floating nuke plant
June 14, 2011 at 10:17 pm #1532
shredder7753ParticipantAugust 17, 2011 at 1:50 am #14683
Thorium is far safer and scales up to regional power plant and down to … well, my signature says it all. There’s a team of researchers looking to create a safe, reliable micro-steam-turbine thorium reactor module to generate electric power for electric vehicle use. The thorium loaded into the reactor at manufacture time would be the equivalent of 7,500 gal. of gasoline. At a reasonable (read: atrocious) mileage of 20 mpg, that’s 150,000 miles. Reasonably speaking, the car will wear out before the reactor can’t produce enough power to propell it, and during that time, you’ll never have to refuel. They’re postulating that you’ll actually be able to buy a new car sans thorium reactor and just plug the reactor from your old and busted car into the new hotness and just keep motoring.
I have a thorium reactor under the hood of my car. I get ∞ miles per gallon.August 17, 2011 at 3:12 am #14684
And then there’s this.
I have a thorium reactor under the hood of my car. I get ∞ miles per gallon.August 17, 2011 at 4:52 am #14685
Looks like it isn’t just middle-class Americans who are living “paycheck to paycheck” these days – even rich Russian corporations can quickly go bankrupt.
Anyway, what’s wrong with supplementing Nuclear Power with community wind turbine farms? (The wind farms should be located such that they pose no danger to the community). It seems wind would be an ideal source of supplemental/backup energy on a seaborne platform – if implemented properly.August 17, 2011 at 2:29 pm #14697
Uh, the point of having a nuclear reactor is that you shouldn’t have to supplement it with anything. It is always producing energy. You might want to have two, one as a backup, but what impact would a few wind turbines have when you are already getting all the energy you need from the reactor?
And you’re worried about locating wind farms somewhere they pose no danger to the community? You have a NUCLEAR REACTOR on your seastead and you’re worried about the dangers of a few wind turbines?
I’m not up on my thorium research, but if I remember it isn’t much safer than current reactors. It still produces radioactive wastes, both in the reactor and in the mining of the thorium itself. The big benefit, if I remember correctly, is that there is a lot more thorium around than uranium.
Doesn’t matter. No seastead in the next century is going to have the money or political power to have a nuclear reactor. You will have better luck having one in your house…August 17, 2011 at 3:20 pm #14703
@Horse Shoe 7:
That’s exactly my proposition. Rely on wind power, wave power, thermal differential and heat engine power, anything that’s completely renewable for 99% of your energy needs, but whenever one goes down for maintenance or mother nature’s not putting out (pun intended) fire up the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor to the extent needed to make up for the short fall and no one needs even notice the change in power source while repairs are made or until renewable power is restored. Of course, there would be battery banks to buffer any such change over. Those batteries would be used for the ignition system of the LFTR, melting the salt in the storage tank, getting it flowing, and operating the accelerator to initiate nuclear reactions, but once the reactor is producing instead of sinking power, it can repay the battery bank for the power loan pretty quickly and at a hefty interest rate. Also, so that even with NOTHING generating electricity for a day or so, the facility would continue on emergency power from the battery banks with conservation measures. Just don’t let the reserves fall below what is required for reactor ignition.
I know a lot of people are completely ga-ga over solar PV power. I am not. Just like anything man-made, PV panels degrade. When a Stirling engine fails, I can take it apart, diagnose the fault, effect repairs, and get it back into service. When a wind turbine fails, I can take it apart, diagnose the fault, effect repairs, and get it back into service. When a PV panel fails– basicly, all I can do is turn it into a neat looking coffee table. Which is not to say I don’t appreciate solar power in other ways. Passive solar design for living spaces, solar thermal water heating, and solar concentrators are all great technologies– that don’t involve the photo-electric effect. When PV panels reach 50+% conversion efficiency, can maintain at least 85% of their initial power output for 99.9% of their lifespan, fail “gracefully”, and can be constructed from kiddy chemistry kits sold in toy stores, THEN I’ll take another look at them. I even have an idea for a solar concentrator cook-top. Computer controlled mirrors would bring X copies of the sun to bear on the frying pan to effect the desired cooking temperature. Aside from the servo motors, sensors, and computational horsepower to do it, it would be free cooking energy that would not significantly differ from conventional cooking.
As for the reactor’s lifespan, the thing about thorium is how abundant it is. Three times more abundant in the crust than uranium, and because it burns so completely, it can release 40 times the energy per unit mass than uranium . It has a concentration of 1 ppm in ocean water, with ocean mining technologies, I’m confident that enough thorium could be harvested from the waters the facility floats in to keep it fuelled indefinitely, and to stave off power loss from reactor failure, LFTRs are simple, especially compared to uranium light water reactors. Simple equates to cheap. Cheap equates to economies of scale… Install two or three of them in different parts of the facility and use them in a round-robin fashion. When one goes down, the other(s) can continue until the broken reactor can be brought back up to full power. This insures that all reactors are used, but not abused so they are mechanicly sound, and provides entirely enough redundancy for maximum survival potential. It could last 1000+ years, easily.
The only thing this system as I’ve described lacks is raw metals from land to feed the metal shop for replacement, repair, and new parts.
I have a thorium reactor under the hood of my car. I get ∞ miles per gallon.August 17, 2011 at 3:58 pm #14705
The thing about building thorium reactors is, it CAN be done in your garage. The technology for a thorium reactor is all out there in the form of documentation from the DoD and DoE experiments in the 60s and 70s. It’s tried and true technology, and as I said, it’s SIMPLE. Not that it doesn’t require someone with at least a Master’s degree in chemical engineering and another in nuclear engineering to do it efficiently and safely, but it’s not like the Finn who had a “melt-down” in his kitchen, or the boy scout who turned his backyard into an EPA Superfund site.
The construction is easy. Obtaining the fluoride salts is easy. Even obtaining a few grams of refined thorium is relatively easy. And that few grams will run a single family dwelling for your foreseeable lifetime. The hard part is having the smarts to operate it well and safely. Oh, and keeping your purchases spread out in time and space and under different identiies so the NRC can’t figure out what you’re up to.
And yes, there is an amount of 232U waste produced, and 232U is a highly radioactive gamma emitter. BUT! Here’s the thing, because thorium burns so efficiently, the amount of 232U produced is a tiny fraction of the 233Th fuel put into the reactor, which would itself be a tiny fraction of the material flowing through the core, AND, it can be chemicly filtered out of the salt solution continuously, and sequestered in, what would effectively be termed, a nuclear waste basket. As long as you have a small cask of the grade used to bury nuclear waste, you can run a thorium reactor for 100s if not 1000s of years before producing enough waste to fill a moderately sized cask. As long as the techs working on the reactor don’t pry open the cask and look inside, the reactor room would be shirt-sleeve safe while the reactor was not running.
Just read your reply IAT on alternative energy sources.
You seriously need to read up on thorium-based reactor designs. They do not generate heat all the time. Only when being bombarded with an accelerator beam for ignition and then only in the core. You can’t melt-down a Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor. the fact that the fuel is in a molten salt solution notwithstanding. And they are fail safe. A freeze-plug of salt in the bottom of the reactor vessel is actively cooled to keep it solid. If the power or control is lost, that freeze plug will melt from ambient temps in the plumbing and the fuel-bearing salt will drain away from the core into the storage tank. Because thorium only emits one proton when it decays, as opposed to two for uranium, thorium is incapable of a run-away chain reaction.
There are the stories from the team who ran a LFTR for 6 years, at normal atmospheric pressures, of flipping the power off as they left for the weekend. They would come back on Monday, fire up the storage tank heaters, wait for them to get sufficiently molten, start up the pumps, wait for the core to fill up, and then fire up the accelerator to start burning thorium in the core, and once there was enough heat from the core, shut off the tank heaters, start the steam turbine, and they’re generating power. It takes more steps to start my lawn mower most days.
In the meantime, the reactor goes cold. Not relatively cold. Room temperature cold. You can save all that nuclear fuel which you had to work hard to mine and refine for when it’s needed and use the free energy all around you instead. This is safer, easier, and extends the lifetime of your energy reserves tremendously. The 232Th fuel has a half-life of 200,000 years. You can hold a baseball size sphere of it in your bare hand with no ill effects. Of course, it’s still a heavy metal, so wash your hands afterward. While sitting for long periods in the LFTR’s storage tanks, the small amount of thorium dissolved in the fluoride salt will not degrade nearly as much as a nuclear warhead in a missile does.
I have a thorium reactor under the hood of my car. I get ∞ miles per gallon.August 17, 2011 at 4:01 pm #14711
Why waste your time with this old Technology?
Just build a magnetic engine reactor and create safe energy. Why risk a nuke?August 17, 2011 at 4:06 pm #14712
Care to provide a link for those of us not in the cognoscenti on “magnetic engine reactors” so we can assess it?
And if it’s not nuclear, then what’s it causing to react?
I have a thorium reactor under the hood of my car. I get ∞ miles per gallon.August 17, 2011 at 4:19 pm #14713
Sorry ment generator, It produces more energy then it takes to run so it could be its own source.August 17, 2011 at 5:01 pm #14715
That link was 3 years old. Anything since then? Any companies building them for retail? Any major corporation installing them to power their headquarters or factories?
I have a thorium reactor under the hood of my car. I get ∞ miles per gallon.August 19, 2011 at 7:00 pm #14809
anything that claims to “produce more power than it takes to run” is either not filling you in on the fuel it needs or is lying.
we’ve covered this here before a few times, but perpetual motion violates several of the laws of physics. so, either find a new reactor, or find a new physics.
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