Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Motherboard TV: The Thorium Dream | Motherboard

Motherboard TV: The Thorium Dream | Motherboard

  • A LFTR is a completely different type of reactor. For one thing, it can't melt down. It's physically impossible. And since it’s air-cooled, it doesn’t have to be located near the shore. It can even be placed in an underground vault. A tsunami would roll over it, like a truck over a manhole cover.
    A LFTR uses liquid fuel -⎯nuclear material dissolved in molten fluoride salt. Conventional reactors are atomic pressure cookers, using solid fuel rods to super-heat water. And that means the constant possibility of high-pressure ruptures and steam leaks.
    LFTRs don’t use water. Instead, they heat CO2 gas to spin a turbine for generating power. So if a LFTR leaks, it’s not a catastrophe. The molten salt will "pool and cool" like candle wax, for easy containment, recovery, and re-use.
    LFTRs burn Thorium, a mildly radioactive material as common as tin and found all over the world. We’ve already mined enough raw Thorium to power the country for 400 years. It’s the waste at our Rare Earth Element mines.
    LFTRs consume fuel so efficiently that they can even use the spent fuel from other reactors, while producing a miniscule amount of waste themselves. In fact, the waste from a LFTR is virtually harmless in just 300 years. (No, that’s not a typo.) Yucca Mountain is obsolete. So are Uranium reactors.
    LFTR technology has been sitting on the shelf at Oak Ridge for over forty years. But now the manuals are dusted off, and a dedicated group of nuclear industry outsiders is ready to build another test reactor and give it a go.
    Will it work? If it doesn’t, we’ll have one more reactor to retire. But if it does work⎯- and there is every reason to believe that it will -⎯the LFTR will launch a new paradigm of clean, cheap, safe and abundant energy.
    Let’s build one and see.
  • lftrsuk a year ago

    It saddens me to say that, IMHO, this documentary lacks the power to influence either public opinion or the opinions of policy-makers.
    We need philanthropic big-bucks to get Michael Moore to tell the complete story of the saddest ever 'accident of history' that side-lined Thorium Molten Salt Reactor technology. All Americans need to know that Alvin Weinberg can occupy the position of the most important individual in history to beneficially influence the future of all humankind..

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