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Author Topic: What's wrong with Thorium?  (Read 3234 times)

Offline Don_1

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What's wrong with Thorium?
« on: 31/08/2011 11:31:46 »
Nuclear power may be our only hope of generating the electricity we will need in the future. But the waste from nuclear reactors is a very real cause for concern.

Spent fuel rods remain highly radioactive for many, many years, as do the reactors once decommissioned at the end of their working life.

But what of Thorium reactors? They do not produce any weapons grade material as a by-product, but are they cleaner? Are they safer? Who is responsible for the most rhetoric, the uranium camp or the thorium camp?

Even if thorium reactors are more expensive than uranium, should we be considering the long term cost? Is it cheaper to invest in thorium reactors now, rather than nurse uranium powered reactor radioactive waste for millennia to come?

What say you?


 

Offline peppercorn

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Offline peppercorn

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What's wrong with Thorium?
« Reply #2 on: 31/08/2011 12:57:17 »
And here's a site dedicated to it:

http://energyfromthorium.com/about/
 

Offline CliffordK

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What's wrong with Thorium?
« Reply #3 on: 07/09/2011 20:08:09 »
During WWII, St. Louis and Mallinckrodt Chemical Works were involved in the separation of Thorium from Uranium. 

There was a belief that a market would develop for the waste thorium, so it was concentrated and stored...  yet that market never developed. 

Handling of the Thorium was poor, and contamination was spread around.

About 30 years later, the thorium was eventually buried on-site. 

About 30 years later, it was dug up again.  Some was encapsulated at Weldon Springs.  Some was shipped in rail cars to waste depositories in Idaho and Utah.   

Perhaps these waste dumps will become the new ores of the future.  But, unfortunately after a couple of moves, the concentration is much lower than it originally was.  It would be nice to see the market develop, but I'm not holding my breath.

Thorium fission may not produce Plutonium, but it certainly isn't "clean".
 

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What's wrong with Thorium?
« Reply #3 on: 07/09/2011 20:08:09 »

 

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