10 April 2012

THE ENERGY REVOLUTION - LA GUILLOTINE FOR HYDROCARBON ENERGY

The Tumbrel takes Energy from Coal, Gas, Oil 
and PWR Reactor to their Deaths.
Public Funds for  Wind, Solar PV and 
Other Renewables are aboard.

The wheels of the Tumbrel grind into motion, with its payload of doomed energy technologies. Along the way, investors will be clawing at their former milch cows to get their money out; politicians will be telling how 'it's time to move on'; most of the crowd will be listening to the scores, texting or talking on smartphones; a few will be thanking a variety of deities or other things, that the day has come at long last!  

It's only a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), but may this move be the defibrillator applied to the heart  of UK manufacturing. We have the expertise and capacity to manufacture plant and equipment for Breeder Reactors which operate at atmospheric pressure.

Who cares at this stage that they use solid fuel and that they're unnecessarily huge. We're on our way to renewable energy at affordable prices and free of greenhouse gas emissions.

We're on our way to using plutonium stockpiles and stores of long-lived nuclear waste, which at the moment do nothing but soak up immense expenditure; while we're doing that, we're able to provide valuable electricity for a few centuries, without digging anything else out of the ground.

We're on our way to burning up masses of existing 'nuclear waste' (in fact it's valuable fuel), leaving only minuscule amounts of left-over waste, which decays to background radiation levels in 300 years and this can be safely and cheaply stored.

We're on our way to a Reactor Technology to displace Pressurised Water Reactors (PWRs), which is currently the foremost nuclear technology to generate electricity. This rids us of the burden of high pressure operation, with its 'driver' potential to eject radiotoxic substances upwards and outwards into the environment.


We're on our way to rapid deployment, by virtue of modular construction and factory-made units capable of transportation on flat-bed trucks. We eliminate the constraint of single-sourcing of PWR pressure vessels - only Japan Steel Works have the capacity. Breeder operation is at atmospheric pressure and any plant and equipment required can be multi-sourced.


But best of all - we're on our way to a foothold for LFTR technology. The advantages over fast breeders are irresistible:  Elimination of solid fuel - the bane of accidental high temperature excursions - with meltdown potential ever-present. The greatly reduced fuel payload, with all that means in terms of muting one of the most potent anti-nuclear arguments and reinforcing the safety message to the public at large. The greatly reduced reactivity of coolant salts over liquid metals - a very saleable safety bonus.



 
Breeder Reactors will become embedded as the only renewable, clean, emission-free way to equitably meet the future energy needs of everyone on the planet. 


This will include the birth of a global Hydrogen Economy, for the manufacture carbon-neutral liquid fuels, from atmospheric CO2 for all of our transport needs, and the manufacture of ammonia, as feed-stock for nitrate fertilisers, from atmospheric nitrogen, to feed a burgeoning population. 


During this period, which can be reasonably envisaged as into the 2020s and 2030s, LFTRs will start to dominate demand as public perception of their inherent, passive safety gains more and more  credence. There's every chance that LFTRs will send other breeder designs the way of video tapes. 


If only the UK could get into the manufacturing race as a front-runner, we would see scientific activity, manufacturing employment, growth and prosperity last witnessed 3 generations ago.



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