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Thorium alternative fuel source

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by anything I don't mind, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. anything I don't mind

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  2. hell_r@zer

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    the indians already have a lab scale thorium reactor running. very promising stuff.
     
  3. Vonhelmet

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    Nimbyism will see to it that this never happens.
     
  4. Castiel

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    And rightly so. You shouldn't be building nuclear reactors next to residential areas. I certainly wouldn't want to live next door to one.
     
  5. anything I don't mind

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    I'd have a mini thorium reactor in my house, as long as it has the safety chamber. There is no more risk than a fire or a battery right?
     
  6. Vonhelmet

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    I don't even mean they'll stop them from building them next to residential areas. I mean people will make a fuss about it being built 500 miles away from them.
     
  7. Castiel

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    That's not really nimblyism though, that's just being anti-nuclear power.

    Personally any power generating station should be built away from residential areas, with a little sensible town and infrastructure planning there is no reason why we cannot have nuclear power generation (of whatever type) producing a significant portion of our electricity both cheaply and safely.
     
  8. Terminal_Boy

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    What's the minimum safe distance from a Thorium containment failure event?
     
  9. Ricochet J

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    Why? Your residential fire alarm has a radioactive source. Thorium fuelled reactors, namely the liquid fluoride thorium reactor and the generic molten salt reactor are very safe - far safer the the current reactors we currently have operating. Even then the current reactors we have operating are very safe.

    Living next to a light or heavy water nuclear reactor for a year is equivalent to the same dose rate as eating one banana, per year. Living near a coal fired station is orders of magnitude far greater than this.
    Living next to the same reactor for 5 years is the same as consuming 1 bag of 136 g Brazil nuts.
    On a flight, your body recieves a far greater dose rate over an 8 hour flight than actually living near a nuclear reactor.
    Likewise you recieve a far greater dose rate when taking a radiograph of your body or x-ray of your teeth when you nip to the dentist, compared to living next to a nuclear reactor for a year.

    So you're worried about safety? Yet you're willing to drive a 1 tonne vehicle, carying 50l of highly combustiable fuel, near an internal combustion engine with a bulk internal cylinder temperature of 550 degrees C, 0.6 m away from your body?

    One of the main reasons why the nuclear industry is in a dire state is due the to lack of political will to invest and research in such technologies. This lack of will stems from a lack of understanding by all parties - politicians and the people.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  10. Castiel

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    Yeah, because my fire alarm is comparable to having nuclear reactor in my back yard...:D

    Which just makes the rest of your post all the more pointless, particularity as I wouldn't want to to live near any power plant, least of all a nuclear one. And with some sensible town and infrastructure planning there is no need to either.

    Besides a very safe Thorium reactor is still a very dangerous thing if anything goes wrong with it, not to mention that it is not quite as clean as the advocates would like us all top believe, or as simple both economically and practically.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/jun/23/thorium-nuclear-uranium
     
  11. Pinkribbonscars

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    Well yes actually, in terms of the radiation you are exposed to it is.

    I don't think anyone is seriously suggesting building nukes in the middle of cities, but Britain is so small and densely populated that anywhere you put a power plant is going to be close to someones house.

    The article you have posted, in typical Guardian fashion, basically states that because we haven't built a commercial reactor yet the technology is unproven. Well, obviously. I'm pretty sure every technology wasn't proven before we started using it.
     
  12. Castiel

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    So if my Fire alarm malfunctions it has the same impact on my health as if the nuclear reactor in my back yard malfunctions? Or alternatively, my fire alarm is a huge industrial building built in my back yard? Or my Fire Alarm produces radioactive waste that needs to be disposed of?

    Like I said, it is NOT comparable...not at all, especially as my fire alarm doesn't have a scrap of ionising material in it to begin with.

    And, no the UK isn't that densely populated that you need to build nuclear reactors near to residential areas...careful planning can allow the reactors to be build without the threat of nimbyism, which is my point rather than the safety aspect with is neither here or there as power plants are dangerous whatever form they are in.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  13. Mr_T

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  14. Ricochet J

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    Unless you have a non conventional fire alarm, you do have an ionizing source in your fire alarm. It's an alpha source - so it can't penetrate more than a few sheets of paper. However if it's ingested then it can be fatal.

    You've written a fair bit of rubbish which I can't reply to until we agree what it is that we're arguing. Let me make it clear what I'm arguing:
    1. I'm not saying we should build generation 3, or generation 3+ nuclear reactors in a densely populated area like London or Manchester. (These reactors are the ones we currently have, Sizewell, Hinkley Point etc).
    2. I am saying the risks to ionizing radiation are over exaggerated considering our lifestyle (like I mentioned previously which you conveniently didn't respond to, we recieve large doses from medical radiographs, flights etc).
    3. I am saying generation 4 reactors, such as thorium reactors can safely be built closer to populated areas, but still not in populated areas. The advantages are less transmission losses in the grid, passive safety systems, jobs, and you can generate power where it's needed the most (usually the south east). However as a conservative measure, and due to the nuclear site licence agreements in this country (it's far better to build on a nuclear licenced site than to put in an application for a new one) generation 4 thorium reactors will likely be built where existing nuclear reactors are currently, i.e. far away from anywhere populous.
    5. I do agree with you that with careful planning no body should have to live in an undesirable area. However our country isn't known for long term planning.


    As a side note FYI:

    We would generally throw a defective fire alarm away in our homes.

    In a nuclear licenced site, the same defective fire alarm is tagged, and tracked and sent to the low level waste repository in Drigg as it's considered low level radioactive waste.

    I.e. the fire alarm has an alpha source which a nuclear licenced site is obliged to dispose of safely. We're under no such obligations (although ethically speaking we should dispose of hazardous materials carefully).
     
  15. Castiel

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    I have a commonly available fire angel alarm. It has no radioactive material at all.

    If you think what I've said is rubbish and you are not able to reply then don't reply...simple.

    Fact is I haven't posted any rubbish at all, you just assume a position that I don't have. You are essentially arguing with yourself about radiation risks and whether you may or may not get more from a myriad of other sources, the same with comparing a fire alarm in your home with a nuclear reactor in your back yard...it's simply not comparable in any context of what I've said as I be never said that a nuclear power plant is inherently any more dangerous than any other power generation medium or that radiation exposure in a normally operating plant was a concern. In fact I clearly stated that wasn't the case as the safety issue was neither here nor there as far as I was concerned.

    The only rubbish being written here is yours. Bananas indeed, which give out less Bq per kg than an adult does on there own, seems you've fallen into assuming a common fallacy simply because a banana was used to try to explain how safe nuclear power plant regulations are once. (2 bananas every day giving equal to living 10 miles from a Nuclear power plant from what I've read), it wasn't supposed to be taken literally. Again, no one, at least not me, has said that a nuclear reactor is any more dangerous to you than having an X-ray or eating a bunch of bananas every week either...that's another argument you've invented.

    My simple argument is that living near any power plant isn't necessary, it doesn't even matter whether it is a nuclear one or not. But just to be clear to put this into perspective, if my banana went mouldy or my fire alarm (if I had such a one that needed ionising materials) failed, it wouldn't have much impact on radiation in my home compared to if a nuclear reactor decided to go awry. I am quite prepared to accept that certain Thorium designs are immensely safer than normal reactors (including having the ability to turn off the reaction), but that doesn't mean I want to live near one....or a coal plant, or any power plant (or large industrial complex) at all.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  16. anything I don't mind

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    I am much more interested in single house viability. I dont see why we have to use power off a grid if we could use a bit of thorium and generate our own power? Its probably a long time away. What do you think about that possibility?
     
  17. Vonhelmet

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    I don't know, I'll bet minimum safe distance is irrelevant because it's so safe, but it doesn't matter. People will go mental about any nuclear stuff regardless.
     
  18. hell_r@zer

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    nothing, it just shuts itself down. the reason why uranium reactors were the preferred technology was because of the weapons grade fissile materials that are derived from it.

    military use trumped civilian commercial need.
     
  19. Castiel

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    So as I'm interested in this I decided to read up on it.

    I don't think it really works the same as a conventional reactor regards containment as thorium reactors are not contained under high pressure which reduces the risk, you can also switch off the reaction unlike conventional uranium reactors. However they do produce more dangerous fuel, as irradiated thorium produces isotopes which are far more radioactive than conventional reactors. There is also risks regarding tritium contamination into the environment and difficulty in maintaining the plant remotely. Overall they are considered far safer than conventional reactors for several reasons, the ability to turn off the reaction, the limitations on proliferation, and not needing to be contained under high pressure.

    This still doesn't mean that they should be built in people's backyards however.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
  20. Castiel

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