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U.S. Researcher Preparing Prototype Cars Powered by Heavy-Metal Thorium
WardsAuto.com ^ | Aug 11, 2011 | Keith Nuthall

Posted on 08/13/2011 7:13:31 PM PDT by Oiao

A U.S. company says it is getting closer to putting prototype electric cars on the road that will be powered by the heavy-metal thorium (Steam Electric 250MW)... with prototype in two years....never needs refueled.

(Excerpt) Read more at wardsauto.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Miscellaneous; Technical
KEYWORDS: electriccars; energy; energyindependence; mrfusion; oil; thorium
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A U.S. company says it is getting closer to putting prototype electric cars on the road that will be powered by the heavy-metal thorium... with prototype in two years.

Because thorium is so dense, similar to uranium, it stores considerable potential energy: 1 gm of thorium equals the energy of 7,500 gallons (28,391 L) of gasoline Stevens says. So, using just 8 gm of thorium in a car should mean it would never need refueling.

Hedrick, the industrial minerals expert, says 7,500 gallons is “way more gasoline than an average person uses in a year. Switching to thorium-driven cars would make the U.S. energy self-sufficient, and carbon emissions would plummet.

1 posted on 08/13/2011 7:13:42 PM PDT by Oiao
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To: Oiao

250MW ?

What are they driving, a supertanker?


2 posted on 08/13/2011 7:17:38 PM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: Oiao

I used to have a bumper sticker that said “This truck powered by Metallica”.


3 posted on 08/13/2011 7:17:55 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin)
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To: Oiao
And clean the air so much it'd bring on the long overdue NEXT ICE AGE.

Best build the heating plants first!

4 posted on 08/13/2011 7:18:28 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Oiao
"Today, thorium is relatively expensive - about $5,000 per kilogram."

8 gm --> $40.

Maybe not so expensive?

5 posted on 08/13/2011 7:18:47 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: HangnJudge

Thorium is what’s going to get astronauts to Mars and beyond.


6 posted on 08/13/2011 7:20:13 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: Oiao

I wonder how well these nuclear power plants mounted in automobiles will hold together during a collision? The envirowennies will scream about the release of radiation ...


7 posted on 08/13/2011 7:20:33 PM PDT by Ken522
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To: buccaneer81

“Thorium is what’s going to get astronauts to Mars and beyond.”

I believe you are confusing it with Dilitium Crystals...


8 posted on 08/13/2011 7:23:57 PM PDT by jessduntno (Obama shanks. America tanks.)
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To: Oiao

The car is nice but I want one in my house. The US should pioneer widespread self generation of electricity. No grid means stable and uninterruptable power. No grid means no transmission loss. The really game changing aspects are that the electric utility monopolies are gone. A retired couple could save up in their working years for a nice 30 year reactor and retire with no electric bill the rest of their lives.


9 posted on 08/13/2011 7:26:37 PM PDT by azcap (Who is John Galt ? www.conservativeshirts.com)
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To: Oiao

Cool.

10 posted on 08/13/2011 7:27:10 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Oiao
This is pie in the sky. Maybe someday.

If magically, we wake up tomorrow and very automobile plant in the world is magically making Thorium powered cars, and they cost the same as today's gasoline powered cars, then in 10 years, half the cars on the road will still be burning gasoline. That's the way the real world works. The median age of our vehicles is over 10 years today.

Now, let's inject reality and show why even half of the vehicles won't be thorium powered 10 years from today. Here are the reasons:


11 posted on 08/13/2011 7:27:23 PM PDT by cc2k ( If having an "R" makes you conservative, does walking into a barn make you a horse's (_*_)?)
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To: Oiao

There is a vast cottage industry built around over-regulation and envirowhakoism. Anything that negates their existence is doomed to failure.


12 posted on 08/13/2011 7:27:28 PM PDT by umgud
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To: HangnJudge
You have a good point:

"Three megawatt hours of electricity would be required for an electric car to travel 12,000 miles a year."

NYT Article

13 posted on 08/13/2011 7:28:03 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: azcap

Me too! I’m still waiting for the home nuke plant the size of a cooler we were all sposed to have in our basements by now, generating free electricity.

But if they need to test drive this thing, I suggest they go run Algore down with it.


14 posted on 08/13/2011 7:28:26 PM PDT by bigbob
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To: Oiao

Heard some interesting stuff on a company touting thorium electrical generating plants the other day. Seems the research was done at Oak Ridge, but was written off because you couldn’t build nuclear weapons from it. Sounded promising


15 posted on 08/13/2011 7:28:39 PM PDT by Figment ("A communist is someone who reads Marx.An anti-communist is someone who understands Marx" R Reagan)
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To: Oiao

I want one for my home too.


16 posted on 08/13/2011 7:30:09 PM PDT by microgood
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To: jessduntno

No, you’re the confused one. Dilithium Crystals are what make Folgers’ such good coffee (grin)


17 posted on 08/13/2011 7:31:16 PM PDT by Salgak (Acme Lasers presents: The Energizer Border: I dare you to try and cross it. . .)
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To: Oiao

Caddy Thorium Concept

18 posted on 08/13/2011 7:31:57 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: jessduntno
I believe you are confusing it with Dilitium Crystals...

Thorium doesn't need to be mixed by hand in an emergency...

19 posted on 08/13/2011 7:33:00 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: HangnJudge; buccaneer81; Oiao

They must mean KW, in which case it would correspond 1.34x250= 335 HP.


20 posted on 08/13/2011 7:34:27 PM PDT by aquila48
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To: buccaneer81

For God’s sake man, I’m a Doctor, not a magician...””


21 posted on 08/13/2011 7:35:18 PM PDT by jessduntno (Obama shanks. America tanks.)
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BEYOND DISGUSTED WITH IT ALL?

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22 posted on 08/13/2011 7:35:18 PM PDT by STARWISE (The overlords are in place .. we are a nation under siege .. pray, go Galt & hunker down)
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To: buccaneer81
Thorium is what’s going to get astronauts to Mars and beyond.?

Uranium could have gotten us there in the 1970's. NASA had developed a successful nuclear upper stage engine.

These days they are looking at developing a plasma engine that could get us there in two months.

23 posted on 08/13/2011 7:35:57 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: buccaneer81

250MW should be sufficient to power a medium sized city
lets say, about 200,000 people


24 posted on 08/13/2011 7:38:07 PM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: Oiao
Runs on grain.

Creates fertilizer.

You can drive drunk as a skunk and make it home safely.

Costs far less than a new car.

Lasts at least twice as long as a new car.

Can make it through 18 inches of unplowed snow.

Can ford rivers.

Can pull a wagon.

Can make it through 6 inches of mud.


25 posted on 08/13/2011 7:39:01 PM PDT by PieterCasparzen (We need to fix things ourselves)
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To: aquila48

Agree. Thought the MW was out there too.


26 posted on 08/13/2011 7:39:30 PM PDT by Oiao
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To: HangnJudge
You'll need 5 of them to get to the 1.21 gigawatts needed to power the time machine in Back to the Future.

To put the 250 MW in more common engine terms, that would be 335,000 horsepower.

Because thorium is so dense, similar to uranium, it stores considerable potential energy:

I call BS. Density isn't related to potential nuclear energy. Also thorium has a density of 11.72 g/cm3. Compare that to uranium at 18.95 g/cm3. Other common elements are lead at 11.342 g/cm3, gold at 19.282 g/cm3 and tungsten with 19.25 g/cm3.

27 posted on 08/13/2011 7:39:58 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (The Repubs and Dems are arguing whether to pour 9 or 10 buckets of gasoline on a burning house.)
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To: Figment

“Heard some interesting stuff on a company touting thorium electrical generating plants the other day. Seems the research was done at Oak Ridge, but was written off because you couldn’t build nuclear weapons from it. Sounded promising”

Thats what ,I read and this technology was not used,The Chinese are basing their next generation of power plants on this and expect to have some online in 5 years, Now we will watch them go after the thorium supplies.


28 posted on 08/13/2011 7:41:27 PM PDT by Cheetahcat ( November 4 2008 ,A date that will live in Infamy.)
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29 posted on 08/13/2011 7:41:40 PM PDT by devolve (. . . . . . . . . . . . . Yeah - I know I said days - not weeks in Libya . . . . . . .)
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To: cc2k

the energy process, as described in the article, seems relatively straightforward. heat from the thorium powers a laser that turns water into steam for a turbine. There’s little radiocativity, aluminum foil is a thick enough shield, per the article.


30 posted on 08/13/2011 7:42:32 PM PDT by balch3
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To: aquila48

It’s not encouraging when
an article on an engineering breakthrough
gets their units wrong...


31 posted on 08/13/2011 7:44:15 PM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: aquila48

Now that makes sense.


32 posted on 08/13/2011 7:44:37 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: jessduntno

LOL!


33 posted on 08/13/2011 7:45:14 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: cripplecreek; jessduntno; PieterCasparzen; All

LOLOL (Lots Of Laugh Out Louds)! Humorous and informative thread. Thanks to every poster.

Potential GRRRRREAT news BUMP!


34 posted on 08/13/2011 7:46:19 PM PDT by PGalt
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To: Moonman62

Thorium is much less of a risk than uranium. The “fear” had to do with a misfire that would have had that upperstage crashing back to Earth on somebody with some hot stuff.


35 posted on 08/13/2011 7:46:51 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Oiao

Thorium Reactor
36 posted on 08/13/2011 7:46:51 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Regulation is government control of capital, and government control of capital is socialism.)
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To: GoDuke

Bfl.


37 posted on 08/13/2011 7:47:18 PM PDT by GoDuke
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To: Paladin2

TIG electrodes are 2% thorium, and there about $6 ea... Many car headlights have 1% thorium in the filaments. As far as I know it’s not ever recycled...

Doesn’t sound expensive to me.


38 posted on 08/13/2011 7:48:46 PM PDT by babygene (Figures don't lie, but liars can figure...)
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To: HangnJudge
Ever heard the story of Air Canada Flight 143?

Or the NASA probe that splattered all over the surface of Mars?

Both the result of the wrong UOMs being used.

39 posted on 08/13/2011 7:50:25 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: Cheetahcat

India just brought a thorium reactor online. We should be leading the way on this. We invented it at Oak Ridge back in the 1950’s.


40 posted on 08/13/2011 7:51:30 PM PDT by Texas Mulerider (Rap music: hieroglyphics with a beat.)
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To: KarlInOhio
I call BS.

I think you're right. Most likely this company is running a scam.

41 posted on 08/13/2011 7:53:23 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: martin_fierro

LOL. It kinda looks like a “car of the future” from the 1950’s. Fins and all.


42 posted on 08/13/2011 7:53:24 PM PDT by JimSEA (The future ain't what it used to be.)
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To: muawiyah
The “fear” had to do with a misfire that would have had that upperstage crashing back to Earth on somebody with some hot stuff.

Challenger really spooked them. That was the day I realized the basic premise of Space:1999 was never going to happen.

43 posted on 08/13/2011 7:54:19 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: PieterCasparzen

The original purchase price of a horse is the cheapest part. From that point forward they’ll gallup you to bankruptcy court.


44 posted on 08/13/2011 7:55:28 PM PDT by Texas Mulerider (Rap music: hieroglyphics with a beat.)
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To: Ken522; All

if it saves almost the entire weight of the engine,
they can afford to give it great protection.

...and some of the natural gas and hydrogen have it stored under HUGE pressures. could probably use those designs almost stock for the protection design.

and it’s a small amount of thorium. should be easy.

and $100 of thorium to replace a LIFETIME of gas ?!?

a barrel of oil would drop to $50, and break the backs of the Muslim oil companies overnight. (and Russia...)

and talk about stimulating the economy !!!

the cost to business with big transportation costs...
not to mention giving EVERY family with a car,
a HUGE increase in discretionary income...

it would create immediate demand for products,
causing an immediate increase in hiring.

which is precisely why Obama would NEVER support this!
this low pollution energy independence that creates jobs,
is the exact opposite of what his vested interests want.


45 posted on 08/13/2011 7:56:35 PM PDT by Elendur (It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Oiao; HangnJudge; azcap; cc2k; buccaneer81

I found this comment on one of the website reporting on this to be more credible than the claim:

“What utter twaddle....this has scam written all over it.

First, Thorium isn’t a material known to lase - and “heat surges” (whatever they may be) are nothng to do with lasing. Nor is persuading a material to lase a net creator of energy - the total energy of the emitted photons will always be less than the energy required for “pumping” - in fact, most lasers are extremely inefficient, converting at best a small percentage of the energy input.

Second, stimulating alpha and beta emissions/decay isn’t something you can achieve by doing anything to do with lasers - nor do alpha or beta particles play any part in a nuclear chain reaction (neither is absorbed by other nuclei). That requires neutrons and fission reactions.

There are about a dozen other obvious gaping holes in this (work out, for example just how much surface area you’d need to remove 250MW of heat from this unit at (say) 700-800C - then compare it to the surface area available in the “car engine” sized unit). For comparison, the gas-turbine engines used in Concorde produced about 37MW each.

For a website that claims to be looking at what engineers come up with, you don’t seem to have applied even the smallest amount of the sort of analysis that an actual engineer would immediately think of.”

http://www.crazyengineers.com/thorium-powered-cars-could-become-reality-786/

I think this is even less credible than Rossi’s cold fusion claims.


46 posted on 08/13/2011 7:58:42 PM PDT by aquila48
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To: Oiao

bflr


47 posted on 08/13/2011 7:58:57 PM PDT by Captain Beyond (The Hammer of the gods! (Just a cool line from a Led Zep song))
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To: Texas Mulerider

“India just brought a thorium reactor online. We should be leading the way on this. We invented it at Oak Ridge back in the 1950’s.”

This is disgusting,we were fed the “Too cheap to meter” Crapola back in the day and the world uses our technology while we pay through the nose for windmills and assorted Garbage!


48 posted on 08/13/2011 8:00:14 PM PDT by Cheetahcat ( November 4 2008 ,A date that will live in Infamy.)
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To: PieterCasparzen
You will enjoy this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljPFZrRD3J8
49 posted on 08/13/2011 8:01:22 PM PDT by atomicweeder
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To: Ken522

No sweat.... They will make em out of the same crap the FAA uses in the flight recorder aka black box.

Invest in unobtanium NOW !


50 posted on 08/13/2011 8:04:30 PM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
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