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Obama could kill fossil fuels overnight with a nuclear dash for thorium
Telegraph [UK] ^ | 8/29/10 | Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Posted on 08/29/2010 12:01:55 PM PDT by Nachum

If Barack Obama were to marshal America’s 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 ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: energy; fossil; fuels; kill; obama
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Right. Let's empty your bank account first to try it, wiseguy.
1 posted on 08/29/2010 12:01:57 PM PDT by Nachum
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To: Nachum

Actually, I’ve been saying this for years. And I want bids on the stock of the first company allowed to try this.


2 posted on 08/29/2010 12:05:35 PM PDT by tanuki (Obamacare, Cap and Tax, Amnesty, in that order....)
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To: Nachum
Sorry, Obama is an enviro-wacko. And if you even say "nuclear," they act like a vampire smelling garlic.

Besides, Obama spent our allowance money already.

3 posted on 08/29/2010 12:05:49 PM PDT by Lysandru
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To: Nachum

4 posted on 08/29/2010 12:06:41 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This post is not a statement of fact. It is merely a personal opinion -- or humor -- or both.)
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To: Nachum

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.


5 posted on 08/29/2010 12:07:12 PM PDT by jpl (It's "My Big Fat Deadly Greek Riot", coming soon to a bankrupt socialist state near you.)
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To: Nachum

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... =.=


6 posted on 08/29/2010 12:08:27 PM PDT by cranked
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To: Nachum

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.


7 posted on 08/29/2010 12:11:15 PM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 582 of our national holiday from reality. - 0bama really isn't one of US.)
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To: Nachum

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.


8 posted on 08/29/2010 12:13:45 PM PDT by Frantzie (Imam Ob*m* & Democrats support the VICTORY MOSQUE & TV supports Imam)
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To: tanuki

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!


9 posted on 08/29/2010 12:14:02 PM PDT by AmericanVictory (Should we be more like them or they more like we used to be?)
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To: Lysandru
Besides, Obama spent our allowance money already

The demorats have spent our great grand children's allowance.

10 posted on 08/29/2010 12:16:33 PM PDT by mountainlion (concerned conservative.)
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To: Nachum
His goal isn't a switch to clean, green, free, groovy energy.

It is to funnel America's wealth to the Wahhabists in Saudi Arabia.


Frowning takes 68 muscles.
Smiling takes 6.
Pulling this trigger takes 2.
I'm lazy.

11 posted on 08/29/2010 12:20:15 PM PDT by The Comedian (Evil can only succeed if good men don't point at it and laugh.)
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To: Nachum

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.


12 posted on 08/29/2010 12:21:39 PM PDT by devere
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To: The Comedian

I agree. However, so many of our fellow citizens cannot grasp that nobama is doing what he is doing on purpose.


13 posted on 08/29/2010 12:22:08 PM PDT by hal ogen (1st amendment or reeducation camp?)
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To: Nachum
Once you start looking more closely, it blows your mind away. You can run civilisation on thorium for hundreds of thousands of years, and it’s essentially free. You don’t have to deal with uranium cartels," he said. Thorium is so common that miners treat it as a nuisance, a radioactive by-product if they try to dig up rare earth metals. The US and Australia are full of the stuff. So are the granite rocks of Cornwall. You do not need much: all is potentially usable as fuel, compared to just 0.7pc for uranium.

Wow. Let's do it. Shame on the left for not promoting this. Rightwing ho!

14 posted on 08/29/2010 12:22:51 PM PDT by November 2010
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To: Nachum

Is this one of those things that will crash an economy based on oil?


15 posted on 08/29/2010 12:35:40 PM PDT by huldah1776
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To: hal ogen
I agree. However, so many of our fellow citizens cannot grasp that nobama is doing what he is doing on purpose.

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.


Frowning takes 68 muscles.
Smiling takes 6.
Pulling this trigger takes 2.
I'm lazy.

16 posted on 08/29/2010 12:42:29 PM PDT by The Comedian (Evil can only succeed if good men don't point at it and laugh.)
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To: Nachum

This article works from the false assumption that Obamao might want to improve the USA. He is here to kill us.


17 posted on 08/29/2010 12:50:23 PM PDT by pallis
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To: Nachum
Typical socialist European solution - get the government to spend our money to solve a non-existent problem. If thorium is such a good fuel, then the government should ease the restrictions on building new thorium powered power plants and let the free market decide. If it is such a good idea, then there will be no shortage of companies getting into the thorium game.

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.

18 posted on 08/29/2010 12:55:20 PM PDT by Left2Right (Starve the Beast!)
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To: Nachum

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.


19 posted on 08/29/2010 12:56:27 PM PDT by theDentist (fybo; qwerty ergo typo : i type, therefore i misspelll)
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To: Nachum

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.


20 posted on 08/29/2010 1:11:50 PM PDT by JerseyHighlander
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To: November 2010

Wow. Let’s do it. Shame on the left for not promoting this.

This leftist blogger has been promoting thorium for years:

http://left-atomics.blogspot.com/


21 posted on 08/29/2010 1:19:02 PM PDT by BlazingArizona
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To: Nachum

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.


22 posted on 08/29/2010 1:19:08 PM PDT by frposty (I'm a simpleton)
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To: BlazingArizona

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.


23 posted on 08/29/2010 1:23:17 PM PDT by November 2010
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To: frposty
If thorium-based power production was clearly superior to uranium, we’d be using thorium now.

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.

24 posted on 08/29/2010 1:38:46 PM PDT by seowulf ("If you write a whole line of zeroes, it's still---nothing"...Kira Alexandrovna Argounova)
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To: Nachum

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.


25 posted on 08/29/2010 1:41:32 PM PDT by El Sordo (The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.)
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To: Nachum
naa it's much better to spend the billions researching AIDS and how best to use aborted fetuses. /s
26 posted on 08/29/2010 1:44:45 PM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama = Epic Fail)
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To: Nachum

The guy that received the most from BP in the last twenty years, is not going to upset the apple cart.


27 posted on 08/29/2010 1:52:05 PM PDT by NoLibZone (Communities regularly fight the construction projects, Walmarts Starbucks and even tree removal.)
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To: Nachum

Good article.

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.


28 posted on 08/29/2010 2:33:34 PM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: BenLurkin

Good grief!


29 posted on 08/29/2010 2:48:46 PM PDT by SuperLuminal (Where is another agitator for republicanism like Sam Adams when we need him?)
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To: truthfreedom
We don’t have an energy problem, really...

True.....

.....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.

30 posted on 08/29/2010 2:54:12 PM PDT by SteamShovel (UTOPIA...Isn't)
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To: Nachum

“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?).


31 posted on 08/29/2010 2:59:45 PM PDT by DrC
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To: seowulf

Neither Thorium nor Uranium production’s by-products are as versatile as those from coal or crude Oil.

Plastics,
Lubricants,
fertilizers,
inks, dyes, polymers, etc.

Get the IDEA?

Going “carbon Free” is insanity!


32 posted on 08/29/2010 3:06:14 PM PDT by PizzaDriver ( on)
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To: SteamShovel

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.


33 posted on 08/29/2010 3:12:44 PM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: cranked
Yeah, apparently, Ambrose does not realize 1) the cost of the Manhattan Project....in relative 1940’s monetary terms,

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.

34 posted on 08/29/2010 3:23:02 PM PDT by whd23 (Every time a link is de-blogged an angel gets its wings.)
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To: PizzaDriver
Neither Thorium nor Uranium production’s by-products are as versatile as those from coal or crude Oil.

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?

35 posted on 08/29/2010 3:33:35 PM PDT by seowulf ("If you write a whole line of zeroes, it's still---nothing"...Kira Alexandrovna Argounova)
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To: seowulf

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.


36 posted on 08/29/2010 3:44:13 PM PDT by NVDave
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To: truthfreedom
It’s always good to have more information talking about how some new technology will solve our energy problems sometime in the future.

Agreed.

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.

37 posted on 08/29/2010 4:14:43 PM PDT by SteamShovel (UTOPIA...Isn't)
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To: SteamShovel

I wonder how many other radioactive elements could be used to generate electricity.


38 posted on 08/29/2010 4:37:47 PM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: PizzaDriver
PizzaDriver (and all those on the Thorium as a harmless plentiful fuel band wagon) Radon-222 is a member of the radioactive decay chain of uranium-238. Radon-220 is formed in the decay chain of thorium-232. Radon-222 decays in a sequence ... www.radon.com/radon/radon_facts.html

That is what I found when I looked up "Radon and Thorium" as a search in google. I thought it was to good to be true, Radon as a by product of Thorium is a dangerous (deadly!) annoyance I dealt with in Real Estate!! Not just a by-product, a nasty and potentially deadly by product!

So it seems there is no perfectly harmless fuel that will quickly solve our energy problems. To those who think it is the perpetual magical fuel source please tell us how it gets to the fuel state from the harmless fuel-genie many seemed to be making it out to be in this thread! ???????????

Documented potential lung cancer trigger, to fuel(????)... seems like a HUGE stretch and explains why it was ignored by most in the energy business!! Or have I read it wrong? Is there a simple step to get it to fuel we have not heard about?

Elucidate us so we can see the error of using the definitions of words, to properly form obvious (and seemingly) valid opinions and understandings!
39 posted on 08/29/2010 4:40:19 PM PDT by JSteff ((((It was ALL about SCOTUS. Most forget about that and HAVE DOOMED us for a generation or more.))))
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To: JSteff
"So it seems there is no perfectly harmless fuel that will quickly solve our energy problems."

Gosh, it seems like a bit of a stretch to do a google search on Thorium and come up with that conclusion.

Let's do our homework. A Freeper may just come up with a good solution and make a few bucks in the free market, even after taxes. Think big!! (Inspiration courtesy of a Sat morning with Glenn Beck).

Off to do a bit of research... ;-)
40 posted on 08/29/2010 5:11:59 PM PDT by MV=PY
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To: GGpaX4DumpedTea

Thorium ping.


41 posted on 08/29/2010 5:33:54 PM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea (I am a tea party descendant - steeped in the Constitutional legacy handed down by the Founders)
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To: SteamShovel

Me too. Here’s some basic research / links.

http://www.dailyreckoning.com.au/thorium/2008/07/02/
http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4971
http://energyfromthorium.com/lftradsrisks.html
http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/12/ff_new_nukes/


42 posted on 08/29/2010 6:06:43 PM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: truthfreedom

>> 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...


43 posted on 08/29/2010 6:09:26 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Your Hope has been redistributed. Here's your Change.)
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To: JSteff

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?


44 posted on 08/29/2010 6:11:31 PM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: Gene Eric

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.


45 posted on 08/29/2010 6:14:03 PM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: truthfreedom

Yes, I realize we have nuclear energy, and continued research in the field is a good thing.


46 posted on 08/29/2010 6:21:38 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Your Hope has been redistributed. Here's your Change.)
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To: El Sordo
"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."

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.

47 posted on 08/29/2010 6:33:13 PM PDT by JD_UTDallas ("If you didn't grow it you mined it")
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To: PizzaDriver
"Going “carbon Free” is insanity!" The vast number of products that can be made from petroleum is precisely why burning it is insanity. If we got our energy from fissionables, we save our petroleum for the many vital things we can make from it.
48 posted on 08/29/2010 9:06:35 PM PDT by BlazingArizona
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To: truthfreedom
Yes the thread was nearly waxing poetic about it. It may have mentioned a time frame, but I don't recall.

Don't get me wrong, I have been a proponent of nuclear power for years. The only reason we don't have it working better for us is the greenie factor in media, and congress.
49 posted on 08/29/2010 11:38:25 PM PDT by JSteff ((((It was ALL about SCOTUS. Most forget about that and HAVE DOOMED us for a generation or more.))))
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To: MV=PY
My google search was for thorium and radon. That left me seeing not a magical power source but the same old radon involved that we have had for years as a problem child. And since they are interrelated we seem to be stuck for one with the other.

And yes it does seem to be nearly everywhere. Solve the radon problem and leave the power and it is potentially a winner.
50 posted on 08/29/2010 11:46:28 PM PDT by JSteff ((((It was ALL about SCOTUS. Most forget about that and HAVE DOOMED us for a generation or more.))))
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