what do you think of thorium?

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Offline annie123

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what do you think of thorium?
« on: 16/09/2012 22:30:05 »
I heard Richard Martin talking about thorium as the panacea for future fuel needs without the hazards of uranium in nuclear power plants. Any cons to give balance to his overwhelming 'pros' out there among the nuclear power intelligentsia?

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Offline myself

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Re: what do you think of thorium?
« Reply #1 on: 20/09/2012 04:59:08 »
I have heard the same from the physicists who know the subject well, and they basically agree that the thorium cycle has advantages such as recycling waste products, automatic shutdown, no leakage, etc.  The problem seems to be cost and whether they could be built soon enough to prevent AGW from wiping out human civilization.

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Offline yor_on

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Re: what do you think of thorium?
« Reply #2 on: 22/09/2012 00:28:13 »
It's interesting, and will make bombs more difficult, but not impossible, to build. It's in a way more in line with the idea of energy consumption for us humans. But it leave waste products too and you need U-235 or Pu-239 to start the reaction for those plants. And although the radioactive waste products they leave are more short lived, as maybe 4-5 centuries, there will still be new waste produced each day by such plants, until we find something better preferably not leaving radioactive waste at all. But they are still a better idea than what we use producing our electricity today.

But, five hundred years, and a lot of thorium plants, more than we have today, may become a problem for the future.
"BOMB DISPOSAL EXPERT. If you see me running, try to keep up."

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Offline annie123

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Re: what do you think of thorium?
« Reply #3 on: 27/09/2012 19:24:43 »
Thanks.
My library is ordering the book I mentioned above so I hope to find out details.

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Offline syhprum

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Re: what do you think of thorium?
« Reply #4 on: 17/10/2012 12:59:02 »
I fear that as soon as the first one gets going there will be a sodium spillage that will put nuclear power back for another twenty years much like the seven mile island incident.
syhprum