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ORAC
7th Jan 2013, 09:54
Torygraph: China blazes trail for 'clean' nuclear power from thorium (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/9784044/China-blazes-trail-for-clean-nuclear-power-from-thorium.html)

Princeling Jiang Mianheng, son of former leader Jiang Zemin, is spearheading a project for China's National Academy of Sciences with a start-up budget of $350m. He has already recruited 140 PhD scientists, working full-time on thorium power at the Shanghai Institute of Nuclear and Applied Physics. He will have 750 staff by 2015.

The aim is to break free of the archaic pressurized-water reactors fueled by uranium -- originally designed for US submarines in the 1950s -- opting instead for new generation of thorium reactors that produce far less toxic waste and cannot blow their top like Fukushima.

"China is the country to watch," said Baroness Bryony Worthington, head of the All-Parliamentary Group on Thorium Energy, who visited the Shanghai operations recently with a team from Britain's National Nuclear Laboratory. "They are really going for it, and have talented researchers. This could lead to a massive break-through."............

green granite
7th Jan 2013, 10:01
"China is the country to watch," said Baroness Bryony Worthington, head of the All-Parliamentary Group on Thorium Energy

We obviously have given up getting Harwell to do research into anything that might be considered useful then, the government would rather spend the money on trying to prove catastrophic anthropogenic global warming and subsidising highly inefficient so called green energy systems:ugh::ugh:

SpringHeeledJack
7th Jan 2013, 10:50
It's always been a puzzle to me why 1st world governments haven't put more time and effort into Thorium reactors, since within the scientific community the possibilities have been well known for some time. With the green movement wanting everything to be weaned off oil and nuclear and (sadly) wind, wave and solar energy won't even provide a small percentage of the requirements needed at present levels, you'd think that it'd be a no-brainer :rolleyes:

Am I being cynical and thinking that the present nuclear 'industry' controlled as it is by several special companies, has been lobbying and influencing policy to hinder any progress ? :suspect:


SHJ

Keef
7th Jan 2013, 10:55
You can't make bombs in a thorium reactor (or so I'm told). No use to the USA, Russia, or the UK then.

G-CPTN
7th Jan 2013, 10:59
Norway Begins Four Year Test Of Thorium Nuclear Reactor | Singularity Hub (http://singularityhub.com/2012/12/11/norway-begins-four-year-test-of-thorium-nuclear-reactor/)

500N
7th Jan 2013, 11:02
SHJ

"With the green movement wanting everything to be weaned off oil and nuclear"

Always wondered about the Greens wanting to get everyone off Nuclear,
oil and coal ! Can understand oil and coal but I would have thought
nuclear was clean for them !!!


"
Am I being cynical and thinking that the present nuclear 'industry' controlled as it is by several special companies, has been lobbying and influencing policy to hinder any progress ?"

Understatement of the decade !

Re-entry
7th Jan 2013, 12:39
Thorium certainly seems to have the potential to be our saviour. It was India that pioneered the technology more than any other country, until sanctions got imposed after its nuclear weapon tests in 1974. However, a US-Indo deal 3 years ago ended that and they are pressing ahead again.

A thorium-fueled nuclear reactor generates hundreds of times the power of a uranium or coal power plant but produces essentially no waste. A thorium power plant would produce much less than 1% of the waste that a uranium plant of equal magnitude produces and, of course, would produce no carbon dioxide. More importantly, while the waste of a uranium power plant is toxic for over 10,000 years, the little waste that is produced in a thorium plant is benign in under 200 years. Even more impressive, the thorium power plant can be used to burn our current stockpile of nuclear waste. And yet, the benefits continue. The thorium power plant cannot "melt down", thorium cannot practically be used to make nuclear weapons, there is enough thorium in the United States alone to power the country at its current energy level for over 10,000 years, and the thorium power plant can be designed to be a plug and play module that could tap right in at the source of a current coal or uranium plant so there would be no need for laying a new grid.

Thorium Energy Alliance Portal (http://www.thoriumenergyalliance.com/)

ORAC
7th Jan 2013, 12:58
It was India that pioneered the technology more than any other country, until sanctions got imposed after its nuclear weapon tests in 1974. Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten-Salt_Reactor_Experiment) Oak Ridge National Laboratory 1964-69

billboard
7th Jan 2013, 15:18
It's always been a puzzle to me why 1st world governments haven't put more time and effort into Thorium reactors, since within the scientific community the possibilities have been well known for some time.

One reason could be that these countries have invested significant resources into arm twisting major oil producing countries to get them to be under their umbrella. This gives them the option to turn off the energy tap in case other countries try to get too adventurous. Perhaps these "1st world governments" do not want the thorium reactor to be a reality. I have never been able to think of any other reason why thorium based projects were shelved in the west.

A major reason why the Indian government has pressed on for the development of thorium reactors is because 25-33% of world thorium reserves are present in India. However, commercially viable thorium reactors are still at least 20 yrs away. In the meantime, ITER(fusion reactors) would be interesting to watch. It is perhaps the first major scientific project on which a majority of humanity is collaborating.

Lonewolf_50
7th Jan 2013, 15:21
However, commercially viable thorium reactors are still at least 20 yrs away. Is this due to overhead costs, or cost per kW-h to produce?
In the meantime, ITER(fusion reactors) would be interesting to watch. It is perhaps the first major scientific project on which a majority of humanity is collaborating.
Commercially useful fusion reactors for power generation have been "10-15 years away" for about fifty years. :p

billboard
7th Jan 2013, 15:33
Is this due to overhead costs, or cost per kW-h to produce?

Something to do with the peculiarity of Thorium fuel cycle. Needs to be done on a very large scale for it to be viable. Plus it is slow to produce U233. Therefore a reactor made operational today will only start yielding enough of U233 many years later. Break-even is achieved after a long interval of operations. That is perhaps why even the private sector dosen't seem to be interested.

Lonewolf_50
7th Jan 2013, 19:25
Thanks, I hope the Indian folks working on their get one up and running. Who knows how important that will be five years from now?