican Idea :mad:
     
  3. phideaux

    phideaux Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    Or more directly, why not replace existing dangerous uranium reactors that have outlived their designed life expectancy with new, state-of-the-art safe, virtually zero-risk thorium reactors.
     
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  4. brosil

    brosil Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    Well, beastie, it's mostly about fear. Fear has been sold to most of the earth for a long time.Fear is an advantage to the existing energy structure. Keep people afraid of nuclear and they have to keep buying coal, oil, and inefficient energy sources.
    I love to look at windmills but their energy payback is poor compared to solar. Solar is nice but the energy required to manufacture is too high. Conventional nuke plants provide plenty of energy for a technological civilization but due to our signing a treaty with a country that doesn't even exist anymore, we don't reprocess our nuclear waste. If we did, we could store the waste in a couple of high school gymnasium sized vaults. Ask the French on that one.
    So why didn't we use thorium reactors more? Well, the breakdown products just won't make bombs. That, buy the way, is why we discarded clean coal technology in 1953. We could have been using MHD coal generators but you can't make bombs with those. The Russkies built three on the Volga and ran them for 40 years but we didn't.
    Don't worry. When the electric companies can't raise your bill to pay for the coal or oil, they'll magically discover the thorium pebble bed reactor and Skittles will come out of their butts.
     
  5. Argentium

    Argentium Midas Member Midas Member

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    Quick answer: the US civilian nuclear industry is a by-product of the MIC and the MIC runs on uranium. Enrichment plants were built to produce U-235 for bombs, enrichment to reactor grades was just a sideline. Today, there is a large surplus of fissile material from Soviet de-milled warheads, that thorium, despite its advantages, that it is a hard sell to compete with reactors designed with uranium in mind. You can partially fuel a PWR with thorium, as that was done at Shippingsport back in the 1970's, but that defeats the safety advantages of pebble-bed systems.
     
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  6. Silver Buck

    Silver Buck Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Thorium is wonderful stuff, and plentiful in the US. The tech has been known for decades. However, like Argentium said, you can't make bombs out of the stuff.
     
  7. gnome

    gnome Gold Chaser Platinum Bling

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    Solar 8 cents per kWh LEVELIZED cost of energy and getting cheaper. Nothing will be able to compete.

    v3solar-lceo.png
     
  8. gnome

    gnome Gold Chaser Platinum Bling

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    Keep in mind china is installing 40gw of solar in 3 years, that dwarfs their nuclear plans.
     
  9. Argentium

    Argentium Midas Member Midas Member

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    Little known fact. Many US rare earth element (REE) deposits are considered undesirable, due to thorium contamination.Thorium is very commonly associated with REE's (especially the very valuable heavy REE's), but due to the issues of radioactive contamination, these deposits are unused, because there is virtually no market for thorium.

    If thorium was used for energy, many of these US REE deposits could be economically exploited.
     
  10. enricopallazzo

    enricopallazzo Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Brilliant summary.
     
  11. Hystckndle

    Hystckndle Daguerreotype Fanatic Site Mgr Site Supporter ++

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    Yo ! Enrico !,
    Don't be a stranger will ya !?
    We invite ya to post more often.:cheerful:
    I am very interested in this subject. Thanks for bumping the thread.:thumbs_up:
    Regards,
    Haystackneedle
     
  12. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok I'd rather be Midas Member

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    I'd like to know why we aren't building thorium powered cars yet.
    Pictured: The Cadillac Thorium Concept car.
    I'd be happy with a thorium powered Jeep Cherokee.

    image.jpg

    R.:rolleyes:
     
  13. Charlie Prime

    Charlie Prime Banned

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    Solar does not compete. It is taxpayer subsidized.
     
  14. Charlie Prime

    Charlie Prime Banned

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    Here is a Google Tech Talk promoting Thorium Reactors.

    Sounds good to me...

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2015
  15. Po'boy

    Po'boy Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter

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    GREED is my best guess.

    Why Tesla treated as a redheaded step child?
     
  16. hoarder

    hoarder Banned

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    Mine is not subsidized and is much cheaper than grid power.
     
  17. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok I'd rather be Midas Member

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    The tax credits and rebates are the taxpayer-paid part.

    The power companies enjoy the benefits too, because most residential solar power systems are grid-tied, and your solar generated power is fed onto the grid and credited to your bill.

    R.
     
  18. Shortstack

    Shortstack Bain of the Authoritarian Follower Gold Chaser

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    The utilities would not say they enjoy benefits at all. They are basically forced to accept the power fed into the Grid (net metering), and many are sometimes forced to purchase carbon offsets called SREC's. These offsets are granted by state agency's to alternative power generators, usually one SREC granted for each 1,000 hours of generation. The NJ SRECs trade for 170 each with MA at more like $320 per. Vermont makes the utility pay as high as 26 cents per kWh. CA is even higher I hear.
     
  19. Oldmansmith

    Oldmansmith Midas Member Midas Member

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    True dat, but the "benefit" they enjoy is that everyone is still sucked into the Grid. A truly flexible and strong system would have everyone NOT tied into the Grid. However, that is the last thing they want, as off-the Grid people are harder to control, and so the tax credits DO NOT APPLY if you are off the Grid.
     
  20. hoarder

    hoarder Banned

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    There is a Federal tax credit against federal income tax and many states have solar tax credits against state income taxes, each having their own rules. Do you know for a fact that the Federal solar tax credit applies to grid intertie only?
     
  21. gringott

    gringott Killed then Resurrected Midas Member Site Supporter

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    They do here. Also to get the state credit you have to use a "licensed installer" of which there are very, very few. The fees to install = more or less the credit.

    In my state, it is a wash.

    ROI is too long right now for me to do it.

    However, if I was building a new home and was at least 20 years younger, I would go all out solar and geothermal HVAC.
     
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  22. hoarder

    hoarder Banned

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    If I used a licenced installer it would cost 3 or 4 times as much.

    In my case on my current resisdence, ROI was immediate and I actually showed a "profit" of several hundred percent the day it was completed. Bringing grid power to my location would have cost several times as much as the entire system cost me.

    Like everything else in building, planning is key. The cost-effectiveness of converting a grid tie built home to solar is unimpressive since you already paid for a lot of stuff you don't need and probably oriented the roof in a position incompatible with PV roof mounting.
     
  23. woodman

    woodman Seeker

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    Hoarder, is there an optimum slope for roofs to mount pv panels? I ask because I am getting ready to order my pole building and I'll want to mount the pv panels in the easiest manner. I have not had time to research anything yet but I want to be ready. I believe attic trusses are 12\12.
     
  24. hoarder

    hoarder Banned

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    Optimum slope depends on location. Here it's steeper than 12/12 but my roof is 10/12 and they work fine. Since panels have gone down in price, optimum mounting and trackers have become somewhat moot.
    If you build a pole building, just position the ridge line true east-west and you are OK. Even if you are as much as 14 degrees off the difference will hardly be noticeable. I build my panel brackets out of 1 1/4" x 1/8" angle iron (I weld) and get 1/4" thick rubber washers off ebay to attach them to the roof. I paint the brackets green to match the metal roof.
     
  25. Oldmansmith

    Oldmansmith Midas Member Midas Member

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    Not from personal experience. However, a guy down the road went all-out with the solar on his new house, and he told me that he had wanted to be off the grid completely but tied into the grid since that was they only way he could get tax credits.

    With the King's gold comes the King's rules.
     
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  26. GOLDBRIX

    GOLDBRIX God,Donald Trump,most in GIM2 I Trust. OTHERS-meh Site Supporter Platinum Bling

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  27. ErrosionOfAccord

    ErrosionOfAccord #1 Global Warmer Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    Author doesn't know the difference between then and than. Don't really know anything about the source.





    India’s nuclear scientists expect to complete an experimental fast breeder nuclear reactor in Kalpakkam by the end of 2017.

    The Kalpakkam reactor will generate 500 megawatts of electricity by using the element thorium instead of uranium, which is rare in India. The only other commercial fast breeder nuclear reactor in history is located in Russia, but this uses uranium instead of thorium. Fast breeder reactors would revolutionize nuclear power because they’re capable of generating more nuclear fuel then they consume while generating less nuclear waste.

    “[F]ast reactors can help extract up to 70 percent more energy than traditional reactors and are safer than traditional reactors while reducing long lived radioactive waste by several fold,” Yukiya Amano, Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told the Times of India.

    China is pursuing a similar program, but experts suspect that its technology is more than a decade behind India’s. Japan and France also attempted to build their own fast breeder reactors, but failed due to unexpected technical issues.

    India has a rapidly growing nuclear power program and the country plans to get 25 percent of its electricity from nuclear reactors by 2050.

    America currently gets 20 percent of its power from nuclear energy, but this could fall to less than 10 percent of its electricity from by 2050 due to exceptionally slow construction rates, according to the IAEA.

    Getting regulatory approval from the federal U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to build a conventional reactor can take up to 25 years, while building a new plant by itself only takes about 10 of those years.

    The NRC requires so much paperwork from the nuclear power providers that the average plant requires 86 full-time employees just to go through it all.

    NuScale Power spent $500 million and 2 million labor hours over eight years to ask the federal government for permission to build an advanced nuclear reactor. The energy company had to file a 12,000-page application to build an advanced nuclear reactor.

    NuScale had to pay NRC officials $258 per hour to review the lengthy application.



    Read more: http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/i...vanced-thorium-nuclear-reactor/#ixzz4mXTu9PFv
    Follow us: @TheLibRepublic on Twitter

    http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/i...orlds-first-advanced-thorium-nuclear-reactor/
     

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