Thorium: An Energy Solution

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Thorium: An Energy Solution

Thorium is readily available and can be turned into energy without generating transuranic wastes. Thorium's capacity as nuclear fuel was discovered during WW II, but ignored because it was unsuitable for making bombs.

A liquid-fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) is the optimal approach for harvesting energy from Thorium, and has the potential to solve today's energy/climate crisis.

LFTR is a type of Thorium Molten Salt Reactor (Th-MSR). This video summarizes over 6 hours worth of thorium talks given by Kirk Sorensen and other thorium technologists.

Thorium is a naturally-occurring mineral that holds large amounts of releasable nuclear energy, similar to uranium. This nuclear energy can be released in a special nuclear reactor designed to use thorium.

Thorium is special because it is easier to extract this energy completely than uranium due to some of the chemical and nuclear properties of thorium.

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170 Comments / User Reviews

  1. humansoul

    sell it to the Chinese !!!!!!!!!!

  2. humansoul

    I LIKE IT

  3. Fecioru Florin

    Heh, the Fallout 3 cover image, seems appropriate somehow.

  4. Mercenarry ForHire

    Amazing work :D

  5. Friso Woudstra

    Very intensive to watch due to the amateuristic compilation proces, but still worth your time. There's simply not much information about the subject, though it might be shaping our world in the years to come.

  6. steviecomment

    Really enjoyed this, not too hard to get my head round.
    We really need to get the stigma of nuclear power away from fear.

    If we don't, the Chinese will be years ahead. (on western research)

    Our media are slowing us down, by selling fear of nuclear power.

  7. CapnCanard

    probably not gonna happen, because those with money, power and control prefer not to permit it. It is an economic issue. Thorium has the disadvantage of being readily available and has the added disadvantage of not being useful for making bombs. IMO, being that Thorium is common means that if thorium were used, then those with wealth and power are likely to lose both wealth and power.

    I would like to see thorium being used, but given the powers that be, I don't expect it to happen until they are gone.

  8. Solid State Max

    I dunno. Nuclear is still nuclear and I'm not so optimistically sure that Thorium will be much different.

  9. AntiTheist666

    Please justify nuclear waste? Future generations etc?

  10. fhade

    lol the Indians and chinese are going to do be way head of US

  11. megatron_mcdaniels

    way to sit this dude down in front of the toilettes...

  12. Samuel Morrissey

    That sort of waste can be burned as fuel in LFTR reactors. The whole world would produce a few 10s of 1000s of tons unusable waste every year, if LFTRs were the exclusive energy generation device. I remind you of the inverse proportion that radioactivity shares with half life. The longer, the less dangerous.

    Please justify carbon waste. Past present and future generations etc.

    Start with the tonnage per year...

    Not being funny here but this guy has done his research, it's all out there if you want to find it. I came to identical conclusions after doing my own research 5 years ago.

    The only thing I noticed was the idea of bismuth 2xx as a cancer target, this does not seem to tie in with what I know about alpha particles, which are identical to a helium ion with +2 charge (i.e. no electrons) and as such will not pass through a very thin amount of matter (air about 2cm) without reacting chemically. The top layer of your skin stops them as does a single sheet of paper. The problem is with ingestion, as opposed to a neutron which has as much chance of passing straight through you without interaction, there will be a guaranteed reaction. A molecule inside your body, be it part of a cell, epithelium, enzyme, protein, whatever, will be chemically altered by the reaction of the alpha particle. I am personally unsure about how this could be used to target specific cells in the body.

    Regards,
    Sam.

  13. AntiTheist666

    Thanks for the link and the info on the doc, I haven’t watched it all yet but I will soon. Where did I label nuclear fuel as bad? Its efficiency is beyond doubt but long term considerations need to be taken into account.

  14. AntiTheist666

    Hi Sam

    A very good and highly technical answer. Of course I can’t justify carbon waste either and certainly not by tonnage. Very droll...so you were being funny! I liked it anyway, I’ve not watched all the doc yet but I will soon. I will pay special attention thanks to your comment.

    Regards

    The Crucified One

  15. Paul Gloor

    The buzz about thorium is that it is safer, its safety systems are completely passive. It operates at lower pressures and temperatures than existing nuclear tech. It produces far less waste, and after watching this, I imagine that most of it is usable in modern processes. Having a half life of 14 billion years means its gonna be everywhere in the universe.
    Its not nuclear technology we use today, using uranium to boil water is quite primitive IMO. I want to learn more.

  16. Christian Tintin Johansson

    Damn!

    12 minutes in and I am dizzy as hell. Did the maker of this "documentary" make it while on acid? Jumping around from place to place, from clip to clip and with all sort of text flying around almost all the time.

    I am absolutely for Thoruim Nuclear Plants, they are efficient and as safe as any large scale power plant can be. But this video does not work for anyone who is only mildly interested in knowing more about this way to produce electric power.

    I was hoping that it was just the loooong intro that was like an awesome acid trip but when it continued I couldn't continue watching.

  17. Christian Tintin Johansson

    You know, it's like saying: I know for a fact that jumping from a balcony 50 meters up and landing on concrete will most likely kill me so I am certain the same thing will happen if I jump from 2 meters into a waterfilled swimming pool.

    The way a Thorium reactor works is completely different from a Uranium reactor. You just can't compare them to eachother other that that they both use nuclear fission to produce heated water.

    You can't get a nuclear meltdown simply because it's not enough heat and the Thorium is already in liquid form. And The Thorium will leave such a small amount of radioactive material compared to a Uranium reactor, and with such low amount of radiation that keeping it until it's not radioactive anymore is no problem at all.

  18. UnclearFizzyCyst

    Follow the money. Kirk hits the nail right on the head when he targets the commercial reasons.

    Once the Chinese (or others) who so far haven't invested trillions in energy production, transportation and usage start to build LFTR's todays giants will either make the switch or go under.

    Are their bureaucratic obstacles intended to stymie LFTR construction in N. America or are the problems mainly financial? Kirk briefly touches on the financial issues but then moves on to his own area of expertise. How much would a modest, profitable, proof of concept reactor actually cost? I believe he may have mentioned it but it got lost in the all the big numbers.

    A start-up selling the idea of cleaning up all those waste pellets may be the best approach as it would be an easy socio-political sell. Forget the 'too cheap to meter' line and sell the 'clean up the planet' idea instead. Heck, he could even 'reprocess' waste from other countries (for a fee of course).

    Has he considered funding via the internet, bypassing the bankers and going for the little investors instead. I 'retired' 10 years ago so live off disability and my investment fat but would be only too happy to invest a few thousand in a project like this.

  19. brixmo

    I like it, did you conntact anybody from CERN or EU research institutions.

  20. Bryan

    ask google for money! since there wasting their money for an auto car that no one want..

  21. Trevis Robotie

    this definitely brings to mind 'The Kesh Foundation' !I have seen a few videos,but I must confess my ignorance-the claims of this foundation are out of this world for me!just too good to be true!right now I am appealing to qualified physists here (and TDF)to look into this matter.they claim the energy already developped by them surpasses anything seen before(and you don't need Thorium).the beautiful and most incredible thing about this foundation is,they are giving everything away for free!!!all they seek is world peace and harmony.I read somewhere that Obama has already declared KF illegal and a threat to world peace.....I don't see how.again,please guys,check out the Kesh Foundation,tell us your opinions,if only to know whether to take them serious or not.thanx in advance

  22. Trevis Robotie

    damn right!saw 20 mins and i was like,ok i gorrit awl !lol

  23. wald0

    While i love the idea of LFTRs and freely admit they are very efficient and safe these guys fall into the same trap as everyone else out to promote a singular technology when they try and diminish the role of other renewable technologies- in this case wind, solar, geothermal, etc. The truth is we do have battery storage and back up systems that operate very efficiently at the grid level, they are simply new technologies that have yet to catch on- much like LFTRs. These new technologies will make wind, solar, and geothermal just as reliable and efficient as any other energy source- very soon.

    The truth is that the powers that be will die before they allow individuals the ability to provide their own energy at reasonable costs, which is the true basis for freedom and autonomy in the modern world. Not everyone can set up, run, and maintain a LFTR- ppl will still rely on the state to provide for them in other words. Where as anyone, with even half a brain, can set-up, run, and maintain a simple solar/wind system. Systems like this would allow even remote villages in the middle of no where to have power, communications and all that follows. But hey, that is exactly what THEY do not want- the average person being able to educate and themselves scares the living sh1t out of them.

    Imagine free, open-source solar or wind hardware you download from the internet and print out on your 3d-printer coupled with free, open-source software that turns your pc into a power management system for your home. Imagine how this would empower people, that's exactly why they will never allow it. This potential is why you constantly hear certain people belittling wind and solar technologies while demonizing any politician that supports them. Because these technologies would allow the individual to provide for him or her self at a reasonable cost and no longer have to live at the whim and fancy of the state.

  24. wald0

    Wow, this guy has his half-life info. all turned around, at least according to what I was taught and according to what the industry experts have to say. The reason waste is such an issue is because of the long half--life. Saying because its half-life is long it is less radio-active is kind of misleading when we are talking about huge amounts of material. Yes, each atom may be releasing fewer particles per-second, decaying more slowly in effect, but if there are many many atoms together in one place, the effect becomes muted. In other words exposure to huge amounts of waste for a short time will be equal to exposure to smaller amounts for longer periods of time. Also the main concern with waste storage is that if the half-life is really long, say a billion years, then how do we realistically judge what may become of this material before that time. Taking responsibility for waste means controlling it completely until the half-life has expire, longer half-lives mean having to control the material for unrealistic amounts of time. This guy seems to be saying that if the material has a long half-life the waste is effectively harmless, which isn't true at all. In fact the opposite is true, the longer the half-life the more costly the control of said waste. Shorter half-lives are what we look for- we can easily contain even the most radio-active of waste- as long as the period of time we have to do so is reasonable.
    See its stuff like this, coupled with his obvious ignor@nce of newer grid technologies that make me wonder- does this guy simply have an agenda to promote LFTRs no matter what, or is he simply ignor@nt? I am leaning toward him having an agenda, though I have no idea what motivates that agenda. Perhaps he means well and is just overlooking somethings, or perhaps I have been mislead and am just plain wrong. Seems odd though that my professors, online sources, as well as a physicist I know all say the same thing- that longer half-lives complicate waste storage greatly. How did we all get the same misinformation, if that is what it is.

  25. Maddestmax

    Stop raining on the parade wald0.

  26. SA Kiteman

    Wald0,
    Sorry, but he is correct and you are not.
    Given the same amounts of similar materials (actinides in this case) longer half lives are less radioactive.
    Take for instance Th232 and U233, both about the same number of steps to stability, the Thorium with a 14Gy half life is WAY less radioactive than tha Uranium with its 160ky half life. But the Thorium will stay (mildly) radioactive for much longer, basically not doing anything.

  27. SA Kiteman

    Lower pressure (thus safer) but HIGHER temperature (thus more efficient, i.e., you need fewer fission to make the same electricity).

  28. wald0

    You misunderstand, I admitted they decay slower-my point is that the more of the material you have around the less that will make a difference. Don't get me wrong, i am not saying I am right- I just want to make sure you understand what i am asserting before you say its wrong. If one atom of Th232 decays at a rate of say five particles per second- i have no idea what its real decay rate is mind you, and U233 decays at say ten per second- then it would seem if you had twice as much Th232 as U233 it would be just as dangerous because it produces the same amount of particles per second, even though it takes a bigger sample to do so. Now if the case is that they would never have any need of having this much TH232 in one place at one time then he should state it that way. Saying it isn't dangerous because it decays slower is misleading- in my opinion.
    Besides, isn't it U235 that we split, not U233. Most Uranium is U238 and only about 0.7 percent is naturally occurring, highly fissionable U235, as far as I know.

  29. Samuel Morrissey

    Hey Wald0 its cool to be sceptical but go and check it out to make sure you aren't making basic misconceptions - 1 atom of a radioactive element has a 50% chance of decay over its entire half life, when it decays it may release an alpha/beta particle and/or a high energy photon. But once it has decayed it will not be the original element anymore, and is more likely to be more stable (less or not at all radioactive) so 1 particle as you put it will decay once, not several times.

    Thorium although very mildly radioactive is not fissile, like uranium/plutonium. When atoms of fissile elements decay there is a small chance that they will undergo spontaneous fission. Fission can produce all of the aforementioned types of radiation, but crucially it also produces a number of free neutrons, which cause fission in any fissile nucleus they then collide with. Neutron radiation is the kind that will over time cause materials within the flux to become radioactive through neutron activation. To argue your point about more radioactive substance in one place, which is logical and true, very long lived actinides (Million years+) would take an entire lifetime stood next to a ton of it to recieve the same dose as a single CT scan. It is the medium (few hundred or thousand years) actindes which are tricky, and the short lived ones are incredibly dangerous (although mitigated by the very short halflife - a few milli seconds to a few weeks)

    Can you post a link to this new battery technology you mentioned?

    I assume it is what is powering the Mars Curiosity Rover, but I couldn't find any data or info on that.

    And the energy density of renewables is very poor, full stop. I'm not saying we couldn't run individual homes on localised renewable sources (which for a city would require at least as much steel, concrete and maintenance as an equivalent fission reactor) and put up with the intermittent nature, maybe we should, but industry requires base load 24/7/52. No getting away from it.

    Because of this, in Germany the public reaction to the Fukushima Daichi meltdown demanded the abandonment of their nuclear program, put a lot of very skilled people out of work, and tripled their production of coal and gas burning plants to compensate. Again in this doc it is quite clear, that nuclear energy produces about a 10th of the electricity globally that coal/gas does, but creates about 1/100th of the radioactive waste. The added benefit is that this waste is localised, containable and measurable. And this is with the old school dodgy weapons proliferation uranium/plutonium reactors we all run. Thorium based designs would create a lot less waste.

    The point is, this is not new. the proofs of concept have been done. It was shelved in the 60's as it is entirely inappropriate for the production of weapons. The other point is too many people are irrationally scared of radiation - their position is one of faith if you will, they have not researched and do not understand it. This is not helped by the unscientific linear danger policy, and bad management of weapons proliferation facilties like Chernobyl.

    To give a specific example, in Cornwall there is about 8x the normal background radiation in Britain due to radon gas seeping out from the granite. If the linear danger policy was true there would be statistically more radio induced cancers etc. There is not.

    Regards,
    Sam.

  30. wald0

    Hey Sam, nice to talk with you as well. You're right, I shouldn't have said one atom decays so many times per second as one atom can only decay one time. I should have said that if two samples of different materials emit the same amount of particles in the same amount of time they are equally dangerous, even if it takes more of one and less of the other. I have a degree in chemistry but not nuclear chemistry, which I have always been afraid of to be honest. That said I just finished refreshing myself on how half-lives are calculated and it is much more complicated than I remembered really.

    First you have to get the decay constant by dividing the decay rate in seconds by the number of nuclei involved, then you divide the decay constant into another mathematical constant, 0.693 to be exact, which gives us the half-life in seconds. Then you just convert that to years by dividing it by 3.15 x 10 to the 7th, or the amount of seconds in one year. My question, and I hope you can help with this, is why 0.693? Where did they derive this mathematical constant from? The example that shows me this is figuring the half-life for U238, is the mathematical constant the same for all radioactive elements?

    As far as being skeptical, I'm really not. I have no problem agreeing that LFTRs are definitely as safe and effective as they say they are. My only issue is that he is incorrect about the potential for solar and wind to be significant contributors in the future. I'll try to find you the links to the research i am referring to, I've posted it on this site several times before. It intersects with the work I have been doing on CO2 break down.

    The breaking of CO2 into carbon and oxygen is an uphill process, meaning it requires energy input to drive the reaction to completion. Combining the two of course is a downhill process that requires only enough energy to reach activation, then it drives itself into a beautifully double bonded, linear, non-polar pain in MY A55 to tear apart molecule. Right now we create more CO2 supplying the needed energy than we would get rid of breaking it down, a net loss in other words. But if we could use solar to break it down, viola- we remove the CO2 while producing a commercially viable supply of both carbon and oxygen- a big net gain for coal fired steam plants and more importantly, the people they serve. Any way, this battery and grid technology is the answer to all my head aches- I'll find the links and post them- its a ted talk I think.

  31. Maddestmax

    wald0. Do you think that your increasingly long essays on the nature of atomic decay might put some people off actually watching this very interesting doc? Yes or No will suffice. PS I'm not a nuclear physicist either.

  32. Maddestmax

    Dear The Editor, of Editors Picks. The statements made in this documentary have such massive implications for mankind, it would be a shame for it to not get as much exposure as possible. Even though it is not the best produced doc, it is extremely informative.

  33. tomregit

    Well since I'm not wald0 I suppose you might allow me more than a one word answer to your question. Speaking for myself only, the answer is........NO, his comments will not prevent me from watching. Can you tell me why you suggest they might?
    You may use more than one word.

  34. Maddestmax

    You are not everyone. People get put off by technicalities.

  35. wald0

    No, why on earth would it? The main point of this doc is to show the safety, efficiency, and and desperate need for LFTRs. It does that well and I personally hope people do watch it. My only point of contention is when he asserts solar an wind do not have the potential to be real contributors- when they most certainly do. Perhaps I am biased to some degree as I do work in this field as a research chemist for a local college, but I am not alone. Some of the best and brightest we have feel even more passionate than myself about solar, wind, geothermal, etc.
    I also disagree with his assertion that longer half-life equals easier storage of waste- this is generally speaking not the case if you research nuclear waste storage. I think this guy simply has a great product to sell and he gets a bit carried away, doesn't' see the whole picture because he is to invested in a particular outcome- no matter what.
    If we hope to solve the energy crisis, and trust me it is a crisis, we have to be realistic. I see this all the time, people getting so carried away with their particular research that they become blind to all else. The future of energy should be a mix of nuclear, solar, wind, geothermal, renewable fuels such a ethanol, hydrogen, electricity, etc.

  36. wald0

    If someone is that put off by technicalities this is not the fight for them, as it is inherently very technical in nature- period. It is the technicalities that separate a good energy source from a bad one, one means of storage from another, etc., etc. Its not my fault that the problems we face are technical, complicated, and subtle by their very nature. After all the whole point of this doc was to explain the technicalities of a LFTR, which are what separate it from a normal thermal reactor. Besides, as always if you don't like something someone has written you don't have to read it- simple as that.

  37. wald0

    " I very much doubt we will find oil, coal or gas in these places while elements like Thorium or uranium will be just as common as they are on Earth."

    Very good point, no we wouldn't find fossil fuels as they are the organic remains of biology. So, unless we find another planet with a long history of organic decay- no fossil fuels. Don't sell yourself short either, you seem to have an excellent grasp of radioactivity. I have a degree in chemistry but that does little to teach one about radioactivity- it is only sparsely covered and then you move on. Now if you take nuclear chemistry or physics of course that is a whole other story- they specialize in nuclear reactions, radioactivity, use of radioactive elements in medicine, radioactive imaging, neutron bombardment, etc. Maybe you should check out the field, you seem to be very interested and able. Thanks for the conversation man.

  38. Maddestmax

    wald0. I (like many other visitors to this site,I guess), look at the comments in order to get a grasp of weather or not I would enjoy/be informed by or could simply dismiss the documentary, after all it's the people who publish the doc that get to write the (frequently self- promotional) description. So is this realy the best place for an amateur yet intellectual dick-swinging contest, I think not.

  39. Samuel Morrissey

    I can confidently tell you, the information presented in this documentary is based upon well documented scientific data, so yes you can be informed by it. Whether or not you will enjoy it is subjective, do you have an interest in nuclear physics, or the global energy crisis? if yes then you will probably enjoy it. If however you take an automatic anti nuclear stance (which many do) then you will probably see this as some kind of clever propaganda, and I would advise you to look up the scientific data for yourself starting with wikipedia, to familiarise yourself with the basic concepts of nuclear energy generation and radiation before you move up to something more specialised I.e specific reactor designs & methodology, fuel processing cycles, decay chains etc. I would also argue that this technology is not mutually exclusive with modern renewables, that both deserve more development than governments will allow, and that both directly compete directly with the fossil fuel industry whose huge monopoly directly affects the decisions of governments through lobbying.

    I don't understand why you feel the need to attack Wald0 on this, maybe you're having a bad day, whatever. Nothing better for a bad mood than spreading it around I guess. I thought you were cracking a joke with your first comment, now I see you just wanted to drag someone else down.

    So are you just trolling or do you have an opinion on this documentary and the information presented within?

    I'd like to hear it if you do.

  40. Maddestmax

    Ouch, you obviously havn't read all of my previous comments. I also strongly refute your notion "you just wanted to drag someone else down" . Read my comments again and perhaps you might reconsider. Niel de Grasse Tyson said "If you only see the world through a science lens you are susceptable in public discourse to sounding provincial" and it was that discourse that I was afraid might put people off watching this doc. So who is attacking who here?

  41. Samuel Morrissey

    Well apologies if I am off the mark here, I do remember reading one comment from you requesting this doc be promoted to editors picks, but it ran like this :-

    1st comment - attack Wald0 (could be a joke, quite funny)
    2nd comment - attack Wald0 again.
    3rd comment - request promotion.
    4th comment - attack Wald0 again added vulgarity.

    Now Wald0 has made a fair point about the way renewables are dismissed off hand, If you have no counter arguments to his comments why are you replying to him at all? What is it about his comments you disagree with? In fact, forget I asked. Talk to Wald0 when you've chosen a point to debate, I'm sure he will oblige with a rational response.

    I am guessing from your reasoning that you think my comments might put people off as well, which is why I felt compelled to reply, though to be honest I really can't see how. If you are feeling down for whatever reason the last thing I would want would be to exacerbate it.

    So for my part, I am sorry.

    Sincerely,
    Sam.

  42. Maddestmax

    Ouch again. As far as apologies go, delivering one in the form of a "s**t sandwich" makes it unpallatable. You start with an apology, then go on to say I attacked wald0 3 times (against comments policy), I urge you to read the comments yet again as you don,t seem to understand that I have maintained a single arguement, that language can cause obfurscation of a topic (both you and wald0 disagree and that's fine by me). Also, I never engaged wald0 on the subject of renewables (because I totally agree with him) that was you. And you also imply that I am uneducated have mental health / personality issues and am vulgar. Wow. Then you apologize again. Sincerely?

  43. John Charles Rennie

    this is nothing more than another sales pitch at dangerous ecological proportions. There is technology out there that your damn government will not let out of the bag. Its main heading is: Nikolai Tesscia a Serbian born genius. Who do we have to thank for AC power. Need I say more. His furtherance in study brought to fruition the idea of free power! he tapped into from the atmosphere. And not having our greedy governments and nuclear people. With a great big church basket collection scenario. We have are fed up with lies from our government. Can you imagine how much richer and cleaner we could be. Without all these pollutants. And now the United States government. Spraying chemical trails on top of us to kill us! you say is this man crazy? No people perish for lack of knowledge. Go do the research. People of the world are complaining all over now. Not about contrails but about chemical trails, spewing out of the back of military jets.

  44. John Charles Rennie

    If we found another planetand it was feasible to move their, both financially. And with sound reasoning. We would screw it up anyway. How much material. Even nuclear have we left on the moon? We were told to screw off. I'm talking about the Americans. Alien civilizations don't like it. Can you imagine we have squandered and not being good stewards of this Earth's vital minerals and gases. And turn them into carbon dioxide poisoning ourselves and now; wanting to poison extraterrestrial civilizations.. You make one mistake with This nuclear power stuff and you can bend over and kiss your ass goodbye or for that matter for all of us. Now we send nuclear powered Rangers to other planets. With nuclear reactors in them. Someone's going to retaliate very damn soon.

  45. Samuel Morrissey

    You got all that out of my post? I'm impressed at your imagination. Oh well, allow me to retort.

    'So full of artless jealousy is guilt, It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.'
    William Shakespeare

  46. Matt Kukowski

    Brilliant how the documentary starts with a 5 minute compressed version... and then if you even remotely get it, you will continue with the details. This is how most of us learn.

  47. Chimosabe

    good stuff. Now we need to get the politicians to see it.

  48. KsDevil

    I had this sily idea about placing a thorium reactor at Slab City, CA to supply low cost electricity for the use of the hobos, hippies and RV escapees on that free and open land. Great place to set up a functional experiement.

  49. Theresa Bowen

    The picture is used from the Fallout video game. Heh.

  50. seamus watson

    We will only see this when the oil runs out.

  51. seamus watson

    Cool picture though. Great game.

  52. Rick Maltese

    Yes but Kirk quit his job to start Flibe. So he must see the odds as better than even.

  53. Anthony Jonassen

    It rubs the lotion on it's skin, it does this whenever it's told
    -Wild bill

  54. Luyang Han

    That is why I invite people to check some real technical staff. Kirk is of course great advocate which unfortunately makes this doc too biased. One need at least certain neutral information to judge. It is quite lucky that one can find the full session of Thorium energy conference online. There people who is building the reactors were talking about real progress and problems they were facing with molten salt design.

  55. stevenbhow

    Sorry, dumb question, but is a fast breeder reactor just an older name for a thorium reactor? Are there any differences or advantages between them?

    Oops, an hour or so into the doc I got my answer.

  56. Samuel Morrissey

    Shouldn't that be 'or else it gets the hose again.' ?

    your point is?

  57. wald0

    Hey man, sorry it took so long to respond- personal issues. The inventor of the technology I was referring to is Donald Sadoway from MIT. You can check out his Ted Talk entitled Donald Sadoway: The missing link to renewable energy. He is working on a three layered, liquid sodium battery that he says will work for grid level storage so solar and wind systems will be able to supply the grid when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining. Another one you should check out is the new lecture on Keen Talks about personalized energy. This guy has figured out how to break water down into certain molecules, H2 and O2 I would assume, that will store the energy via chemical bonds. Now of course in a way this is nothing new, most of us learn how to break water down via electrolysis in high school. But he has figured out how to do it using nothing but sun light, how to separate the products and store them, and how to then convert them into usable fuel. He gets a little over my head in places to be honest, and he makes some patently false statements about battery technology- false statement you will easily catch if you watch Sadoway's lecture first or have prior knowledge of battery technology on your own. But that is the nature of this business I have found, that each person thinks their invention or technology is the only possible answer and all else should be abandoned. They will even go as far as well, lying about it. Anyway, thanks again for the conversation- oh, and for standing up for me when the natives got restless.

  58. Veggamattic

    Love this guy...he reminds me so much of Al Franken.

  59. Samuel Morrissey

    Thanks Wald0, no problems I have a life to attend to as well. (believe it or not!)

    I checked up on your suggested articles, it sounds quite neat though as far as I can tell the molten salt electrolyte battery is a decades old and well understood idea. I hope some serious testing of a truly large scale battery is in the works. In the keen talks on personalised energy, they hypothesize using electricity produced by photovoltaic cells to drive the electrolysis, and storing the hydrogen in a fuel cell which would run the house, fuel the car etc. All from existing and well understood technology. Now this is a very good idea, in terms of localisation minimising the loss of heat energy through long cables, and in terms of each household being independent of a grid. The only trouble is the work and cost of adapting our already built homes to accommodate the photovoltaic array, electrolysis unit and fuel cell + the cost of the photovoltaic array, electrolysis unit and fuel cell.

    To my mind, photovoltaic arrays are still very primitive, relatively low efficiency <20% from sunlight into electricity, which currently is only improved by placing the array on a computer controlled motor mount so that it can track the sun across the sky. They are also very delicate and expensive to manufacture and maintain. As yet there is no thought out recycle for arrays that have deteriorated through normal use.

    And again, while this would be great for individual homes, even if we started putting it in all new builds regardless of the old ones (tower blocks of flats would really struggle to be adapted I think) Industry requires a consistent rate of high density energy, including industries that produce the molecular constructs needed in photovoltaic cells.

    So, definitely yes for more renewables in localised systems, but for industry the only current options are nuclear/fossil fuels. If we're talking about uranium reactors whose primary function has always been to produce weapons grade plutonium, then the damage to the environment and legacy may be on a par with fossil fuels (personally I doubt it, as there is no way to quantify the several billion tons of carbon gas compounds being pumped into the atmosphere every year and coal/gas/oil for the same energy produces about 10x the radioactive waste that nuclear does with the added detriment it is not contained), but, it is much more expensive to build reactors and mine uranium than it is to build a coal fired boiler and mine coal. Thorium reactors would still be expensive, but a huge amount of the previous cost is negated by removing the enrichment process required for uranium, when all natural thorium occurs in one isotope which is the one you want to use. The efficiency of a once through thorium cycle is 6-7 times that of the equivalent uranium cycle, therefore because more (the majority as opposed to a small minority) of the fuel is burned there will be significantly less waste for the same output of power. Also these waste elements will generally be lighter than the very difficult to deal with trans-uranic wastes our 6 decade old weapons technology has given and continues to give us.

    Then maybe we can have the industrial might needed to give everyone a solar powered home and vehicle etc.

    Really though? I think we love our weapons too much for that, but then I'm a cynic.

    Regards,
    Sam.

  60. glennk

    Cold Fusion anyone. Just more hucksters selling nuclear poison of one variety or another.

  61. Kristaps B?rzinš

    More like snake oil traders. Please, science, anyone?

  62. Nasilno Pokršten

    2 hours of how nukes are good agitprop, instead of clearly explaining why is torium better?
    and apropo fukushima - is the fact that fukushima, minamisoma are now ghost-towns, and billions property worth and their lives ruined, also "antinukilar" propaganda?

  63. Merlin Dewize

    Amazing stuff. I hope China makes it happen and starts producing miniature thorium batteries/power plans for everyone on the planet - much like Bill Gates did with the PC. GO THORIUM! cant wait to see what comes from this amazing stuff!

  64. Rocky Racoon

    Well the fella is brilliant to say the least or at has a photographic memory. I enjoyed his presentation even though I don't even know how to spell fissle. We need to encourage our politicians to get into this. We cannot let prejudice against "nuclear" stand in our way. This is what Canada should have been doing with our nuclear program instead Harper sold it according to plans drawn up by Rothschilds Bank. He practically paid some company now being investigated for all sorts of crime I think this is to shut them up as they have dirt on the Gov't. this is my hypothesis.

  65. Rocky Racoon

    The reason that even Japan went into so much nuclear was to develop enough material to make weapons grade plutonium that is the a primary reason it wasn't developed. Second the petro-chemical companies-Rockerfeller etc would not want it developed nor would coal. This is actually what Iran should be looking at and if China is doing it they will be soon Then what is going to be our excuse for bombing them into the stone-age? We can't compete so we must destroy.
    RR

  66. Rocky Racoon

    Well if the human race is going to survive on this planet for more than a few decades those who are standing in the way of progress will have to be pushed aside cast into the dustbin of history. These guys should try to get in touch with guys like Sean Penn, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt who donated eco-housing in re-building New Orleans basically just through architechural design. I mean that would be a big saving for everyone over the course of a lifetime. People can build eco freindly homes using hay as insulation and window design to have a constant tempurature of 70degrees winter spring summer or fall.
    Anywy those guys have the money, the ability to popularize it and also some political pull. They need to get Robert Redford and the like on their side. I was surprised at how ignorant Liz May from Canada was about Thorium as part of the nuclear equation. She is the single green party candidate in our federal gov. Does a good job on most things. Her base would turn on here MAYBE as so much politics is about personality rather than platform.

  67. Rocky Racoon

    There really is none to speak of as it is all burned up

  68. Rocky Racoon

    Thorium is better because you can't make bombs out it-it is plentiful and the process is turning it into energy is less complicated and safer-it's waste products have other uses that are very rare and needed for everything from cancer treatment to space exploration. That is what I heard watching this.

  69. Wajahat Hussain

    why don't you people go through crowd funding to build LFTR?

  70. Wajahat Hussain

    it doesn't stop being science just because you didn't get it; maybe watch it again

  71. Ezko

    Because it's a pretty hard thing to obtain hundreds of millions of funding through crowd funding

  72. William Wilgus

    Who's going to give you a license? The NRC has no rules or licensing program for anything but LW plants.

  73. William Wilgus

    You can't start one without Plutonium, and there isn't very much of that.

  74. William Wilgus

    It's probably too cheap. The light water reactors they're building now are running 10--14 Billion US

  75. Max Milligan

    Documentary: wonderful!
    The way they produced it: Excellent and entertaining!
    The information presented: Salvation to energy concerns!
    The need I feel we need to apply what has been shared in it: Crucial for the human race!
    And this is coming from a tree-hugging hippie who about two hours ago thought nuclear power was the worst idea ever. Thank you!

  76. DigiWongaDude

    Spot on Max...it has exactly that affect on most people I think. Very valuable viewing. More on TedTalks ;-)

  77. Matthew Sobke

    Lol. Are cars safe? (insert picture of a Ford Pinto). BUT: anyone likely to recognize the car as a Pinto in the briefest of flashes would know that the car pictured is a 1979/80 Hatchback model, not the 1971 Wagon model which, in rare cases, could puncture the gas tank in a rear-end collision, giving the car it's much exaggerated reputation as a 'rolling bomb'.

    Big fan of this research, and an entertaining doc, but don't get me started on how in Leo DiCaprio's Great Gatsby he was driving a 1933 Deusey in 1927...

  78. Kai Salovaara

    Well laugh at this. The chinese are building a reactor for Thorium. Sometimes a scientist need to talk at a level of the common man(politicians) to get his message through.

  79. Kai Salovaara

    There are too big financial interest in oil and nuclear power to stop this happening. Why do you think we drive around in cars using petrol or why the public transportation sucks in most parts of the US?

  80. Kai Salovaara

    Excactly. The program requires a basic level of intelligence to be understood.

  81. Kai Salovaara

    Do you think they will understand it?

  82. Kai Salovaara

    Why do I only get your comment about this genious from Serbia when I google his name. If so famous, surely there would be more than your comment?

  83. Kai Salovaara

    We hardly got out of our own solar system so I don't think the retaliation will come anytime soon;)

  84. Kai Salovaara

    Don't need to get other people's opinion before you watch a documentary. If you truly are interested in the subject, just watch.

  85. Kai Salovaara

    Should we look at it through a religious lens instead?

  86. Keit

    Nikolai Tesla is the correct name!

  87. rik

    Where are the "green" people on this one? I understand why the status quo people aren't saying anything but nothing from alternative fuels people, ecologists, hell economists even.
    I wonder if it can be shrunk down to fit a car size vehicle? Now that would make for an electric car that doesn't need to "fill up" for 100 years; sweet.

  88. gwhosubex

    a documentary that doesn't speak at a snail's pace and pause for no reason. Kickass content, too. just amazing. My favorite documentary style.

  89. gwhosubex

    because green people don't really think.

  90. Camilo

    Biased and lacking raw data.

  91. Dr.Dushe

    Its about the buck...Tesla rocked it for all for free...the dude not the band...but the band had a few good tunes too

  92. Marcus Andersson

    Well if a simple videogame idea with little proof of concept or clear plans for the end product can raise 46,018,188 USD, and yes they keep getting more, even though their initiall goal was merely 500,000 USD, I personally think crowdfunding is a very viable and worthwhile solution to LFTRs. If you do not belive that a videogame is actually getting this much monetary backing, simply check "List of highest funded crowdfunding projects" on your friendly Wikipedia.

  93. jim

    i love the tesla the band reference, classic

    jim

  94. james

    i love how the cover for this is the cover art from fallout 3

  95. jillzzzz

    Thank you! It is documentaries like this that help me understand the complexities of Humanity. When Knowledge is used, to further our survival on this beautiful planet for all generations now and those to come. Your knowledge has connected the dots for me. If I had the money and power you'd be building tomorrow! We must stop using coal!

  96. lapitup

    edison saw the value of lots of little power plants $$$$$

    but tesla won ;)

    look into the floride salts corrsiveness they last 5 years

    and also the issues with heat sheildings ;)

  97. ThomasXxs

    And according to a PBS NOVA episode there is a populated location in northern Iran, along the Caspian coast, where the natural background radiation is even higher than in Cornwall, and may be the highest in the world.

    However, the cancer rates for those people permanently living in this Iranian location are reported to be even lower than average! One theory is that this level of background radiation may induce some sort of protective, anti-cancer response in the human body.

  98. ThomasXxs

    The battle between Edison and Tesla was a contest of Direct Current (DC) vs Alternating Current (AC) in the design of large scale electrical grids - and it has no real similarity at all to the debate between Thorium-based LFTR nuclear reactors and the more common but highly-inefficient light-water reactors that dominate the current industry. Edison favored lots of little power plants because his favored DC power could not be transmitted very far, unlike Tesla's AC. With DC, Edison had no choice about having many smaller power plants, since long-distance electrical power transmission is simply not an option with DC, as it is with AC.

    Regarding fluoride salts supposedly being corrosive, Kirk Sorenson has stated the following:

    "First of all, fluoride salt is NOT highly corrosive if it’s put in the right container material. The high-nickel-alloy Hastelloy-N was proven by Oak Ridge scientists and engineers to be compatible with fluoride salt at the elevated temperatures at which LFTR would operate. Discovering Hastelloy-N and proving it would work was one of their great accomplishments."

  99. Al Harken

    Using art from fallout 3, seems legit.

  100. dineaudio

    I do agree with you on topic, but "much like Bill Gates did with the PC"... what?! PC would be a PC today with or without Billy, I can guarantee you that. It would possibly be even better off without Billy because computer and Internet revolution was inevitable anyway. It's just that you would be using Linux instead of Windows and Linux would be even better than it is today because even more people would work on it.

  101. dineaudio

    All they understand is a full pocket of money.

  102. awful_truth

    A great documentary, with great solutions. Aside from China, (and now India) who else is looking at the potential of this; if nobody is, then why aren't they? Perhaps it is because cheap efficient energy is not profitable! So, until we alter the global pyramid scheme paradigm, there will be no effort to pursue that which is in the best interests of everyone! any Questions?
    P.S: For confirmation, this gentleman should go on Dragon's den, or shark tank, and when Kevin O'Leary shoots him down because he can't make fast, easy money off it, then everyone will see the truth for what it is.

  103. tedd

    Shills are on you ,i remember this argument in the UK independent and when the shills like below got caught out the pages were removed.

    When they got on to the subject of lead reactors heat shields alloys of fourth gen reactors ...!

    5th gen made them pop rof

    Its cheaper to ship from one store house than have lots of little shops ,if not why is amazon ect able to undercut other suppliers.

  104. kelsonad

    What is the name of the main speaker in this documentary? Also, you mentioned in the documentary that there are PDFs online that go over the schematics of building a LFTR, could you post that as a hyperlink? Thanks and your documentary was fantastic. I wish everyone could see this, including lobbyists in Washington.

  105. Roger Andout

    I wonder why this "lecture" was delivered from what seems to be a basement. Definitely a case of shoot the messanger. If G/peace wasts to save the planet, why are they against fossil fuel (jobs) AND a viable alternative?

  106. corrosiveacids

    Old tech that failed then as it does up to the present day!
    Look into this a little deeper you will find massive holes to the viability of this topic.

  107. blame the amish

    there actually building one of these power plants in india now.

  108. hashtag

    Someone should respond to this...

  109. kelsonad

    Yes they are. There are two main nuclear power companies in India, one of which manages more than 200bn dollars... they are going to make so much money off this, not to mention the expensive nepotonium-237 bi-product that makes a nice buck.

  110. zena.dyete

    Kirk Sorensen (see mark 1:49:35)

  111. zena.dyete

    For all of us who wanted to know the name of the guy in the doc, it's Kirk Sorensen (see mark 1:49:35)

  112. nipntuck

    I see the bi-products is whats really wanted then ,pity the poor of india will have to suffer more turmoil from the oligarchs in search of ill gotten gains

  113. nipntuck

    Snake oil still sells well i see .

  114. Sammy Ri

    If the people leaving comments here were half as smart as they believe they are we would live in a fantastic world.

  115. Letem Dangle

    Great intelligence does not equate a fantastic world, but the desires of those who have it.

  116. Sammy Ri

    True

  117. Jeffrey

    yes, but they do not make use of the molten salt reactor. It uses a pressurised heavy water reactor, which isn't as efficient.

  118. noboundryman

    I am a "radical environmentalist" and damned proud of it. "No" that doesn't mean I commit crimes, blow up bull dozers, wear sandals, dreadlocks or live in a commune. It means that being an environmentalist is something every single educated person, and those who live off the bounty of the planet should be, because the environment is critical to human life support. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either unbelievably ignorant, probably brainwashed, an idiot, or insane. So when I here some arrogant person make the statement,
    ("sort of an environmentalist") about decent sincere people, who just don't happen to be nuclear physicists, it really pisses me off. That speaks directly to his arrogance, and probably to the viability of his proposals as well.

    Consider the (political criminal syndicate mess) that is America's energy supply system. This documentary while thought provoking, and worth considering, is far to fast paced, and trite for such a serious subject matter. It is both arrogant, and unrealistic to assume that everyone is going to understand the complexities of (nuclear reactants), and reactor construction when explained so quickly. Someone who wasn't so arrogant, and full of himself such as Richard Feynman would have explained in a way that a layman could understand. Thorium may well be a great plan to fill in the gap in the future, but the critical answers about reactor construction are far from answered, as are the questions about limited investment dollars. He is wildly, and inaccurately dismissive of the potential for Wind, and particularly solar, as well as hydrogen production, use, and containment technology. The human race had better start thinking "outside the damned box" and "real fast" because the criminal syndicate "fascists", are in it for the quick buck, and they are screwing us blind right now. We need "all" alternatives to fossil fuels to be escalated, modified and updated to the needs of the 21st century "at war time speed", or your children's lives are going to be a living hell. That's the truth!

  119. spixleatedlifeform

    All advocates of any type of energy production (or any large scale anything for that matter) must constantly be reminded of the one unmitigable, unavoidable fact of existence known as "Murphy's Law" -- Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
    Just because someone claims something is "safe" does not mean it IS safe.
    Why do these people continue to deny reality?

    SPLF

  120. penfoldini

    Hang doesn't LFTR produce plutonium as well though? From what I recall quite a nice one

  121. greenthinker2012

    However one must also remember not to allow Murphy's law to paralyze us into inaction. Yes there will be mistakes and yes people die, but the reality is we will all die no matter how safe we try to be.
    I am amazed when I contemplate the courage needed by the astronauts who landed on the moon. I would not have been able to do such a thing. Sometimes it makes me proud to see what we can do as a species.

  122. spixleatedlifeform

    Any type of nuclear power is nothing but a centralized, corporatized monopoly. Its sole purpose is to make a profit and maximizing that profit by any means necessary or available. No regard is ever made for long-term effects, costs or risks.

    The project to land a man on the moon succeeded primarily because it was the government that did it. Corporations would never attempt such a thing because they do not focus on anything longer-term than the next quarter or two and the return on that input. Otherwise, currently it's only a hobby of the rich.
    The critics of the space program always complained about "all the money being spent on the moon" but I have yet to see a single penny spent on a resort, hotel, or condo development project anywhere on or under its surface. All monies were spent right here on Earth. The biggest critics were and are the conservatives--both religious and financial. Still can't figure out exactly what they were/are afraid of -- unless it's the truth.

    SPLF

  123. greenthinker2012

    The wording of your first sentence uses phrases that are supposed to elicit an emotional response. However, even though words like centralized, corporate and monopoly are loaded, I disagree with your conclusion that they are necessarily bad.
    I benefit from many "corporate" "for-profit" activities.
    I enjoy air travel around the globe at a speed and at a level of comfort unheard of a century ago.
    I enjoy having plentiful electricity on demand at the flick of a switch.
    I enjoy being able to speak with anyone anywhere on the planet by telephone cheaply and easily and reliably.
    I benefit from "centralized" activities like the national highway system.
    In fact many of the hallmarks of society are a result of "centralized" activity.
    I don't understand why some people have a knee-jerk reaction against such things.

  124. spixleatedlifeform

    "Any type of nuclear power is nothing but a centralized, corporatized
    monopoly. Its sole purpose is to make a profit and maximizing that
    profit by any means necessary or available. No regard is ever made for
    long-term effects, costs or risks."

    So you want to analyze that first paragraph? You can't segregate the first sentence without attending to the rest of it.

    As to the things you "enjoy", none but the "air travel" have the ability to destroy wide swaths of the planet by their very nature (the rampant imposition of jet engine exhaust at 30-40,000 ft is not without long-term consequences, the users of which pay nothing towards compensation to the rest of us or the future generations for the damage it causes).

    The ability to "flick of the switch" depends on what powers that switch. Who is going to pay for the long-term consequences of that dissolute and profligate consumption of the very fossil fuels the planet has been removing, sequestering from the atmosphere, thus enabling the very life we depend on for our own existence as well as future generations will in their times. With all that carbon released, and nuclear waste yet to be dealt with, it paints a rather nasty picture of a near future few if any will be able to live in.

    In that light, your nom de plume is anything but apropos. Actually, antithetical, given your post above.

    The profit at any cost practice by centralized, monopolistic corporations has proven out time and time again. It's at its worst in the unregulated clime we have today.

    Furthermore, your use of the "national highway system" as another example is as false as can be. It was NOT a corporate monopoly. If you don't know that, you need a whole lot of remedial education.

    On the other hand, I think you're just another one of those hacks being paid to lurk on the web and blow smoke at the opposition of those who pay your salary. The sooner those who read these types of articles realize you are a member of an organized propaganda regime, the sooner you and yours will be thrown on the ash heap of history -- along with your owners.

    You really ought to wise up and realize even that activity is on the short end. Just look into "Quill" and see what's in store for you.

    SPLF

  125. greenthinker2012

    Can you point to any of these so called large swathes of destroyed planet?
    The large scale destruction I see is coming from fossil fuels.
    You seem to be hyperventilating.
    The whole tone of you comment is that of someone overblowing their statements to elicit emotional response.
    From a factual perspective your comment is empty.
    The wrap up is classic... as a commenter who has no actual argument you pull out the hoary old paid shill attack.
    Does anyone still fall for your type of rhetoric?
    Maybe you should stamp your feet while commenting.

  126. greenthinker2012

    Considering that a test reactor was successfully built in the 60's and ran for 6000 hours without problems, I would not call that snake oil.
    But hey, you just stay in your cave and let the more courageous homo sapiens move into the future.

  127. spixleatedlifeform

    OK Mr. "I know everything".
    How about the hundreds of square miles surrounding Chernobyl?
    Oh, you forgot about that one?
    OK. How about Hanford Reach? You know, that place out west in Washington State where the plutonium was generated for two decades and all the waste was buried in hundreds of million-gallon tanks that are leaking and after 40 years of alleged clean-up work and expense have yet to be dealt with? Those leaks of highly radioactive waste are creating a "plume" of highly toxic and radioactive materials that are on the verge of reaching the Columbia River. From there downstream, millions of people depend on the same river for most everything. Once that plume hits the river, they'll all have to go elsewhere. Apparently, you think that means lots of profit for those who enable it.
    What about the entire northern half of the Pacific Ocean, now contaminated by the fallout of the Japanese reactors that failed, leaked and exploded in the aftermath of their massive earthquake a few years ago? Ready to eat some salmon, are you?
    There are over a thousand of these reactors in the world and nobody has yet to figure out what to do with all the waste they generate, to say nothing of all the "products" that exist in nearly every hospital, dentist's office, chiropractor's office, assay office and import/export facility (including the very airports you must pass through any time you want to fly).
    Or the fact that every single place where atomic and nuclear bombs were tested are off-limits all the time (or in the case of the Trinity site, opened to the public one day a year because any more than that exceeds the RDA for annual exposure)? You think they were the result of efforts to preserve Life, Liberty or Justice? Ha! Try preserving corporate rights, monetary sovereignty and the creation of dynastic empires of wealth. Sounds like the dis-proportionality we have now, doesn't it?
    How about the single event that is so representative of what's to come, hundreds if not thousands of times over and over again; the release of millions of gallons of highly acidic, heavy metal contaminated gold-mining waste that just got accidentally released into the Animas River that flows into the San Juan River then into the Colorado River which tens of millions depend on for municipal and crop irrigation that feeds tens of millions more? Yet another legacy of the corporotocracy we live under.
    Or how about the failure of the coal-ash retention ponds that contaminate any river they spill into? Or the pig farm septic ponds--same effects.
    But no, you have to have your bling.
    Your high-altitude flights to your vacation spots where you just do the same things indoors you do anywhere else you are at any given time. You can just as easily get your tan in your back yard or your high-rise luxury condo balcony or roof-top oasis.
    You demand your cut of any and all productivity of those who actually do and accomplish.
    You and yours fail to see the string of connectivity of any activity and how it impacts the whole. No, you just stay deaf, dumb and blind to it all just so long as you get YOUR jollies.
    Yeah, dude. Go flick your switch.

    SPLF

  128. greenthinker2012

    I would agree that producing nuclear weapons during the cold war arms race caused pollution.
    However, the topic being discussed is civilian nuclear power.
    There is a difference.
    -
    Also when people talk about the future of nuclear power it is nonsensical to talk about Chernobyl. There is not a single person who is proposing we build those type of reactors in the future.
    As for your claim that Chernobyl is uninhabitable, the abundant wildlife in the area disagrees with you.
    -
    Your claim that the Pacific ocean had been affected by Fukushima is simply nonsense.
    -
    You are obviously prone to emotional outbursts and thus probably susceptible to lurid tabloid anti nuclear hype written specifically to appeal to people like you.
    You need to get scientifically valid information because it will help you get some proper perspective on things and will help your blood pressure.

  129. atomikrabbit

    "Also when people talk about the future of nuclear power it is nonsensical to talk about Chernobyl"

    In line with every antinuclear zealot on the planet endlessly citing the 1986 Chernobyl accident (which WHO and UNSCEAR say killed < 60 people), I propose that whenever a RE advocate takes credit for renewable hydropower, they must therefore also take ownership of the 1975 Banqiao Dam accident, which Chinese authorities say killed 171,000.

  130. bluetortilla

    I've always advocated nuclear power for the interim. It's record for safety is excellent, whereas petroleum has turned our world into a gunky polluted sludge pool. Petroleum theoretically at least has been archaic for over seventy years now but profits are easy so no one complains- they fight wars over instead.
    The Fukushima plant was one major disaster that we still do not the effects of. It was haphazardly built next to a sea coast known historically as a danger area for tsunamis. The plant's location should never have been approved. Nevertheless, it did take one of the greatest natural disasters of modern times to destroy it, and it is one plant among thousands of others. I do not believe the media, under pressure for those with vested interests in oil would ever be proponent of nuclear power, even with the presence and influence of the private corporations that run them. They simply do not have enough clout.
    I believe strongly in regulation combined with a production motive, especially for any public utility of any kind. To leave utilities or transportation systems solely in the hands private profit motivated organizations is reckless and dangerous.
    I thought this documentary was awesome. I do believe however, that better and better, more efficient batteries can and will be built in the future and that the best power grid is one that uses a variety of means to obtain power, both centrally and locally. I also firmly believe in regulating how much power individuals are allowed to use, based proportionately on a number of factors. Processed and imported foods and goods should also be tarrifed to discourage purchasing of these unnecessarily wasteful items. My footprint is very small and I do not feel in the least bit deprived of anything.

  131. Miss Cellany

    The massive problems with nuclear that outweigh any gains:
    1) The waste produced: it is toxic and radioactive for hundreds of years after being used in the reactor. It poisons ground water and soil if it is buried, and seawater if it is dumped at sea. It is currently too expensive to shoot it into space (which will probably have it's own issues even if we did). When the containers fail (because they will long before the waste is non-radioactive) waste will seep out and may harm ecology.
    We don't even have a proper solution for household rubbish let alone industrial or nuclear waste ("sweeping it under the rug" so to speak is NOT a solution).
    2) The catastrophic cost of failure.
    Because even if everyone does everything PERFECTLY (which is impossible since humans are not perfect), natural disasters can and WILL happen, and there WILL be repeats of Fukushima.

  132. Miss Cellany

    More importantly than the insignificant few that would die from a nuclear "mistake", the nuclear "mistakes" will cause extensive damage to the ecosystem as a whole (which affects our future generations as well as every other species' future generations).
    Already we can no longer use radio carbon dating beyond a certain point because of our use of nuclear power and bombs. Lets not be selfish; lets think about the big picture and the future of our planet and it's inhabitants.
    Do we really want to risk messing everything up for future generations of living beings (us included) just for some quick and dirty energy now?
    There are much safer, cleaner alternatives to nuclear power. Yes it will take a while for us to implement them and wean the public off petrol, but it's far preferable than using something unsafe because it's available right now. Have some patience, we will get there, we don't need to resort to something with the potential for so much harm.

  133. Miss Cellany

    The "abundant" wildlife is highly contaminated and dying much younger than wildlife in non contaminated areas. It is hardly healthy and it is only "abundant" because there are now no humans living there (it proves how badly we affect nature that wildlife is so sparse in areas we occupy that it can be considered "abundant" where we are not, even if that place is horrendously contaminated).
    If someone bothered to go out there and do DNA sequence analysis on the wildlife I'm pretty sure we'd see multiple mutations of coding sequences. In a few hundred years who knows perhaps some will have speciated into new species - or died out entirely.
    Would you like to eat any of that "abundant" wildlife? Fancy some venison from there perhaps?

  134. Miss Cellany

    Quite aside from the human deaths, Hydropower is another ill thought out power source that obliterates whole valleys and directly causes habitat loss, thus endangering vulnerable species or causing extinctions of those species entirely. It is not "green" nor "eco friendly" and is only second to nuclear in it's negative affect on the environment.

  135. greenthinker2012

    We have 10 years for our CO2 emissions to peak and then decline rapidly if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. We are now looking at half the species on the planet going extinct, 100's of millions of human deaths, and our coastal cities flooded.
    The fact is that our emissions are not slowing down, they are still increasing and are increasing at an ever faster rate!
    I see no evidence that we will hit our peak CO2 in ten years and then reduce.
    You are dismissing a major source of low CO2 energy thinking we have time to have patience.
    France managed to decarbonize in just over a decade using nuclear power.
    This is a real world proven example of what we can do in the timeframe left.
    Once we get our CO2 emissions under control using ALL low CO2 power sources available to us, I would be happy to debate with you what our preferred mix of power sources should be.

  136. greenthinker2012

    Chernobyl is a distraction. Nobody is suggesting we built more Soviet style reactors without containment buildings.
    When people talk about the future they are talking about modern reactors.
    You are using the equivalent of the Hindenburg disaster to argue against modern air travel.

  137. LuJohnson

    Lady, you need to stop whatever it is you're doing, weaving hemp sandals, boiling up another batch of patchouli oil, whatever..... and watch "Pandora's Promise" on Netflix, then after that, vet what you saw by doing some research. The future is bright if we can chuck the old liberal/hippie mindset against any sentence containing the word 'nuclear'. smh.

  138. Pie

    If you think France is "decarbonized" think again. I used to work at the European Greencenter for Ricoh and DHL (i was the "director" on site cause there was not really anyone directing on the site for 3 years there . It's about recycling in a nutshell. During that period I was very interested in Recycling/Environment and legislation that comes to that, because at the time the word "green" and terms like that were merely (and still are) cosmetic. But I still found it interesting how big companies in the world play everyone for fools. It's not for a better world, **** the world we need money. That is basically the philosophy. But im getting way off topic. What I wanted to tell you is that France was my biggest client and nr 2 was the UK. France is the nr 1 country in Europe that makes a mess and don't give a **** about environment. They even pay the Netherlands to burn their garbage because they will otherwise exceed the EU quotas by a gazillion times.( + they pay 6 euro's instead of 20 euro's per kg of garbage wich contain "content with unknown particals" (read heavy metals!) If they ship it to the Netherlands. Man I could write a book about this scam! What i actually just wanted to ask you : Do you really believe your fairy tales?

  139. Pie

    Actually I think a sun (or any star) is/are THE most reliable source of power in this universe. and the best thing is I never seen the sun sending me bills and demanding I pay taxes. When you think about it, it's pretty cool for something that hot. And the storage problem is bull. They said it with cellphones too it wouldnt work and they invented and made lithium-ion batteries like it was nothing. If they really want to it's easily solved, but they ain't in a hurry cause they rather keep ppl buying power instead of producing or distrubute it themselves. I do agree with you on wind being unreliable though. But if we would live in a world were money and greed didnt exist, we would be 100% solar powered by a long long time already.

  140. Pie

    Is that 200 billion dollars revenue or profit? It seems an aweful lot but there are also a lot of people in india. For example I live in the Netherlands and my electric company made 1.4 billion euros revenue and 265 million euros profit over only 5.7 million customers (there are only 16,8 million people here). I believe in India that could be just 1 city district like Delhi or ? I think the 200billion dollars is not weird (if its revenue not profit) It seems a nice buck but if you look at how big India is and how many people there live I think that it is not strange, a dutch company would do it better and suck india ppl money out for real and it would be 500bn dollars ;) oh and neptunium-237 is not that expensive with 660 dollar per gram compared to plutonium-237 which is over 4000 dollar per gram. So if you building a doomsday device for a hobby you could try save some money with neptunium :P

  141. greenthinker2012

    Yes, I believe that France decarbonized their electricity sector in about a decade using nuclear power.
    The rest of the world needs to follow their real world example and use nuclear power to decarbonize their electricity sectors and then we all need to expand our electricity sectors to further displace fossil fuels used in transportation.

  142. Pie

    Ok so if I dump all my thrash over my fence in your garden, because I can cause i just bigger than you and then I shout to the world look! how clean my garden is!
    Would you really want to follow that example? (and no throwing stuff back over the fence is not allowed ;) Basically that is what France is doing and the UK too, France only doesnt seem to cover it up and be ashamed about it. I dunno what is worse though lol.

  143. Pie

    Have you ever wondered btw why 9 out of 10 coal plants in France are still running? What is decarbonized about that? They build nuclear powerplants and they shut down 1 plant at calais. You really call that decarbonized? And with a gust of wind all the new coal plants in germany will RE-carbonize it x10 anyway. Really I like your thinking but reality is so much different. Look I know France has promised in the media blablabla...but hey, just promises :)

  144. noboundryman

    There is a tremendous amount of ignorance, about the energy crisis the world is facing, without question. Laypersons, who are not engineers, or familiar with industrial processes, international efforts, or finance, are frightened, and mistrustful of power companies, and corporations in general. True for very sound historical reasons of corruption, propaganda, betrayals, poison, deaths, fraud, and murders to numerous to mention.

    There is most definitely a major "man made" crisis looming. The depth, severity, and lethality of that crisis, is about to escalate to proportions, that will frighten even the most hard core deniers, and backwards, fundamentalist fascist frauds, who think the simplistic unrealistic delusion of Thorium, or other nuclear solution, is the simplistic answer to all our problems. Political hacks, clowns, neophytes, tools, and fools primarily. Quite often, it's the young, know it all smart asses, young brainwashed engineers, who have been in the trenches for a year or two, and listened fearfully to the propaganda thrown out by their Neanderthal bosses. I know them well because I've worked with them. They get a year or two under their naive belts, and think they have unlocked the universe. They are brilliant, but lack savvy, and life experience. They only realize how they been played, and brainwashed years later when it's often to late.

    There's one thing that the most generalized experts in the field of future energy needs, and system development agree on. We
    ("the human race") are facing a mega challenge bigger than ever conceived even 25-30 years ago. Major urban disruption, displacement of hundreds of millions of people, such as we are witnessing today in Central America, as well as North, and central Africa, to Europe that does not want them. Dozens of huge cities from Shanghai, to Miami, New York City, London, and many more will be submerged at least partially by the end of the century, or before.

    On top of that, the current, ongoing, escalating 6th mass extinction of species, and ocean acidification, and severe droughts is already dealing a massive catastrophic hit to the human food supply with unknowable consequences that will be profound. That is not conjecture, it is an unavoidable undeniable fact, if the current extinction rate continues, at 100 times it's normal historical rate, since the Permian extinction 250,000,000YA.

    The experts from around the world recognize that "all" possible, and attainable alternatives to fossil fuels will be required to slow the warming, of the globe, sea level rise, and ocean acidification. That's just to slow it down. To stop it, or reverse it will require a massive (international investment ), with technology sharing, and unprecedented international cooperation. Wind solar, geothermal, hydro, hydrogen, biofuels, massive water retention schemes, that will cost billions, There is no choice for us, but to create a massive diverse, decentralized infrastructure adaptable to all sources of input. There is no choice, it must be done. Furthermore, they all have begun to realize, that it will take an all out wartime like effort on the order of the Manhattan project to press the intellectual, and engineering community into an almost military like effort to develop new storage, transfer, and generation technology, other wise, we are screwed blued, and tattooed. That's the reality, the same one for deniers, and everyone else. One group sees it coming and is preparing, the other is about to find out theres no place to hide.

  145. greenthinker2012

    Yes France has two coal power stations.
    Cordemais Power Station and
    Provence Power Station.
    France also has the lowest CO2 emissions because of nuclear power.

  146. greenthinker2012

    I don't understand your metaphor.
    Try just stating what you mean.
    What is France doing that is so bad?

  147. Sparafucile

    Your sense of scale, or rather lack thereof, leads you to draw nonsense conclusions.

  148. Sparafucile

    Thank you for the elitist idiocy.

  149. Sparafucile

    Claptrap presented as "truth".

  150. himagain

    The simple answer here is that the Private Sector has only one obligation: Profit and (the hardest part for them) to increase that profit ratio and rate of return.
    "Good Citizenship" is the antithesis of this process.

    Our only realistic alternative is the Civil Structure, whether publicly controlled by a King/Dictator, or by fiat, ostensibly agreed by a population for the common wealth.

    The "kneejerk" you mention is the automatic reaction of people with either (a) prior experience, they are older, or (b) (rare) commonsense, or even rarer: intelligence.

  151. himagain

    Fantastic Site here! Great topics! VERY interesting Commenters!
    However, as an old, old cynic I see the same Elephant that is always ignored:
    It is always a question of profits. NEVER costs.(they are only a smoke screen).
    Project costs are always massively enlarged because they are directly relative to the money that the interested parties can make.
    They are never real.
    The key "elephant" is all those existing interested parties like the Oil Titans and the world built around them and their massive profits.
    Tesla's "free" energy system HAD to be destroyed. Overnight it would have created a NEW ownership structure of the world.
    Morgan knew better than to let that happen.

    We can't replace the current Carbon System until we work out how to let Our Owners make more than they do currently.
    Oh, and without losing their power bases..............

  152. Pie

    No that is just not true, France has 9 coal plants
    Provence, Cordemais, Blenod, Emile-Hushet, La Maxe combustion, Bouchain, Hornaing, Centrale de Lucy and EdF La havre.
    The only plant that has shutdown is Courrieres.
    The only countries with more CO2 emmission is Germany and the UK
    So please stop saying France has the lowest co2! it just aint true!
    I really wonder where you getting your data from.
    If you don't understand my methaphore than im sorry cause I try to explain in english and maybe It is confusing, but i try to explain that France just ships their emmission to other countries and say they are doing good things, but if you really take a good look at things it is just one big joke! Have you ever looked into the French uranium mining in Niger and the pollution that comes with it for example? Really France is good at marketing for the public opinion but not at CO2 reduction! but hey no country is that anyway :) France is really not an example to follow for anyone and that is were you are wrong. Btw today in dutch newpaper it said our co2 emmission went up with 4.1 percent I just thought it was funny to see the article when discussing this topic :) So we are not an example to follow either ;)

  153. greenthinker2012

    I think the other explanation for the knee jerk reaction is an overly simplistic view of the world.
    My example of the airline industry was chosen because they have a good safety record and also try very hard to make profits.
    Given the proper regulatory environment, businesses can make a profit and provide a safe, valuable service.
    You give a single alternative, but the reality is that there are countless ways we can organize ourselves.

  154. bluetortilla

    But you do not substantiate your accusation or give any evidence why her conclusions are nonsense. It's easy to be so pithily dismissive, but adds nothing to the discussion. Wrong?

  155. bluetortilla

    Miss Cellany I see these as very old arguments propagated by the media to basically make people anti-nuke as long as oil dollars roll in. If there is a massive oil spill, doest that not also cause environmental destruction and problems for hundreds of years? The truth is that fission energy has a track record that speaks for itself as a viable and acceptably safe form of energy. Compared to oil, it is thousands of times safer.
    'What do we do about the waste?' This is always an argument against nuclear power but the truth is that the danger of depleted waste is exaggerated, has not cause problems so far unless deliberately and maliciously used in 'dirty bombs,' and has the potential to be recycled to create more energy.
    As far as I'm concerned, there have been extremely few mishaps with nuclear energy. Fukushima was an accident that never should have happened. Only greed and negligence led that company to build so close to a tsunami prone area, an area in which it should never have been built but was to save money on sea water. This is why we need regulation by the government and have government take its rightful place in our utilities. Energy should also be far more expensive than it is in order to force people to conserve. We can continue choking and gasping on oil and raising the earth's temperature day by day, as well as ensuring political instability in the Middle East, or we can rely far more on fission power, as well as other sources. Choice is ours. Hands down, I'd go against nasty oil any day.
    Of course accidents are going to happen and people are going to die no matter what we do. But we must keep trying to make the planet safer and to cut down on rampant consumerism, which is the REAL disease after all. Life is fragile. That does not stop us or scare us from finding the best balance of energy for our world.

  156. Sparafucile

    Yes, you're wrong. I directed the reader to observe the source of the nonsensical conclusions, as they're based on a demonstrated faulty sense of scale.

  157. noboundryman

    Typical Insipid whiny statement, without an ounce of fact, explanation, or understanding, just childish whine. Pick any part of what I said, and tell me what part is claptrap. I'll demonstrate with adult language, just where you are clueless. You can do it when you're finished masturbating in the closet to Sean Hannity, and the mindless whores on Fox News where you get all your science information, one would imagine.

  158. noboundryman

    Thank you for proving that microcephalic marmosets can be taught to type. Try not to soil your food dish.

  159. bluetortilla

    And in the meantime the energy crisis goes on. I don't believe it good conduct on forums or elsewhere to demean. THAT was my point. It seems people spend half their lives attacking others instead of addressing our problems. Am I wrong on that too?

  160. bluetortilla

    Never mind, the person is just another spamming troll. Jeez, and we wonder why there are so many problems in the world...I've been flagging the poster; hope the mods get him.

  161. bluetortilla

    I agree with Pie. This documentary was wholly dismissive of batteries. The truth is the technology is getting better and better and ultimately batteries should provide most of our energy in the future. While I enjoyed hearing the doc's presenter's knowledge on fusion, I'd suggest he's done little creative thought into, for just one example, batteries integrated into nano technology. Just about any surface that is exposed to sunlight can theoretically retain energy.

    I bet plenty of people out there right now possess 'solar' calculators.

  162. bluetortilla

    Intelligence seems to be just one variable to authority and power. Greed, lust, and ambition account for most of the qualities of the kings, barons, and robbers that rule this 'crappy world.'
    Anyone can imagine and it is imagination that is brilliant and comes up with the great ideas. You should be more open to us Joe Shmo dummies.

  163. Sammy Ri

    I interpret the last couple of lines of you're comment as you believing that I was being less than complementary with my comment...I can see how that may have happened...I could have worded my initial comment a little better...

    When I read all the comments after viewing the subject matter...I was rather impressed with the seemingly vast amount of intelligence out there...I was merely commenting on my surprise that the world is not a lot better place than it is...in light of all this intelligence.

    Maybe it's like that old adage ... the best people to run the world are unfortunately to humble to do it.

  164. JenniWest

    The needs of reality and the power of the people often override the Kings of Industry. Otherwise Barack Obama would not have been elected twice.

    Reality: We have a planet to save.

    Reality: There is no singular action we can take as a species, to do so, that is greater in benefit and more practical and more cost effective than embracing nuclear power. The rest of the world IS. We are behind.

    Reality: Non-industry experts agree that it will likely be the END of this century before we can practically wean ourselves from fossil fuel use. There is no immediate threat to the Oil Kings in our lifetimes.

    There is no elephant.

  165. JenniWest

    We DO know the effects of Fukushima. We've been studying radiation effects for over a century. You eat chemicals in your food that have been studied less than a month. The effects are based on the known quantity of rad-con that escaped and the known isotopes involved and the known effects of those two very measurable things. The consensus is that NOTHING will happen as a result. Lo and behold, it's five years later and nothing has happened as a result.

    There IS no industry that is more heavily regulated than nuclear.

    Batteries are NOT green. They are costly, resource intensive, short-lived for their contribution, are used solely to support the WORST forms of power production that we have (solar and wind,) to prop up crappy power forms.

    We appreciate your "interim" support but we need the facts to be spoken loud and clear.

  166. JenniWest

    Those two "massive" problems, Miss Cellany, aren't even real problems. At least not with the nuclear industry.

    1) The stuff you call waste isn't even waste at all. The reason it is stored, not discarded or buried, is because it is 95-97% recyclable into new nuclear fuel. It is a commodity. Quite valuable in dollars and ecologically too. It can save decades of new uranium mining. As it is now, after 60 years of use, over 100 reactors in America, our partially used nuclear fuel would fit in a box 100 yds long X 50 yds wide. Once that stuff is recycled, the remaining ACTUAL waste, the end product, would fit in my master bedroom closet and be as dead as dirt in less than 300 years. ALL of it. So the idea that there is a "waste problem" is one of many made-up lies by anti-nuclear people. You would have a much more meaningful effect if you applied your complaint to every OTHER industrial process in the nation.

    2) The cost of cleanup and decommissioning is paid for by the nuclear industry. There is a fund that all nuclear power producers pay into. And they are also required to match the maximum levels of insurance and self-pay to double it. Fukushima, those exact circumstances (even minus the wave and earthquake) can no longer happen. Unlike many other competing industries, the nuclear industry is very open within their field. What one learns, they all learn. What one changes for the better, they all change for the better. What one modifies, they all modify. Again, if all other industries followed nuclear's lead, we'd see much less ecological destruction, much less teratogenicity among people and other creatures and an overall healthier world.

  167. JenniWest

    Because we have the knowledge to mitigate and reduce likely, and even unlikely scenarios. It's called "thinking."

  168. spixleatedlifeform

    By definition in both directions, Murphy's LawS (it is plural) overwhelms any and all pre-emptive thinking. Did "thinking" prevent the Challenger fiasco?
    Did "thinking" prevent Africanized bees from escaping into the wild?
    Did "thinking" keep the Titanic from sinking?
    Did the "thinking" of the Japanese military just prior to their attack on Pearl Harbor prevent the eventual outcome?
    I could easily go on until my umpteenth-grand child passes away and still not included even a small fraction of all possible examples.

    "Thinking" is great and I'm all for it but there's a world of difference between "thinking" about something in the hypothetical and the application of that hypothetical to the real world.
    That difference is known as hubris.
    None can escape it. It's a first cousin to Murphy.

    SPLF

  169. spixleatedlifeform

    Before you or anyone else goes and creates any more disastrous waste, I suggest you clean up what's already there, first.
    As to your statement vilifying my posts as attempting to induce an "emotional response", tell me please how anything you have posted is not intended to induce an emotional response? Those who have posted agreement with you confirm that as fact.
    As to my blood pressure, it's quite fine. So's my heart rate.
    I don't read tabloids--and given most of them are from YOUR crowd--Murdock, et al--including both the print kind found at the checkout line as well as the Fox News propaganda machine, I'm amazed you can sort-of spell, let alone occasionally use correct punctuation yet in neither case is it better than half the time.
    You cannot separate "military from civilian" when it comes to nuclear power. They are both hands of the same body. Neither is without warrantable nuclear crimes against nature.
    As to who needs to "get some proper perspective on things" I would suggest you read a few books on Chaos Science, the fallacy of "Efficient Market Hypothesis", almost anything by E.O.Wilson, and maybe even just go outside somewhere away from the influence of corporate dictat? Just ten minutes might help you in your delusional state.

    SPLF

  170. Edward Mitchell

    Water for fuel is a lot safer and with the new technology when it is broken down and reused it is not destroyed in anyway thus making it a totally renewable source of fuel. But the most promising thing that water for fuel tech brings is it puts the individual in full control of their own energy needs which means no more pain at the pump and no more electric bills, and even cooking and heating would be under the full control of the individual. This compared to what we have today more or less shows us what we have today is energy enslavement and the water for fuel tech promises energy independence so my vote is for the water for fuel technology.

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