For those of you who’ve tried to use my “Brayton Cycle Simulation” in the past, I apologize for the lack of explanation of how to use it. In an attempt to remedy that, I’ve written an HTML page where I’ve described how to use the controls, along with a major update to the code itself. I hope that you will like it and learn more about this power conversion system, which could enable electrical conversion efficiencies of roughly 50% if coupled to a liquid-fluoride thorium reactor.
Here it is:
Remember that you need Java to run this program, but you can get it free at www.java.com, and if you’re a Mac user you’ve already got it.
A big thanks to Professor Chris Rhodes, who wrote an excellent letter to the Independent, a paper in the UK, about the feasibility and desireability of using a fluoride reactor to make energy from thorium rather than an accelerator-driven reactor. Good job, Chris!
Chris blogs at Energy Balance and always has excellent posts about energy-related issues, along with the math that separates reality from wishes.
In the latest news from ORNL, the project to downblend and “dispose” of uranium-233 manufactured over the last 50 years appears to have hit another snag. Now the price tag is up to $380 million, and the timetable for disposition has been delayed to 2012.
In one sense, I am very glad for that. 2012 gives us more time to convince those in power that this U-233 is not waste, but rather practically unlimited energy. That is because the U-233, once introduced in a fluoride reactor, will sustain the indefinite burning of abundant natural thorium. U-233 is almost like the bread-starter that people used for millennia to bake that day’s loaf of bread, saving a little of the new dough at the end for the next day’s loaf.
As such, U-233 should not be downblended, oxidized, or disposed. It is precious, and should be used in a fluoride reactor. How far could we get on fluoride reactor development with $380 million over the next five years? It would sure be a lot better than the $0.04 million that fluoride reactors are getting under the international Generation-4 program currently.
And we would promise to take the U-233 off their hands for good…
Some of you might have noticed a new link on the right-hand-side of the blog. I’ve gotten the “bulletin board” feature activated on my website, and now we have a discussion forum where we can talk about energy-related matters, especially those relating to the use of thorium. Please register and participate in the discussion.