Nuclear Paradigm Shift
Wind and Other Energy Alternatives
The Obama team needs a primer on Nuclear Physics. And so do most people who care about the future and want to do something about the damage being done to our planet. The four generations of Nuclear Energy development and the latest rediscovered fertile to fissionable Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) design which for lack of a better word I’ll refer to as THOR. I really mean Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR). But that’s a mouthful and the catalyst is Thorium so lets call it THOR coming from the name for the God of lightning.

Since it is 60 years old in concept it’s hard to think of it as fourth generation reactor design [/membership]but it is being classified as such along side of the souped up Light Water Reactors (LWR) and upgrades of the traditional reactor designs that produce so much more dangerous nuclear waste.

The nuclear industry keeps boasting about it’s safety record since Chernobyl and relatively harmless Three Mile Island incident. What is conveniently unspoken is that they still need to store significant amounts of radioactive fuel. So what else is new? Actually THOR or LFTR is what’s new to most of us and very different from the traditional view of nuclear reactors.
It’s the alchemists dream, turning iron into gold, living forever, an abundant energy source a dream at least in terms of nuclear energy.

Nuclear Physics 101
(without gluons, quarks, leptons, fermions, hadrons, bosons and antineutrinos.)

The only naturally occurring source of nuclear fuel is Uranium. Thorium is not a fuel, technically, but later I’ll explain the Thorium Cycle which produces fuel. We’ll come back to this. Uranium is found in trace amounts and needs processing to be as pure as possible. The ability to create man made Isotopes of radioactive elements is partly what is keeping the nuclear industry alive. And although very expensive to build Nuclear Reactors are still the most efficient electricity producers ever.

Nuclear energy is not new it’s just new to humans. They started to understand it about 100 years ago. But nuclear energy was around when the first stars were born and the big bang occurred. In fact, have you ever wondered how the center of the earth stays hot and keeps molten lava flowing. It is the presence of thorium and uranium changing from one state to another perpetually releasing energy and heat that causes the melting rock.

Let’s look at it’s chemistry. Transuranic elements are the elements that are heavier than Uranium (element 93) and more unstable than the lighter elements and no longer exist naturally. Over the earths history they all decayed or converted to

One comment

  • September 12, 2015 - 8:03 pm | Permalink

    THANK YOU!!!! Finally an interest with an ability to communicate the message! All the best…

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  • Quick Facts: [Thorium Element 90 in periodic table] [Burns up fuel much more efficiently than traditional reactors] [leaves barely any waste behind] [3 x more abundant than uranium] [MSRs run at high temp in liquid molten mixture of fluoride - heat useful for purifying water] [looks like blue water] [no pressure needed] [much safer because of passive safety] [Less expensive to build because it is smaller and easier to build with no pressurized containment needed] [can run without water therefore good for dry and remote locations][molten salt is very stable]

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