Thorium Reactors Explained In 5 minutes

Submitted by: CrakrJak 4 years ago in Science

This should be the future of energy production
There are 42 comments:
Male 12,138
Angilion, save your breath when it comes to arguing with Crakrjak. This is the bit where he ceases to comment further, because he`s already been rightfully placed into a corner as a scientifically illiterate dickhead.
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Male 12,365
Thallium-208 is one of the arguments in favour of using thorium for fission because it reduces the chance of nuclear terrorism. You can`t do it on a small scale, as a terrorist group would have to, because it decays into such a powerful gamma emitter. Even if you have suicide workers who are willing to die from the radiation exposure in order to build a bomb, your facility will be easily detected. Moving the material would also be much harder for the same reason.

I think your thorium fission power station small enough to go on a tractor trailer is impossible as a result. I think you just couldn`t shield it well enough in that size. Gamma radiation in the MeV range takes a lot of stopping.
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Male 12,365
[quote]Angillion: Thallium-208 is way way down the decay scale. In fact it hit stable lead before it turns into Thalium for a couple of minutes.[/quote]

You have misunderstood the thorium decay chain, and also misunderstood radioactive decay in general.

When a material reaches a stable isotope, it stops undergoing radioactive decay. That`s what "stable" means in this context - an isotope that does not undergo radioactive decay.

The Thorium decay chain reaches thallium-208 *before* Lead-208. Thallium-208 is radioactive and decays into lead-208, which is a stable isotope of lead and therefore the end of the decay chain.
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Male 17,512
Angillion: Thallium-208 is way way down the decay scale. In fact it hit stable lead before it turns into Thalium for a couple of minutes. Since lead is in and of itself a radiation shielding material, I don`t see a problem there.
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Male 12,365
Oh, and about Washington state...

They`re generating a smallish minority of their electricity from wind power.

It isn`t free - it`s very expensive.

It isn`t their sole means of generation, or even a large part of it.

It is never planned to be, because they employ people who understand power generation.

What I said about CSP applies to other renewables too, in different areas. CSP in hot uninhabited areas, wind in windy uninhabited areas.

[quote]CSP is appropriate in some areas, if you back it with a cutting edge HVDC grid (which is very far indeed from free) and you retain a large *controllable* generating capacity to maintain constant matching of supply to demand.

Unless someone comes up with an efficient way to store GWhs of electricity, renewables can`t be the main generating method, let alone the only one, even if we`re willing to eat the cost and environmental impact. [/quote]
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Male 12,365
Incidentally, what I explicitly described as "unfeasible" was the following two things:

Free energy.

A worldwide very sophisticated HVDC grid and a worldwide agreement to share the power generated, and having those things soon.

If you think either is feasible, feel free to explain why. And I won`t accept your perpetual motion magic machines as an answer.
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Male 12,365
[quote]Saying "That`s not feasible," is as stupid as saying science isn`t real. Pull your head out of your ass and have a little respect for people.[/quote]

I have a little respect for deliberately ignorant people who are spreading disinformation.

But only a little.

You`re pushing perpetual motion machines. No, it`s worse than that. You`re pushing power generation from perpetual motion machines, so you`re talking about magic power generation on top of perpetual motion. Why on earth should anyone think you know anything about power generation? You have not and can not address any of the things I have said are unfeasible (and said why they are unfeasible).

A quick perusal of selected Google results is no substitute for knowledge.
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Male 12,365
[quote]I wont say I know much about the actual chemical science behind solar panels, but a quick google search tells me I can home make all three of these systems to put in my yard and power my home.[/quote]

Then try it and tell me the results.

Or actually learn about the subject rather than doing a quick google search. I can do a quick google search and be told that I can power a car from water and that aliens rule the world in secret through the Illuminati. That doesn`t mean that it`s true.

There are some solar power devices you could build at home (but not a useful panel), but you can`t power your home from them. Even if you live in a desert, how would you constantly match supply to demand?
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Male 14,331

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Male 8,427
Gauddith-"What happens when you put a few magnets on a spinning platform and place it next to a slightly bigger magnet designed to push and pull them?"

Theoretically the platform spins...right up until the point you put ANY load on it. So friction and/or any attempt to generate electricity from it will cause it to stop.


Gauddith-"I wont say I know much about the actual chemical science behind solar panels"

We won`t say that either.

Both sun and wind are unreliable. The sun doesn`t always shine around here, nor does the wind always blow. And sometimes, when it DOES blow, it`s hurricane force. So both would need to survive that.
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Male 5,811
[quote]If so Th-228 is an Alpha emitter, not a Gamma emitter, Alpha radiation can be stopped by a sheet of paper, no worries there.[/quote]
...Unless it`s in gaseous form. I definitely support thorium but there is definitely an issue with safety regarding gas mantles. Doesn`t seem like it`s that big of a problem to fix though.
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Male 406
I have to agree whit crakrjak on this one... this should be the power source of the future but i think the hippie hipsters and the media are going to make it a long wait with there stupid opinions.
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Female 231
@Angilion, I wont say I know much about the actual chemical science behind solar panels, but a quick google search tells me I can home make all three of these systems to put in my yard and power my home.

And I know that much is true for both solar and wind because people who live in rural areas do it all the time. The fact that it`s so unfeasible that someone might aspire for each home to power itself shouldn`t sound so impossible to a CLEARLY power savvy person such as yourself.

I`m sure you also knew that in 2011 Washington state produced over 6000GWh of power and they are planning on larger numbers for 2012. Saying "That`s not feasible," is as stupid as saying science isn`t real. Pull your head out of your ass and have a little respect for people.
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Male 12,365
[quote]Angilion: Thorium 208? Do you mean Thorium 228?[/quote]

I wrote Thallium 208 and I mean Thallium 208.
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Male 17,512
Angilion: Thorium 208? Do you mean Thorium 228?

If so Th-228 is an Alpha emitter, not a Gamma emitter, Alpha radiation can be stopped by a sheet of paper, no worries there.
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Male 12,365
CrakrJak:

With the thorium fission nuclear power station on a trailer truck that you refer to, how would you deal with the monumentally radioactive Thallium-208 decay product? That takes one hell of a lot of shielding. Sure, its half-life is a few minutes but when you`re talking about gamma rays in the MeV range you can`t take any chances.
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Male 12,365
[quote]If this works, there will be a country that strats this on its own, and that will get the ball rolling.. i hope to see the ball rolling[/quote]

China is building thorium fission power stations now. A basic version is almost identical to a uranium fission power station, so it`s not a difficult step.
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Male 12,365
[quote]Angilion: What is very good about Thorium power is that the reactors can be made small, Small enough to fit on a tractor trailer. This would make it so that even small communities could buy their own power station and be independent of the grid. They could even sell the excess, thus lowering their citizens power bills.[/quote]

Sell it to where? If they`re independent of the grid, they have no way of exporting electricity. If the grid was still there and they were still on it, then they could sell the excess...to who? If it was so simple to have one, every community would have one.

But it`s impossible anyway because supply must be constantly matched to demand. You can`t do that on a small scale with one nuclear power station. Not unless you can efficiently store many GWh of electricity, which we can`t.
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Male 12,365
[quote]What happens when you put a few magnets on a spinning platform and place it next to a slightly bigger magnet designed to push and pull them? Right, I know you got this.

Aslo, I know that with proper investing we can find far more cost effective ways to harnas power from both solar and wind. One of the biggest problems with these power sources is the difficulty to market them. Seriously, there have been some pretty astounding innovations by people in those areas.[/quote]

OK, that nails that down.

You have no idea what you`re talking about, so your opinion has no weight. You`re proposing generating power with perpetual motion machines and you don`t even know enough to know that you`re doing that.

Of course, that massively undermines your confident claim to be able to predict the future regarding wind and solar power (which I`m sure you don`t understand either).
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Male 17,512
jops360: Energy will never be quite that `Free`. Also, not every town would need their own reactor. Eventually there would be enough supply to find a decent equilibrium.
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Male 689
crackerjack - who would they sell the excess to if every town had one? i like where you are going with this but i see a future with near FREE energy. besides the startup cost of making the plant and getting the material, this type of system would be mostly self sustaining. even if they were to charge $1 a year they would make a good profit.
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Male 334
actually, and this is true with a lot of systems, corporations want money, so they might not like this.. but governments arent companies. If this works, there will be a country that strats this on its own, and that will get the ball rolling.. i hope to see the ball rolling
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Male 1,421
So basically Thorium is too common to mine, you can`t get the same money than what you get from Uranium so no one is interested. Money + countless lobbyists = no cleaner energy.
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Male 250
[quote]What happens when you put a few magnets on a spinning platform and place it next to a slightly bigger magnet designed to push and pull them?[/quote]
Ehhh, face-palming Insane Clown Posse?
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Female 231
@Angilion

What happens when you put a few magnets on a spinning platform and place it next to a slightly bigger magnet designed to push and pull them? Right, I know you got this.

Aslo, I know that with proper investing we can find far more cost effective ways to harnas power from both solar and wind. One of the biggest problems with these power sources is the difficulty to market them. Seriously, there have been some pretty astounding innovations by people in those areas.
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Male 17,512
Angilion: What is very good about Thorium power is that the reactors can be made small, Small enough to fit on a tractor trailer. This would make it so that even small communities could buy their own power station and be independent of the grid. They could even sell the excess, thus lowering their citizens power bills.

The effect that would have would be better than any TIF zone, as low power costs would be an economic incentive to industry.

So you can see that a Thorium reactor is not only more eco-friendly, it would be an economic windfall for those communities that would get on board and build one. And that`s not even taking into account the co-generation capabilities discussed in this video.
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Male 646
"We will never run out" - On behalf of incessant human consumption and waste - "Challenge accepted"
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Male 12,365
Hmm...maybe I am being a bit harsh. Wave and tidal power in the UK is probably more viable than I implied because it`s almost reliable (the sea is always moving) and quite controllable if it`s done right (since kinetic energy is being used directly to generate electricity, you could turn sections off by disconnecting the generation and just allowing the sections to move, doing nothing). Also, you could theoretically do it with less than half of the coastline, especially if you were willing to permanently close major shipping lanes.

But it would still be very far from free.
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Male 12,365
Or, at least on paper, CSP in hot deserts, a worldwide very sophisticated HVDC grid and a worldwide agreement to share the power generated.

Well, yeah. Like that`s feasible any time soon, if ever. May as well advocate matter/antimatter power stations.

There`s scope for renewables where appropriate, but it`s extremely difficult if not impossible to make them a significant part of any power generation system unless mass storage of electricity becomes possible (i.e. so you can overgenerate when possible and store it for when you can`t generate enough).

For example, it`s theoretically possible to power the USA by turning most of the Mojave desert into a power station and it`s theoretically possible to power the UK by turning most of the sea just offshore into a power station.

*Theoretically*. And it would be very, very far from free.
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Male 12,365
CSP is appropriate in some areas, if you back it with a cutting edge HVDC grid (which is very far indeed from free) and you retain a large *controllable* generating capacity to maintain constant matching of supply to demand.

Unless someone comes up with an efficient way to store GWhs of electricity, renewables can`t be the main generating method, let alone the only one, even if we`re willing to eat the cost and environmental impact.

Free? My arse.

I think fusion should be the future of energy production, not a different fuel for fission. Maybe thorium as a stopgap until fusion is viable, but not as the future.

What is need above all is reliability and controllability. Very few renewables can offer that, and then only in limited areas, e.g. geothermal in Norway.

CSP could have a role to play, too, since on paper it could be cheap (but it isn`t now).
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Male 12,365
[quote]The idea of free energy isn`t so hard to understand[/quote]

It is, however, impossible to implement with current technology or anything close to it.

You talk about wind, solar and magnetic.

Wind, near ground level: Bloody expensive in both resources and environmental impact. Uncontrollable and therefore useless for any significant percentage of generation.

Wind, high altitude: Can`t be done yet, even more expensive, innately dangerous, requires huge no-fly zones.

Solar, PV: So expensive in resources and environmental impact that it`s not even possible to do on a significant scale. Uncontrollable.

Solar, CSP: Technically feasible, but more expensive than fossil fuels and requires vast areas, destroying ecosystems. And, of course, uncontrollable.

Magnetic: I don`t what you`re referring to, so I can`t comment on that one.
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Male 2,855
oh sure, he seems to know what he is talking about, lol what a loser
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Male 17,512
Gauddith: Wind and solar energy are anything but `free` the upfront installation and maintenance costs are more than a coal fired power plant. Only nuclear power can beat cost to energy ratio of coal.
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Female 231
I love how we still ignore the self sustaining energy. We`re talking wing, solar, and magnetic. These are what we should be studying and developing into wide spred sources for people. I truly hope we can squash the idea of energy as a commodity. The idea of free energy isn`t so hard to understand, and I wish we spent more resources on those sorts of things.
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Male 2,711
I still wonder why this technology isn`t getting more attention. If youd like to learn more.
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Male 1,293
Research on this has never been well-funded because groups funded by the KGB spread panic about anything with "nuclear" in it with the help of left-wing useful idiots. The purpose was to oppose western economic and military development. Useful idiots included many members of Greenpeace and FOI, and the many people from the KGB-funded CND are now in the "environmental" movement that is now destroying the economy at great cost to the environment.
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Female 2,549
Sounds good, if there is no Uranium reactor then private company can run it. What`s stopping him?
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Male 1,674
this video gave me an aural seizure
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Male 2,199
so stop talking and start sciencing...
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Male 2,578
Racist.
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Male 904
Why not take a little more time and watch the full TEDtalk? Weird choice in editing another`s video.
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Male 17,512
Link: Thorium Reactors Explained In 5 minutes [Rate Link] - This should be the future of energy production
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