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Thorium as an energy source?

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  • Thorium as an energy source?

    FYI, there was a CERN colloquium last week on thorium as an energy source, with a nice overview of the various options for using Th. The slides may be downloaded and viewed.
    Source: CERN colloquium

    To meet the tremendous world energy needs, systematic R&D has to be pursued to replace fossil fuels. The ThEC13 conference organized by iThEC at CERN last October has shown that thorium is seriously considered by developing countries as a key element of their energy strategy. Developed countries are also starting to move in the same direction. How thorium could make nuclear energy (based on thorium) acceptable to society will be discussed. Thorium can be used both to produce energy and to destroy nuclear waste. As thorium is not fissile, one elegant option is to use an accelerator, in so-called “Accelerator Driven Systems (ADS)”, as suggested by Carlo Rubbia.
    CERN’s important contributions to R&D on thorium related issues will be mentioned as well as the main areas where CERN could contribute to this field in the future.

    © Copyright Original Source


    I remain skeptical of the cost-effectiveness of the proposed ADS solutions. They require an accelerator the size of the SNS at Oak Ridge, an expensive and complex instrument.
    "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." – Albert Einstein

  • #2
    Wouldn't inventing matter/anti-matter nacelles be simpler?

    Out of curiosity, how common is thorium? (And why would you name a non-fissile material for Thor? )

    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


    "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

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    • #3
      Why a non-fissile element like Thorium to begin with?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Omniskeptical View Post
        Why a non-fissile element like Thorium to begin with?
        Because fissile materials make big holes when they melt down? I suppose an accelerator would just rust... Figuratively speaking, of course...

        "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


        "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

        My Personal Blog

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
          Because fissile materials make big holes when they melt down? I suppose an accelerator would just rust... Figuratively speaking, of course...
          I suggest that you and Omni look at the slides that were presented at the CERN colloquium if you really want answers to your questions. I provided a link to them in the opening post.
          "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." – Albert Einstein

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          • #6
            Oops - I looked before but didn't see the link. Thanks!

            "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


            "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

            My Personal Blog

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
              Wouldn't inventing matter/anti-matter nacelles be simpler?

              Out of curiosity, how common is thorium? (And why would you name a non-fissile material for Thor? )
              Is this what you had in mind teal:

              "The man from the yacht thought he was the first to find England; I thought I was the first to find Europe. I did try to found a heresy of my own; and when I had put the last touches to it, I discovered that it was orthodoxy."
              GK Chesterton; Orthodoxy

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                Oops - I looked before but didn't see the link. Thanks!
                According to the slides, Th is about as abundant as Pb on earth (much more than U). India has been interested in Th for many years, since they have lots of Th and very little U.
                "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." – Albert Einstein

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Omniskeptical View Post
                  Why a non-fissile element like Thorium to begin with?
                  Because of the abundance of Th, and because countries like India don't have much U. Th can be converted to U in a breeder reactor, or can be used in an ADSR, as described in the slides.
                  "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." – Albert Einstein

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kbertsche View Post
                    According to the slides, Th is about as abundant as Pb on earth (much more than U). India has been interested in Th for many years, since they have lots of Th and very little U.
                    Yep, saw that (amazing how much easier it is once you notice the link... ). But given the infrastructure involved, this doesn't seem presently workable for most Third World nations (India being the most obvious exception).


                    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                    "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                    My Personal Blog

                    My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lilpixieofterror View Post
                      Is this what you had in mind teal:

                      Well, without the whole ship - but yes.

                      "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                      "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                      My Personal Blog

                      My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kbertsche View Post
                        Because of the abundance of Th, and because countries like India don't have much U. Th can be converted to U in a breeder reactor, or can be used in an ADSR, as described in the slides.
                        OH!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I can see where a nation like India could make use of such technology - they are much further along in the 'developing' category - but not most third World nations which would lack the considerable support infrastructure necessary.

                          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                          "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                          My Personal Blog

                          My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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