[ExI] Silence in the sky-but why?

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.pl
Fri Sep 27 00:09:49 UTC 2013

On Thu, 26 Sep 2013, John Clark wrote:

> On Thu, Sep 26, 2013 at 3:16 PM, Tomasz Rola <rtomek at ceti.pl> wrote:
> > Since U is only slightly (3-4 times) less omnipresent in the crust, 
> > you should say now "we will run out of U in 400 million years, so we 
> > don't need Th at all".
> All of today's reactors use only the rare U235 isotope, and that is only
> one part in140 of mined Uranium; Thorium has only one isotope and Thorium
> reactors can use 100% of it. But even so we are nowhere near to running out
> of Uranium or Thorium, but there are other advantages to Thorium.
> Although the liquid Fluoride salt is very hot it is not under pressure so
> that makes the plumbing of the thing much easier, and even if you did get a
> leak it would not be the utter disaster it would be in a conventional
> reactor; that is also why the containment building in common light water
> reactors need to be so much larger than the reactor itself. With Thorium
> nothing is under pressure and there is no danger of a disastrous phase
> change so the expensive containment building can be made much more compact.

OK, those arguments sound quite well. I guess I have also read some of it 
somewhere else too, so I can accept thorium as much better choice. 
However, it is only as good as we will collectively be 20-30 years from 
now (research + time to market). If I had certainty about civ lasting this 
long or better, twice as long, I could have good sleep while crowd of 
competent scientists and engineers - supported by competent decision 
makers - worked on whatever problem stood in way of worldwide Th adoption.

I still think we may power ourselves with Th for about 1000 years or 
similar order of magnitude, rather than billion(s). If you don't want to 
discuss it, so be it. Anyway, your emails read much better when you don't 
write about greens :-).

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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