ForumsWorld Events, Politics, Religion, Etc.The Future of Energy?

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crazyape
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crazyape
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Ladies, gentlemen, I give you the best option for future safe, efficient nuclear energy: Thorium Power. Everything that needs to be discussed is in the link. Wind power is inefficient and expensive, solar power isn't durable, it's expensive, inefficient. Oil pollutes and causes border disputes, coal is just unsafe. Uranium is unstable and creates waste. Thorium energy is the answer to all these problems.

Thoughts and critiques?

http://www.quickmeme.com/img/ac/ac2d655cebd931468f9d48ea1290286e3bc33d772de9b2eae93161ca31d1a7ed.jpg

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FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
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Ladies, gentlemen, I give you the best option for future safe, efficient nuclear energy: Thorium Power.


Excerpt from above: "[...] safe, efficient nuclear energy [...]"

Nice, but we don't need another joke thread.

[...] solar power isn't durable [...]


That's a bald-faced lie.

[...] coal is just unsafe [...]


That's absurd.

Uranium is unstable and creates waste.


That's an inescapable necessity of any high energy nuclear fission reaction.

Clearly thorium is not an answer; it is only a response.
Freakenstein
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Freakenstein
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I like the thought of solar-powered roads myself.

http://1.vsr.vz.tl/assets/images/cached/8HBJXOm-360.jpg

nivlac724
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nivlac724
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what exactly is thorium energy I've never heard of it?

Planemaster13
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Planemaster13
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Excerpt from above: "[...] safe, efficient nuclear energy [...]"

I think safer would be a better way of saying it.

what exactly is thorium energy I've never heard of it?

Read this

MageGrayWolf
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MageGrayWolf
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I like the thought of solar-powered roads myself.


You should watch Thunderfoots videos on them, he does a pretty good job destroying the idea.
Just to name a few flaws the LEDs would either not work during the day or require more power than what the roads take in to use, and they would add to the light pollution at night.
The positioning of the panels flat tot the ground would make them very inefficient solar collectors (this is why solar panels are angles towards the sun) Further more the roads would become dirty very quickly and the glass would get roughed up all adding to a loss in efficiency.
https://www.youtube.com/user/Thunderf00t/search?query=solar+roadways

If we wanted to generate power from our roads and walk ways I think implementing piezoelectric generators would be the way to go. And example of this here. Basically as a car drives over it or a person walks on it the generator would create a small amount of electricity.
crazyape
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crazyape
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That's a bald-faced lie


In review of facts, I spoke to soon. I will amend. Solar energy is expensive and inefficient, although durable in the right climates and if installed to exacting specifications.

That's absurd


Hazards to Miners
Second source

That's an inescapable necessity of any high energy nuclear fission reaction

Excerpt from above: "[...] safe, efficient nuclear energy [...]"

Nice, but we don't need another joke thread


You are not above looking at the proof I gave. There is a link, at least skim it.
09philj
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09philj
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[quote]Excerpt from above: "[...] safe, efficient nuclear energy [...]"

Nice, but we don't need another joke thread


You are not above looking at the proof I gave. There is a link, at least skim it.[/quote]

Erm, I have no idea why you think Thorium would be a better fuel than Uranium for a nuclear reactor. Because it's not no fissile, Plutonium must still be used to start the reaction. It also produces radioactive waste products with a particularly long half-life.
FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
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In review of facts, I spoke to soon. I will amend. Solar energy is expensive and inefficient, although durable in the right climates and if installed to exacting specifications.


Solar energy is limited only by the output of the sun. To put it simply:
Solar Energy â  Current Means of Electricity Generation via Solar Energy

[quote]That's absurd


Hazards to Miners
Second source[/quote]

Do you know how thorium-containing ore is harvested? That's right! Mines.

You are not above looking at the proof I gave. There is a link, at least skim it.


Do not speak of "proof". There is no such "proof". You cannot prove what is blatantly false.

Thorium is unstable. Thorium creates waste. Anything that is not unstable cannot be a viable fuel for fission reactions because atomic instability is the only thing which allows the reaction to occur at productive energy levels. Anything that undergoes nuclear fission must be converted to some form of unstable waste and will remain as such until it restabilizes via nuclear decay.
crazyape
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crazyape
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Do not speak of "proof". There is no such "proof". You cannot prove what is blatantly false.

Thorium is unstable. Thorium creates waste. Anything that is not unstable cannot be a viable fuel for fission reactions because atomic instability is the only thing which allows the reaction to occur at productive energy levels. Anything that undergoes nuclear fission must be converted to some form of unstable waste and will remain as such until it restabilizes via nuclear decay.


I will go over the pros and cons with you.

You still need uranium â" or even plutonium - in a reactor using thorium. Thorium is not a fissile material and cannot either start or sustain a chain reaction. Therefore, a reactor using thorium would also need either enriched uranium or plutonium to initiate the chain reaction and sustain
it until enough of the thorium has converted to fissile uranium (U-233) to sustain it.

Attempts to develop âthorium reactorsâ have failed for decades. No commercial âthorium reactorâ exists anywhere in the world. India has been attempting, without success, to develop a thorium breeder fuel cycle for decades. Other countries including the US and Russia have researched the development of thorium fuel for more than half a century without overcoming technical complications.

Using plutonium sets up proliferation risks. To make a "thorium reactor" work, one must (a) mix the thorium with plutonium that has been stripped of the highly radioactive fission products; (b) use the mixed-oxide thorium-plutonium fuel in a reactor, whereby the plutonium atoms fission and produce power while the thorium atoms absorb neutrons and are turned into uranium-233 (a man-made isotope of uranium that has never existed in nature); (c) strip the fission products from the uranium-233 and mix THAT with thorium in order to continue the "cycle"; in this phase, the U-233 atoms fission and produce power while the thorium atoms absorb neutrons and generate MORE uranium-233. And so the cycle continues, generating more and more fission product wastes. (Gordon Edwards).

Uranium-233 is also excellent weapons-grade material. Unlike any other type of uranium fuel, uranium-233 is 100 percent enriched from the outset and thus is an excellent weapons-grade material and as effective as plutonium-239 for making nuclear bombs. This makes it very proliferation-prone and a tempting target for theft by criminal and terrorist organizations and for use by national governments in creating nuclear weapons.

Weapons-grade fissionable material is harder to retrieve safely and clandestinely from a thorium reactor;
Thorium mining produces a single pure isotope, whereas the mixture of natural uranium isotopes must be enriched to function in most common reactor designs. The same cycle could also use the fissionable U-238 component of the natural uranium, and also contained in the depleted reactor fuel; Thorium cannot sustain a nuclear chain reaction without priming, so fission stops by default in an accelerator driven reactor. Meaning that Thorium by itself cannot overload the reactor causing a meltdown. As well, the second Thorium reactor has the capacity to start the third, and the chain could thus be continued for however long we choose.

I put the cons first because I believe you are more interested in why Thorium is not a feasibly safer and more efficient fuel source. I respect that you believe that, and you may even be right. This is a discussion thread, and you do raise some good points. There are pros and cons to virtually everything.
weirdlike
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Here is an idea I have thought about since my younger days...

Take this into consideration. While you are riding your bike, cruising along. Everything is good. Right? Well that is until you start going uphill. Then you need to apply more energy in order to maintain enough speed to stay upright. Otherwise you will need to get off the bike and walk. There is a solution that people have come up with. GEARS. Yep that's right, gears make it easy to keep on going. We all know that they are there and how they work.

So with that in mind. What if we took a small electric motor and a generator, then used gears to generate the level of energy required to power the motor and have an output of 120v.

09philj
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09philj
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So with that in mind. What if we took a small electric motor and a generator, then used gears to generate the level of energy required to power the motor and have an output of 120v.


Useful terms:
Energy - The stuff that makes stuff happen. It can't be created or detroyed, only changed between forms. (This is the extent of our knowledge on the nature of energy.) Measured in Joules.
Power - The rate of energy transfer given time. Measured in Watts.

You can't just use gears to create energy out of thin air, @weirdlike. When the gear you input energy through is larger than the output gear, more energy must be used to turn the input gear. Conversely, if the input gear is smaller than the output gear, less energy is required to turn the input gear. You get the same energy in as you get out; but a high gear requires more power
weirdlike
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weirdlike
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When the gear you input energy through is larger than the output gear, more energy must be used to turn the input gear. Conversely, if the input gear is smaller than the output gear, less energy is required to turn the input gear. You get the same energy in as you get out; but a high gear requires more power


If this were true then why would there be "5 speed" gears if the collective energy is the same hmm... O.o

A 250cc motorbike can only produce 50 horsepower (average) yet it can reach a top speed of 100mph (average). How is this possible? It has to do with reaching a comfortable speed, then switching gears to move faster. The output of the motor is the same amount of energy in all gears, it does not change.
SportShark
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SportShark
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This might be a bit off-topic, but I hope that the future of energy doesn't include dumping millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico or anywhere else for that matter.
Thank you very much, BP & Friends.

FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
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I put the cons first because I believe you are more interested in why Thorium is not a feasibly safer and more efficient fuel source. I respect that you believe that, and you may even be right. This is a discussion thread, and you do raise some good points. There are pros and cons to virtually everything.


Yet you have only managed to produce one pro for thorium in practical applications: It is extracted as a pure single isotope. Everything else you mentioned only detracts from its usefulness.

A 250cc motorbike can only produce 50 horsepower (average) yet it can reach a top speed of 100mph (average). How is this possible? It has to do with reaching a comfortable speed, then switching gears to move faster. The output of the motor is the same amount of energy in all gears, it does not change.


Power is determined by the rate of acceleration, not the speed. A low power vehicle is simply one which requires more time to accelerate to the desired speed.
Kasic
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Kasic
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Is this supposed to be a joke thread? I'm seeing a few people acting serious and a few others saying things that appear (I hope) to be in jest. In either case, the majority of what's been said here is nonsense.

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