31 October 2010
25 October 2010
See Industrial Apathy Tab
23 October 2010
My personal thanks to Andreas Norlin for his interests in my blogging endeavours in the UK and, since I didn't get the opportunity to say it to him, I think he organised the whole proceedings in a top-class, professional manner; everything ran like clockwork.
I have only a limited understanding of nuclear physics, beyond the essential knowledge required for the applied use in mechanical engineering design and materials for nuclear engineering applications. LFTRs are relatively simple engineering products, but there were many presentations describing what I could only regard as adding much more complexity, such as accelerator driven systems. I could not readily appreciate their necessity, nor reach any emotional conclusion that they were 'good ideas' and readily marketable.
I had a couple of chats over coffee with Tim Norris, who gave a presentation on 'Patent Right Protection' and it quickly became clear that a kindred spirit of 'Keep It Simple Stupid' existed. We were both for LFTRs - as soon as possible - (meaning let the first subsidies go to LFTRs) and let all of the other, longer timescale and competing technologies find their own market level, in the fullness of time.
The one lingering thought that has remained with me, when competing technologies are battling it out for the hearts and minds of the public, is: will it all end up like the VHS - Betamax 'war' and will these complications have the potential to delay progress to the cleaner future we are all striving for?
17 October 2010
Every time you see it, your heart feels like a brick, and somebody, somewhere should do something to make it right!
Those of us who have beliefs, pray for intervention and their relief from such deprivation. The rest of us just hope that politics, free-markets, capitalism, world banks, charity, anything...will improve things and stop this from happening again. After we've done our praying and hoping, it's back to life; we've got a living to make, mortgage to pay, clothes to put on backs, heating and lighting bills to pay and our favourite charities to support. It's not all that sumptuous, but life's pretty good.
Couldn't life be just that little bit fairer?
At the very least, everybody ought to have food on the table! And then, shouldn't they have clothes on their backs? Then shelter? Then warmth? Then light?
LFTRs to Power the Planet!
What's the latest plan?
The latest plan is to contact religious leaders of every conceivable denomination, in the UK, to establish if a policy can be implemented to inform, persuade, cajole or even instruct congregations to vote for a single-issue party 'The LFTRs to Power the Planet Party' at the next election. If one or more denominations are prepared to politicise their religion, over this one issue, then political impact would be ensured.
Plan 'B' would be to seek ways and means from religious leaders as to how congregations and followers can be inspired to become politically active or activists in support of LFTR production in the UK?
I'll be doing the writing and emailing to all of the multifarious leaders and I'll be reporting on the volume and nature of their responses.
09 October 2010
Dear Sir Richard,
"The idea should be simple - simple enough for an individual to turn it into reality
I have just emailed a proposal to Virgin Green Fund, regarding the financing of the development of Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs), which are capable of delivering clean (emission-free), safe, cheap, electrical energy to everyone on the planet, forever (from inexhaustible thorium fuel). This profusion of clean electricity production will power the creation of a hydrogen economy along with the manufacture of carbon-neutral synthetic fuels, for all of our transport energy (including aviation).
I host the only UK Blog on these reactors, 'LFTRs to Power the Planet' (Google: lftrs - and it's about the third down) and I shall be posting my Proposal action and its outcome which, for the sake of UK jobs, growth and prosperity, I hope is successful. I am linked to several USA blogs, where activity on LFTRs is pronounced and if they are the first to take LFTR development by the horns, the UK will be left trailing in their wake.
I have suggested in the proposal to the team, that it is difficult to think of an individual (that is, somebody famous), more fitting than you, who might wear the crown of 'The World's Worst Polluter', but your efforts to try to do something about fossil fuel pollution are more than noteworthy. However, if you were to support LFTR development, it would place you well ahead of Mr. Bill Gates KBE (who's championing of the 'Travelling Wave Reactor' will surely prove inconsequential) in the 'World's Best Environmentalist' competition.
I sent the Proposal below to the 'Virgin Greenfund Team' (See them in action on: http://www.virgingreenfund.com/team ); (See the companies signed up on: http://www.virgingreenfund.com/companies/list ):
PROPOSAL TO VIRGIN GREEN FUND, 09 October 2010.
Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs)
I host the only UK blog, 'LFTRs to Power the Planet' (Google: lftrs and it's about the third down) to promote their 'Sustainable Energy' quality.
LFTRs can supply cheap, safe, clean energy to everyone on the planet forever (See 03 October 2010 posting: 'Oh Ye of Little Faith').
My Business Plan is detailed under the 'Science Apathy' tab, in Paragraph 6 of the posting headed: PHYSICS WORLD NUCLEAR POWER THE ROAD AHEAD.
Mr. Bill Gates KBE has invested in a privately funded research company, Terra Power, to develop a Travelling Wave Reactor. Mr. Gates sees nuclear energy as the way forward, but Sir Richard Branson can do more than his share in this regard, by ensuring the UK development of LFTRs, according to my business plan. I'm sure you gentlemen are aware, with your deep sector knowledge and expertise, that LFTRs perform exactly the same function as Travelling Wave Reactors, but produce their energy from the inexhaustible fuel source, thorium and not from problematic uranium.
While Mr. Gates KBE can be loosely, but personally linked with the detrimental environmental effects of worldwide PC manufacture and use, there is possibly no other business celebrity like Sir Richard Branson, who can be associated, as an individual, with the title 'The World's Worst Polluter'; somebody has to wear the crown! Do you think you could ask Sir Richard if, in the rarified atmosphere of the business circles in which he operates,he knows of anyone else who might challenge for 'The Title'?
I'm sure Sir Richard Branson is more concerned about humankind's future than most of us, and I'm sure he ponders the 'protection value of wealth', when considering the 'Limits of Growth' predictions of Professor Dennis Meadows, showing that by 2050, population will increase by nearly one third, but food production will be half what it is now? Could your 'OUR COMPANIES' page, add a 'Sustainable Energy' category to accomaodate LFTRs, should my application be acceptable? Without being disrespectful, I'm sure you would acknowledge that the contribution LFTRs could make to 'Cooling global warming' would dwarf your other companies' contributions.
In my Blog, I shall be posting my efforts, documenting my proposal, and await with interest, your response.
03 October 2010
Alvin Weinberg - Who is he anyway? And what does he know about energy?
He won the Enrico Fermi Award in 1980 - honouring scientists of international stature for their lifetime achievement in the development, use, or production of energy.
He invented and held the patents on the Light Water Reactor (LWR), one of which is the Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR), used on our Nuclear Sub's.
In his autobiography, he wrote:
""I spoke of "Burning the Rocks": the breeder, no less than controlled fusion, is an inexhaustible energy system"".....
"Until then I had never quite appreciated the full significance of the breeder. But now I became obsessed with the idea that humankind's whole future depended on the breeder".....
"Although the molten salt system was never allowed to show its full capability as a breeder, a 233U - 232Th thermal breeder was demonstrated in Admiral Rickover's Shippingport reactor...Whether, as cheap uranium becomes scarce, other reactors will be fuelled with 233U and thorium remains to be seen".....
"Why didn't the molten salt system, so elegant and so well thought-out, prevail?...Perhaps the moral to be drawn is that technology that differs too much from existing technology has not one hurdle to overcome - to demonstrate its feasibility - but another even greater one - to convince influential individuals and organizations who are intellectually and emotionally attached to a different technology that they should adopt the new path. This, the molten salt system could not do. It was a successful technology that was dropped because it was too different from the main lines of reactor development. But if weaknesses in other systems are eventually revealed, I hope that in a second nuclear era, molten salt technology will be resurrected"
Are we in a second nuclear era now? Are there weaknesses in other systems?
Nuclear reactors built using current technologies are very, very expensive.
You can run by a schematic design of a LFTR and know it wouldn't be one-tenth of the price of the simplest PWR, electrical kWhr for kWhr.
Nuclear reactors built using current technologies are inherently unsafe - there are 'driving-forces' - nuclear, chemical or mechanical, which require shut-down intervention and layers of containment to reach the safe condition.
LFTRs are inherently safe: there are no driving forces; they are 'walk-away' safe; there is no need for layers of containment.
Some of the nuclear wastes from current technologies need to be stored for hundreds of thousands of years to reach background radiation levels of safety.
Some LFTR wastes needs a maximum of 300 years (inexpensively very manageable).
Kirk Sorensen - Who is he anyway? And what does he know about energy?
Kirk (Indiana) is Chief Nuclear Technologist with Teledyne Brown Engineering and studying for a PhD at the University of Tennessee. Hidden from human view for over 30 years before Kirk's re-discovery, Weinberg's records, written on real paper, about the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE), (thorium) fuelled Kirk's fertile mind, initiating a chain reaction amongst like-minded people, which is building towards criticallity as we speak.
Kirk managed to talk to Weinberg, before he died in 2006, who responded to his current thinking on Molten Salt Reactors by saying it was a good idea then and it's still a good idea now.
In his Google Tech Talks video, Energy from thorium: A Nuclear Waste Burning Liquid Salt Thorium Reactor, Kirk Says (00:22:22) "When he [Weinberg] says breeder, he means the ability to burn up thorium ... I understand that kind of zeal and passion, because I feel the same way myself. I really feel like this discovery of thorium and its potential has Earth shattering consequences for us. And that indeed, if we are going to have a sustainable and industrial society on this planet, that its going to be dependant on this technology"
Kevin Hesketh - Who is he anyway? And what does he know about energy?
Andrew Worrall - Who is he anyway? And what does he know about energy?
They are co-author of the August 2010, National Nuclear Laboratory Position Paper: The Thorium Fuel Cycle, concluding in the Summary: "The thorium fuel cycle does not currently have a role to play in the UK context, other than its potential application for plutonium management in the longer term".
They would probably not believe themselves to have the esteem of, or achieved as much as, Alvin Weinberg, but their honest endeavours have scuppered any prospects of private capital going in to LFTR development in the UK (even though they don't mention LFTRs in the document).
Gentlemen, you are raining on our parade and we need explanations. Battling apathy amongst all pillars of society, including Science, can be demoralising at times and it would be an emotional relief if the case was shown to be technically hopeless; we could all get back to normal, aboard the Buffer-Bound Express.
Would you please explain fairly simply, why it is (technically) not possible for LFTRs to: supply clean energy and safe energy and cheap energy to everyone on the planet forever?