Great Videos from Alex Pasternack!

I really enjoyed watching Alex Pasternack’s new short video on Dr. Edward Teller:

Motherboard TV: Doctor Teller’s Strange Loves, from the Hydrogen Bomb to Thorium Energy

Ralph Moir had told me this story about Teller before, but watching it presented this way with the video interviews of Teller and short descriptions of projects that we worked on, was much richer. Teller was indeed a very unique kind of person, whose early experiences with Communism in Hungary shocked his mind into responses that others struggled to understand. I hesitate to cast any judgements since I certainly did not go through what Teller went through, but I have noticed that among Hungarian emigres to the US of a particular age (and I have met several) there is an intensity of personality that I have come to believe must be a product of this environment.

In posting this, I went back to reference an earlier post I had made for Alex’s previous effort, “The Thorium Dream”, and discovered to my horror that I had never posted it on the blog! So in attempting to rectify for that past oversight, here is his enjoyable short documentary on the growing effort to bring an understanding of thorium and the molten-salt reactor to the world.

Motherboard TV: The Thorium Dream

Finally, Moir references the paper that he and Teller co-wrote, which was Teller’s final paper. For those of you who would like to read it, here it is in PDF form:

Thorium-Fueled Underground Power Plant Based on Molten Salt Technology, by Ralph Moir and Edward Teller, 2004

7 thoughts on “Great Videos from Alex Pasternack!

  1. A couple more good videos- thank you Kirk. Let me ask you- if there was one thing that you would want done now, for a maximum return on getting Thorium reactor that much closer to reality, what would it be? Funding? Investment? A hearing before congress? Before the Department of Energy? A bill passed? What would it be?

  2. Thanks for those videos. Interesting to watch and well made.

    I have the same question as Paul. In The Thorium Dream they mentioned the need for a "game changer". What could that be? Does it have to come from the government? Could it be Apple or Google deciding to invest in Flibe Energy? Does it include widespread awareness?

  3. OK, so Thorium is so great and it will save the world by proving endless energy. If so what are we waiting for? That's the question that this movie does not answer. What stops everybody from building thorium energy plants? I suppose something has to be done still to prove this, but what?
    Can somebody please explain.

    1. Yeah the names are Westinghouse and General Electric. There I said it out loud.
      Producers of solid fuel rods Used in light water reactors that are so inefficient I have to be replaced regularly. $$$$$

  4. I believe the key point here is that USA has enough COAL/Natural Gas to supply baseline electricity requirements for dozens of dozens of years.

    USA will not change to clean thorium until, other countries do it successfully and profitably.

    Our main goal should be promoting this thorium technology to china(india?,pakistan?), the sooner chinese complete thorium, the sooner america will have thorium.

  5. Elmo, I'd call it industrial, governmental and public inertia. The US government took the decision not to develop MSR technology decades ago. Solid uranium-based fuel with water cooling was developed, and legislated for, and an industry grew around that. This got started when prosperity was rising strongly, with the Cold War spurring nuclear development.

    Now we have an industry with various profitable sectors and an administrative framework for it to operate in. Solid uranium fueling has serious drawbacks, but in the economic downturn there's little enthusiasm to undertake expensive long-term development, and a strong incentive for those with vested interests to maintain the status quo.

    There is also the widespread public opposition to nuclear development. Demonstrably good performance from modern reactors would help to change that, but it's inertia again; prototypes are needed to get the good performance figures.

  6. Perhaps the answer is to build the prototype somewhere like Armenia; the country's virtually dependant on an ageing RBMK reactor for its energy needs and is likely to be more receptive to the new technology.

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