I asked Russell Wilcox of Transatomic Power to fill us in a little more about the WAMSR (Waste Annihilating Molten Salt Reactor.)
The history of missed opportunity regarding advances embraced by France has left the US behind in the area of reprocessing. It started back when it was made illegal to recycle used fuel in the US. Many people don’t realize that law was reversed but the stigma attributed to nuclear waste and what to do with it has left a vacuum of unrealized potential.
This proposed new reactor had it’s beginnings at MIT with two of the co-founders of Transatomic Power Mark Massie and Leslie Dewan, both MIT PhD students.
The Massachussets based company is getting attention and advice from a team of experienced Continue reading →
If any of us were picked to join a team to decide on an energy policy what would you do? I’d want a book that was easy to follow, clearly referenced with facts expanded on about the leading energy solutions.
Robert Hargraves does just that. His book takes you through some fundamentals and then shows you the facts in summary fashion. Exactly what we would need to be up to speed when joining discussions about
the pros and cons of various competing forms of energy. But more than that. It is like the textbook that you first go to when you want to get to the bottom of something nuclear or other energy related topic.
Choosing to study molten salt nuclear reactors is a rewarding path of study Continue reading →
I know a lot of people feel disappointment in the lack of vision in our energy policy and how it is the same old political bashing rather than some real vision. It’s time to get daring with a Kennedy attitude that resulted in the moon landings and great strides in space travel development. Nixon did the same thing when he needed a plan he endorsed the liquid-metal fast-breeder reactor (LMFBR) despite failures and meltdowns. Industry got involved with $200M in investment In June 1971. It’s time to get behind a really important energy initiative. The timing is right to make a real change that will not only help us with energy independence but it could very well save the planet from disastrous change affecting the quality of life everywhere.
Unlike self-serving opponents of anything nuclear science never lies. The truth is Continue reading →
Gordon needs to raise funds to pay for the trip to Shanghai. Help him if you can. This is his second fund raiser for the remix. The first was a great success at over $20,000.
Support the making of a film by Gordon McDowell for his CAMPAIGN to help raise additional funds to add Shanghai trip to THORIUM REMIX 2012 (a working title), a documentary to help promote the science behind Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors, Shanghai, potentially could be the only place development will have success unless more films like Gordon’s get out there.
A multi billion dollar industry sits on hold while China dominates the market all because of outdated policies and concerns over what to do with the Thorium which is only mildly radioactive and is not water soluble. We know some companies like FLIBE Energy and others have done extensive research on how to use Thorium but the backward over zealous fear mongers in the government won’t let the industries move forward.
What is a rare earth element REE? There are 17 of them (Scandium, Yttrium, Lanthanum, Cerium, Praseodymium, Neodymium, Promethium, Samarium, Europium, Gadolinium, Terbium, Dysprosium, Holmium, Erbium, Continue reading →
This recent article posted in news website Canada.com and this This is the new video (see below ) posted on youtube by Gordon McDowell
that was part of a Washington D.C. conference “Commercializing Small Modular Reactors for Domestic and International Markets” – July 18.19 2012, are indicators that the timing is good for Canada to become involved in next generation nuclear research and development.
At the panel discussion at the July 19th evening discussion titled “Public‐Private Partnerships to Commercialize SMRs” this video was provided.
The conference (see agenda pdf) had guests covering the flip side of light water reactors (LWRs) and with a focus on small modular reactors (SMRs.) For those less up to speed on nuclear technology SMRs have become a buzz word in the nuclear industry partly because of the need to lower costs of power plants and partly because of the realization of the benefits of using small reactors for smaller power needs such as local industrial usage and smaller communities. The LWR is what we all know as American and their influence is worldwide. They form the majority of reactors in the world although Korea, India and Russia and more recently China have developed HWRs with the influence of Canada. Canada has exclusively heavy water reactors. HWRs which are better at using unenriched Uranium and is a better fit for Thorium as a solid fuel. So the conference was focused on non-LWRs such as the molten salt reactors including LFTR and DMSR and some others including the Energy Multiplier Module and the Gen4 Module.
How free is the regulatory system from political influence? This is the way to judge whether a country will support nuclear. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) just took a thrashing by Harry Reid because of their unwillingness to keep Jaczko as their chairman. This is really sour grapes and all the proof we need to show how the NRC does not make decisions independent of political influence. The fact is that Jaczko was there largely to prevent advancement of nuclear energy and to guaranty that Yucca Mountain stays closed which was a condition Harry Reid made when he conditionally offered to support Obama if Obama appointed Reids choice for NRC chairman.
Rumour has it that Canada’s CNSC is supportive of Molten Salt Reactor. There is good reason for the oils sands developers in Alberta to take a serious look at SMRs and particulalrly the LFTR proposed by FLIBE Energy and the DMSR proposed by David LeBlanc. The heat processing that is available from running such a reactor is cost effective and much less harmful to the environment. With the pressure on Canada to conform to some kind of standard on CO2 emmissions it makes sense to improve the methods of oil extraction.
Mark Halper of Smart Planet has the biggest news on Thorium Molten Salt Reactors in a long time. The rumors are getting bigger and more detailed. We started off with news of the Department of Energy (DOE) collaborating with Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) of China. But the latest news has several Universities and Westinghouse getting into the picture. The MSR party is getting bigger!!! ARTICLE: Mark HalperWestinghouse enters U.S.-China nuclear collaboration
I got back to Toronto late night (Friday June 1st/2012) and know that some TEA (Thorium Energy Alliance) members lingered behind to enjoy Chicago for an extra day or two. It was my first time to a TEA conference and also a first visit to Chicago. Both will have a very positive lasting impression on me.
I was proud to be among the largest turn out to date for a conference, 160 people. I would go so far as to say I hope we return there in the near future. The closeness of the lodging and the conference was a great comfort and to be in the heart of such a great city added a sense of excitement to an already exciting opportunity.
What was most noticeable was the presence of more start up Thorium related companies present and also on the list of guest speakers. Also there was more evidence of activist thinking and doing which was very encouraging. Jim Kennedy had a new and improved presentation along the lines of previously given talks that coordinated with John Kutsch to support a new bill to enable rare earth mining that has been unable to move forward because of outdated laws preventing the transport and refining of Thorium.
Among the regulars like Kirk Sorensen, John Kutsch and Robert Steinhaus I met up with David LeBlanc of Canada, Takashi Kamei of Tokyo and had a chance to ask a question to special visitor and speaker Baroness Bryony Worthington who founded the Weinberg Foundation.
The talks were captured on video by Gordon McDowell but may take a while to edit. But you can now look at all of the powerpoints at http://thoriumenergyalliance.com/
There are 5 or 6 countries that have an approximate 5 year plan for an MSR prototype. They are China, South Africa a joint venture between Australia and Czechoslovakia, maybe France and maybe Japan. And maybe the US. FLIBE Energy in the US is hoping for a deal with the Military which would let them get a prototype faster than waiting for approval and laws to be changed. The UK has interest too and may invest outside their country for their first shot. Information updates cam be found at http://thoriummsr.com or http://energyfromthorium.com and http://thoriumenergyalliance.com which is having their TEAC4 conference in Chicago May 31st and June 1st. The recent steps taken in US engineer John Kutsch is fighting to have a law changed that will allow mining of Thorium. The mining of rare earth metals is monopolized by China. It’s time for a change.
Japan had an interesting concept to power cargo ships with mini Thorium Molten Salt Reactors. They were being called Mini Fujis.
Another milestone is the creation of the Weinberg Foundation in England started with the support of Bryony Worthington.
ThEC12 will be held in Shanghai at the Hope Hotel, Shanghai, China October 29- November 1, 2012.