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Jokes/Interweb Things Thread, Nuclear power, thorium and LFTR in Fun Stuff; I watched this video last night, and did some reading afterwards to back up what is said in it and ...
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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Nuclear power, thorium and LFTR

    I watched this video last night, and did some reading afterwards to back up what is said in it and it has totally changed my views on nuclear energy, which in part were based on ignorance and part on the stuff put out by the media.



    Take a look, its incredibly interesting!

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edutech4schools View Post
    Very different technology, but it would be an effective way of getting rid of our nuclear waste stockpiles. There'd have to be some pretty good security involved though, as producing and burning plutonium is somewhat risky!

    The video I linked above discusses thorium as a fissile material. Thorium is *everywhere*. If we used such reactors in the UK, they have complete passive failsafes - so if the power goes off, there's no possibility of a problem, we would have energy security - 5000 tonnes of thorium could power the entire planet for a year, for example.

    And you don't end up with nuclear waste at the end of it all.

    Part of what interests me about the topic is the fact I'm so ignorant of it all! Like most people when I hear 'nuclear' I instantly think 'Chernobyl' and 'Three Mile Island', and now 'Fukishima'. But the technologies involved are so differing and changing generation to generation as to be like saying 'cars' and thinking 'they all crash because their wheels fall off' after one model having a design flaw.
    Last edited by localzuk; 15th February 2013 at 12:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    And you don't end up with nuclear waste at the end of it all.
    Yes you do. Just a lot less in theory. In practice you need to think where you get your neutron source, you either need a big particle accelerator or another reactor. India are using fast breeder plutonium reactors as a neutron source for the thorium. Accelerators tend to be much more expensive.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Yes you do. Just a lot less in theory. In practice you need to think where you get your neutron source, you either need a big particle accelerator or another reactor. India are using fast breeder plutonium reactors as a neutron source for the thorium. Accelerators tend to be much more expensive.
    There are various ways of starting up LFTRs, the disadvantages section on the wiki article lists a few such options. But the issue is that we are doing nothing really to look at this technology. We are putting massive amounts of money down for wind turbines, coal, gas etc... but thorium based nuclear energy is being put to one side consistently. I suspect it is more to do with the second to last disadvantage than anything else - business model.

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    stevenlong1985's Avatar
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    I Love Thorium!

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    The problem with nuclear power is he tech they are using is from the 50s. More modern methods are safer and less wassteful.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenlong1985 View Post
    Why? What relevance has a problem from 1957 have with nuclear reactors being built now, or ones to be built in the future? Not to mention, even that 'disaster' was pretty much nothing, when you consider how many people coal has killed...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    The problem with nuclear power is he tech they are using is from the 50s. More modern methods are safer and less wassteful.
    but politically unlikely as they take years to build so any government that starts them is fairly likely to be out of power when they come on line so they wont do it theyd rather do short term solutions that help their rating than something to help the country

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    but politically unlikely as they take years to build so any government that starts them is fairly likely to be out of power when they come on line so they wont do it theyd rather do short term solutions that help their rating than something to help the country
    This is something else that's in the original video, a guy in Canada puts the point across that it takes 15 years to get the go-ahead for a nuclear plant, going through all the risk assessments, but the equivalent checks for a new coal plant take a weekend. Yet, coal releases *more* radiation into the atmosphere than a nuclear plant...

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    @localzuk Woah fella

    I'm interested in Thorium. I believe LFTR can work.

    The Documentary I posted backs explains how The UK government didn’t make a Nuclear power station at first. They used it to refine uranium so they can show off to the Americans back in the 1950s. The documentary explains how the rectors was cooled down with FANs not a by a means of heavy water as it’s done today.

    I posted this Documentary as not many people knew Britain has its own disaster and backs up your post why we should start using LFTR. The only main reason why we have these nuclear power plants is for weapons

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    This is something else that's in the original video, a guy in Canada puts the point across that it takes 15 years to get the go-ahead for a nuclear plant, going through all the risk assessments, but the equivalent checks for a new coal plant take a weekend. Yet, coal releases *more* radiation into the atmosphere than a nuclear plant...
    Apples and oranges. A coal fired power station goes bang and hardly anyone will care. A nuke pop's it's top and a whole continent will care. Risk is a product of probability AND consequences. The risks involved in a single nuclear plant are significantly higher than any single coal plant. Decommissioning a coal plant is a known, process with a calculable cost. We have no idea what the long term costs of decommissioning a nuclear plant will be, but we do know that every time we build one, people in 20,000 years will still be looking after the waste.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Apples and oranges. A coal fired power station goes bang and hardly anyone will care. A nuke pop's it's top and a whole continent will care. Risk is a product of probability AND consequences. The risks involved in a single nuclear plant are significantly higher than any single coal plant. Decommissioning a coal plant is a known, process with a calculable cost. We have no idea what the long term costs of decommissioning a nuclear plant will be, but we do know that every time we build one, people in 20,000 years will still be looking after the waste.
    I'd love to see the evidence that the risks in a nuclear plant are higher. Not to mention, you've just perpetuated several known fallacies with the whole issue - one, that nuclear power is dangerous and two, that we will be stuck with 'waste' for 20,000 years... Like we're not stuck with coal slag piles? For example the one that shifted a few days ago and destroyed 100m of our railways - if a train had not noticed and gone across? Many lives would've been lost.

    No, what you've basically said there is what the media consistently says - "nuclear is dangerous!" but without any actual evidence of deaths, of injuries, of actual consequences. So, you're saying policy should be based on perception rather than actual consequences.

    Not to mention, the issues are regarding *old* technology. Not the new technologies appearing.

    Some interesting numbers - 170,000 people die per trillion kWh of electricity produced from coal. 90 people die for the same amount from nuclear energy. How Deadly Is Your Kilowatt? We Rank The Killer Energy Sources - Forbes

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Apples and oranges. A coal fired power station goes bang and hardly anyone will care. A nuke pop's it's top and a whole continent will care. Risk is a product of probability AND consequences. The risks involved in a single nuclear plant are significantly higher than any single coal plant. Decommissioning just very a coal plant is a known, process with a calculable cost. We have no idea what the long term costs of decommissioning a nuclear plant will be, but we do know that every time we build one, people in 20,000 years will still be looking after the waste.
    Comparatively a coal plant is exploding all the time slowly throughout its lifespan spewing radiation and co2. A nuclear plant just goes all at once if at all.

    Micro reactors based on newer tech are quicker to build, safer and more efficient. Politics will sabotage progress as always though.

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