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May 04, 2012


Eric Robinson

Thorium Fuel: No Panacea for Nuclear Power(oh really?),By Arjun Makhijani and Michele Boyd
Are these guys oblivious? They didn't even mention the LFTR (liquid fluoride thorium reactor) Developed at ORNL in the 60's by Alvin Weinberg, it reduces all the problems they mentioned and is way better than LWRs our current reactors. The LFTR is compact inexpensive ($.03/kw vs coal at $.55/kw and Th is abundant. Enough for 10,000 years of until we figure out fusion. These guys are physicians and they are going to relegate the 3rd world to living in squalor without enough energy to provide for the basics of light, food and health care. Thanks doc as long as youv'e got yours everything is ok, right?

[[Note from Doug Wiken: Thanks for the comment. I agree with you and have been beating the LFTR drum for a couple years. (See SD Science Junction Blog). Recently PBS has had a series on aviation from Wright Bros. to the Moon or some such. The war years with Donald Douglas, Dutch Kindleberger, Boeing, etc was fascinating in that it showed what could be done with government support. Two or three years to produce something like 90,000 war planes. We need national will and science to get completely away from fossil fuels in 5 years or so. It can be done if people decide to get politicians with some courage, science knowledge, and brains. ]]]]

Eric Robinson

Good point Doug.
The "No Pancea" folks totally miss the point. LFTR is not perfect although its issues are tractable mostly it sure beats the heck out of
1)LWR our current reactor design's tendancy to blow up or melt down.
2)Global warming or global mercury contamination from coal
3)Endless wars for oil and eventual water wars
4)A meager life of misery in the Third World
5)Low density intermittent energy resources like wind and solar
6)Being at the mercy of the current slate energy pirates

What freed the slaves was actually the internal combustion engine making slaves obsolete, likewise Thorium can free us from the current energy hostage situation.

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