6 results for month: 04/2010
11 workers are still missing and presumed dead after an explosion and fire on an oil-drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Once again, we see that fossil fuels kill. Regularly. So far in this still-new year we've had an explosion on February 7 at a natural gas plant killing six, a refinery explosion on April 2 killing five workers, a terrible coal mine explosion on April 5 killing 29 miners, and now an oil rig explosion on April 20 likely killing 11. So coal, oil, and gas have killed 51 people, or nearly a person every other day. Is this acceptable in our modern energy-starved society? There is a better way:
Did you know that uranium dioxide is a semiconductor? In fact, it's a really good one! That means that you could make solar panels, LEDs, and computer chips from it...can you imagine uranium oxide solar panels?
I had an idea today--since U-233 represents something like a "catalyst" for the prolonged consumption of thorium in a LFTR, and since a LFTR can be built that has a unity conversion ratio (makes as much U-233 as it consumes), then perhaps a nation that developed a large supply of U-233 could "rent" it to nations that want to start LFTRs but lack the ability to get or make U-233. In a similar manner to the nuclear waste fund (1/10th of a penny per kilowatt*hour) the nation that "rents" U-233 to another nation could levy a rental fee on the electrical energy produced with "their" U-233. That way, a small country like Singapore could build or buy LFTRs ...
Since giving my talk at TEAC2 several weeks ago on my proposed plan for our nuclear future, I've been spending a lot more time thinking about this issue, the plan, and how to describe what I would propose to do. Sometimes it helps me to sort out thoughts by drawing a picture, but in this case, as I sketched out my plan, I found that I needed to sketch out descriptions of how nuclear operations have been conducted in the past, how they are conducted currently, and what the conventional view of our nuclear future is. First of all, let's consider the period right after World War 2. That may seem like a long time ago, but decisions were made then that ...
There were several of the MSRP reports that dealt with the two-fluid thorium reactor design that I have come to favor so much. I have converted the MSBR design section from the first of these reports (ORNL-4119) into a Wordpress "page" to make it easier to read online. I hope you enjoy: ORNL-4119: MSBR Design Studies
A few weeks ago, I sent some of my powerpoint depictions of the thorium energy generation process to Suzanne Hobbs of PopAtomic Studios, wondering if she could work her artistic magic on it. She sure did! Thanks Suzanne! This is great!