[ExI] Silence in the sky-but why?

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.pl
Mon Sep 23 16:37:43 UTC 2013

On Mon, 23 Sep 2013, John Clark wrote:

> On Sun, Sep 22, 2013  Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
> > Renewable deployment rate runs short a factor of 100,
> Because environmentalists refuse to even consider renewable energy sources
> like thorium reactors.

Is it so? I have just checked a little. I am not convinced thorium can be 
deployed wide scale in the coming five years. I am not going to bet on ten 
years either. From what I understood, thorium _is not_ a drop-in 
replacement to be used in current plants. Moreover, there are quite a few 
problems not yet fully researched or solved:


On the said page, there is also a list of currently running initiatives. 
The only one that seems to have anything grid capable is one
Japanese-multinational consortium running a 100MW plant.


However, website of the consorium, http://www.ithems.jp/e_index.html 
times out in my location, for whatever reason - be it cut fiber or bad dns 
or whatnot. And I don't know if they deliver anything to the grid in a 
day to day operation or just experiment once a month.

The closest date for some results seems to be somewhere around 2030:

"Generation IV reactors (Gen IV) are a set of theoretical nuclear reactor 
designs currently being researched. Most of these designs are generally 
not expected to be available for commercial construction before 2030. 
Current reactors in operation around the world are generally considered 
second- or third-generation systems, with most of the first-generation 
systems having been retired some time ago. Generation V reactors refer to 
reactors that may be possible but are not yet considered feasible, and are 
not actively being developed."


It is great there are so many enthusiasts of thorium. But twenty years is 
long time and then it's going to take some to deploy. I will have to wait 
and see how it resolves because I tend to rely on facts and possibilities 
are facts not. For me, thorium is just a possibility. It is not something 
I'd bet all my eggs on.

BTW, thorium abundance is problematic to me, too. I have read it is only 
3-4 times more abundant than uranium. However, if we don't build any 
thorium plant at all, then sure it will last longer than hydrogen in the 

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com             **

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