Skip to comments.Obama could kill fossil fuels overnight with a nuclear dash for thorium
Posted on 08/29/2010 12:01:55 PM PDT by Nachum
If Barack Obama were to marshal Americas vast scientific and strategic resources behind a new Manhattan Project, he might reasonably hope to reinvent the global energy landscape and sketch an end to our dependence on fossil fuels within three to five years. We could then stop arguing about wind mills, deepwater drilling, IPCC hockey sticks, or strategic reliance on the Kremlin. History will move on fast.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Actually, I’ve been saying this for years. And I want bids on the stock of the first company allowed to try this.
Besides, Obama spent our allowance money already.
I would prefer that the government not be accumulating all of these trillions and trillions of debt, but if they are going to be spending these insane amounts of money, this is actually the sort of stuff I think they should be spending it on: energy resources and infrastructure.
Yeah, apparently, Ambrose does not realize 1) the cost of the Manhattan Project....in relative 1940’s monetary terms, and 2) does not realize that the US is broke... =.=
Will it strengthen the United States?
Will if weaken petrodollar fueled islamists?
The answers to those questions will tell you with 100% certainty where 0bama squats to pee on the issue.
He works for the Saudis along with McCain. They want us reliant on Saudi oil even though we have 3 to 4 time sthe saudis reserves in oil, nat gas, shale oil, methane hydrates, coal diesel,etc.
Yes, you could drive your Government Motors nuclear powered CAFE-standard-meeting thingmabob. We can’t wait for it to be planend and carried to fruition by the Ci-cago genuises. Surely the’re capable of such!
The demorats have spent our great grand children's allowance.
It is to funnel America's wealth to the Wahhabists in Saudi Arabia.
Thorium is a very promising source of energy.
Government can best help by getting all the red tape out of the way, not by paying for the development.
I agree. However, so many of our fellow citizens cannot grasp that nobama is doing what he is doing on purpose.
Wow. Let's do it. Shame on the left for not promoting this. Rightwing ho!
Is this one of those things that will crash an economy based on oil?
So true. I am constantly amazed by the sheer number of people living in a state of chronic denial.
They can't believe that Islam wants to enslave or kill everyone on Earth. They can't believe Democrats are the success of the international Communist conspiracy.
They can't believe the President with No Past is purposefully working against America and is adhering to pre-published plans for achieving its destruction perfectly.
This article works from the false assumption that Obamao might want to improve the USA. He is here to kill us.
The reality is, this is all just a way to avoid doing anything that would even resemble a free-market solution and will only increase government control over more energy resources.
With 251 million cars/trucks/motorcycles, and who knows how many airplanes, jets helicopters (military and non-military), it’s gonnna take a dammed site more than 5 years before the majority of them were somehow converted to a non-has/diesel based fuel source. But, the sooner we start, the better.
For about US$100Bn upfront, the US could save $400Bn a decade in energy costs going forward , if you use estimates of oil/gas reserves reaching a pricing plateau due to diminishing returns on remaining reserves.
However, the usefulness of additional supply will probably be wasted, as China is effectively embargoing all the rare earth minerals needed to build electric car batteries.
Either way... money spent to build 25 pebble bed reactors in the US would have done massively more good for the country’s citizens than wasting it on Fannie Freddie, AIG etc.
Wow. Let’s do it. Shame on the left for not promoting this.
This leftist blogger has been promoting thorium for years:
Someone needs to give us the downside of thorium-based reactors. There have to be some. Possibly the liquid fuel cycle is too touchy or the lifetime of the reactors is too short. It certainly can be done but economic considerations must be holding it back.
Please, please let’s not have our Federal Government throw billions of dollars toward a hoped-for a thorium-power breakthrough. We have over 70 years of nuclear research behind us. If thorium-based power production was clearly superior to uranium, we’d be using thorium now.
Haven’t heard a word about thorium until today. The pols certainly aren’t talking about it. They are too busy funding programs to stop Chinese prostitutes from drinking alcohol in excess . . . in China.
Nuclear power, like the space program, were dual use programs: i.e. both civilian and defense.
The technology for rockets to the moon applied to ballistic missiles used to carry nuclear warheads.
Uranium cycle reactors produce plutonium used to make the warheads. The thorium cycle produces no fissile material and is of little use to the defense side of the coin. That is why uranium became the fuel of choice. Thorium has the particular advantage in that it cannot be used to make warheads if it gets into the wrong hands.
Thorium cooks very similarly to U238. But it couldn’t fission like U235, IIRC.
The US wanted U235 and Plutonium, so Thorium research got pushed aside in favor of Uranium reactors.
That’s how I remember it anyway.
The guy that received the most from BP in the last twenty years, is not going to upset the apple cart.
It’s nice to know we really have nothing to worry about in the long run.
Whenever we think we have a real, serious problem, we can use Thorium.
We don’t have an energy problem, really, I guess. Good stuff.
.....Our problem is the left has shut down our truly affordable first step energy (domestic petroleum, coal, and conventional nuclear energy).
We have a political problem. The left wants America as we know it destroyed.
“Let’s empty your bank account first to try it, wiseguy.”
It says in the article only $2 billion is needed to build one of these. That’s peanuts (Google alone has $30B cash on hand). If this were a no-brainer concept, one would think the private sector would leap on it. I’m all for clearing out whatever excessive regulations stand in the way of trying such plants out, but I think the history of government funding technology development is pretty dismal (remember synfuels plants under the Carter administration? How many taxpayer billions went down that rathole?).
Neither Thorium nor Uranium production’s by-products are as versatile as those from coal or crude Oil.
inks, dyes, polymers, etc.
Get the IDEA?
Going “carbon Free” is insanity!
It’s always good to have more information talking about how some new technology will solve our energy problems sometime in the future.
And sure, Obama and the Dems are glozis as are some RINOs.
After adjusting for inflation, you could fund dozens of "Manhattan Projects" for the cost of the various
payoffs bailouts the Dems have squandered our grandchildren's money on.
Absolutely. Why would you want to waste perfectly good organic carbon feedstock by burning it?
Don't you think if that high quality feedstock for all of those useful products was not being burned, then the price of the crude would fall and in turn cause the price of the finished product to fall as well?
You’ve just nailed the issue on the head.
People need to remember that most of what went on inside the DOE in the 70’s and 80’s was weapons-related. The whole Carter-era hippy energy binge was just a diversion.
Matter of fact, I’d go so far as to predict that any alternative energy plans that actually work will not come out of the DOE.
I'm interesting in the thorium question. Seems like we had a two branch road and followed only one. I think I will begin looking for answers.
I wonder how many other radioactive elements could be used to generate electricity.
Me too. Here’s some basic research / links.
>> I wonder how many other radioactive elements could be used to generate electricity.
What are you from outer space or something? Jeez, you dreamers are all alike...
Are people here calling thorium a harmless fuel genie?
We’re talking about nuclear power, here. We all know that uranium is radioactive, and dangerous, and we’ve been making electricity with uranium for years.
I guess one of the main advantages of thorium is that there’s apparently a lot of it. What did the article say, something like hundreds of thousands of years worth?
What are you talking about?
Uranium is a radioactive element currently being used to generate electricity. Thorium can be as well. What about other ones?
I guess what you’re saying is that Thorium is so good that we don’t have to look any farther, that all of our potential energy problems are solved?
That may be so, if that’s what you’re saying.
Yes, I realize we have nuclear energy, and continued research in the field is a good thing.
The US wanted U235 and Plutonium, so Thorium research got pushed aside in favor of Uranium reactors.
That’s how I remember it anyway."
You are mostly correct Th232 by neutron capture becomes Th233 then by beta decay becomes protactinium 233 then by subsequent decay becomes uranium 233 which is fissile and a very good material for small tactical warheads as its properties care similar to pu239 but its spontaneous decay rates are low enough to allow a gun based weapon system as apposed to a implosion device needed for Pu239 the bare sphere mass for U233 to achieve supercritical is around 10kg this is almost identical to pu239.
we did test small warheads with U233 in the 1960's the problem is U232 is produced via decay and U232 is a very strong gamma emitter thus making assemblies and shielding become a issue for weapons using U233.
That said the Th232 to U233 fuel cycle is the only cycle that is capable of achieving a breed ratio of +1 in a light water reactor the Canadians have run a CANDU reactor with th233 fuel bundles and have achieved self breeding of U233 in a ratio needed to support self sustained fuel cycle namely a positive breed ratio. The CANDU design can go from first concrete pour to first fueling in less than 5 years as they have done this now 6 times on time and/or under budget for the Chinese.