Hi I'm Christian. I'm a 21 year old Mechanical Engineering Major at Wentworth Institute of Technology.
These are the things I post.
I seriously spent the last 2 hours just reading about them and doing research and they have to potential to at least help a lot of problems in the U.S., including but not limited to…
-The Energy Crisis
-The Job Crisis
-China’s monopoly on the rare earth metal market
-Fossil Fuel problems
-Numerous other I can’t think of right now.
LIKE REALLY? ITS THE PERFECT SOLUTION TO SO MANY PROBLEMS. AND THE ONLY FUCKING DRAWBACK OF THE WHOLE THING IS THAT ITS EXPENSIVE TO RETROFIT FACILITIES TO HAVE THESE REACTORS, AND THE REACTORS THEMSELVES MIGHT GET A BIT PRICEY. BUT THAT’S IT. THE THORIUM USED IN THESE REACTORS IS TOSSED OFF AS WASTE MOST OF THE TIME, IS 4 TIMES MORE ABUNDANT THAN URANIUM, IS ALMOST 100% USED UP BY THE PROCESS, WITH HUNDREDS OF TIMES THE ENERGY OUTPUT.
Do you realize what this means? This means that
1. We could mine rare earth metals in the U.S. again because that Thorium “waste” that we say is dangerous (but really isn’t because it needs neutron emission to begin to react and you can basically hold it in your hand for years without serious threat of cancer or radiation poisoning) would be made very, very valuable. This also means the rare earths we need for hybrid cars, wind turbines, ect. would not be coming exclusively from china who has basically monopolized that market.
2. WE CAN MAKE ALL OF THE JOBS! Like… lets just think this through, between mining Thorium (and other Rare Earth’s), isolating the chemicals and minerals from the raw ores, building power plants, running power plants, and engineering all the steps to these, WE COULD OPEN UP BASICALLY A WHOLE NEW SECTOR OF THE ECONOMY. (Not to mention giving jobs to engineers like me ;]).
3. WE CAN COMPETE WITH CHINA IN ANOTHER MARKET WHERE THEY HAVE MONOPOLY. Not to mention boost our economy. Energy (especially clean energy) is a HUGE market and this would put another boost to our economy. I’m not saying it’ll fix it, but it’ll sure as hell help.
4. THIS IS BASICALLY CLEAN ENERGY. The thorium itself is almost all used up, you can used pre-existing waste from power plants today (both coal and nuclear, though I don’t fully understand the exact mechanics of either) and most of the radioactive products are gone by the end of the reactions. All of the radioactivity is gone from the waste in 300 years, as opposed to the many thousand from the current Uranium reactors.
5. THEY’RE SELF REGULATING AND A BILLION TIMES SAFER THAN MOST POWER PLANTS USED TODAY. These things run at 1 atmosphere of pressure or below, so there is 0 risk for explosion, they don’t use water in them, which means they have 0 risk for a fukushima style hydrogen explosion, and all the safety features? They are self regulating and require no human activation. The freeze plugs in the reactors basically ensure that if something goes wrong (however unlikely that is) the reactors contents (which are liquid as opposed to solid) will flow into a non reactive setting automatically, even without power. Not to mention the radiation that is given off by the reactor is safer that that given off by Uranium reactors (alpha emission as opposed to gamma emission)
6. IT CAN STOP GLOBAL WARMING. THESE REACTORS RUN AT 800 DEGREES CELSIUS. This means that they don’t just need to be used to heat water to make electricity, the heat given off by the reactor can be used directly to do really awesome stuff like… ya know… turn water into hydrogen for hydrogen fuel cells, or pull carbon dioxide out of the air and convert it into organic compounds which can then be used to power cars, which makes it carbon neutral.
I may misunderstand the potential of this thing, but carbon neutral power that is clean, safe, coming from what is waste, that can potentially boost the economy and give American’s safe jobs? WHY. THE. FUCK. AREN’T. WE. USING. THESE.
I’ll tell you why, because we were stupid in the 50’s and wanted reactors that could make power and its waste could be turned into nukes that we could lob at the U.S.S.R.. Seriously, these reactors were actually in competition with Uranium based ones for what would power the U.S. and the government decided to go with Uranium.
Seriously… This needs to happen. These are so awesomely cool and I want to see these everywhere in my children’s lifetime or I’m calling shenanigans.
(Also, I want the world powered by Thor, just sayin)
WHY ARE WE SO SET ON OTHER PLANETS HAVING PLANTS, ANIMALS AND FUNGI? WHAT IF THERE ARE PLANETS WHERE THERE ARE ENTIRELY DIFFERENT SURVIVAL STRATEGIES AND HELL MAYBE INORGANIC LIFE THAT ISN’T BASED IN ROBOTICS? UGH…. USE YOUR CREATIVITY SCIENTISTS.
Idk, I get weird thoughts about the Universe at 2am and I want to see if they have ANY merit at all. Anyone interested in talking? O.o