OT: Wow, a sensible nuke article in the UK press

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/9784044/China-blazes-trail-for-clean-nuclear-power-from-thorium.html
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On 08/01/2013 21:48, John Rumm wrote:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/9784044/China-blazes-trail-for-clean-nuclear-power-from-thorium.html
Not totally convinced, TBH. The thorium enthusiasts tend to forget just how much has been invested, not just in R&D, but in real engineering development on uranium and plutonium systems. It's not really relevent that the uranium cycle was initially driven by the desire to get a fast route to weapons grade plutonium. If proliferation is such a big issue, you can engineer your cycle away from it. And in fact mixed oxide strategies are a very good way of burning plutonium.
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On 08/01/13 22:18, newshound wrote:

Agreed, but its all really a cost issue: Uranium processing and breeder reactors are expensive. If thorium and old U238 can be used instead it leverages depleted uranium stocks and leaves less waste. Sure plutonium is fuel but the uranium chain leaves a few long lived and fairly unpleasant things that need long term storage. In the end its the overall cost that matters: Thorium may - not will - may in the end be cost effective.
Unlike wind turbines which were mature technology 200 years ago, there's a whole field of research to do in nuclear power.
I just wish someone would put a small amount of cash up to do some of it.
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Ineptocracy

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I have always thought Fusion power would only arrive after an internationally funded research project.
Maybe I should lower the sights and go for Thorium?
I have a few quid not earning much interest and it has to be better than covering the roof with PV arrays.

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Tim Lamb

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On 09/01/13 00:20, Tim Lamb wrote:

hell i'd even be happy to have a Hitachi uranium in a kettle reactor than bloody windmills and solar panels.

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Ineptocracy

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On 09.01.2013 01:42, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

We need small d-i-y thorium reactors in our basement. UK can be proud of Wade Allison: http://www.radiationandreason.com / > His account challenges the traditional view that nuclear radiation is > very hard to understand and an extreme hazard. Modern scientific and > medical evidence makes it obvious that this view is wrong -- but how > dangerous is ionising radiation? Thanks to evolution, biology > protects life very well and radiation is about a thousand times safer > than suggested by current international safety standards.
and this baroness: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bryony_Worthington,_Baroness_Worthington

Have you heard about Kirk Sorensen?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9M__yYbsZ4

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On 09/01/13 11:35, Jo Stein wrote:

Along the lines of 5 assault rifles in every home?
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On 09/01/2013 11:35, Jo Stein wrote:

Really. So you want to take technical guidance from this person before deciding on a reactor system, on the basis of a conference organised by the Guardian.
"She was born and grew up in Wales, and graduated in English literature at Queens' College, Cambridge, before joining Operation Raleigh as a fundraiser. In the mid 1990s, she worked for an environmental charity, and by 2000 had moved to work for Friends of the Earth as a climate change campaigner. She then worked for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, implementing public awareness campaigns and helping draft the Climate Change Bill, before becoming head of government relations for the energy company, Scottish and Southern Energy. She left to form Sandbag in 2008."
That's *your* reference.
Sorensen is a lobbyist. Some of us still believe in "nullius in verba".
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On 09.01.2013 12:53, newshound wrote:

Is newshound a miserable lobbyist for solar?
Sorensen is a clever scientist. Here he explain why we do not have a lot of solar power:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9M__yYbsZ4#t
m20s
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On 09/01/2013 12:22, Jo Stein wrote:

Far from it. 40 plus years in the real world working on real, working nuclear power generation.

You don't have to be clever to explain that.
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On 09/01/13 13:53, newshound wrote:

And I take my hat off to you.

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On 09.01.2013 14:53, newshound wrote:

I am clever at editing YouTube videos and I am retired, a "nullius in verba", free from any master's control: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nullius_in_verba

As I see that Venezuela has a lot of thorium, I think Hugo Chavez now should restart his plans for nuclear energy i Venezuela. The first may not be a LFTR, but that can come later. Nuclear energy has the advantage over oil that it may not be stolen by that big neighbour.
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, Chavez, The Coup - MUST WATCH!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZajyVas4Jg#t=2m55s

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jo
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On 09/01/2013 12:22, Jo Stein wrote:

Ex NASA IIRC - he located and published the original Oak Ridge / Weinberg docs that restarted much of the current discussion on molten salt reactors.
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On Wed, 09 Jan 2013 16:50:23 +0000, John Rumm wrote:

Sorensen is a former NASA engineer who - as you say, John - came across the Oak Ridge work and has run with it. IIRC he is studying Nuclear engineering which strikes me as the sort of thing an engineer would do if they were serious about a technology.
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That's what ITER is for.
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On Tue, 08 Jan 2013 21:48:04 +0000, John Rumm wrote:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/9784044/China-blazes-trail-for-clean - nuclear-power-from-thorium.html
" If the Chinese can crack thorium, the world will need less oil, coal, and gas than feared. Wind turbines will vanish from our landscape. There will less risk of a global energy crunch, less risk of resource wars, and less risk of a climate tipping point.
Who can object to that?"
You can bet the greenies will, because they are wedded to micro-generation and windmills - probably to 'concentrate minds on the problem' ('the problem' variously being GW, AGW, CAGW, CC, future generations, photogenic polar bears, jam tomorrow, etc etc).
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Terry Fields wrote:

The greenies will be against Thorium because of the nasty radioactivity. I suspect thorium reactors could probably be made small and safe enough to replace existing electricity substations. The Toshiba sealed reactors can already almost do this.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toshiba_4S
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Well, your statement is not justified based on that article, and, if that's all you are basing it upon, which we are entitled to presume, as you haven't linked any other, it is no less hype than the Telegraph article.
Different parts of the article were written at different times. One paragraph was written post March 2009 pre October 2010, because those two dates are referred to in the past and future tenses respectively, while the next refers to December 2010 in the past tense. As we are now in 2013, there should be more information on what has actually happened since, and the fact that there is none suggests that perhaps things have not gone well for the design, though we won't really know until harder information comes to light.
At any rate, your optimism is not justified based solely on that article.
On Wed, 09 Jan 2013 12:07:34 +0000, John Williamson

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On 09/01/13 12:07, John Williamson wrote:

That actually is not the optimal scale to build reactors at.
Obviously you don't want one big reactor running the country at Solihull or something - too many wires. But on the other hand one in every town means just more maintenance.
There is an optimal balance, and 30-100 is about right.
The things need cooling and refuelling anyway.
First of all of course, people need to recognise they need nuclear power.

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The Natural Philosopher wrote:

I was trying to make the point that micro generation is *possible* with nuclear power, and is not limited to "renewables". The timescale to build "backyard" nukes is shorter than for large ones though, which might help with our predicted problems in the medium term.

They can also currently only easily be used for base load, needing other sources for peaks.

As you say, though, the first problem is to persuade people that nuclear is needed and is safe enough.
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