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Old 03-26-2011, 04:21 PM
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Default Safe nuclear does exist, and China is leading the way with thorium


A few weeks before the tsunami struck Fukushima�s uranium reactors and shattered public faith in nuclear power, China revealed that it was launching a rival technology to build a safer, cleaner, and ultimately cheaper network of reactors based on thorium.
Thorium could be a much safer option for China which has been unsettled by the nuclear crisis in Japan where fears over radiation levels are rising.

This passed unnoticed �except by a small of band of thorium enthusiasts � but it may mark the passage of strategic leadership in energy policy from an inert and status-quo West to a rising technological power willing to break the mould.

If China�s dash for thorium power succeeds, it will vastly alter the global energy landscape and may avert a calamitous conflict over resources as Asia�s industrial revolutions clash head-on with the West�s entrenched consumption.

Chinese scientists claim that hazardous waste will be a thousand times less than with uranium. The system is inherently less prone to disaster.

�The reactor has an amazing safety feature,� said Kirk Sorensen, a former NASA engineer at Teledyne Brown and a thorium expert.
If it begins to overheat, a little plug melts and the salts drain into a pan. There is no need for computers, or the sort of electrical pumps that were crippled by the tsunami. The reactor saves itself,� he said.

�They operate at atmospheric pressure so you don�t have the sort of hydrogen explosions we�ve seen in Japan. One of these reactors would have come through the tsunami just fine. There would have been no radiation release.�

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Old 03-27-2011, 01:13 PM
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US physicists in the late 1940s explored thorium fuel for power. It has a higher neutron yield than uranium, a better fission rating, longer fuel cycles, and does not require the extra cost of isotope separation.
The plans were shelved because thorium does not produce plutonium for bombs. As a happy bonus, it can burn up plutonium and toxic waste from old reactors, reducing radio-toxicity and acting as an eco-cleaner.

This is all very good news. Not only is safe for the use of it, but also waste storage. Currently, storage is a huge problem. No one wants it in their locality. Also, there is the problem of warning signs. How many people, in 1000+ years, could understand the warning signs at nuclear dumps?
- Jim
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Old 03-27-2011, 02:57 PM
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Thorium should have been used for nuclear power plants years ago.

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