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Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Niniux, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. Niniux

    Niniux New Member

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    I have heard about the LFTR through an article Wired Magazine wrote several months back and have done a lot of reading. It sounds rather to good to be true, but not having a strong engineering background, I don't really see any reason to disbelieve their claims.

    If everything they are saying is true, it seems like this would be an amazing way to power our world.

    Here are a few links:
    Thorium Alliance YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eU3cUssuz-U
    Wired Article: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/12/ff_new_nukes/
    Energy From Thorium (be sure to check out their forums): http://energyfromthorium.com/
     
  2. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  3. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    #4 dpeilow, Feb 27, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Some more background on this (posted elsewhere by JRP3)

     
  4. Takumi

    Takumi Member

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    I vote that we rename this thread so that it shows up when someone looks up nuclear. Seems like this should have a higher priority than Solar and Wind.
     
  5. William13

    William13 Member

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    I must say that this technology has my vote for most likely to succeed. I believe that China will lead this in five years and like Sputnik , we will follow and surpass in ten years. 2022 to 2035.
     
  6. Charged_Up

    Charged_Up Member

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    There is a great google lecture on this topic at YouTube - don't have the cite, but it should be easy enough to find.
     
  7. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    #8 Lloyd, Mar 12, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Here is the most relavent:

     
  8. GSP

    GSP Member

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    #9 GSP, Mar 12, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
    I think I posted this article in another thread quite some time ago. Although it probably was a direct link to American Scientist's website, instead of this copy.

    If I remember correctly, it is an interesting, well written, history of thorium reactors.

    http://www.energyfromthorium.com/pdf/AmSci_LFTR.pdf

    GSP
     
  9. zack

    zack Member

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    This thread just made my day. Or night, rather. Completely fascinating. I am now left with hope for mankind's future. After all, with enough energy, we can solve climate change, hunger, and possibly perfect cheese cake.
     
  10. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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  11. EVNow

    EVNow Active Member

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    Checkout this blog by Dr Barry Brook, a well known AGW activist and nuclear scientist. Lots of information on LFTR, nukes & energy in general.

    BraveNewClimate
     
  12. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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  13. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    The great thing about nuclear power production is it looks great on paper. So did Uranium fission. The problems are 1) building reactors that last long, are inherently safe (even in case of operator error), need little maintenance 2) run a nuclear fuel cycle 3) safe disposal of nuclear waste.
    Sorry guys. Nuclear had it's change. All these objectives could have been achieved with 1960 nuclear technology. None of them were. Why do you think changing the fuel type will change this?
    There is one nuclear reactor, inherently safe, maintenance free, million years fuel included, no waste. It comes at NO cost and its energy is easily distributed to all consumers, although the reactor is located some 90m miles away from all inhabited regions. I don't see viable competition to that one.

    Nuclear power sources should be reserved for interstellar travel not for running your AC.
     
  14. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    LFTR's don't just change the fuel type, it's a completely different reactor design, construction, and operation.
     
  15. EVNow

    EVNow Active Member

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    Same thing can be said about EVs - it was tried a hundred years back and was overtaken.

    There is simply no other option for baseload electricity generation that is emission free.
     
  16. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    There are reactor designs that have closed fuel cycles and that will make known reserves of fuel last millenia that have never been given a proper chance, beyond the prototype stage. The reason why we have a legacy of nuclear waste is political and military - producing weapons grade plutonium, for one.

    What worries me is that by not taking such technology forward when we had a chance last time, we will end up with yet another generation of once-through, standard fission reactors producing yet more waste. However, remember, waste is only radioactive because it contains a vast amount of energy and thus is just new reactor fuel. Where there's muck, there's brass.
     
  17. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    #18 VolkerP, Mar 15, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
    Right. Strictly speaking, every element heavier than iron contains nuclear energy that could be freed. Even lead which is one of the final elements of radioactive decay chains. The problem is building a reactor which can sustain a nuclear reaction and harvest the energy. For example the Rubbiatron/Energy Amplifier - inherently safe reactor suitable to burn up Th, all our nuclear waste, and cut the time of hazardous waste to mere centuries.

    I do not question the desirability or feasibility of alternative nuclear fuels or reactor designs. I question the feasibility of organizational and technical challenges around a nuclear plant: fuel preparation, waste handling, containment of volatile actinides, energy distribution. If solved, we are still stuck with a centralized power generation system that cannot support large amounts of renewable energy.

    For German readers: Reaktorpleite - Erfahrungen mit dem Pleitereaktor THTR 300 - History of the German THTR (high-temperature Thorium Reactor, a 300MWel experimental plant). The approach with nuclear fuel enclosed in graphite spheres did not work well and finally wrecked the reactor.
     
  18. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Why hasn't someone built a commercial version in the last 40 years? It seems like a promising path for nuclear energy. I remember reading about pebble bed reactors a few years ago which is also a different take.
     
  19. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    The German THTR-300 was a Thorium pebble bed reactor - OK that's the correct term. With 300MW(e) and 750MW(th) power it was designed for commercial use. It was closed down for good in 1989 after only 6 years of operation, due to frequent downtime, cost overruns, high maintenance/repair efforts, etc. Plans for a successor with 500MW(e) and 1250MW(th) were abandoned, as were most of all planned pebble bed reactors world wide with the exception of China.
    The wikipedia article on Thorium Fuel Cycle gives a comprehensive list of all past and future Thorium reactors, experimental and commercial.
     

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