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Posted 5/1/17 , edited 5/1/17

mittemeyer wrote:

I'm in favor of nuclear power in theory, due to the revolution in reactor design that has occurred in the last few decades, but in practice there are many obstacles to adoption.

I don't have time to go through all the links, but thank you for sharing them.

I'll share one too, just for perspective. It's on the projected cost of cleaning up Fukushima.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/11/world/asia/struggling-with-japans-nuclear-waste-six-years-after-disaster.html


400 Tons of Contaminated Water Per Day
3,519 Containers of Radioactive Sludge
64,700 Cubic Meters of Discarded Protective Clothing
Branches and Logs From 220 Acres of Deforested Land
200,400 Cubic Meters of Radioactive Rubble
3.5 Billion Gallons of Soil
1,573 Nuclear Fuel Rods

But the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric say they are committed to removing all the waste and cleaning the site, estimated at a cost of $188.6 billion.


My understanding is that the neutron capture profile of thorium means that it captures neutrons, moving up to uranium 233, which then has a very high fission rate, but extremely low neutron capture rate.

Which means that rather than resulting in a mix of high atomic weight plutonium (long half-life, nuclear weapons material), unfissionable uranium 238 (long half-life), and assorted lightweight fission byproducts (moderate half-life but extremely high radioactivity) like uranium reactors, thorium reactors burn largely "clean".

That is to say, the thorium almost completely converts to U233, which fissions down (but doesn't capture up the periodic table), resulting in a fairly small amount of "slag" (unburned fuel), and a fairly small amount of waste material comprised almost entirely of short-half-life fission byproduct. Which is, it must be said, INTENSELY radioactive... but which also has a half-life on the order of days or weeks. So, instead of tons of materials you have to store for millenia, you instead have a few hundred pounds of super-radioactive (but short half-life) material that you just put in temporary storage a few months, at which point it has (*edit: MOSTLY) decayed into non-radioactive elements.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium_fuel_cycle

Ecologically, this is great.

The one possible problem is that high-radioactivity, short-half-life isotopes ARE fairly useful for, say, terrorists looking to build a "dirty bomb", so I guess there are security implications to it as well
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Posted 5/1/17

outontheop wrote:


mittemeyer wrote:

I'm in favor of nuclear power in theory, due to the revolution in reactor design that has occurred in the last few decades, but in practice there are many obstacles to adoption.

I don't have time to go through all the links, but thank you for sharing them.

I'll share one too, just for perspective. It's on the projected cost of cleaning up Fukushima.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/11/world/asia/struggling-with-japans-nuclear-waste-six-years-after-disaster.html


400 Tons of Contaminated Water Per Day
3,519 Containers of Radioactive Sludge
64,700 Cubic Meters of Discarded Protective Clothing
Branches and Logs From 220 Acres of Deforested Land
200,400 Cubic Meters of Radioactive Rubble
3.5 Billion Gallons of Soil
1,573 Nuclear Fuel Rods

But the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric say they are committed to removing all the waste and cleaning the site, estimated at a cost of $188.6 billion.


My understanding is that the neutron capture profile of thorium means that it captures neutrons, moving up to uranium 233, which then has a very high fission rate, but extremely low neutron capture rate.

Which means that rather than resulting in a mix of high atomic weight plutonium (long half-life, nuclear weapons material), unfissionable uranium 238 (long half-life), and assorted lightweight fission byproducts (moderate half-life but extremely high radioactivity) like uranium reactors, thorium reactors burn largely "clean".

That is to say, the thorium almost completely converts to U233, which fissions down (but doesn't capture up the periodic table), resulting in a fairly small amount of "slag" (unburned fuel), and a fairly small amount of waste material comprised almost entirely of short-half-life fission byproduct. Which is, it must be said, INTENSELY radioactive... but which also has a half-life on the order of days or weeks. So, instead of tons of materials you have to store for millenia, you instead have a few hundred pounds of super-radioactive (but short half-life) material that you just put in temporary storage a few months, at which point it has decayed into non-radioactive elements.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium_fuel_cycle

Ecologically, this is great.

The one possible problem is that high-radioactivity, short-half-life isotopes ARE fairly useful for, say, terrorists looking to build a "dirty bomb", so I guess there are security implications to it as well


The logistics terrorists would need to be able to safely handle the stuff will not be easily available to them. They'll die before they can do anything with it. Also, it was mentioned that the waste product sends out gamma radiation, which means that government agencies will be able to very quickly track it down and take out the terrorists, if they did manage to steal some of it. At least that is one of the arguments made against weaponizing the waste product.
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Posted 5/1/17 , edited 5/1/17

DeadlyOats wrote:


outontheop wrote:


mittemeyer wrote:

I'm in favor of nuclear power in theory, due to the revolution in reactor design that has occurred in the last few decades, but in practice there are many obstacles to adoption.

I don't have time to go through all the links, but thank you for sharing them.

I'll share one too, just for perspective. It's on the projected cost of cleaning up Fukushima.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/11/world/asia/struggling-with-japans-nuclear-waste-six-years-after-disaster.html


400 Tons of Contaminated Water Per Day
3,519 Containers of Radioactive Sludge
64,700 Cubic Meters of Discarded Protective Clothing
Branches and Logs From 220 Acres of Deforested Land
200,400 Cubic Meters of Radioactive Rubble
3.5 Billion Gallons of Soil
1,573 Nuclear Fuel Rods

But the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric say they are committed to removing all the waste and cleaning the site, estimated at a cost of $188.6 billion.


My understanding is that the neutron capture profile of thorium means that it captures neutrons, moving up to uranium 233, which then has a very high fission rate, but extremely low neutron capture rate.

Which means that rather than resulting in a mix of high atomic weight plutonium (long half-life, nuclear weapons material), unfissionable uranium 238 (long half-life), and assorted lightweight fission byproducts (moderate half-life but extremely high radioactivity) like uranium reactors, thorium reactors burn largely "clean".

That is to say, the thorium almost completely converts to U233, which fissions down (but doesn't capture up the periodic table), resulting in a fairly small amount of "slag" (unburned fuel), and a fairly small amount of waste material comprised almost entirely of short-half-life fission byproduct. Which is, it must be said, INTENSELY radioactive... but which also has a half-life on the order of days or weeks. So, instead of tons of materials you have to store for millenia, you instead have a few hundred pounds of super-radioactive (but short half-life) material that you just put in temporary storage a few months, at which point it has decayed into non-radioactive elements.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium_fuel_cycle

Ecologically, this is great.

The one possible problem is that high-radioactivity, short-half-life isotopes ARE fairly useful for, say, terrorists looking to build a "dirty bomb", so I guess there are security implications to it as well


The logistics terrorists would need to be able to safely handle the stuff will not be easily available to them. They'll die before they can do anything with it. Also, it was mentioned that the waste product sends out gamma radiation, which means that government agencies will be able to very quickly track it down and take out the terrorists, if they did manage to steal some of it. At least that is one of the arguments made against weaponizing the waste product.


True, but I was more thinking the "fly a plane into the reactor or temporary storage site" type attack rather than "build a carefully crafted dispersal device".

That said, I'm not really sure that it *would* kill them that fast. Guys who went into the Chernobyl reactor building to spray water *directly on* the exposed, molten core material (I think they call it the "mushroom"? *edit, no, it was the "elephant's foot". Just remembered it was named after the blobby shape it assumed) didn't die until hours or days later IIRC (I'll have to check) despite absorbing a lethal dose within minutes; could be long enough for a determined attacker if they went into it acknowledging it was a one-way trip.

https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/how-did-this-worker-approach-this-fuel-mass-at-chernobyl.672660/
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Posted 5/1/17

outontheop wrote:



True, but I was more thinking the "fly a plane into the reactor or temporary storage site" type attack rather than "build a carefully crafted dispersal device".

That said, I'm not really sure that it *would* kill them that fast. Guys who went into the Chernobyl reactor building to spray water *directly on* the exposed, molten core material (I think they call it the "mushroom"? *edit, no, it was the "elephant's foot". Just remembered it was named after the blobby shape it assumed) didn't die until hours or days later IIRC (I'll have to check) despite absorbing a lethal dose within minutes; could be long enough for a determined attacker if they went into it acknowledging it was a one-way trip.


The reactor itself - according to the design would empty into a storage tank and cool down, and shut down... But the storage for the waste would be a problem...

Maybe they could build it all below ground level? That, or set up some crazy surface to air defense systems.... I don't know....

Can you imagine the headlines? "Nuclear power plant security detail mistakenly shoots down passenger jet that got lost and flew too close to the power plant."
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Posted 5/1/17

DarthRutsula wrote:





mittemeyer wrote:





catseyestiger wrote:



Older style nuclear reactors used anywhere from 30% enriched uranium to using bomb grade (70%+) enriched uranium. That kind of Uranium gets so hot pretty much no modern materials can touch it without it being cooled by water and they can keep a nuclear reaction going without water. They used those reactors because a small reaction chamber can make a lot of power. Fukushima was one of those types.

Modern nuclear reactors used 5% enriched uranium. It is plenty hot to boil water but doesn't get so hot its near impossible to handle. It also REQUIRES water to keep the reaction going and if you remove water the pellets stop reacting. The downside is you need a larger reactor and it has a warm up period for reactions when they were stopped. They are very safe reactors and you can even hold the pellets in your fingers without them burning you.

You can reprocess 90% of the waste and recover most of the radioactive waste for reuse in a new pellet. So the waste you do have is barely radioactive. France actually uses a system like this and they have little issues with waste.
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Posted 5/1/17 , edited 5/1/17

Dark_Alma wrote:

Sure its great. Trusting people to do it correctly isn't. I am looking at you, Japan, Russia and USA. Don't cut corners with your power plants.

As long as capitalism is around, I doubt that will happen. Gotta make the biggest profit margin bois.


The worst nuclear accident in history was caused by communists that were directly opposing capitalism. Take your socialist garbage and go back home.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster
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Posted 5/1/17 , edited 5/1/17
Anyone who would have an opinion on nuclear itself being bad is scared of the tech not meeting the standard, not the energy itself. Energy is good if utilized well and if the waste isn't high.

The problem with both nuclear and coal is the waste output. In the case of nuclear it is volatile and builds up. That has a sustainability issue in the long term (Maybe we can figure out a cheap way to send it to the sun?).

I think regardless you need to realize that safety hazards are rare and not the real danger with power plants. It's that they have long term issues that need to be addressed.

Were as wind and solar have sustainability in mind and almost no waste and are cheaper to utilize (Though have less output per unit) and can potentially provide more jobs.

I'm not saying your videos don't have some merit but they miss the problem entirely in my opinion. Still, the fascination with splitting of atoms is something that is hard to get over, and if there could be some advances (particularly in waste management and recyclable process) I'm all for nuclear being utilized more. It's just got some dark horses that are ignored. And I hate short term management. Especially when it comes to our fucking kids having to deal with willfull neglect from giant babies.

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mxdan wrote:

Anyone who would have an opinion on nuclear itself being bad is scared of the tech not meeting the standard, not the energy itself. Energy is good if utilized well and if the waste isn't high.

The problem with both nuclear and coal is the waste output. In the case of nuclear it is volatile and builds up. That has a sustainability issue in the long term (Maybe we can figure out a cheap way to send it to the sun?).

I think regardless you need to realize that safety hazards are rare and not the real danger with power plants. It's that they have long term issues that need to be addressed.

Were as wind and solar have sustainability in mind and almost no waste and are cheaper to utilize (Though have less output per unit) and can potentially provide more jobs.

I'm not saying your videos don't have some merit but they miss the problem entirely in my opinion.



I don't know that I agree with your assessment. Consider how MANY windmills you have to built to generate the raw wattage that nuclear reactors generate. Think how much steel and copper you need for all the turbines, how much extra transmission line to go from the wind farms (usually nowhere near where the energy is consumed) to the consumer. Think of how many more maintenance teams you need. How much land you have now occupied with windmills instead of forests and farms and whatever... and then after all that, it is not a reliable source of on-demand energy. Both solar and wind are (or can be, assuming you mean thermo-solar, not photovoltaic) low direct environmental impact... but also very low energy return, so it kind of evens out since you have to have so many MORE wind or solar facilities than nuclear ones.

Of course, it's a mighty hard comparison to make, apples-to-apples. I don't really know how the numbers stack up, and wouldn't be surprised if it went one way or another; nor would I be surprised to find they were nose-and-nose for overall ecological impact.
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Posted 5/1/17 , edited 5/1/17

mxdan wrote:

Anyone who would have an opinion on nuclear itself being bad is scared of the tech not meeting the standard, not the energy itself. Energy is good if utilized well and if the waste isn't high.

The problem with both nuclear and coal is the waste output. In the case of nuclear it is volatile and builds up. That has a sustainability issue in the long term (Maybe we can figure out a cheap way to send it to the sun?).

I think regardless you need to realize that safety hazards are rare and not the real danger with power plants. It's that they have long term issues that need to be addressed.

Were as wind and solar have sustainability in mind and almost no waste and are cheaper to utilize (Though have less output per unit) and can potentially provide more jobs.

I'm not saying your videos don't have some merit but they miss the problem entirely in my opinion.



The waste can be reprocessed and 90% of it reused. The other 10% is mostly non-radioactive materials that are unstable in various ways and need to sit and restabilize. That 10% is much easier to store because it doesn't get hot.

Wind is great but most of its output is at night not during the day. It's not reliable. Solar is actually quite toxic if you look into what goes into obtaining the materials and processing needed for highly efficient solar panels. It's a great substitute if your in the middle of no where and your alternative is running copper lines for miles to nowhere though.
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Posted 5/1/17

DeadlyOats wrote:


mittemeyer wrote:

I'm in favor of nuclear power in theory, due to the revolution in reactor design that has occurred in the last few decades, but in practice there are many obstacles to adoption.

I don't have time to go through all the links, but thank you for sharing them.

I'll share one too, just for perspective. It's on the projected cost of cleaning up Fukushima.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/11/world/asia/struggling-with-japans-nuclear-waste-six-years-after-disaster.html


400 Tons of Contaminated Water Per Day
3,519 Containers of Radioactive Sludge
64,700 Cubic Meters of Discarded Protective Clothing
Branches and Logs From 220 Acres of Deforested Land
200,400 Cubic Meters of Radioactive Rubble
3.5 Billion Gallons of Soil
1,573 Nuclear Fuel Rods

But the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric say they are committed to removing all the waste and cleaning the site, estimated at a cost of $188.6 billion.


At the very least, look at the "Reader's Digest" version. It's a 10 minute TED Talk video that boils everything down to it's essential elements. You will see the enormous difference between a Light Water Reactor and a Molten Salt Reactor. Accidents like Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island would NOT have happened if MSR technology was used.

Molten Salt Reactors, in general or Liquid Fluoride Thorium (salt) Reactors in particular is what is at the core of safe nuclear energy. We need to get away from using Light Water Reactors, and move to LFTRs


As a note: Newer uranium reactors use 5% enriched uranium don't require heavy water. They use purified water (aka distilled). There have been MASSIVE advancements in nuclear in all categories but people continue to be fearful of it. I'd like to see more modern nuclear plants of all safe types made. They are so much better than the coal shit we have so much of.
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outontheop wrote:


mxdan wrote:

Anyone who would have an opinion on nuclear itself being bad is scared of the tech not meeting the standard, not the energy itself. Energy is good if utilized well and if the waste isn't high.

The problem with both nuclear and coal is the waste output. In the case of nuclear it is volatile and builds up. That has a sustainability issue in the long term (Maybe we can figure out a cheap way to send it to the sun?).

I think regardless you need to realize that safety hazards are rare and not the real danger with power plants. It's that they have long term issues that need to be addressed.

Were as wind and solar have sustainability in mind and almost no waste and are cheaper to utilize (Though have less output per unit) and can potentially provide more jobs.

I'm not saying your videos don't have some merit but they miss the problem entirely in my opinion.



I don't know that I agree with your assessment. Consider how MANY windmills you have to built to generate the raw wattage that nuclear reactors generate. Think how much steel and copper you need for all the turbines, how much extra transmission line to go from the wind farms (usually nowhere near where the energy is consumed) to the consumer. Think of how many more maintenance teams you need. How much land you have now occupied with windmills instead of forests and farms and whatever... and then after all that, it is not a reliable source of on-demand energy. Both solar and wind are (or can be, assuming you mean thermo-solar, not photovoltaic) low direct environmental impact... but also very low energy return, so it kind of evens out.

Of course, it's a mighty hard comparison to make, apples-to-apples. I don't really know how the numbers stack up, and wouldn't be surprised if it went one way or another; nor would I be surprised to find they were nose-and-nose for overall ecological impact.


Fair enough. I think windmills in general have some ecological problems as well, particularly with bird migratory patterns. Even solar could potentially have some weird atmospheric problems. I do think that it is worth mentioning how solar has grown in recent years. This article is from a few years ago but I think it's worth mentioning in this topic:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-germany-solar-idUSBRE84P0FI20120526

With that said, if we can figure out waste, I'd like to see Nuclear advancements. My hometown was close to the waste depository in Yucca Mountain Nevada. It was always kind of annoying to see all the waste being accumulated. It didn't feel like a safe solution and in the back of your head you always think, "But what if something happened here.." I'm just saying, our overconfidence in Nuclear, and irrational long term ideas are what lead to pointless deaths. I'm not saying inaction is the best course, but we need to rethink simply storing what we don't know what to do with. We have limited space.
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Posted 5/1/17 , edited 5/1/17

mxdan wrote:



I'm not saying your videos don't have some merit but they miss the problem entirely in my opinion. Still, the fascination with splitting of atoms is something that is hard to get over, and if there could be some advances (particularly in waste management and recyclable process) I'm all for nuclear being utilized more. It's just got some dark horses that are ignored. And I hate short term management. Especially when it comes to our fucking kids having to deal with willfull neglect from giant babies.



Liquid Fluoride Thorium (salt) Reactors have the nuclear fuel, Thorium as the starting fuel. As the atom is split, it turns into various forms of Uranium. Some of that uranium is further split. The fuel is reprocessed, as it circulates.

I can't remember the process, but they go over it in detail. It is processed and continues to be burned down until the final waste product is a material with a half life of about a month. At the end of the month, the stuff isn't radioactive anymore, and can be normally disposed.

That is a whole lot better than having stuff with a half life of a hundred thousand years or more, before it's safe again. So, there's your safe waste disposal solution.


Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (a type of Molten Salt Reactor) have never been put into productive use. A single Molten Salt Reactor using Thorium has been built and tested, but it was killed in favor of the Light Water Reactor design that we have now. It is the LWR design that has left a bad taste in all of our mouths, and has given nuclear energy a bad name.



mxdan wrote:


Fair enough. I think windmills in general have some ecological problems as well, particularly with bird migratory patterns. Even solar could potentially have some weird atmospheric problems. I do think that it is worth mentioning how solar has grown in recent years. This article is from a few years ago but I think it's worth mentioning in this topic:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-germany-solar-idUSBRE84P0FI20120526

With that said, if we can figure out waste, I'd like to see Nuclear advancements. My hometown was close to the waste depository in Yucca Mountain Nevada. It was always kind of annoying to see all the waste being accumulated. It didn't feel like a safe solution and in the back of your head you always think, "But what if something happened here.." I'm just saying, our overconfidence in Nuclear, and irrational long term ideas are what lead to pointless deaths. I'm not saying inaction is the best course, but we need to rethink simply storing what we don't know what to do with. We have limited space.


As a matter of fact, solar, wind, bio-fuels as well as traditional fossil fuels are all discussed in detail when compared to nuclear energy in general and Liquid Fluoride Thorium (salt) Reactors (Molten Salt Reactors) in particular.
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