Columbus Dispatch Article on Thorium and LFTR

Doug Caruso of the Columbus Dispatch has written a pair of articles that are appearing in today’s issue of the paper. In the article he quotes Dr. Al Juhasz and Dr. George Schmidt of NASA GRC, Dr. Dan Ingersoll of ORNL, Dr. Rich Denning of Ohio State, and me. All of these folks have been involved at one time or another in discussions about LFTR, particularly Al and George. The articles, of course, have to be brief and to the point, but I think they’re very good. Thanks Doug!

Columbus Dispatch: The mighty thorium, the nearly perfect energy source nobody has heard of

Columbus Dispatch: Thorium’s promise, some experts say this element could solve our energy problems

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9 Replies to "Columbus Dispatch Article on Thorium and LFTR"

  • Bob Hargraves
    March 7, 2010 (6:33 pm)
    Reply

    Kirk,What about inviting Caruso, Juhasz Schmidt, Ingersoll and Denning to come to the TEA symposium at Google?

  • Fat Man
    March 7, 2010 (7:18 pm)
    Reply

    Congratulations. Iw was a big spread in the Paper and had a teaser on p.A1.

  • DocForesight
    March 8, 2010 (1:17 am)
    Reply

    It would appear to me that Schmidt is Exhibit 'A' for why LFTR ought to be developed by private investors. It's been demonstrated to work 40 years ago, the technology and computer models are far more advanced than they were and the need for low-impact energy is greater now. R&D all you want but sh*t or get off the pot!Whether you're concerned about GHGs or proliferation or cost or SNF, the rest of the world is not standing still on this.Keep up the good writing, Kirk!

  • Soylent
    March 16, 2010 (12:51 pm)
    Reply

    I don't like the graphic for fission step. You are splitting the nuclei into two unequal halves and 2-3 loose neutrons; you are not smashing them into individual neutrons and protons.

  • SteveH
    March 16, 2010 (11:40 pm)
    Reply

    Hello All,

    I'm familiar with hot tin/lead running through wave solder machines for electronics manufacturing.

    So I can get a sense of what flows through a LFTR, what are the specific gravities of the various fluids?

    Thanks!

  • Jason
    March 17, 2010 (10:25 pm)
    Reply

    Hi Kirk,
    Do you have any financial information regarding LFTRs? I've been working on understanding the costs of nuclear energy and how it compares with other sources of power production. So far I have only encountered information on BWRs and such, none on LFTRs. Do you think there is any material difference in the construction or operating costs of LFTRs versus third generation reactors being discussed for new nuclear construction projects such as Vogtle?

  • David
    March 22, 2010 (4:06 pm)
    Reply

    I'm trying to understand U233 starting stage. I assume it's only a problem initially to start the reaction with HEU as after that the Th 232 will transmute into U-233.

    So the higher levels of transuranic waste will only occur in the early stages after the reactor is started before the Th-232 -> U-233 cycle kicks in. Is this a major problem as the extra transuranics will only occur initially and therefore there won't be that many of them.

    On the other hand am I missing something and does starting it with HEU have long term consequences for the reactor?

    • Kirk Sorensen
      March 22, 2010 (8:03 pm)
      Reply

      You're pretty much right. You can start LFTR with U-233, HEU, or plutonium, in descending degrees of attractiveness. Here's a slide I built to explain the implications of each selection:
      http://energyfromthorium.com/images/slide_LFTRsta

  • David
    March 22, 2010 (8:55 pm)
    Reply

    Thanks for the reply. While I agree the destruction of the U-233 is stupid, very stupid at least it won't have disastrous consequences. Although as has been mentioned elsewhere it would significantly help an initial protoype as it wouldn't have to 'wind start' the LFTR but could rather use the equivilant of a 'starter motor'.


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