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Author Topic: How does a Thorium reactor work?  (Read 8101 times)
BombaUcigasa
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June 24, 2011, 02:19:39 PM
 #21

so thorium reactors are open source and we can all run them on our home machines?  Awesome!

soon pinky. soon...
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June 26, 2011, 01:49:25 AM
 #22

I have a degree in Nuclear Technology and I could explain the process in great detail, but really, this is stupid. Google the answer. You're just being lazy.


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June 26, 2011, 02:19:58 AM
 #23

I can't wait to get my own nuke powered mobile

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June 26, 2011, 03:49:52 AM
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I have a degree in Nuclear Technology and I could explain the process in great detail, but really, this is stupid. Google the answer. You're just being lazy.


No, actually I'm missing some details but thanks for the effort.

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June 26, 2011, 04:45:18 AM
 #25

I have a degree in Nuclear Technology and I could explain the process in great detail, but really, this is stupid. Google the answer. You're just being lazy.


No, actually I'm missing some details but thanks for the effort.

Most thorium reactor designs aren't much different from conventional designs where the reactor is essentially a giant boiler that runs a steam turbine. The primary fuel is still Uranium (or in rare cases plutonium) and the Thorium merely increases the efficiency of the fuel burn.

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BombaUcigasa
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June 26, 2011, 08:26:28 AM
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No, actually I'm missing some details but thanks for the effort.
Which ones exactly?
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June 26, 2011, 07:56:21 PM
 #27

I have a degree in Nuclear Technology and I could explain the process in great detail, but really, this is stupid. Google the answer. You're just being lazy.


No, actually I'm missing some details but thanks for the effort.

Most thorium reactor designs aren't much different from conventional designs where the reactor is essentially a giant boiler that runs a steam turbine. The primary fuel is still Uranium (or in rare cases plutonium) and the Thorium merely increases the efficiency of the fuel burn.

Those are all retrofit designs.  There are designs intended to use the thorium fuel cycle as the primary fuel, after the initial breeding cycle of course.  India has been studying teh feasibility of transitioning to the thorium fuel cycle for a number of years.  I don't know if they concluded that their existing reactors could be retrofitted to a complete thorium cycle or not, but even if only new reactors were completely thorium fuel, the mixed fuel setup would still allow India to detach itself from the international atomic fuel industries to a large extent for decades.

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July 11, 2011, 06:49:26 AM
 #28

Little Mouse...I'm sincerely not trying to pick on you kid, and my presence in the forums is erratic at best, but I would point your attention to the promises of Tokamak style fusion generators over the last 60 years.  Success was guaranteed in no more than another 15 years.  Repeatedly.  They still get funded for this obviously shit science.  Results talk, liars and thieves....well, apparently they get to talk for a really long time.  I have the same basic response to climate models of all kinds, and modern economists who never, ever, ever get it right on a 10 year scale.  Unfortunately, if you've only lived for 1 or 2 decades, you lack perspective.  Pebble bed reactors are supposedly the safest.  Sounds good to me.  The math looks good too.  But I have heard this before.  The Bussard / Farnsworth fusion cell has had more success in a much shorter period of time than any government sponsored fusion research.  Pons and Fleischmann may have actually been on to something, but they broke the rules when they published early. Rossi's LENR device might exonerate them.  Nothing is ever simple, and you will always be called out for quoting sources in an authoritative tone when you have not done ANY of the work yourself.
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July 11, 2011, 12:52:19 PM
 #29

I found a small amount of thorium nitrate solution once in a factory that was being torn down. True story.  Tongue

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July 11, 2011, 03:53:58 PM
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Little Mouse...I'm sincerely not trying to pick on you kid, and my presence in the forums is erratic at best, but I would point your attention to the promises of Tokamak style fusion generators over the last 60 years.  Success was guaranteed in no more than another 15 years.  Repeatedly.  They still get funded for this obviously shit science.  Results talk, liars and thieves....well, apparently they get to talk for a really long time.  I have the same basic response to climate models of all kinds, and modern economists who never, ever, ever get it right on a 10 year scale.  Unfortunately, if you've only lived for 1 or 2 decades, you lack perspective.  Pebble bed reactors are supposedly the safest.  Sounds good to me.  The math looks good too.  But I have heard this before.  The Bussard / Farnsworth fusion cell has had more success in a much shorter period of time than any government sponsored fusion research.  Pons and Fleischmann may have actually been on to something, but they broke the rules when they published early. Rossi's LENR device might exonerate them.  Nothing is ever simple, and you will always be called out for quoting sources in an authoritative tone when you have not done ANY of the work yourself.

What are you talking about???   Who said anything about fusion reactors???

Edit:   Sorry didn't mean do discourage you but it seems from all the engineering push that thorium reactors are more immediately deployable while fusion is still the "energy of tomorrow."  we will need conventional Nuke, thorium, wind and solar power over the next 50 years. I am all for continued research in that field I just don't see it paying off in the next 75 years. Fusion is far more technologically interesting in my perspective but we aint thar yet and scalability and deployment will be an issue.
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July 12, 2011, 02:15:39 AM
 #31

I actually had the pleasure of working with some information technology engineers who were working on a super-computer lab that was doing statistical supercomputer testing for thorium fluoride reactor testing... in China.

It's very cool technology.  We'll have to ask China how that works as we roll around in the mud over here in the states with our irrational worship of the false idol of the "free market". 

I'll keep my politics out of your economics if you keep your economics out of my politics.

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July 12, 2011, 02:36:10 AM
 #32

I actually had the pleasure of working with some information technology engineers who were working on a super-computer lab that was doing statistical supercomputer testing for thorium fluoride reactor testing... in China.

It's very cool technology.  We'll have to ask China how that works as we roll around in the mud over here in the states with our irrational worship of the false idol of the "free market". 

Fact of the matter is that either system works better than this hybrid monstrosity they insist upon calling "Capitalism"

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July 12, 2011, 03:24:23 AM
 #33

Central planning doesn't work. The economic calculation problem applies to nuclear energy policy as much as to anywhere else. What is most economically viable absent government intervention is what should be implemented and what would naturally be implemented in a free market. 

I am familiar with many types of reactors and have operated two. I am biased toward the technology I know the most about, as is nearly everybody. Central planning doesn't work so arguing over which central plan is the best is just plain silly.

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July 12, 2011, 03:38:02 PM
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What is most economically viable absent government intervention is what should be implemented and what would naturally be implemented in a free market. 

well, that solves that problem.  time to build more coal plants.
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July 12, 2011, 03:44:41 PM
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What is most economically viable absent government intervention is what should be implemented and what would naturally be implemented in a free market. 

well, that solves that problem.  time to build more coal plants.

Coal plants only have an advantage presently, because in the past they were protected from the external costs by governments, and presently they already have huge sunk capital costs.  In a free market, not a single new coal plant would be built.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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July 12, 2011, 06:02:59 PM
 #36

What is most economically viable absent government intervention is what should be implemented and what would naturally be implemented in a free market. 

well, that solves that problem.  time to build more coal plants.

Apparently you have no reading comprehension. The market determines what should be built. Neither you nor I nor anybody has all the knowledge needed to make such a determination.

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July 12, 2011, 07:24:28 PM
 #37

What is most economically viable absent government intervention is what should be implemented and what would naturally be implemented in a free market. 

well, that solves that problem.  time to build more coal plants.

Apparently you have no reading comprehension. The market determines what should be built. Neither you nor I nor anybody has all the knowledge needed to make such a determination.

My reading comprehension is fine.  Given its cheap and readily available fuel and the ability to disregard external costs, coal will be the choice of the all knowing market in most areas (barring places with reliably large amounts of trivially tappable hydro or maybe solar), probably with natural gas for peaking capacity.
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July 12, 2011, 07:31:46 PM
 #38

My reading comprehension is fine.  Given its cheap and readily available fuel and the ability to disregard external costs, coal will be the choice of the all knowing market in most areas (barring places with reliably large amounts of trivially tappable hydro or maybe solar), probably with natural gas for peaking capacity.

Who told you that lie?

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July 12, 2011, 07:59:24 PM
 #39

What is most economically viable absent government intervention is what should be implemented and what would naturally be implemented in a free market. 

well, that solves that problem.  time to build more coal plants.

Apparently you have no reading comprehension. The market determines what should be built. Neither you nor I nor anybody has all the knowledge needed to make such a determination.

My reading comprehension is fine.  Given its cheap and readily available fuel and the ability to disregard external costs, coal will be the choice of the all knowing market in most areas (barring places with reliably large amounts of trivially tappable hydro or maybe solar), probably with natural gas for peaking capacity.

The market may be all knowing, but you are not. The ability of coal plant operators to disregard external costs may well be REDUCED in a free market. Pollution is trespass and a violation of property rights.  You are actually making an unfounded assumption and then basing your argument on the assumption. 

Markets make things more efficient and that increases efficiency which minimizes the environmental impact. Coal may actually be the best of many options none of which are ideal. I don't know. You seem to be wanting to compare both the free market and coal power to some mythical standard that doesn't exist in reality. Your unwillingness to consider the complexity and unintended consequences of  policy is disappointing.


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July 12, 2011, 09:13:03 PM
 #40

http://www.nnl.co.uk/assets/_files/documents/jan_11/nex__1294397524_Thorium_Fuel_Cycle_-_Position_.pdf
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