Perhaps they might call it a Thor Reactor,
as Thor was the God of lightning (energy).
Roger Clough, rclo...@verizon.net
"Forever is a long time, especially near the end." -Woody Allen
----- Receiving the following content -----
Time: 2012-09-18, 13:43:40
Subject: Re: Thorium!
On 9/18/2012 9:44 AM, John Clark wrote:
On Sun, Sep 16, 2012 at 1:59 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> I think most reactors using Hastelloy plumbing (one of several nickel
> alloys). The containment vessels are steel and concrete. They differ a lot
> depending on whether they are pressurized water reactors, boiling water
> reactors, sodium cooled,... One advantage of molten-salt reactors is that
> they aren't pressurized.
True. In the last operating thorium reactor on this planet, the MSRE at Oak
Ridge that was shut down in 1969, even with tough Hastelloy plumbing there was
some damage to the metal in the pipes of the MSRE caused by neutrons and other
forms of radiation, however in a full sized production reactor the pipes would
be largely protected by the Thorium blanket that breeds the U233.
I think its a scandal that a extraordinary promising technology like liquid
fueled Thorium reactors has been frozen like a fly in amber for over 40 years
because nobody will spend a dime on it.
Of course there are historical reasons: the desire to produce plutonium for
weapons in the early reactors, which meant that uranium based reactors got the
development work. Rickover's impatience and arrogance with Argonne and Oak
Ridge, which caused him to take the Navy's money to Westinghouse. Having
developed PLWR, regulations and standards have been written around them.
Without the imprimatur of the NRC an investor would be foolish to invest in
building a power reactor in the U.S.
But now I think the main obstacle is public ignorance of the advantages of a
MSRE thorium reactor. One of the lobbyist for the Thorium Energy Alliance said
that Congressional staff on the energy committee were knowledgeable and
supportive but no Congressman wants his name on a bill that includes the word
"thorium" - it will scare constituents. The Congressmen are probably right in
their assessment - hence my small effort to educate a little of the public.
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