Thorium Nuclear Power
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What is Fusion? Fusion is the energy source of the Universe, occuring in the core of the Sun and stars. Fusion is the process at the core of our Sun. What we see as light and feel as warmth is the result of a fusion reaction: hydrogen nuclei collide, fuse into heavier helium atoms and release tremendous amounts of energy in the process.
The thorium fuel cycle is a nuclear fuel cycle that uses the naturally abundant isotope of thorium , 232 Th , as the fertile material . In the reactor, 232 Th is transmuted into the fissile artificial uranium isotope 233 U which is the nuclear fuel . Unlike natural uranium , natural thorium contains only trace amounts of fissile material (such as 231 Th ), which are insufficient to initiate a nuclear chain reaction . Additional fissile material or another neutron source are necessary to initiate the fuel cycle. In a thorium-fueled reactor, 232 Th absorbs neutrons eventually to produce 233 U .
The news item is based on a report on thorium which will be broadcast on the NRK Brennpunkt programme on Tuesday, 7 October. Brennpunkt has followed up several players all of whom – each in their different ways and to varying degrees, are looking into the potential future of thorium as a source of energy. Statkraft’s position on thorium is well known Statkraft has previously outlined the company’s opinion concerning the need for developing further competence as regards thorium.
“If it begins to overheat, a little plug melts and the salts drain into a pan. There is no need for computers, or the sort of electrical pumps that were crippled by the tsunami. The reactor saves itself,” he said. “They operate at atmospheric pressure so you don’t have the sort of hydrogen explosions we’ve seen in Japan.
In an article for Science Times, a Chinese journal, Mr He also questioned whether the government's calculations about the cost of nuclear power were accurate. "China is not rich in uranium resources," he said. "How much can we import from abroad?
Environment :: News :: September 26, 2007 :: :: Email :: Print New Jersey-based NRG Energy applies to build the first new nuclear power plant in the U.S. in more than 30 years By David Biello NEW NUKES: NRG Energy hopes to build two new advanced boiling water reactors at its South Texas nuclear power plant site.
Some scientists say we can save time and increase safety by replacing uranium-based reactors (like the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia, above) with ones focused on thorium. CC BY: Blatant World apan's escalating disaster at its Fukushima reactors is putting a damper on the nuclear power industry, just as nuclear energy was starting to bask in a post-Chernobyl glow. But instead of giving up on nuclear power, say an "almost cult-like" group of nuclear scientists, we should just switch from uranium-based reactors to ones fueled by cheaper, safer thorium . What is this miracle metal — and could it really bring us safe nuclear power? What is thorium?
So following the near meltdown of several reactors at Fukushima Nuclear Power, it’s dead is it? Well, to follow one FT article , you could be mistaken for thinking that will be the likely outcome. As the article reports, impact on the industry has been dramatic, from miners like Cameco, a major Canadian uranium producer, whose share price has fallen 20 percent since March 10th, to major deals like Russian ARMZ’s acquisition of Mantra Resources for A$1.2 billion that has been called off after the buyer’s (an ARMZ subsidiary Uranium One) share price fell 34 percent.
Adam Curry interviewed Curt Stager , the author of Deep Future: The Next 100 Years of Life on Earth for his Big Book Show . During the interview, Curry and Stager spent several minutes discussing the potential for “green nukes” to be an important climate change mitigation tool. Aside: Adam Curry interviewed me four years ago about Adams Engines ; he has been interested in new nuclear power plants for a long time. End Aside.
In a world increasingly aware of and affected by global warming, the news that 2010 was a record year for greenhouse gases levels was something of a blow. With the world's population due to hit nine billion by 2050, it highlights the increasingly urgent need to find a clean, reliable and renewable source of energy . India hopes it has the answer: thorium, a naturally occurring radioactive element, four times more abundant than uranium in the earth's crust. The pro-thorium lobby claim a single tonne of thorium burned in a molten salt reactor (MSR) – typically a liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) – which has liquid rather than solid fuel, can produce one gigawatt of energy. A traditional pressurised water reactor (PWR) would need to burn 250 tonnes of uranium to produce the same amount of energy. They also produce less waste, have no weapons-grade by-products, can consume legacy plutonium stockpiles and are meltdown-proof – if the hype is to be believed.
Credit: Justin Randall What if we could build a nuclear reactor that offered no possibility of a meltdown, generated its power inexpensively, created no weapons-grade by-products, and burnt up existing high-level waste as well as old nuclear weapon stockpiles? And what if the waste produced by such a reactor was radioactive for a mere few hundred years rather than tens of thousands? It may sound too good to be true, but such a reactor is indeed possible, and a number of teams around the world are now working to make it a reality.
(Updated August 2012) Thorium is more abundant in nature than uranium. It is fertile rather than fissile, and can be used in conjunction with fissile material as nuclear fuel.
Sometime between 2020 and 2040, we will invent a practically unlimited energy source that will solve the global energy crisis. This unlimited source of energy will come from thorium . A summary of the benefits, from a recent announcement of the start of construction for a new prototype reactor: There is no danger of a melt-down like the Chernobyl reactor. It produces minimal radioactive waste. It can burn plutonium waste from traditional nuclear reactors.