On 11/15/2013 8:36 PM, Chris de Morsella wrote:
*From:*firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] *On
Behalf Of *meekerdb
*Sent:* Friday, November 15, 2013 7:52 PM
*Subject:* Re: Nuclear power
On 11/15/2013 6:48 PM, Chris de Morsella wrote:
LFTR reactors would produce U233 -- which is very nasty stuff.
>>But they breed only what they consume, none of it is 'waste'.
I realize this. From what I have read it seems that it should also be possible for LFTR
reactor complexes to do their fuel re-processing on--site.
Still preferable to the fast neutron U-238 breeder types that would create the plutonium
economy, but it is very nasty stuff in the hands of the wrong people. How would the
state prevent U233 from falling in the hands of the wrong people if these small LFTR
reactors became widely deployed all over the world?
>>The U-233 is contaminated with 0.13% U-232 which is an intense gamma ray source.
Anybody taking material to make a bomb only has about 72hrs to live. Of course that
wouldn't deter some people.
My point exactly. The very intense gamma ray emissions of U-232 would make it a
horrendous material in a dirty bomb, if molecular scale particles became fairly widely
dispersed by chemical explosives. Technologically LFTR could be feasible, but what about
the price we will most certainly have to pay in terms of living in a police state.
First, I think maybe we disagree as to what constitutes a police state. My definition of
it is one in which the police can investigate and interrogate anyone at anytime on any
suspicion without judicial warrant and enforce some political orthodoxy that in turn
supports their power. It has nothing to do with having very tight security around some
particular installation (like nuclear weapons plants and ICBM silos). It wouldn't even be
useful in protecting LFTR powerplants.
Can you think of any other way these deadly assets can be safeguarded and kept out of
the wrong hands?
The same way we safeguard nuclear weapons facilities and powerplants. You think U232
would make a good dirty bomb because it's so radioactive, but that's also a reason it
would be very hard to steal, to move without detection, and to make into a dirty bomb. It
would only exist in the liquid salt of the reactor.
Some LFTR and other nuclear enthusiasts are all into the idea of small scale modular
reactors (sometimes cleverly re-branded as batteries). The problem is not so much with
the systems themselves, but with the risks that a highly dispersed proliferation of
small poorly defended nuclear reactors will pose for the security of everyone. Any
technology that provides such a huge power lever for small group of fanatics is not a
technology I would recommend. On the fringe of the LFTR enthusiast crowd have you seen
the design proposal for a thorium powered car.... Can you imagine the hazmat situation
if one of these cars was involved in say a head on with a fully loaded 18-wheeler.
I can imagine many unsafe and dumb things that can be done with technology. My general
reaction is, "Don't do that."
In order to protect these facilities and prevent U233 -- and a lot of other by-products
-- from being turned into very very dirty bombs we will guarantee that we will live in a
police state. How else could the entire sector be kept secure?
That's just paranoia.
Naah. We have reactors now that are more susceptible to making dirty bombs and it
doesn't require a police state to protect them. France gets most of its power from
nukes. What police state we have is too busy keeping people from smoking pot, drinking
and driving, and emigrating.
That is not entirely true. I agree with you -- and am shocked and appalled at how little
protection -- these plants use off the shelf industrial controllers that can be (and
have been) hacked into for example, to control vital systems. But the number of plants
is really quite small.
There are 437 in 32 countries and 68 more under construction.
Many nuclear proponents are speaking about 30 MW or so scale plants that would be
This is a qualitatively different landscape than a few central facilities.
Don't do that.
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