Advanced Nuclear: Let’s Keep Our Minds Open


The other day, I was lucky enough to have connected with a group of a few dozen extremely senior scientists whose main beliefs I would summarize as follows:

• The damage being wreaked upon Earth from fossil fuels, principally in the form of anthropogenic climate change and ocean acidification, are realities that will completely overwhelm this planet in the coming few decades if humankind can’t or won’t do something to mitigate it.

• There are no forms of renewable energy that can come along in time in sufficient quantity to make a meaningful correction.

• Advanced nuclear is the only way out, and, thankfully, it’s full of promise.

We all need to accept the potential validity of advanced nuclear, which, though it can mean many things, largely it is about molten salt reactors, i.e., nuclear fission reactors that are safe (low pressure), efficient (high temperature), non-threatening (very low weapons potential) solutions with very little nuclear waste ramifications. The fissile reaction of thorium (Th232/U238) seems to hold the most promise.

Let’s keep our minds open.  In my opinion, the position of the people who categorically hate nuclear is really no stronger than that of people who think a woman’s place is in the home, or some other sort of idiocy.



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2 comments on “Advanced Nuclear: Let’s Keep Our Minds Open

davefinnigan

Check out LFTR in 5 minutes http://youtu.be/uK367T7h6ZY The Liquid Fueled Thorium Reactor is not based on hot water or solid fuels that can melt down. It could have an extremely high level of safety. Thorium is 200 times as efficient as uranium. Thorium is a common element. After you have watched the 5 minute video please take 2 hours and watch http://youtu.be/YVSmf_qmkbg which tells the whole story.

It is funny to read something I could have written ( or better, I did write ) a few years ago. I was sharing this exact same opinion a few years ago.

Then pandemonium ensued Fukushima. In the meantime solar and wind saw their installed capacity boom while their prices dropped so much it is hard to keep up.

Meanwhile, nuclear went the exact opposite direction : due to the horror that is taking place in Japan, safety measures have been increased, which increased costs and as if it was not enough time to build a plant.

Nowadays, a nuclear plant is immensely costly – ask the Norvegians who bought an EPR – and takes aeons to be built.

Let’s face it, nuclear isn’t an answer nowadays. In ten or twenty years– or fifty – perhaps it will.

Meanwhile, we gotta install as many solar panels and wind turbines – and plants of other renewables. And get moving on energy efficiency, something that is equally as important as renewables, if not more.

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