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[GK] 8 Grams Of Thorium Could Replace Gasoline In Cars. - Page 14

post #131 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partol View Post
I hate to say it but ..... this is a gimmick.

If thorium is such a safe, cheap, and effective fuel, then let's start building nuclear power plants which produce electricity from Thorium. Then we can stop burning gas,oil,coal to make electricity. Why not start with something safer such as a large, stationary nuclear plant which runs on thorium?

Design better electric cars and better electric batteries and we won't need electric cars with on-board electric generators powered by exotic or dangerous fuels.
Um...because the inception, design, engineering, and building of thorium power plants has taken time--but it's already started. It's NOT because it can't be done safe, it's only because it wasn't necessary to develop the technology earlier. Asking a question like that is like asking "well, why don't we just use engines to get around instead of riding around in horse-drawn carriages" back in the 1700's. Because the technology hasn't quite caught up with the idea.

And also, while thorium power plants will probably be a very viable option for power generation, it's much easier to make things at a small scale--like the idea of using it for powering a car. I'd say that thorium power generation will probably progress much faster than crappy battery technology. Even if you build good electric cars, you still have to worry about power storage--power storage between the power plant and the cars, and then power storage within a car. Build a power generator directly into a car and you completely bypass that issue all together.
    
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post #132 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twist86 View Post
Also electric cars are TERRIBLE. Not only in the US do we not have the structure to handle 10m+ cars, but its powered mostly by COAL which completely kills the point. Coal is our #1 energy producer in the USA, solar options are like 5-10% tops.

Solar is a good option but even making them yourself you're looking at $20,000+ to power your home. You will need to buy 15-20 deep cycle batteries at LEAST which are $100-200 a piece. Panels your looking at 1-2kw worth of panels to keep the batteries charged. I mean our normal usage is 1500-1600kw a 30 day cycle....you gotta produce a insane amount to keep up with that. I would imagine you would want 5-6kw worth of panels to keep up.
Electric cars are terrible because, over-night, the electric grid can't handle 10M new electric cars? Of course the electric grid can't handle that right now. If people buy enough electric cars, then the grid can be upgraded, gradually, as electricity demand increases.

Batteries are not always required for home solar-electric systems. Some electric power companies will give credits for surplus solar electric energy generated during the day, and some charge lower rates at night, when electric useage is low. Lots of people in California have home solar-electric systems while still connected to the grid.

By the way, when you buy coal instead of petroleum, that money probably stays within your country. There is a significant economic difference between buying coal from locals and buying petroleum from foreigners.
     
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post #133 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by guyladouche View Post
And also, while thorium power plants will probably be a very viable option for power generation, it's much easier to make things at a small scale--like the idea of using it for powering a car. I'd say that thorium power generation will probably progress much faster than crappy battery technology. Even if you build good electric cars, you still have to worry about power storage--power storage between the power plant and the cars, and then power storage within a car. Build a power generator directly into a car and you completely bypass that issue all together.
Smaller is easier to make? really?

How many people assemble their own desktop computer?
How many people assemble their own laptops/notebooks?
Which is cheaper: desktop PC or laptop/notebook?
Which has greater performance: desktop PC or laptop/notebook?

Mobile thorium reactors are almost guaranteed to be inferior to stationary thorium reactors, in every way, except of course, in terms of mobility.
Edited by Partol - 8/13/11 at 9:03am
     
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post #134 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partol View Post
What if there is a runaway thermal-nuclear reaction?
Can't happen. Once the neutron source is cut off, thorium won't do anything. It's not fissile on its own.
    
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post #135 of 236
8 grams... has to be a subcritical reactor, the critical mass of thorium-232 (when transformed into uranium-233) is big enough it was proven to be an engineering impossibility to put a full reactor into a car and make it anything smaller than a big rig. Now, "atomic trains", sure, but given that Amtrak almost has a requirement to derail a train once a year, an accident like that would not be a good idea.

EDIT: If it's a battery which uses the heat from alpha decay that makes a lot more sense.
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post #136 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittensMewMew View Post
The main problem they will face is safety. The crash tests they put cars through are pretty intense (not to mention real-life possibilities which can be worse), and engines do occasionally bust open during those tests. My dad was a volunteer firefighter, and he had seen crashes where the entire engine block was 15 feet for the main hull of the car, and was just as smashed up. How are they going to contain the thorium well enough to make sure that fire departments don't need a radioactive hazmat team for car crashes? How will the coolant, which would become a toxic material over time, be replaced? I know they have engineers 10x smarter than me working on this, but thinking about the real world application instead of just theoretically this idea sounds hard to execute for use in the general public.
mount the engine in the middle like the lotus evora and protect the underside of the car with sheet metal
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post #137 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by aroc91 View Post
Can't happen. Once the neutron source is cut off, thorium won't do anything. It's not fissile on its own.
Are you sure there is a neutron source? His system uses a laser. What if the laser goes to maximum power and stays on too long?

Even if there is a neutron source, how can you guarantee that it will never fail?

Are you saying thorium reactors are impossible to melt-down?
Edited by Partol - 8/13/11 at 10:09am
     
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post #138 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partol View Post
Are you sure there is a neutron source? His system uses a laser. What if the laser goes to maximum power and stays on too long?

Even if there is a neutron source, how can you guarantee that it will never fail?

Are you saying thorium reactors are impossible to melt-down?
The more I read, the more I'm extremely apprehensive of this. This laser system doesn't seem very legitimate to me. Here's their site-

http://www.laserturbinepower.com/

It seems I'm not the only one, either.

http://energyfromthorium.com/forum/v...7427f80f2a8c81

http://www.energyfromthorium.com/for...php?f=2&t=1507

I don't know how they plan on doing anything with a laser. It won't turn it into uranium and make it fissile. They're claiming that heating thorium makes it give off much more additional heat? BS. There's no possible mechanism for that to happen. It's not undergoing fission, so it's not nuclear power.

I'm calling this a scam.

To answer your questions-

Thorium reactors require a neutron source. Any type of failsafe switch that cuts power to the neutron source would suffice. The fission reaction can't sustain itself, so once the neutron source is shut off, there's no possibility of a meltdown.

Edit: Not to mention the VASTLY exaggerated output. 250MW? Ridiculous.
    
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post #139 of 236
I think one of the biggest problems for this to go through is because of the oil companies. They are way too greedy to let this happen on a individual scale...

I think the best possible solution for throium to be viable in the public is if they change it for the electric companies. Since the electric companies still depend on oil to run their generators (I think...correct me if I'm wrong) to produce energy for the public, they should replace their reliance on oil with thorium to power their generators. This way, electric cars could be the way of the future. This way, more electric cars can be developed, and they can still charge us for recharging our electric cars with their thorium powered electricity!

But I don't really see a happy ending for the oil companies in all of this... xD

What do you guys think?
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post #140 of 236
How do you get inside of that car?
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