Green Energy & Electricity..
Recent increases in the price of electricity are having a severe effect on the millions of people on or below the poverty line. Our own social workers are reporting an increase in food poisoning cases among the elderly! (eg. from turning off their fridge at night to save electricity.)
These high prices are causing widespread hardship and are becoming a life threatening issue for many.
Almost Free Electricity from Geo-thermal or Thorium..
These two incredibly cheap energy sources are the ONLY ones that are suited to "base load" supply.
Unsightly wind farms; Wave power; Solar cells; Mirrors in the desert; Bio-mass bladders - None of these can supply the zillion watts needed for the world to cook dinner at night..
Within 5 years, with the latest advances in deep drilling technology and Thermoelectric devices*, we will have unlimited energy from the heat of the earth itself. There is more energy just under our feet than we could ever consume!
* Thermoelectric devices based on nano-scale junctions promise mega-watts of electricity from single bore holes without the need for steam turbines.
Thorium (LFTR) reactors (developed in the 1960s) don't need Coolant Pumps and can't melt-down. In fact, these reactors have no moving parts, no control room, no staff on site!
(see the Brief History of Thorium Power below)
If we had invested the same amount of money in Geo-thermal or Thorium that we have spent on wind energy, we would have unlimited, almost free energy by now.
There has been very little research into Thorium or Geo-thermal because the end-product will be very simple and therefore you won't be able to stop other nations from copying your work. Private capital will not invest the required billions because they cannot hold a lucrative monopoly with it. Government funding is the only option, and that won't happen until voters demand it.
Some encouraging headlines..
* Feb 2011 - China announced that it intends to mass-produce and export sealed Thorium LFTR reactors. (See more at end of page)
* May 2011 - Quoting the Canadian 'Alberta Party'..
"China is racing ahead of everyone in LFTR (thorium reactor) development.. LFTR promises inexpensive electricity, and offers vast improvements over every other commercial form of fission.
What is Thorium power..
There is an urgent race on in many countries to mass-produce sealed Thorium reactors..
Every nation will soon be importing sealed Thorium steam units to replace the coal-fired boilers in their power stations.
Thorium LFTR reactors can't 'melt-down' and have no moving parts. Small units can be mass-produced and delivered on a road transporter. These can potentially be sealed and left unattended for twenty years. The cost of running a power station on Thorium is about 5% of the price of coal. (see the Brief History of Thorium Power below)
The transition to Electric vehicles was previously impractical because of the limited travel range of traditional batteries, the long charge time, and the fact that much of that electricity would be generated by burning coal. The new 'Graphene Super-Capacitors' have a similar 'miles per cubic foot' to petrol and they can be charged in a minute. And, if charged via Thorium, the electricity is 'zero carbon'.
Energy from Thorium.. (A brief history)
The viability of using Thorium for energy was established over 50 years ago by the Atomic Energy Commission at Sandia's Oak Ridge Laboratory.
It was known then that Thorium could not 'melt down', would have no long-term waste, was more abundant than Uranium and would be much cheaper.
Thorium however had one problem, its reactors could not produce Plutonium - And, in the 60s, the US believed it needed a vast arsenal of Plutonium bombs.
So, Thorium was dumped in favor of Uranium reactors.
"Big Uranium" soon became a very powerful Lobby force that stifled any serious research into 'Alternate Energy'
The true potential of Thorium Reactors was not reconsidered until about 15 years ago..
Highlites of Thorium Reactors..
• Small Thorium reactors have no moving parts, no maintenance, no staff on site.
• These can be used as a nuclear battery. Ie. Welded shut; Dropped on site by a transporter; Refurbished 20 years later.
• Because they can be placed next to remote cities and mines, the need for an extensive national power grid is reduced.
• There is enough Thorium on the planet to power mankind for many thousands of years.
• Coal is promoted as a cheap source of electricity, yet Thorium electricity is about 20 times cheaper.
• Thorium reactors can't melt-down. If anything fails, or it is hit by a missile, it just stop working and goes cold. There is no coolant system to fail, no pumps and there is no 'pressure vessel'.
• Thorium is a common industrial metal. It is used in many products without any warning labels. Eg. Gas Mantles.
• Thorium reactors produce little waste and can even burn up those "25,000 year" stockpiles of Uranium waste.
• Thorium can produce electricity so cheaply that millions of vehicles will soon be able to convert to battery power and run for a third the current price of petrol. This will enable our nations to be independent of foreign oil. Oil speculation will cease and the price of oil will collapse to 1960s levels! Oil reserves will then be sufficient for many generations to come.
• Small LFTR units will facilitate the Local generation of the enormous amount of electricity required by these millions of electric vehicles. Few realize how many 'megawatt hours are in a tank of petrol!
• Local generation also solves the problem of our reliance on a massive National Grid. And that our existing grid is NOT remotely capable of powering millions of electric vehicles! And the fact that a single ice-storm can black-out 50 million people!
With all these features, why don't we hear more about Thorium?
Many of the Patents on Thorium reactors expired 30 years ago. Much of it is now "Share Ware".
With many nations now blatantly ignoring patents, you can't realistically stop China from copying your work and undercutting you on price.
Private capital will never invest in anything that can't be 'monopolized' because they can't possibly make a reasonable return on that billion dollar investment.
See the News item below.. Feb 2011 - China has announced that it intends to mass-produce and export sealed Thorium reactors. They even warned that they "will dominate that market"..
When Thorium power is turned on in 4 to 8 years, it will be the end of the road for Big Coal, Big Oil and Big Uranium. They will all face massive loss of revenue and all major political parties will have to adjust to the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars of donations from those three.
There needs to be a 'Senate Inquiry' into why the 'Senate' has filibustered Thorium for 50 years. Many Senators (Eg. Harry Reid and Orrin Hatch) have repeatedly and unsuccessfully attempted to promote Thorium.
The USA has lost a critical economic advantage. Instead of being the one to mass-produce and export sealed Thorium units, they might be relegated to importing them from China.
The scientists tell us that the mass production of Thorium reactors is still 5 years away.
That five year delay is based on the pitiful grants the Thorium developers receive. The current developers consider it newsworthy when they receive a One Million dollar grant. If they had been given Billion dollar grants a decade ago, we would have Thorium power by now.
Japan has also announced plans to mass-produce Thorium reactors. India already has several Thorium reactors running and plans to build about 500 more. China is also in the development stages..
Feb 2011 - China has just announced that it intends to mass-produce and export sealed Thorium LFTR reactors. The Google translation reads..
"Yesterday, the Chinese Academy of Sciences started the first one of the science and technology projects, “the future of advanced nuclear fission energy – nuclear energy, thorium-based molten salt reactor system” project was officially launched. The scientific goal is to developed a new generation of nuclear energy systems, (with China to have) all intellectual property rights to all the technical levels reached in the trial."
May 2011 - Quoting Lee Easton of the Canadian 'Alberta Party'..
"China is racing ahead of everyone in LFTR (thorium reactor) development, and have stated their intention to control the intellectual property.
LFTR promises inexpensive electricity, reduce our CO2 output when processing oil sands, and offers vast improvements over every other commercial form of fission, including our widely respected CANDU reactors."
July 2011 - Article From RT.Com ('Russia Today', a government global news channel.)
"After the public outcry following the problems at the Fukushima, the Chinese are investing millions in research into reactors powered by the element Thorium.
Quoting Wang Kan, leader of the Chinese Thorium Research Team.
"Thorium-based reactors certainly have advantages. The energy release from Thorium is greater than from Uranium, the by-products are less toxic than from Uranium."
Quoting Dong Xiu Cheng, professor at China’s University of Petroleum.
"It’s impossible for China to give up nuclear energy, China needs to make changes to its energy structure to reduce pollution and carbon emissions. Other new energy sources cannot [help us]."
No-one in China is under any illusions that the country desperately needs to find alternative, clean ways to generate electricity. The current reliance on coal, which provides some 80 per cent of Chinese energy needs, costs the economy more than $200 billion a year through air pollution alone."
Mar 2014 - (from UK Telegraph) [Link to article]
"Chinese going for broke on Thorium nuclear power"
Quote from 'Shanghai Institute of Nuclear and Applied Physics.' "China has enough thorium to power its electricity needs for 20,000 years”.
[Original article: 2013: Max Lorentzen - R&D, Nat. Power Grid (retired)]