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Thorium Could Wean World Off Oil In 5 Years

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Thorium Could Wean World Off Oil In 5 Years
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Nobel laureate Carlo Rubbia, former director of CERN, Has patented a new process to make nuclear power safe and small.
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Hits: 21771 | Favorites: 7 | Emailed: 1 | Rating: 2.8 | Category: Science | Date: 09/14/2010
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Male, 18-29, Canada
 1166 Posts
Sunday, September 19, 2010 8:06:30 PM
When I start my country, this is what I'll use.

Male, 40-49, Europe
 12381 Posts
Thursday, September 16, 2010 2:31:45 PM
CSP also makes for rather pretty power stations.

That's an unaltered photo of a CSP station in Seville. Straight up, that`s how it looks when it`s running, beams of light and all.

Male, 40-49, Europe
 12381 Posts
Thursday, September 16, 2010 2:24:39 PM
Harking back to renewables, Rubbia's in that too.

He`s done some work with concentrated solar power, which works very well in very sunny areas with a lot of space. It`s cheap, low tech and easy to make. It`s basically just mirrors focusing sunlight on a tank of liquid, which creates steam, which drives a turbine. Same ideas as current power stations, just a different means of creating the steam. On paper, you could power most of the world that way - huge CSP plants in deserts, HVDC lines to transmit the electricity over thousands of miles without much loss. All of Europe and Africa could be powered from the deserts in north Africa, for example - you`d lose 10% going all the way to Norway.

It`s small at the moment, but it scales very easily. There`s a 1GW plant awaiting approval in California - that`s a serious power station.

Male, 40-49, Europe
 12381 Posts
Thursday, September 16, 2010 2:13:17 PM
Then it will happen. On the other hand the fact that it has not happened already suggests that it is more expensive or that the technical specs are not a fully worked out as some might be suggesting.

The latter. It works in theory and experiments confirm it, but there's a long way between that and a working power station. Rubbia has the brains for it, but development takes time and money. Stacks of money - properly equipped labs for nuclear experiments don`t come cheap. That brings politics into it.

As it stands, India will be the first country to have these. It won`t be cheap to buy them from India - they`ll rightly see it as a good source of the income they badly need for development.

Male, 40-49, Midwest US
 17367 Posts
Thursday, September 16, 2010 1:16:43 PM
dang007: It's new, There are very few neutron particle accelerators right now. Prototypes will have to be made and tested, But the technology already exists. Unfortunately such funding is politically based, So it takes time. But with enough letters written to congressmen and enough proliferation and education about the idea those obstacles can be overcome.

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