Sorensen and Hargraves TEAC3 Presentations

Thanks to the indefatigable Gordon McDowell, my presentation at TEAC3 on May 12, 2011 is now available on YouTube:

Along with that of the inspiring and enlightening Dr. Robert Hargraves:

I hope you enjoy the presentations!



16 Replies to "Sorensen and Hargraves TEAC3 Presentations"

  • Jonathan Goff
    August 5, 2011 (2:42 pm)

    Great presentation. I never made the connection that the design of a LFTR makes it so almost all the neutrons get stopped inside the reactor (kind of the point in hindsight). Does this have any sort of impact on the reactor standoff distance requirements compared to a normal nuclear reactor? Just curious.

    It's too bad the secondary product streams are worth less than the energy–I had been calling LFTRs an "Alchemy Machine" that makes power as a byproduct… Oh wells, "powering the next thousand years" is cool enough marketing-wise. 🙂


  • DocForesight
    August 6, 2011 (5:18 pm)

    I've been referring several people to this site recently and these relatively-short videos really help explain LFTR in digestible segments.

    Hope your FLibe Team secures the needed backing to bring the first prototype online ASAP.

  • arcs_n_sparks
    August 8, 2011 (3:16 pm)


    Great set of videos.

  • Andrew Jaremko
    August 8, 2011 (6:34 pm)

    Kirk and Gordon – thanks for the videos. They're very intense – high speed and lots of info. I look forward to more of the conference videos.

  • TerjeP
    August 10, 2011 (5:37 am)

    At the end of the first video there is a FLIBE promo video. Is this available online in pure form anywhere?

  • John
    August 10, 2011 (9:09 am)

    The promotion video is here:

  • TerjeP
    August 11, 2011 (5:43 am)

    Thanks John.

  • Clark
    August 11, 2011 (8:38 am)

    Kirk, all but one of the links from the previous post to your new Forbes blog seem to have been broken by Forbes' site rebuild. Also, the energyfromthorium contact page doesn't seem to be working, hence this off-topic comment.

  • jim
    August 13, 2011 (8:47 am)


  • John
    August 15, 2011 (9:03 am)

    There is currently a fair amount of noise about a "Thorium car" using "lasers" to heat thorium (see: http:/ /

    This looks like total nonsense, and normally it should be ignored. However, if allowed to persist, it very well could associate MSR/LFTR advocates with perpetual motion machine nut-cases that are advocating this "Thorium car". In fact (tin-foil-hats on), the aforementioned article is so full of nonsense, that it appears to be an intentional smear campaign on thorium, built to discredit its supporters.

  • Paul C from Austin
    August 18, 2011 (9:48 pm)

    As always, enjoyed the videos- thanks, Kirk, and Gordon for putting them together. Enjoyed Flibe's first 'media video' as well;-)

  • Atomikrabbit
    August 20, 2011 (3:43 pm)

    A bold and visionary move Kirk – I would expect nothing less from you.

    I tested the promo on my non-nuke wife and asked her reaction if she were to see this on TV – she said “it’s about time they figured it out!” (meaning a solution to the energy crisis).

    If you can find the funding you need to put this promo in front of decision-makers and VC guys – maybe run it on CNBC and the news channels to gin up some curiosity. Remember the catchy ads Areva ran near continuously to introduce themselves when they first formed?

    Thorium has one huge PR advantage over the competition – it is not associated in the public mind with either bombs or meltdowns. People are always looking for the next new thing, especially in a crisis. Take the advice of Rahm Emanuel on just one thing – don’t let a good (energy) crisis go to waste!

    Best wishes and keep up the great work.

  • Atomikrabbit
    August 20, 2011 (5:14 pm)

    I would like to see your presentation spend more time on the following aspect, as outlined on the Flibe website, “LFTR technology can also be used to reprocess and consume the remaining fissile material in spent nuclear fuel stockpiles around the world and to extract and resell many of the other valuable fission byproducts that are currently deemed hazardous waste in their current spent fuel rod form”.

    This is a major selling point, and I am not sure how it can be done, given that avoiding Pu239 production from U238 seems to be a major promotional feature.

    If you can prove LFTR can resolve the “nuclear waste” problem, this accomplishment alone would be worth producing a few dozen units, charging the government tens of billions to take the spent fuel off their hands (since statutorily they have the legal responsibility for it), and making a lot of cheap emission-free electricity in the process.

  • Bernd Felsche
    September 9, 2011 (12:12 pm)

    Help… my brain is exploding.;-)

    So many facts packed into a few minutes.

    Hargraves spends time on the "cheaper than coal" angle. IMHO in the "wrong place". It should be an opener, not (almost) 2 minutes into the video.

    "Energy from Thorium – Cheaper than Coal" deserves a video all by itself lasting around 7 minutes. Without diversions other than to explain why (clean) cheap energy is essential for improving the quality of life for all people and eventually for the benefit of the "environment".

    Likewise "Nuclear Waste for Energy Today", dealing with the problem of stockpiled "waste" which, from the perspective of LFTR, is a convenient resource.

    You need somebody with experience in nuclear medicine to help with a video on "Useful Isotope By-Products from LFTR" to deal with present and foreseeable requirements in medicine. Other isotopes for e.g. sterilisation of food (and other) imports, in Engineering as well as science and space exploration could be dealt with in the non-medicine half of a video.

  • Bernd Felsche
    September 10, 2011 (1:10 am)

    Some questions and thoughts on graphite (from a nuclear-ignorant Mechanical Engineer) arising from the above and the Sorensen@PROTOSPACE video on YouTube:

    What is the depth of e.g. graphite moderator required to slow neutrons sufficiently? Can that depth be provided by a slurry of graphite/carbon particles in salt?

    This could further enhance the negative void coefficient, increasing the ability to react to load and as a safety measure. Xenon, already harvested from the fuel salts, might be used as an emergency (neutreon) brake by draining the moderator and replacing it with the Xenon (potentially by the suction of the moderator running into a holding vessel).

    A liquid moderator in LFTR provides the potential for other tricks such as bubbling e.g. Helium through the fluid to enhance throttling response. By keeping a quantity of He bubbles constantly entrained in the slurry, it increases the "gain" of negative feedback in the reactor, especially at low loads.

    Using a Be-heavy salt as a moderator probably works in theory, but in practice, Beryllium is hard to get (expen$ive) and toxic.

    Would a LFTR reactor still work if the fuels remain in pipes which pass through the core filled with a moving moderator slurry? Could there still be a sufficient "blanket" of Thorium?

    I've read about two dozen documents from the PDF resources but I'm still in the dark about … anybody got a pointer to a document that has relevant info but not either "graphite" nor "moderator" in the title?

  • Clark
    September 16, 2011 (4:54 am)

    The BBC just ran a programme in their popular science series Horizon about nuclear power safety. Most of the programme concerned Fukushima and Chernobyl, but towards the end a section described Weinberg's work on MSRs, and a brief section concerning transmutation of actinide waste. The programme is available on the BBC iPlayer until 9:59PM Wed, 21 Sep 2011, but outside the UK you may need to use a proxy server in the UK to view it:

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