15 results for month: 12/2008


Paradigm Shift: The Liquid Thorium Bullet

Probably no more than a thousand people in the entire world fully understand the paradigm, although thousands more understand bits and pieces of it. Much of the paradigm was shaped by Eugene Wigner, a authentic genius and a man of singular vision. Wigner foresaw the need for extracting the enormous energy potential from thorium and using it to sustain human civilization. Wigner's vision included a heavy-water fluid-core reactor as the instrument through which thorium was to be transformed into nuclear fuel. Alvin Weinberg, Wigner's former sidekick and another genius, realized that liquid-fluoride reactors were a far superior tool for realizing the ...

Schopenhauer and Opposition to Nuclear Power

The Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer was the bad boy of 19th century German Philosophy. Schopenhauer attacked the sober, serious world views of the philosophic followers of Kant and Hegel and helped set the stage for the 20th century post-modern movement among scholars in the humanities.Schopenhauer was aware of the limitations of knowledge and of the human capacity to know, and those limitations of knowledge are certainly at the heart of his thinking. In particular Schopenhauer offered to the will a central role in knowledge, and indeed suggested that the will and our mental representations of the world were one in the same. Thus knowledge itself ...

Alexander deVolpi's knols on nuclear non-proliferation

I have added a link on Nuclear Green to Alexander deVolpi's knols on nuclear non-proliferation. Dr. DeVolpi's writings are required reading for anyone who who wants to claim expertise on nuclear proliferation. DeVolpi was a peer of the late J. Carson Mark of Los Alamos, and his knols correct the view that Mark thought reactor grade plutonium was a practical weapons materials. DeVolpi also parses statements on reactor grade plutonium from official sources, often cited by anti-nuclear experts. For example DeVolpi points to a statement by David Hafemeister of the United States DoE," [Advanced] nuclear-weapon states such as the United States and Russia, ...

Depression and Nuclear Power

Eric Sprott, a Canadian investment funds manager has read the tea leaves. Sprott has stated:“There are so many job cuts and output cutbacks it’s shocking. That’s not a recession, that’s a depression. I look at the data points and they just scream at me that we are off the cliff.”During the last few months the Fed and the US Treasury have been running the printing presses at a historically high rate. The money creation machine has been working overtime. Conventional economic theory tells us that this should lead to rampant inflation yet as Craig Harrington notes Despite the Fed’s creation of hundreds of billions of dollars out of thin ...

The Global Warming and Mitigation Debate Revisited

This post started as a comment on the EfT comment section. It got way too long for a comment, so I decided to turn it into a blog post. I have written everything I have to say here before. But I flatter myself that these things are important, and probably can stand to be repeated. So if all this sounds familiar to the point of being boring, please be patient. I learned of the CO2/AGW theory during am informal briefing at ORNL by Jerry Olsen in 1971. Jerry was attached to the ORNL-NSF Environmental Studies Program that I was working for. I had at the time what amounted to an internship. Jerry Olson was a plant ecologist who specialized in the ...

End Game: Answering the Worlds Energy Needs from Nuclear Waste

Lars Jorgensen is an Electrical Engineer who is Chief Technologist for Radio Products for Texas Instruments. In his spare time Lars has an unusual hobby. He is doing unpaid work on the development of the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor, in a project that Rod Adams describes as the nuclear equivalent of the Open Source movement in computing. The goal of the project is to develop viable LFTR designs including the design tools that would be useful for nuclear engineers. In addition Lars is doing research on the use of LFTRs to solve the problem of the nuclear waste from other reactors. At the same time, Jorgensen's concept will produce vast amounts ...

The Gulf of Maine – Gulf of Money – Perfect Storm of Costs

George Hart of the Ocean Energy Institute has recently proposed the building of a huge 5 billion watt generating capacity wind arrays in the Gulf of Maine. There is little doubt that New England states and the State of Maine in particular are in need of new energy resources. Winter heating is, in particular heavily reliant on heating oil. But the cost of heating oil is subject to the wild gyrations of the oil market, and the cost of home heating during cold New England winters threatens to depopulate the region. New technology, a form of air source heating designed to operate in New England winters, offers the possibility of replacing oil with ...

Energy and a Broke Country

When countries go broke they run the printing presses to print more money. In the United States money is not literally being printed, it is created by the Federal Reserve System. The money being used for the economy bail out is being created. Not a dollar of it was lying in the all too empty coffers of the US treasury when the crisis broke. I will not point the finger of blame at anyone, least of all one of my Dallas neighbors. Lets just say that some very bad decisions have been made during the last few years. It is not just the government that is broke. The whole country is broke. Businesses are going under. Not just mom and pop on main ...

A Review of Mark Z. Jacobson's Review

A new paper, Review of solutions to global warming, air pollution, and energy security, by Mark Z. Jacobson, announces that this reviews and ranks major proposed energy-related solutions to global warming, air pollution mortality, and energy security while considering other impacts of the proposed solutions, such as on water supply, land use, wildlife, resource availability, thermal pollution, water chemical pollution, nuclear proliferation, and undernutrition . Unfortunately Professor Jacobson as committed so many errors in his review of issues associated with nuclear power, that the value of his entire assessment must be questioned.This study is ...

Can America Decarbonize Electricity by 2030?

Vaclav Smil has a very significant voice in the current discussion of energy. Smil is very intelligent and knowledgeable, and beyond that his intellect is wide ranging and probing. Smil falls like Alvin Weinberg into the catigory of resource optimists that the Neo-Malthusian Club of Rome cult calls a Cornucopian.Smil, however, does not understand the potential of the nuclear future or the virtually unlimited nature of the thorium resource. Smil tells us, nuclear power’s contribution is constrained by limited fissionable material.Like others who make such pronouncements, Smil failed to look carefully at the facts. Smil is a technophile, and a ...