Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Apr 11, 2015 12:06 pm 
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Joined: Nov 14, 2013 7:47 pm
Posts: 569
Location: Iowa, USA
E Ireland wrote:
Even if the reactors had not been immediately shut down they would have had to SCRAM immediately because the tsunami destroyed the cooling water intakes for both the water-cooled generators and the main steam turbine sets.


I was not aware of that, thanks for the correction.

E Ireland wrote:
The whole thing would have been fine if the backup generators had all been air cooled and positioned such that the cooling pump switchgear hadn't been taken out by the tsunami


There was also the issue that the fuel tanks for the generators were swamped under the wave, the fuel was contaminated with seawater.

My estimation that the meltdown could have been averted solely with a change in policy does not seem plausible now. It seems to me that Japan has their nuclear reactors designed to withstand a 100 year tsunami but not a 500 year event like this one. I remember a news report that showed a prehistoric monument that warned future generations to build nothing closer to shore than its location. Those that felt the warning credible survived the tsunami, those that did not... did not.

I was thinking more about how we'd go about "making nuclear history" this morning, do we even have the capability to produce enough alternative energy generation to replace current sources? As in, if we build no more fossil or nuclear power plants could we make enough windmills, solar panels, hydroelectric dams, and what ever else these people deem as appropriate, then would we be able to keep up with energy demand from current growth and retired coal and nuclear plants? I have to doubt we could.

Again I feel like these people believe that the future will bring great leaps in technology for alternative energy but nuclear energy will remain stuck with 1970s technology.

I'm also reminded of a bit of "bumper sticker logic" that holds a lot of truth to me, do you know what they call "alternative medicine" that works? Medicine. By that logic, what should we call alternative energy that works?

_________________
Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.


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PostPosted: Apr 13, 2015 4:06 am 
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Joined: Mar 07, 2013 7:27 pm
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This is my first post here. I have followed Thorium for a while.

The comments about silver being limiting were bang on. But it is worse than just exhausting current reserves of silver. Reserves of a range of metals are set to begin falling. Peak metal essentially. Exploration success has been minimal for nearly 30 years, as the industry is very unstable.

So due to that alone, ultra resource intensive wind and solar are out of the question.

But it gets even worse. Those reserves assume an energy abundance. Reserves are really calculated against energy. If energy abundance falls/plummets with the transition to wind and solar, reserves collapse.

No one asked the resource sector if the infrastructure role out was feasible. It's not,
Not even close. Metal reserves are in big trouble as it is, there is no room for expansion on current energy abundance.


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PostPosted: Apr 14, 2015 1:59 am 
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Joined: May 15, 2011 12:06 am
Posts: 225
Tim Elliott wrote:
This is my first post here. I have followed Thorium for a while.

The comments about silver being limiting were bang on. But it is worse than just exhausting current reserves of silver. Reserves of a range of metals are set to begin falling. Peak metal essentially. Exploration success has been minimal for nearly 30 years, as the industry is very unstable.

So due to that alone, ultra resource intensive wind and solar are out of the question.

But it gets even worse. Those reserves assume an energy abundance. Reserves are really calculated against energy. If energy abundance falls/plummets with the transition to wind and solar, reserves collapse.

No one asked the resource sector if the infrastructure role out was feasible. It's not,
Not even close. Metal reserves are in big trouble as it is, there is no room for expansion on current energy abundance.


So "renewables" aren't so renewable after all. I had wondered about that, but I have never seen it spelled out clearly. The quantities of solar panels that they talk about are mind-boggling, yet no one ever seems to ask where all the materials will come from.

If you have a good link on this topic that is technically accurate but geared for the general public, please post it. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Apr 14, 2015 5:13 am 
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Joined: Sep 02, 2009 10:24 am
Posts: 507
More for silver investors:
http://www.caseyresearch.com/articles/l ... lar-demand

Solar panels used 60 million ounces in 2012.

Production is 820 million ounces
https://www.silverinstitute.org/site/su ... roduction/

I assume a reasonable contribution from solar power will need an order of magnitude increase in production - so probably not possible with current silver markets.

Bear in mind though:
- Solar panels will be recycled - so technically silver usage doesn't stop it being renewable
- The clever designers may be able to design out the silver - perhaps using more copper or aluminium.
- As with Uranium, a higher price will lead to more mining and more prospecting

The stone age didn't end for lack of stones. The same probably applies to fossil fuels, solar from silver and nuclear from uranium.


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PostPosted: Aug 25, 2015 3:55 pm 
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Joined: Dec 08, 2009 6:07 pm
Posts: 168
Location: Albuquerque NM USA
We could be doing more to combat the anti-nuclear propaganda.

How about producing a video showing a wind farm owner attempting to sell power to a utility? He would fail because he would not be able to guarantee how much power he had available to sell and when. A good script and good actors could make it very effective. Links to it could be posted wherever appropriate.

Recently I wrote a brief paper to be copied into threads which support renewable power. Here it is; feel free to copy it and make comments on it:

**********

Nuclear power is essential to minimize global warming. Half-way measures will make little difference.

By the year 2100, the global demand for power will increase by about FOUR TIMES as poor countries strive to lift their people out of poverty. That includes power for heating, cooling, lighting, cooking, transportation, sea water desalination, manufacturing, etc. To reduce CO2 emissions to acceptable levels, about 90% of that power must come from non-CO2 emitting sources.

Renewables, because of their intermittent nature, can make only a very minor contribution towards reducing CO2 emission although they are useful under some circumstances.

Only nuclear power can adequately reduce CO2 emissions so that 90% of global power will come from non-CO2 emitting sources. Unfortunately, the anti-nuclear crowd, by making government leaders afraid even to mention nuclear power, are leading us down a very destructive path.

Even though our current nuclear power technology is worse than mediocre, it still has a far better safety record than any other currently used power generating technology. It is capable of reducing CO2 emissions to an acceptable level and should be greatly expanded until we develop a better nuclear technology.

The reason we are temporarily stuck with a bad nuclear technology is that funds for R & D for better nuclear technologies were cut off in the late 1960s else we would already be using a better, more economical, more efficient, and safer nuclear power technology. The liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) looks especially promising, partly because it cannot melt down, but there are also other nuclear technologies that could be used to replace our current pressurized water nuclear reactors.

For more information, I suggest spending many hours studying. The following google searches will provide a good start:
“thorium reactor”
“integral fast reactor”
“pebble bed reactor”

Our government leaders should get over their fear of the anti-nuclear crowd and do what should be done, i.e., greatly expand nuclear power while supporting research for better nuclear technologies.


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