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China making US look like CHUMPS on energy

I am pretty sure I got on my first "list" when I was 17 and started trying to get Hanford Nuclear Plant shut down. From the very first time someone explained nuclear energy to me, I must have been about 10, I realized the waste was an unsolvable problem, at least with current technology. For 30+ years now, I have spoken out against nuclear energy at every chance. They are bringing waste to my state now, and doing God-knows-what with it, and it makes me ANGRY. We nearly bought property less than a mile from where they are "processing" radioactive waste... We dodged that bullet, but it is still too close. Anyway, I think you may get the gist - I am ANTI-NUKE, have been for decades.
Then I learned about thorium. Now I am REALLY angry. We NEVER had to even make this nasty waste that our great-great-great-great-great-(I don't know how many to add, but lots...) grandchildren will still be dealing with. Thorium was available all along, and our government CHOSE the nasty stuff TO GET THE WASTE, so they could make WEAPONS.
For a nation that espouses allegiance to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" we sure put a lot of effort into death, destruction and endless war. And now, the perfect insult to radiation injuries... CHINA is developing thorium.

Not familiar with the technology?

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You may want to look more heavily into Thorium reactors

Thorium is not fissile. It must first be converted to Uranium. The article you link said as much - "Thorium has its flaws. The metallurgy is complex. It is "fertile" but not fissile, and has to be converted in Uranium 233."

This means you still have the waste. You still have the radioactivity. Yes, you are not in a controlled critical state, so there is less risk of losing control, but that was not your concern. Besides, Fukishima could have been avoided if the safety standards were up to par.

Beyond that, the U.S. had a working breeder reactor in the 50's. Germany ran a Thorium molten salt reactor in the 70's. China has a press release.

I am willing to compromise

I thought I made it clear that I was anti-nuke. I have beat my head against that brick wall for decades, if people INSIST on having nuclear energy, lets at least go to thorium.
And you think we can make safety standards high enough to overcome earthquakes? And here is the thing, Fukushima did not cause all the thyroid disease around here, that was Hanford. It never had an accident.
And you make my point, we knew about this in the 50's and still opted for the more dangerous method, so we could make Hiroshima and Nagasaki happen.
But if everyone is ready to get off the power teat and do some back yard wind and solar, I think that is a great idea. Shall I start that thread? How fast do you think it will be full of people telling me all the reasons it won't work, and how we have to have nuclear?

This is the article that got my posting privileges revoked:

But you are missing your own point

It is the waste that you have issue with, correct? The radiation released into the environment? That is still a problem with Thorium, as it is still converted into Uranium, which is then used in the fission reaction. There is still the waste that must be collected and stored.

The issue with Fukishima was not damage directly related to the earthquake. It was the fact that the generators shut down after the tsunami. If the generators had been stored in an area above the flood level, nothing would have happened. If they had designed the system to account for flooding, nothing would have happened. If they had gone into cold shutdown sooner, nothing would have happened.If they had flooded the reactors sooner, nothing would have happened. Instead, they had low lying generators in a coastal area known to get hit with tsunamis. They made a conscious decision to delay flooding with seawater because the salt would essentially destroy the reactors, costing millions to replace. The Tokyo government and TEPCO decided that it was worth the risk to the people to not flood the reactors immediately. They were wrong. By the time they actually decided to flood them, the fuel was already liquefying. At that point, full meltdown is inevitable.

So, yes, safety measures could have prevented the disaster.

I want to be clear, I am not advocating Nuclear Energy. Just getting the facts out there. I agree that waste is an issue. I agree that other solutions should be researched and implemented when feasible. I definitely don't think wind is that solution though. Wind turbines are loud and an eyesore. I do like the new flexible solar panels that have been developed. http://www.technologyreview.com/news/508946/flexible-solar-c...

Fair enough

I am not "expert" in thorium at all, I understood that it created significantly less waste.
However, the wind thing - as a backyard energy source it is VERY viable. Farmers use them to keep their ponds thawed, they can be quite quaint. It is not for every location, but I have "canyon winds" all summer, I can count on a couple hours of high winds twice a day. It won't cover all my power needs, but it will be a part of our energy plan. Wind is not practical at the CORPORATE, mass marketed level. As a backyard source, it need not be such an eyesore. And while a 1/4 acre yard might be too small, if you have a couple acres, you can get away from any noise that bothers you.
I love those solar panels, hope there is some price breakthrough before we start building our solar system.

This is the article that got my posting privileges revoked:

Prices currently range from around $10 - $40 per watt

Those cells in that article should be under $10 per watt. Still a healthy investment.

I agree with you on the wind thing, and that is why I don't consider it a solution. Supplemental? Sure. Replacing current fuels on any reasonable scale? Not so much. Solar is the future. Abundant, global, and most importantly, it cannot be controlled/limited by anyone.

I'm still hoping they free Telsa


This is the article that got my posting privileges revoked:

I must be the only one who did not know about thorium?

Or are we too busy trying to guess what AJ's effect was on the masses, rather than give it a week or two and see how it plays out? So much more useful to bicker back and forth than to look at any problems we might want to exert influence on.

This is the article that got my posting privileges revoked: