Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Jul 25, 2016 9:32 am 
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Hello there ladies and gents!

As you may or may not know, my team at GA Tech is working on a website to get people re-educated about nuclear, since pubic support would help push policy a good way forward. We got busy getting the outline done, then started writing the content, all so we can start telling people about it. But that’s when we realized…

We do not have enough people to write content and get it done quickly, while in a way that a 5th grader will understand. This is a big thing since very few people see nuclear as something that they will be able to grasp. We need to demystify it and show folks that it is indeed understandable, and that the last 60 years of media aren’t what it is like today. It is a lot more work than 4 guys working over the summer can handle in the next month. We have congressmen, a few senators, the Energy & Commerce Committee, and Science Committee interested in what we are doing. Not only with the site, but also with LFTR, nobody has heard of this content or knows what it has to offer, and they don't know where to start to look deeper into it.

So we talked to Kirk and he sees the benefits this could bring. So I’m here asking you to help us out. We are working to get the NRC and DOE to give us a stamp of validation once we have content up to give us some credibility when talking to the policy folks up in DC as well. On that note, I found a lobbying firm that is down to meet with Kirk to help get LFTR realized!

We are also going to do a write up on each reactor type broken down into their capabilities, or lack thereof. This is where we can show off LFTR as being ahead of the pack, since other designs will have blanks where it doesn’t. I know there are some competing designs for the same style reactor. We are analyzing all of them so it is all in one place for everyone to see and access in a way that makes sense.

Additionally, we are trying to set this up as a long term PR and policy source for nuclear energy, since the NEI and EEI failed at it. So we will handle marketing, re-branding, and lobbying once we get going. One of Kirk’s friends put me in touch with some folks in this arena, since he likes the idea and what it could accomplish.

So below is a list of everything that we are working to write about. If you could just post what you’re writing about to help mitigate duplicates it would be appreciated. Or you can go to http://www.5-minute-nuclear.com/ and go through the link to join the team and read what it is we are working to create. Either way we greatly appreciate the help.

We are not in a position to pay for your help at this time, we are hoping the altruistic side of folks wanting nuclear to get a better light cast on it shine through. If that’s something you’re interested though then go through the site so we can track it for when we get sponsors.

I know it was a long read but we want to make sure everyone is on the same page with what’s going on. If you have questions feel free to ask and/or send an email to alex.kernan@5-minute-nuclear.com or alexander.fisk.herbert@gmail.com.


• Base Information / Principles
o Modern/Newtonian Physics: Explain the difference between Modern Physics and Newtonian Physics
o Angular Momentum: Describe the differences between spin angular momentum and orbital angular momentum and their corresponding applications to nuclear physics
o Electron Angular Momentum: Give a general explanation of electron angular momentum
o Spin Angular Momentum: Give a general explanation of spin angular momentum
o Orbital Angular Momentum: Give a general explanation of orbital angular momentum
o Particles: Provide the reader with a general understanding of the particles of physics, both atomic and subatomic, and their importance in nuclear energy
o Atomic Particles:
o Protons: Explain the discovery and importance of protons in all fields of physics
o Neutrons: Explain the discovery and importance of neutrons in all fields of physics
o Electrons: Explain the discovery and importance of electrons in all fields of physics
o Neutron Cross Sections: Explain what neutron cross sections are and the application in nuclear energy
o Neutron Activation: Explain the process of neutron activation
o Subatomic Particles:
o Boson/Fermion: Explain the difference between a subatomic particle that falls under the category of Boson and those of which that are referred to as Fermions
o Quarks: Give a general description of the six types of quarks (up, down, bottom, top, strange, and charm) and their role in atomic particles
o Leptons: Give a general description of the six types of leptons (electron, electron neutrino, muon, muon neutrino, tau, and tau neutrino) and their role in atomic particles
o Gauge Bosons: Give a general description of the twelve types of gauge bosons (photon of electromagnetism, the three W and Z bosons of the weak force, and the eight gluons of the strong force) and their role in atomic particles
o Higgs Boson: Provide a description of the Higgs Boson and its origin and importance in particle physics
o Nuclear/Radiation Physics:
o Nuclear Reactor Moderation Mechanisms:
o Six Factor Formula: Outline and detail the six factor formula and its importance in reactor design and maintenance
o Mechanical Reactor Control: Detail the process and machines involved in controlling a hot reactor
o Nuclear Decay Process: Describe the general process involved in nuclear decays and the application towards physics and nuclear energy
o Isotopes: Brief description of what an isotope is and how it can be formed
o Medical Isotopes: Explain the use of isotopes in the medical field
o Isotopes Used for Military: Explain the use of isotopes in the military and in warfare
o Isotopes Used for Machinery: Explain the use of isotopes in machine work
o Isotopes Used for Experimentation: Explain the use of isotopes in experimentation
o Isotope Band of Stability: Explain what it is, leading to explaining why the stability stops all isotopes from killing us
o Bite-Sized Nuclear:
o Nuclear Reactor: Give a brief explanation of what a nuclear reactor is
o How does a nuclear reactor work?
o Nuclear Reactor: What Millions of People Don’t Know - Alex Kernan
o Fission: Explain what fission is and its application in our existence
o Fission: The Origin of the Heat - Alex Kernan
o Criticality: Explain the concept of criticality, along with a reactor that is subcritical, critical, and supercritical
o Criticality: “Let’s get something straight…” - Alex Kernan
o Reactor Designs: Explain the different generations of reactors and the significant design changes that follow
o Gen I: Explain the reactors in this generation and their overall purpose at the time of development
o Gen II: Explain the reactors in this generation and their overall purpose at the time of development
o Gen III: Explain the reactors in this generation and their overall purpose at the time of development
o Gen III+: Explain the reactors in this generation and their overall purpose at the time of development
o Gen IV: Explain the reactors in this generation and their overall purpose at the time of development
o Where are nuclear reactors found? (general requirement for spot and specific locations)

• Public Opinion
o Nuclear In Your Backyard:
o Nuclear Reactors by State:
o Safety Records:
o Proliferation: Explain what proliferation is and the debate over it in the public and the nuclear community
o Nuclear Waste:
o Types of Waste Levels: Describe the different levels of waste and the limits involved with each
o Precautions for Waste: Detail and explain the precautionary measures taken towards nuclear waste coming from power plants
o Amount of Waste in Total: Explain and graph the waste amounts from the different waste levels
o Nuclear Accidents:
o Nuclear Meltdown: Explain the meaning of a nuclear meltdown in terms of the reactor core, and its effect on the planet
o Chernobyl: Provide a basic explanation of the mechanical and personnel flaws that led to the accident
o Three Mile Island: Provide a basic explanation of the mechanical and personnel flaws that led to the accident
o Fukushima: Provide a basic explanation of the mechanical and personnel flaws that led to the accident
o Psychological:
o Bystander Effect: Delve into the psychological aspects of masses of people having negative opinions but with little to no understanding of nuclear
o Logical Fallacies: Describe the concept of logical fallacies and the effect the idea has had on the psyche of the public towards nuclear energy

• Policy
o Regulatory Organizations: United States
o DOE: What it is that they do and are involved with?
o NRC: What it is that they do and are involved with?
o DOT: What it is that they do and are involved with?
o Regulatory Organizations: International
o Building Requirements/Authorization:
o Locations that are permitted to be built on; what goes into site allocation.
o How many levels of authorization are needed to build somewhere?
o Waste Storage:
o Yucca Mtn: What the original plan was and why?
o Yucca Mtn: Why it is not working; How it was planned; The ramifications of that.
o Prohibitive Nuclear Policy:
o Space Market: Provide examples of when and why space missions were deemed unsafe due to strict policies involving nuclear cargo/machinery
o Energy Market: Provide examples of when and why nuclear energy got forced out of the market and why.
o Part 1 – When and why this happened
o Part 2 – How it is being addressed so far
o Medical Market:
o Manufacturing Market:
o Reactor Design:
o Pro/Anti-Gen IV:
o Pro-Gen IV: detail a Pro-Gen IV policy maker and his/her contribution to positive nuclear policies
o Pro-Gen IV: detail a Pro-Gen IV policy maker and his/her contribution to positive nuclear policies
o Anti-Gen IV: detail an Anti-Gen IV policy maker and his/her contribution to positive nuclear policies
o Anti-Gen IV: detail an Anti-Gen IV policy maker and his/her contribution to positive nuclear policies
o Denote the World’s regulatory response to a developing Gen3+ and Gen4 reactor technology, including what, how, and why the changes were made
o 2 Articles: Outline prohibitive policy against small scale nuclear research companies (i.e. multi-million dollar reactor license fees)
o How are electrical power plants commissioned in the United States?
o Describe the difference in policy and process to get a thermal, hydro, and nuclear power plant commissioned
o Beyond Design Stress/Failure Tests:

• Reactor capabilities
o Going through each of the following types of reactors by their ability to: create energy ($/kwh), desalinate/purify water, create biofuel, create medical isotopes (that can be easily separated), non-proliferation, cost to build, and safety
o Very High temp reactor - VHTR
o Sodium cooled fast reactor - SFR
o Super critical water cooled reactor - SCWR
o Gas cooled fast reactor - GFR
o Lead cooled fast reactor - LFR
o Molten salt reactor – MSR
o Traveling wave reactor - TWR


Last edited by Alec Herbert on Aug 01, 2016 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Jul 25, 2016 7:51 pm 
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Alec! Welcome back.

I just submitted my ap to 5MN. I'll do what I can, okay? Your efforts are appreciated.

I see the About page needs some minor edits to the first line italics and text wrapping at the image. The Articles / Content are presently empty. So Alex and you have just started this site.

The subject list above is ambitious. This will be an interesting effort. Many 5-minute pieces I would transcribe from the TEAC and other video presentations on YouTube and a few other sites, TED talks. Kirk's presentations are really good.

The PBS "Rickover: The Birth of Nuclear Power" I viewed recently. I felt it communicated the course of events that have led to the present stagnation in U.S. nuclear energy and its poor public image.

The 5MN "Public Perception" content must have the historical perspective. How to capture in a a five-minute piece the impact of feature-length documentary is not a trivial writing assignment.

Uranium – Twisting the Dragon's Tail re-airs August 24, 2016.

Many films are sources for articles and content.

_________________
"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


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PostPosted: Jul 26, 2016 3:22 pm 
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Hello Alec and Tim,
I'm quite new to the forum, but would like to help where I can.
As I have looked through this forum, I note an amazing amount of passion in the posts. It seems virtually everyone here is on the same wavelength regarding the promise of Thorium. Yes, there are differences of opinion, many quite strong. All, however, seem oriented in one way or another to promote this incredible resource, most sooner than later.
One of the observations I have is that with almost everyone in the forum on the same (or similar) page, a very important message gets lost in the shuffle. That message is that for Thorium to be successful in general, Mr and Ms Public has to be behind the concept, and outside this forum, almost no one has any idea what Thorium is and what it can do for them. Tragically, my guess is that the vast majority of our public strongly believes, if they think about it at all, that science is for ‘guys other than me; I just can’t understand this egghead stuff. Don’t bother me with this stuff I can’t understand and just let me get back to watching reality TV and texting my family in the next room’.
Unfortunately, interesting and motivating science education is and has been lacking in the schools for a very long time. That is something that, of course, desperately needs to change, and soon. But we all know that isn’t going to happen unless something changes to motivate people within the educational arena in a positive way.
Alec, your effort is outstanding, but very long bridge is needed between what you propose to cover in your listing, and the 'Mr / Ms Public' on the eventual receiving end that has had only that ' 5th grade science' exposure regarding nuclear. As you allude, the 'N' (nuclear) word invokes a serious, mostly irrational gut-wrench in many people out of pure misunderstanding of this naturally radioactive world. I don't mean to 'Dis' the audience in any way either. Many of these same people are truly brilliant in what they do, and are otherwise highly educated but like many of us are scared of the unknown. Media hype certainly doesn't help get the true message to people either. It seems that media is mostly interested in scaring people to garner attention, and some pundits show dismal ignorance as well. Radioactive fish! Exploding nuclear reactors! There are of course many additional fear generating buttons that are pushed, most of which are as over hyped as the 'radioactive fish' we seem to always hear about. It seems the media has been very successful in selling and installing the attitude of "My mind's made up; don't confuse me with the facts!"
I have some experience in teaching a highly technical and very specialized nuclear-related field to young men and women with only a high-school diploma in their pocket (long distance detection and measurements of nuclear explosive tests). If you like, I can take a crack in doing a little motivational writing to help with that bridge. I have a few ideas that may be of benefit. When I get a sample developed, would it be appropriate post it here to the forum for comment? I will keep the draft short, and try to stay in-scope of the topic. :) Mike


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PostPosted: Jul 26, 2016 6:52 pm 
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Mike! Welcome!

Excellent offer. I'd guess Alec may say post here but also join 5MN as he's linked. Can you use paragraphs please? Great!

I was thinking many of your same thoughts on the egghead factors. I experience many of these same reactions in attempting to bring up this subject with folks. The three-part PBS Uranium: Twisting the Dragon's Tail from last year is worth watching.

1. Jobs, economy, education, health, and more--everything depends on energy. Get energy right, the rest follow.

2. Non-emitting nuclear energy is the safest energy technology ever invented compared to coal, oil, and natural gas as the record shows. After Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima, U.S. voters are astonished by the nuclear safety record.

3. People need to stop believing the lie that diffuse renewable (solar, wind) can ever meet baseload demand. Ever since the decline of nuclear and gas fracking, carbon burning is increasing.

4. Fifth grade is not right--pre-internet. Wikipedia and Google are very efficient educational tools. In my day it was: freshman general science, sophomore chemistry, junior biology, senior physics to graduate from high school--required.

5. There is supposed to be a film--The Good Reactor--that would help a lot. I contacted the film makers and they keep delaying it. Why? Their budget was $50,000. Al Gore got $1 million to make An Inconvenient Truth. How is it that PBS would present Uranium: Twisting the Dragon's Tail last year? No one knows about thorium or fluoride molten salts or Milt Shaw? This is tragic.

6. Imagine if there were a global blackout for one day. After hundreds of years of burning through fossil deposits exhausted and the giant brown down; Jurassic climate.

_________________
"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


Last edited by Tim Meyer on Jul 27, 2016 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Jul 27, 2016 12:00 pm 
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Mikeaustria wrote:
One of the observations I have is that with almost everyone in the forum on the same (or similar) page, a very important message gets lost in the shuffle: for thorium to be successful in general, Mr. and Ms. Public has to be behind the concept, and outside this forum, almost no one has any idea what thorium is and what it can do for them.

Mike, The American Petroleum Institute spends millions and millions on a continuous daily feel-good "Vote4Energy" ad campaign promoting natural gas mainly with implicit support for carbon energy for the future.

C'mon! Take a log. Throw it on the fire. Stay warm. Cook your food. Pretty easy.

Now let's cook our food this time with a direct thermal feed from a thorium fluoride molten salt reactor.

Really?

It's a little more complicated than throwing some charcoal briquettes in the grill with starter fluid and a match. But a thorium LFTR would have heat enough for about ten million grills. That'd be a big ball game and a lot of beer.

(Hot air grill max 1,000 deg F. The FE LFTR PHX is 1,200 deg F. Or use the LFTR PCS electrical power to run a briquette maker - compress and heat silage into briquette coals.)

_________________
"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


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PostPosted: Jul 31, 2016 5:07 pm 
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Hi Tim and Alec,

Sorry, Tim! My post was more of a core-dump than a written piece. I will strive to apply paragraphs in the future! :mrgreen:

Here is the draft I promised: It's a short story called "Dad's Introduction to Thorium". Its theme centers around a father's education and motivation by his teenage daughter regarding Thorium.

Please let me know if this is a format and type of content that can help the project:
I tried to avoid the frightening side of science that puts people off, and keep it more conversational. Yes, some of the explanations are oversimplified, but that is by design as an 8th grader might tell the story:


Dad’s Introduction to Thorium

As Dad walked in the door after another long, hard 10-hour day dealing with innumerable accounting problems as work, he remembered his promise to his family to not be such a grouch after a bad day, as was his previous habit.

“Hi everybody! What’s for dinner”?

Smiling, Nancy, his 13 year old 8th grade daughter looks up from her homework assignment, and says:
“Hey, Dad! Mom’s making spaghetti tonight. Judging by that great smell, I think it’s almost ready”

“Sounds great! After today, I can use some real comfort food! And how was your day at school? Still bummed about that last math test”?

“Nah, I just need to get tuned in to logarithms. At least I passed. By the way, my science teacher, Mr. Morrisey, started a new subject this week. It looks pretty exciting. Have you ever heard of an element called Thorium”?

“What-I-um? No, can’t say I have. OK, I’ll bite, what is it”?

“Thorium. It’s a natural element, about 3 times more common than Uranium, that can be used to make electricity”.

“Something new”?

“Actually, Mr. Morrisey said it’s really pretty old. They tested it out back in the 1950 and ‘60s, built a special atomic reactor designed just to use it, and ran it for over 4 years, and it worked great”.

“If it was so great, why aren’t they using it now? They probably found some problem with it that would end the world as we know it, or maybe just this what-I-um stuff costs a huge fortune to get. Don’t forget that I do accounting for a living, and cost is always the bottom line deciding factor”.

“Mr. Morrisey told us the reason that they stopped was because Thorium can’t be used to make nuclear weapons and bombs, and in the 50s and 60s, that was the goal of almost all the government atomic programs. The electricity making side of the Uranium and Plutonium was sort of an afterthought to sell the nuclear idea to the public as the peaceful atom”.

“Yeah, the peaceful atom… Three mile island! Chernobyl! Fukushima! Real peaceful. Now we have radioactive salmon swimming up the Columbia River”!

“Mr. Morrisey talked about that, too! It’s because the old Uranium power plants like Fukushima have to use high pressure water to keep them under control, and that makes them a ticking time bomb when an accident happens. The Uranium core melts, all that pressure gets released, and all the radioactive waste inside gets blown all over the countryside and contaminates everything for centuries!
He also told us that the old Thorium designs didn’t need either the water or the pressure to keep things under control. To make it work, they had to mix the Thorium into a really hot melted salt. The Thorium got slowly converted as it is needed to a safer non-bomb Uranium, which then splits and releases energy, keeping the salt melted. If the salt cools too much, the salt freezes, and the reactor stops working and shuts off. He said it’s like the difference in control of a car. With Uranium reactors, the controllers have to keep their foot on the brake or it runs away. With the Thorium, the controllers have to keep their foot on the gas to keep it running”.

“OK, smarty, what if someone floors the gas pedal and tries to make the thing run away on purpose”?

“The extra heat makes the salt swell up inside, and the swelling dilutes the reaction which slows it down again, and still doesn’t increase the pressure so it can’t blow up! “

Now more intrigued, and more anxious than ever to catch his know-it-all kid with a ‘gotcha!’ question she couldn’t answer, Dad said:
“OK Miss smarty-pants, what about Fukushima? They say the reason it blew up was loss of their electric generators stopped all their water pumps and made the thing overheat. What happens with the What-I-um thing when the power quits”?

“That’s one of the neat things about the Thorium system. The power quits, and the cooling fan that kept a drain pipe full of frozen salt cool, also quits. The salt in the drain pipe then warms up and melts, and the whole reactor full of melted reacting Thorium, Uranium, salt and everything else in there drains by simple gravity down the now-open pipe into a special underground tank where it all freezes into a solid block of salt, and the reactions stop! There is still no pressurization to blow it up! And when they fix the electric problem, they can heat the solid block of salt, pump it back into the reactor, and restart the whole thing because the reactor doesn’t get damaged at all”.

“Dad,” Nancy continued with a wry smile, “There is something else with this Thorium reactor business that you especially will like”.

“OK, I’ll bite again, what am I going to like”?

“There are hundreds of tons of Thorium already mined and just sitting around. It’s considered a waste by the rare-earth mineral miners, and they will actually pay someone big bucks to cart it off their hands. But that’s not the coolest thing. When it gets going, the Thorium system can put almost all the coal, oil, Uranium and natural gas companies out of business because the Thorium is safer, tons less radioactive waste and a lot cheaper to operate than them. Which means, Dad, that this new / old garbage material will be worth Trillions of dollars. That’s Trillions, with a ‘T’. Not to mention that there is no CO2 or methane to mess up the climate or long-lived radioactive waste to be stored thousands of years”.

Suddenly, Dad’s bad day at the accounting office didn’t seem quite so bad. Nancy, sensing she might have finally gotten through to Dad in a language he best understood, money, continued:

“Dad, if you need to find out more about the Thorium reactors and what the possibilities are, I can pull up a couple of web sites with good explanations. Or better yet, the school parent – teacher meeting is scheduled for next week. You’ll love Mr. Morrisey! He has a real cool way of explaining the most complex science things. I’m sure he’d love to meet you and,” Nancy said with a huge wink, “Tell you what a great kid you have”!

Mom called out from the kitchen: “Dinner’s ready! Nancy! Go drag your brother off that Ipad and tell him to come eat with the family”!

As Dad got up to go to the kitchen, his head envisioned a potential fortune for the taking. “Sure sounds too good to be true, but Nancy was pretty convincing for an 8th grader”, Dad thought. “Yes, I’ll have to check into this a little closer. Even if it’s only got a few grains of validity, maybe there might be something to all this. Maybe Mr. Morrisey can add something to back up all these dreamy claims that a non-scientist money guy can understand”.

End.


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PostPosted: Aug 01, 2016 9:27 am 
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Tim,
Thank you for the welcome back. Things got busy up in DC but in a good way. Running some things by Kirk to help shift that public perception as well.
We have just started and the overall scheme is quite large with lots of content as you mention. But once we get it all done then it’ll be maintenance and much simpler, content wise at least.
There are indeed a lot of sources for content; we are using them as we can to make sure we stay accurate. Just too much for a couple people to go through it all. Hence we asked for help.
Going off of your list of points:
1. Energy is being looked at as a basic human right, next to water, and recently internet is being talked about. With all of the capabilities that Flibe brings to the table there could be a future where those 3 are just part of your taxes since it would be a stable price and easily acquired.
2. There was a waste transportation meeting and people had no idea about the shipping practices and safety history that nuclear has.
3. The idea that 1 trillion dollars for solar would power the US is alluring (have had several people mention that number, haven’t checked it personally) but storage and infrastructure aren’t there. I like renewable on a small, more personal scale.
4. 5th grade understanding as far as explanations go is what was meant.
5. Media is one of our targets once content is good to go and we have some investment to do so.
6. Natural gas has 84 years of fuel left at the current rate. So regardless of how people feel about nuclear it will need to be addressed soon.


Mike,
Glad to hear from you and I agree with what you said, nearly everyone in this forum is on the same page. We all see and understand not just Thorium but nuclear in general. Reaching out and making that felt by others will indeed be a challenge but it is one that we want to undertake wince it will help shape the future energy landscape.
The outline is interesting; it hits on the points and has a nice storytelling vibe. I sent a link to Alex to make sure he sees it.
Here is a link to an example article on our site http://www.5-minute-nuclear.com/neutron/


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PostPosted: Aug 01, 2016 2:22 pm 
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Hello Tim, Mike, Alec, and everyone else here on EFT!

First and foremost, let me thank you for your interest and willingness to help this endeavor. I am just getting back in town so I shall be commenting on particulars above separately.

Ushering in a new era of human history is no simple task, but there is a plan of action. Bringing the nuclear educational content to the people ("Mr. & Mrs. Public" as Mike said) is comprised of a multi-faceted National outreach campaign ("the bridge") which has already been designed and structured to a large degree by 5MN. The scale to which this is being designed is unprecedented even for the likes of F500 companies.

The backbone of this outreach campaign, as well as others which have been designed, is we need ALL major industries (...ok.. NOT petroleum industries :wink: ...) to recognize how the anti-nuclear sentiment is hurting their bottom line and become sponsors. That bridge is long for sure, but the blue-print has already been established. This web based educational portal is but a first, and necessary, stepping-stone to the future.

The ideas Mike and Tim outlined above are great and it is not my intent to stop anyone from writing and conveying ideas in your own way provided the articles are clear, accurate, and to the point. Your unique experiences are exactly what I want to bring to the table.

Mike:
That story you provided above is a good overview of LFTR and Thorium in general and I would be very pleased to have articles written in this way; with but 2 minor cautions. I imagine it's difficult to engage an audience for the duration of the story (... peoples attention spans are only about 15 seconds these days...) and your premise is at risk of being lost in superfluous detail. It is my intent to bring video animators/artists onto 5MN in the future; scripts like this would be perfect for that endeavor.
If story telling is your preferred method I am certain we can facilitate it; we just need to discuss how it should be implemented efficiently. As it stands; I am inclined to post it because I very much like the way it reads. Each topic 'Dad' and 'Nancy' Talk about can/should be given their own articles hyper-linked to them for continuity. Perhaps these other articles should not be in 'Story mode'. Mike, Please Email me at alex.kernan@5-minute-nuclear.com so I have your email and we can discuss further. I would like to hear your ideas on how to reach people with this 'Story Mode' approach. As i eluded to already; It fits in very well with a few ideas I have of my own.



Again, Love the ideas, the enthusiasm, and the willingness to help. Lets put our heads together and change the world.

Please email me , pm me here, or add to this post should you have any questions.


Alex
alex.kernan@5-minute-nuclear.com

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-Alex Kernan


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PostPosted: Aug 01, 2016 2:47 pm 
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Mike! "Dad's Introduction to Thorium" is charming. I love it. It's a perfect setting for an awkward subject. There may be some minor editing suggestions that I would not try at this moment until others have perhaps commented? Otherwise, it's a decent ad, yes? Nancy covered the best aspects embodied in the FE LFTR as best as a partisan can tell. I like Alex's ideas.

One thing: I'm pretty sure we do not capitalize element names unless they start a sentence (e.g. "thorium"). Correct? I studied proofreading some a few years ago.

I'm glad you avoided introducing the reality that where there's U-233, eventually there's U-232 that rapidly develops a high gamma field around the thorium molten salt reactor works! (LWR gamma is more contained?) Doable technologies for working in the gamma fields are envisioned?

I cannot write on nuclear engineering points. The discussion of WASH-1222 between our host, Mr. Kirk Sorensen (cryptonym Morrisey?) and Charles Barton, the son of one of the original Oak Ridge chemists, was illuminating to say the least.

The point is that an 8th grader can hold our politicians' feet to the fire on getting necessary laws passed on thorium and fluid fueled designs. Everyone talks about a better future for next generations. Here we have Nancy representing. Good!

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"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


Last edited by Tim Meyer on Aug 01, 2016 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Aug 01, 2016 3:06 pm 
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Excellent, Alec! Very good news.

Alex, I like your advice to Mike on story mode. That's a good plan. Who doesn't like stories? May I say it worked for Jesus? (My dear departed mother and father raised me Irish Catholic. Math required. Who cares about the human aspects of this forum? Consideration for persons and all the rest. People here are cryptic. We don't know who they are or where they are or what their backgrounds are or what they look like except for just a few and they are the decent ones. Whatever.)

Your entry on the neutron, Alex, is impressive. This forum has a large number of excellent writers. I hope they'll join in these edits. Soon I'll find my first 5-minute project so y'all can see how unabashedly slow I am. I'm not competing.

Come February next year, we'll have a new administration and a new Congress. The dates of the first meetings on energy better be on our EFT radars!

I still think the film The Good Reactor is a major deal. The filmmaker just answered my release date question and said they're furiously working on it. I pray it's got the stuff. This thorium deal is coming to the public consciousness soon. It'll happen fast when it does. It's building now. So far it seems in the main, just like Dad, most people have never heard of thorium.

_________________
"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


Last edited by Tim Meyer on Aug 10, 2016 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Aug 02, 2016 5:19 pm 
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Alex, Alec and Tim!

First of all, thank you all for the positive vibes regarding 'Dad'! I find the comments very flattering and helpful!

As I alluded before, this is a form of trial draft (yes, it's a little rough around the edges) to see if the format might work. It is a bit long, and Alex, you are right about the nominal attention span nowadays! But I think the novice to thorium might need something to focus his/her initial attention in a totally non-threatening way (family dinner time, homework sessions).

I can certainly cut it down, and drop one or two features to bring back later in a separate short piece (The website is, after all, 5-minute-nuclear.com :) . If written correctly, with the proper sales techniques embedded in the text, Mr / Ms Public could become more engaged and want to find out more about it (implanting factual non-story links is probably a great way to do that)! But due care must be taken, as you noted, not to lose the message in 'fluff' but keep the reader engaged toward the goal. That is not easy these days with the 15-second (if you're lucky!) attention span.

As to writing formats, I can also do intermediate-technical, not only story lines, but everyone on the Forum can handle technical. 'Dad' has a hard time with it, as do Mr. and Ms Public in general.

I looked at the "Neutrons: what are they" post as from 'Dad's' perspective. It's a great piece, but I think it may benefit from a slightly more gentle lead-in linked to it, as 'Dad' might be scared off by long numbers with exponents. I love the 'Ninja' comparison, as it plays into a 'known to unknown' path. (The Ninja neutron, silently slipping undetected past the coulombic force defenses and into the grasp of the strong force, approaching within femtometer striking range of the unsuspecting proton...)

That may be a great introductory avenue, if a bit cheesy. :) :lol: OK,... totally cheesy... But maybe effective as an attention getter? That may also play into your plan for video animators and artists, as it can conjure up strong visual images.

I have a number of other possible story lines to offer, including documentary modes or even a couple of word-plays of a clueless individual trying to come to grips that such a thing as 'LFTR' exists.

There is already a ton of highly serious technical information absolutely essential to the engineering track out there, but it absolutely scares Mr. and Ms. Public to death because all they know is what anti-nuclear agenda, corporate self-interest in status-quo, and slanted media have screamed at them for years: "Nuclear will kill you to death, with REALLY serious effects to follow shortly thereafter"!

An initial light touch coupled with accurate reality education and a strong, persistent sales force (such as Tim noted with the American Petroleum Institute spending millions pushing fossil fuel consumption) may go a long way toward the ultimate goal: discrediting the misinformation and getting Mr. and Ms Public on board and supportive.

Alex, I think your website is a great way to start this off!

Mike


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PostPosted: Aug 09, 2016 10:31 pm 
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I have rewritten and divided 'Dad's Introduction to Thorium' to two parts to keep the posts within word length, and to smooth out the writing a little. I also am trying to keep it relatively non-technical to help garner interest in the general public.

Please let me know if I am on the right track?

Dad’s Introduction to Thorium, Part 1

Dad walked in the door exhausted after another long, hard 10-hour day of accounting problems at the office:
“Hi everybody! What’s for dinner”?
Smiling, Nancy, his 13 year old 8th grade daughter looked up from her homework assignment:
“Hey, Dad! Mom’s making spaghetti tonight. Judging by that great smell, I think it’s almost ready”
“Sounds great! After today, I can use some real comfort food! And how was your day at school? Still bummed about that last math test”?
“Nah, I just need to get tuned in to logarithms. At least I passed. By the way, my science teacher, Mr. Morrisey, started a new subject this week. It looks pretty exciting. Have you ever heard of an element called thorium”?
“What-I-um? No, can’t say I have. OK, I’ll bite, what is it”?
“Thorium. It’s a natural element, about 3 times more common than uranium, that can be used to make electricity”.
“Something new”?
“Actually, Mr. Morrisey said it’s really pretty old. They tested it out back in the 1950 and ‘60s, built a special atomic reactor designed just to use it, and ran it for over 4 years, and it worked great”.
“If it was so great, why aren’t they using it now? They probably found some problem with it that would generate a black hole and kill everybody. I’m sure this what-I-um stuff costs a huge fortune making it uneconomical. You know I do accounting for a living, and cost is always the deciding factor”.
“Mr. Morrisey told us the reason that they stopped was because thorium can’t be used to make nuclear weapons and bombs, and in the 50s and 60s, that was the goal of almost all the government atomic programs. The electricity making side of the uranium and plutonium was sort of an afterthought to sell the nuclear idea to the public as the peaceful atom”.
“Yeah, the peaceful atom… Three mile island! Chernobyl! Fukushima! Real peaceful. Now we have radioactive salmon swimming up the Columbia River”!
“Mr. Morrisey talked about that, too! It’s because the old uranium power plants like Fukushima have to use high pressure water to keep them under control, and that makes them a ticking time bomb when an accident happens. The uranium core melts, all that pressure gets released, and all the radioactive waste inside gets blown all over the countryside and contaminates everything for centuries!
He also told us that the old thorium designs didn’t need either the water or the pressure to keep things under control. To make it work, they had to mix the thorium into a really hot melted salt. The thorium got slowly converted as it is needed to a safer non-bomb uranium, which then splits and releases energy, keeping the salt melted. If the salt cools too much, the salt freezes, and the reactor stops working and shuts off. He said it’s like the difference in control of a car. With uranium reactors, the controllers have to keep their foot on the brake or it runs away. With the thorium, the controllers have to keep their foot on the gas to keep it running”.
“OK, smarty, what if someone accidently floors the gas pedal and the thing starts to run away”?
“The extra heat makes the salt swell up inside, and the swelling dilutes the reaction which automatically slows it down again, and still doesn’t increase the pressure so it can’t blow up! “
Mom called out from the kitchen: “Dinner’s ready! Nancy! Go drag your brother off that Ipad and tell him to come eat with the family”!
End.


Dad’s Introduction to Thorium, Part 2.
As the family sat down to Mom’s delicious spaghetti dinner, Dad began to become more intrigued with his daughter’s obvious interest in this new What-I-um stuff. He wanted now more than ever to test her depth of interest and try to catch his know-it-all kid with a ‘gotcha!’ question she couldn’t answer. Dad said:
“OK Miss smarty-pants, what about Fukushima? They say the reason it blew up was loss of their electric generators stopped all their water pumps and made the thing overheat. What happens with the What-I-um thing when the power quits”?
“That’s one of the neat things about the thorium system. The power quits, and the electric cooling fan that kept a drain pipe full of frozen salt cool, also quits. The salt in the drain pipe then warms up and melts, and the whole reactor full of melted reacting thorium, uranium, salt and everything else in there drains by simple gravity down the now-open pipe into a special underground tank where it all freezes into a solid block of salt, and the reactions stop! There is still no pressurization to blow it up! And when the fix the electric problem, they can heat the solid block of salt, pump it back into the reactor, and restart the whole thing because the reactor doesn’t get damaged at all”.
“Dad,” Nancy continued with a wry smile, “There is something else with this thorium reactor business that you especially will like”.
“OK, I’ll bite again, what am I going to like”?
“There are hundreds of tons of thorium already mined and just sitting around. It’s considered a waste by the rare-earth mineral miners, and they will actually pay someone big bucks to cart it off their hands. But that’s not the coolest thing. When it gets going, the thorium system can put almost all the coal, oil, uranium and natural gas companies out of business because the thorium is safer, tons less radioactive waste and a lot cheaper to operate than them. Which means, Dad, that this new / old garbage material will be worth Trillions of dollars. That’s Trillions, with a ‘T’. Not to mention that there is no CO2 or methane to mess up the climate or long-lived radioactive waste to be stored thousands of years”.
Nancy, sensing she might have finally gotten through to Dad in a language he best understood, money, continued:
“Dad, if you’d like to find out more about the thorium reactors and what the possibilities are, I can pull you up a couple of good web sites with good explanations. Or better yet, the school parent – teacher meeting is scheduled for next week. You’ll love Mr. Morrisey! He has a real cool way of explaining the most complex science things. I’m sure he’d love to meet you and,” Nancy said with a huge wink, “Tell you and Mom what a great kid you have”!
“Yes, I’ll have to check into this a little closer. Maybe there just might be something to all this. I still don’t understand it all, but it sounds like there may be money to be made. Maybe Mr. Morrisey can add something that a non-scientist money guy can understand. Can you pass the spaghetti, please”?
End.


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PostPosted: Aug 10, 2016 10:49 am 
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Mike,

I like the original. Word count restriction ought to be a flexible range. Your original—especially proper story format with paragraphs and using space for readability—is better. Don't use the parts. It still hasn't posted at 5MN so maybe you and Alex are still working that out.

Where I come from, I was forced by my degree-granting institutions to pass writing emphasis in almost every course I took. This forum is a written medium. Posts have an edit button.

What is your impression of this forum? Have you read through posts here? Thanks.

_________________
"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


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PostPosted: Aug 10, 2016 12:05 pm 
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Alec, Alex, Mike, 5MN team:

I wonder about Alec's suggested initial work list in core-dump format. Below is a reformatted reordered version framed with respect to public outreach priorities. Notice I bumped the science topics to the bottom. Either Alex or Alec can comment on the nature of the 5-Minute Nuclear audience.

Public Opinion

o Nuclear In Your Backyard:
o Nuclear Reactors by State:
o Safety Records:
o Proliferation: Explain what proliferation is and the debate over it in the public and the nuclear community
o Nuclear Waste:
o Types of Waste Levels: Describe the different levels of waste and the limits involved with each
o Precautions for Waste: Detail and explain the precautionary measures taken towards nuclear waste coming from power plants
o Amount of Waste in Total: Explain and graph the waste amounts from the different waste levels
o Nuclear Accidents:
o Nuclear Meltdown: Explain the meaning of a nuclear meltdown in terms of the reactor core, and its effect on the planet
o Chernobyl: Provide a basic explanation of the mechanical and personnel flaws that led to the accident
o Three Mile Island: Provide a basic explanation of the mechanical and personnel flaws that led to the accident
o Fukushima: Provide a basic explanation of the mechanical and personnel flaws that led to the accident
o Psychological:
o Bystander Effect: Delve into the psychological aspects of masses of people having negative opinions but with little to no understanding of nuclear
o Logical Fallacies: Describe the concept of logical fallacies and the effect the idea has had on the psyche of the public towards nuclear energy


Policy

o Regulatory Organizations: United States; What they do and are involved with:
o DOE:
o NRC: What it is that they do and are involved with?
o DOT: What it is that they do and are involved with?
o Regulatory Organizations: International
o Building Requirements/Authorization:
o Locations that are permitted to be built on; what goes into site allocation.
o How many levels of authorization are needed to build somewhere?
o Waste Storage:
o Yucca Mtn: What the original plan was and why?
o Yucca Mtn: Why it is not working; How it was planned; The ramifications of that.
o Prohibitive Nuclear Policy:
o Space Market: Provide examples of when and why space missions were deemed unsafe due to strict policies involving nuclear cargo/machinery
o Energy Market: Provide examples of when and why nuclear energy got forced out of the market and why.
o Part 1 – When and why this happened
o Part 2 – How it is being addressed so far
o Medical Market:
o Manufacturing Market:
o Reactor Design:
o Pro/Anti-Gen IV:
o Pro-Gen IV: detail a Pro-Gen IV policy maker and his/her contribution to positive nuclear policies
o Anti-Gen IV: detail an Anti-Gen IV policy maker and his/her contribution to positive nuclear policies
o Denote the World’s regulatory response to a developing Gen3+ and Gen4 reactor technology, including what, how, and why the changes were made
o 2 Articles: Outline prohibitive policy against small scale nuclear research companies (i.e. multi-million dollar reactor license fees)
o How are electrical power plants commissioned in the United States?
o Describe the difference in policy and process to get a thermal, hydro, and nuclear power plant commissioned
o Beyond Design Stress/Failure Tests:



Reactor Capabilities: Going through each of the following types of reactors by their ability to:

o BE SAFE!

Freeze frame: By now it should be clear to everyone that health and safety of nuclear is driving the train. This item ought to be numero uno. Same for the following item:

o non-proliferation (health and safety)
o create energy ($/kWh) - Show me the money.
o cost to build - Show me the money.
o desalinate/purify water
o create biofuel
o create medical isotopes (that can be easily separated)

Freeze frame: I hear people here and elsewhere talking about "ease" on this whole subject of promoting nuclear energy especially with using the Weinberg MSBR for starting the thorium fuel cycle. That word "ease" ought to be reserved for certified nuclear engineers working in the industries. If an author of a post is not a nuclear engineer or some science professional with experience in nuclear or related areas, the use of the word "ease" ought to be expressly called out with gentle reprimand.

All that for each of these:

o Very High temp reactor - VHTR
o Sodium cooled fast reactor - SFR
o Super critical water cooled reactor - SCWR
o Gas cooled fast reactor - GFR
o Lead cooled fast reactor - LFR
o Molten salt reactor – MSR
o Traveling wave reactor - TWR
o Accelerator-driven systems - ADS

Reactor Designs: Explain the different generations of reactors, their overall purpose at the time of development, where they are found, general requirements for spot and specific locations, and the significant design changes that follow:

o Gen I:
o Gen II:
o Gen III:
o Gen III+:
o Gen IV:



Base Information and Principles

o Modern/Newtonian Physics: Explain the difference between Modern Physics and Newtonian Physics
o Angular Momentum: Describe the differences between spin angular momentum and orbital angular momentum and their corresponding applications to nuclear physics
o Electron Angular Momentum: Give a general explanation of electron angular momentum
o Spin Angular Momentum: Give a general explanation of spin angular momentum
o Orbital Angular Momentum: Give a general explanation of orbital angular momentum
o Particles: Provide the reader with a general understanding of the particles of physics, both atomic and subatomic, and their importance in nuclear energy
o Atomic Particles - Explain the discovery and importance of protons in all fields of physics:
o Protons:
o Neutrons:
o Electrons:
o Neutron Cross Sections: Explain what neutron cross sections are and the application in nuclear energy
o Neutron Activation: Explain the process of neutron activation
o Subatomic Particles:
o Boson/Fermion: Explain the difference between a subatomic particle that falls under the category of Boson and those of which that are referred to as Fermions
o Quarks: Give a general description of the six types of quarks (up, down, bottom, top, strange, and charm) and their role in atomic particles
o Leptons: Give a general description of the six types of leptons (electron, electron neutrino, muon, muon neutrino, tau, and tau neutrino) and their role in atomic particles
o Gauge Bosons: Give a general description of the twelve types of gauge bosons (photon of electromagnetism, the three W and Z bosons of the weak force, and the eight gluons of the strong force) and their role in atomic particles
o Higgs Boson: Provide a description of the Higgs Boson and its origin and importance in particle physics
o Nuclear/Radiation Physics:
o Nuclear Reactor Moderation Mechanisms:
o Six Factor Formula: Outline and detail the six factor formula and its importance in reactor design and maintenance
o Mechanical Reactor Control: Detail the process and machines involved in controlling a hot reactor
o Nuclear Decay Process: Describe the general process involved in nuclear decays and the application towards physics and nuclear energy
o Isotopes: Brief description of what an isotope is and how it can be formed
o Medical Isotopes: Explain the use of isotopes in the medical field
o Isotopes Used for Military: Explain the use of isotopes in the military and in warfare
o Isotopes Used for Machinery: Explain the use of isotopes in machine work
o Isotopes Used for Experimentation: Explain the use of isotopes in experimentation
o Isotope Band of Stability: Explain what it is, leading to explaining why the stability stops all isotopes from killing us
o Bite-Sized Nuclear:
o Nuclear Reactor: Give a brief explanation of what a nuclear reactor is
o How does a nuclear reactor work?
o Nuclear Reactor: What Millions of People Don’t Know - Alex Kernan
o Fission: Explain what fission is and its application in our existence
o Fission: The Origin of the Heat - Alex Kernan
o Criticality: Explain the concept of criticality, along with a reactor that is subcritical, critical, and supercritical
o Criticality: “Let’s get something straight…” - Alex Kernan

_________________
"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


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PostPosted: Aug 10, 2016 2:00 pm 
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Alex and Alec:

If not done already, let's have the 5MN Contributor section have a work list widget populated from Alec's list here in EFT. We need to move this out of Kirk's "Energy from Thorium" forum. The widget could track the topics, their author assignments, etc. The editor interface tracks the versions. Essayons!

------------------------------------------------

Someone commented in an irrelevant thread recently on how Dr. David LeBlanc's DMSR produces less transuranics than Kirk's LFTR. No one mentioned that such knowledge is impossible: no test results from working MSRs are available because they don't exist. The closest humans ever got was courtesy of Dr. Alvin M. Weinberg, Director ORNL. Kirk rebutted with how Dr. David doesn't know Kirk's reactor.

And in any case, this forum was not restricted to credentialed nuclear people at the get go. If it had, I for one wouldn't have been allowed in here. I did analytical chemistry for the Corps of Engineers once. (You know, Gen. Leslie Groves who ran the bomb project out of Manhattan District. I learned a lot in my ten years at the Corps that had less to do with analytical chemistry.)

When I was granted access to this forum last December, my first post was my comment under the October 2015 EPRI Tech Assessment of the Flibe Energy LFTR that this forum has a ton of irrelevant information given that the title of this forum is "energy from thorium." That's a very narrow subject area. This is what transpired:

Kirk Sorensen wrote:
Tim Meyer wrote:
Is this report not a triumph?


Well, I certainly think so.

Tim Meyer wrote:
Is the LFTR doomed?


No, but I certainly share your surprise that more of the commenters on this site would rather talk about a thousand other things of far lesser significance than the first thought-out, carefully-described, credibly-backed design work on a thorium molten-salt breeder reactor since the 1970s. It just goes to show how poorly I guess at how people will respond to things.

Tim Meyer wrote:
I'm voting for Team Flibe-Teledyne backed by Southern.


I appreciate that, but the contractual relationship between the parties ended at the conclusion of this study. I am always open to seeing it reestablished in the future but at present Southern Company Services is pursuing the molten-chloride fast reactor concept that has been put forward to them by TerraPower. Although I suspect they will come back around in time.

Tim Meyer wrote:
I, too, congratulate you, Kirk, not only for enlisting Vanderbilt's help and EPRI's endorsement, but for your great courage and personal sacrifices to champion what I hope will become one of the most important technological achievements in human history. Going head-to-head with Jack D seems to me fearsome.


Thank you.

Not too worried about Jack though.


Dear Mr. Kirk:

Welcome me to this forum, please. Whatever. Thanks for at least talking with me about my observations. Even if your forum got out of hand, I, for one, got free lessons from you, Dr. David, Lars, Cyril, Jim, Charles Barton (whose father was an original ORNL chemist), Kurt, E, who else? Thanks to you and everyone. The discussions preserved here since it's inception over ten years ago and growing are beneficial to the uninitiated in nuclear.

Our United States (Milton Shaw) made a grave mistake in 1973 to fire Dr. Weinberg from ORNL and cancel the MSBR program. The LMFBR never panned out. And then Three Mile Island happened. U.S. Nuclear seems to have been in a frozen state ever since. It's been forty years.

When I first saw McDowell's Thorium Remix and your talks, I was astonished. I became absorbed in the Thorium Energy Alliance conference talks over the years and many documentaries on nuclear. Something just isn't right. Maybe it's the U-232. Maybe "the powers" decided that it's gamma field makes Dr. Alvin's machine impracticable even if the graphite problem could be solved. It's a mystery.

_________________
"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

—James Arthur Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic


Last edited by Tim Meyer on Aug 26, 2016 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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