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Old December 23rd, 2013, 09:12 AM   #1
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Question China; Doing Our "Heavy-Lifting"????

This is pretty embarrassing....needing China to apply our science....because Teabaggers (and, "conservatives", in-general) are AFEARED O' THAT-THERE SCIENCE-STUFF!!!

Quote:
Thorium!!
December 20, 2013

*

"Scientists in Shanghai are attempting a breakthrough in nuclear energy: reactors powered by thorium, an alternative to uranium.

The project is run by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a government body with close military ties that coordinates the country’s science-and-technology strategy. The academy has designated thorium as a priority for China’s top laboratories. The program has a budget of $350 million. And it’s being spearheaded by the influential son of a former Chinese president.

But even as China bulks up its military muscle through means ranging from espionage to heavy spending, it is pursuing this aspect of its technology game plan with the blessing – and the help – of the United States.

China has enlisted a storied partner for its thorium push: Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The U.S. government institute produced the plutonium used for the Manhattan Project and laid important groundwork for the commercial and military use of nuclear power.

The Tennessee lab, as it happens, helped pioneer thorium reactors. The Pentagon and the energy industry later sidelined this technology in favor of uranium. The Chinese are now enthusiastically tapping that know-how, in an example of how the rising Asian superpower is scouring the world for all sorts of technology needed to catch up to America in a broad array of scientific fields."

The die was cast against thorium much earlier. In the early 1950s, an influential U.S. Navy officer, Hyman Rickover, decided a water-cooled, uranium-fueled reactor would power the world’s first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus. Rickover was instrumental in the 1957 commissioning of a similar reactor at Shippingport, Pennsylvania - the world’s first nuclear-power station.

Admiral Rickover was a towering figure in atomic energy and became known as the father of the U.S nuclear navy. He had clear reasons for his choice, engineers say. The pressurized water reactor was the most advanced, compact and technically sound at the time. More importantly, these reactors also supplied plutonium as a byproduct - then in strong demand as fuel for America’s rapidly growing arsenal of nuclear warheads.

“The short answer is that uranium was good for bombs and thorium wasn’t,” says Kirk Sorensen, president of Flibe Energy, a privately held thorium-technology start-up based in Huntsville, Alabama."

Last edited by Medicine Man; December 23rd, 2013 at 09:19 AM.
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 09:52 AM   #2
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thorium reactors sound like a good idea, are they? I dunno, smarter people than me don't know. How are we gunna find out?

I suppose we have to let china do it, since the eco-nuts won't let us build anything in this country.
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 09:58 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webguy4 View Post
thorium reactors sound like a good idea, are they? I dunno, smarter people than me don't know. How are we gunna find out?

I suppose we have to let china do it, since the eco-nuts won't let us build anything in this country.
Based on a relatively short Google search, just the fact that there is a lot of private money looking at it in America and Europe and the Wikipedia entry about it, it appears to be a significant improvement over current technology. But in the US and Canada (and Japan right now) the "No Nukes" fanatics continue to hold sway.
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