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Old 01-02-15, 02:18 PM   #21
oil pan 4
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All the geo thermal available for commercial power generation has been tapped, the US is the leading geo thermal power producer by wide margin to the #2 guy.

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No safe storage. After 60+ years.
Agreed, if the waste is properly recycled 99.9% of the radioactivity is gone after only 40 years. Its about is radio active as English granite at the point.

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Old 01-02-15, 07:25 PM   #22
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This would address most of those concerns. It also addresses problems with other ways of producing electrical power (wind, solar, etc).




>
I encourage everyone to watch this video in its entirety, if only to gain background knowledge into the way the related industries operate. In North America especially, the nuclear power supply-side industry is not so much geared to the building of power plants, but to supply nuclear fuel rods to existing plants through exclusive contracts. The burden of waste disposal is left to the actual operator of the plant, an entirely different organization.

The whole LFTR reactor subject was mothballed by the government in the '70s and sewn up tight due to the decision to pursue the types of power plants that are operating today. As a result, public policy and opinion has evolved to only consider this type of nuclear power generation and its unique set of truths and consequences. In reality, there are dozens of nuclear processes that can be employed to produce power that do not produce weapons-grade waste products.

Keep in mind that the sole reason the type of reactors in use today were invented in the first place was to produce weapons-grade materials to fill planned stockpiles of nuclear weapons. Fast forward 50 years, and now we have a relative abundance of this material that we can no longer justify a need for. It would only seem natural to pursue another process that fits our current needs. But no, the powers that be don't see things that way.

Now combine this set of circumstances with the direction the USA has gone in the mining of rare-earth elements. Due to the fact that these elements coexist in the Earth with deposits of radioactive thorium, domestic production has been regulated offshore. China picked up the slack, and is now the number 1 supplier of rare-earth elements in the world by a substantial margin. Not surprisingly, they borrowed our research and technology and are aggressively pursuing the LFTR reactor method of nuclear power generation. They also borrowed our technology for refining the various rare-earth elements and our methods of producing marketable products of very high value.

As it stands today, nearly every hard drive or speaker that uses rare-earth magnets was either produced in China or made with magnetic material sourced by China. Flat panel displays and compact fluorescent bulbs all use rare earth elements in the blend of phosphors that enable them to render the color palette that has propelled them to the level of quality they enjoy today. Passenger cars of all types use these materials as well. Gasoline vehicles use them in cat converters and oxygen sensors, while hybrid and electric vehicles use them in the batteries and traction (motor) drives. This supply situation has been exploited to fanatic proportions by the Chinese government, so there is literally nowhere else in the world we can obtain this material to fuel our technology.

We put ourselves in this situation, and we can get ourselves out of it. All that has to happen is radical change not experienced on this continent in decades. The worst thing we can do is nothing, which is what is happening now. I urge you all to do what you can to try to sway the status quo in whatever direction you support.
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Old 01-02-15, 10:34 PM   #23
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If they are going to use Nuclear Power this New method sounds like the way to go.
Unfortunately this is not new tech. It was being developed in the 1950s then was abandoned in favor of nuclear reactors that could make plutonium for nuclear weapons.

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I did notice the program had a fair amount of sensationalism and slight of hand , for instances it was claimed that wind power only generates wind 15% of the time .. hogwash I think most of us understand that they put windmills in windy places and likewise solar in sunny places.
I saw that too. Where I am we get up to 40% to 50% utilization.
Unfortunately most windy places don't meet the requirements to justify building a wind farm:
1 A windy site. Self explanatory.
2 Roads. Not just any roads. You have to be able to get tractor trailers to the site, modular cranes and wind turbine components such as 100 foot long blades.
3 Grid tie in point. Building transmission lines can double the cost of a wind project, plus the NIMY crowd can shut down a wind project by blocking the transmission lines. So the wind farm needs to be located near transmission lines that are not normally ran at capacity or can have their capacity expanded to accommodate the wind farms output with out having to expand right of way (problems due to NIMBY jerks).
4 Transmission losses. You have to put the wind farm near the market. Where I am they could easily build more wind turbines than the market can consume and more power than what the transmissions lines that interconnect markets can move. With this scenario it can actually be cheaper to build wind turbines that are closer to say Oklahoma city and have them produce less, as opposed to building a 1 billion dollar power line that will still see 20% or 30% losses.

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Old 01-02-15, 11:05 PM   #24
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Running that plant will get cheaper over time.
No mechanical or electronic system gets cheaper to run over time.
Things wear out, break downs happen more often. When the systems age major break downs happen more often, they get more expensive to maintain, needing more man power, the parts become harder to find.
Nothing better happens as these systems get hours on them.
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Old 01-03-15, 09:39 PM   #25
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Wind turbines and solar burn no fuel. So they cost less and less over time. Sure they require maintenance - but so does nuclear and fossil fuel plants.

Renewable energy gets less expensive the longer we use it.
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Old 01-03-15, 10:13 PM   #26
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Thorium need not kill other technologies , it would fill in the spaces rather well , for instance I could see it being useful to power a complete city that currently has to bring its power in.

Some areas without sufficient energy resources to draw from would be a prime candidate for thorium nuclear power.

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I saw that too. Where I am we get up to 40% to 50% utilization.
Unfortunately most windy places don't meet the requirements to justify building a wind farm:
1 A windy site. Self explanatory.
2 Roads. Not just any roads. You have to be able to get tractor trailers to the site, modular cranes and wind turbine components such as 100 foot long blades.
3 Grid tie in point. Building transmission lines can double the cost of a wind project, plus the NIMY crowd can shut down a wind project by blocking the transmission lines. So the wind farm needs to be located near transmission lines that are not normally ran at capacity or can have their capacity expanded to accommodate the wind farms output with out having to expand right of way (problems due to NIMBY jerks).
4 Transmission losses. You have to put the wind farm near the market. Where I am they could easily build more wind turbines than the market can consume and more power than what the transmissions lines that interconnect markets can move. With this scenario it can actually be cheaper to build wind turbines that are closer to say Oklahoma city and have them produce less, as opposed to building a 1 billion dollar power line that will still see 20% or 30% losses.
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Old 01-03-15, 10:26 PM   #27
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Africa could sure use some thorium Power too , poor guys are left in the dark literally no lights.
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Old 01-03-15, 11:17 PM   #28
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Actually if you look at the map. Ivanpah is actually very close to las vegas. Now las vegas has the hoover dam, so we will assume the vegas doesn't need that solar power. So one must assume like the hover dam, a good portion of the power is going to SoCal, which is roughly 200 miles to market. You can expect a solid 10% transmission loss over that distance.
If the 2.2 billion dollars was spent giving away money for people to buy their own solar power system then at least there would be no transmission losses.

I just pulled this from wiki:
In November 2014, Associated Press reported that the plant was producing only "about half of its expected annual output." The California Energy Commission issued a statement blaming this on "clouds, jet contrails and weather."

So its a 2.2 billion dollar project that only powers 70,000 homes. So its double the huge waste of money I originally thought it was.


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Thorium need not kill other technologies , it would fill in the spaces rather well , for instance I could see it being useful to power a complete city that currently has to bring its power in.

Some areas without sufficient energy resources to draw from would be a prime candidate for thorium nuclear power.
I don't think thorium should power everything.
The only thing I am not a fan of is transmission losses.
That is why I cant stand the idea of power plants, alternative or not being located so far away form the market they are going to see 10% or higher transmission losses.

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Old 01-07-15, 09:35 PM   #29
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Have you seen the level of Lake Mead, lately? It is pretty low, so they may not be generating much power with it.
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Old 01-07-15, 11:57 PM   #30
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last time I saw lake mead was 2009 and it was pretty low.

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