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[GK] 8 Grams Of Thorium Could Replace Gasoline In Cars. - Page 5

post #41 of 236
What happens if you need engine repairs? My local service station doesn't have any nuclear scientists.....
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post #42 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by test tube View Post
Of course you can make a containment unit that would secure the thorium for less than that in terms of mass, the black boxes inside aircrafts are not at all massive and survive temperatures in excess of 500C and collisions beyond 3000G in force.

These cars use SOLID Thorium that only produces alpha-radiation that can not penetrate skin and can not easily be inhaled:

Thorium metal has a probable low absorption unlike more dangerous substances like thorium dioxide which are readily absorbed... I mean, thorium is used in aircraft engines as an alloy. The melting temperature is over 2000K so it's not like it'll become airborne in a car accident anyway. There's no reason you couldn't engineer a safe thorium engine. Even in the case of thorium ingestion of a form that could be absorbed, cancer would take a good long time to develop anyway as established by Thorotrast.

The only thing that needs to come from the Thorium engine part anyway is the heat, you could construct a containment unit containing the laser and the thorium and then a highly heat conductive metal that extends outside to a water bath to cause steam to rise. As long as that containment unit is well built there's no reason any typical ground crash even at 200MPH would be any substantial hazard. As long as there are temperature sensors that are redundant inside the reactor to ensure that overheating does not occur there should not be any meltdown type hazards either.
What in the world do you do for a living that you are this informed on Thorium?!

+rep for the brilliant response.
post #43 of 236
I read somewhere that when nuclear reactor technology was in its infancy, thorium based reactors and uranium based reactors were both seen as viable, but uranium technology received the funds and attention largely because of its value to nuclear weapons development, even though thorium supposedly had the potential to power the entire Earth near indefinitely. I would have to do more research on the potential danger of thorium (I've been told it is completely benign) but even with its alpha emitter potential, is it more dangerous than the chemicals in the emissions of petroleum combustion and refining? I know Coal power, for one, (and I assume oil as well) is known to have far more carcinogenic consequences than nuclear fission, because the inherently impure nature of the fuel source means that its pumping tons of radioactive compounds and carcinogens into the air, and I can assure you with the extent that fossil fuels are being burned there are a lot more than 8 grams of that in the air.
Edited by Panther Modern - 8/12/11 at 9:55am
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post #44 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by refeek View Post
What in the world do you do for a living that you are this informed on Thorium?!

+rep for the brilliant response.
I am a biochemist but I work with radioactive materials for radio-TLC studies... We just work with 14C and Tritium mostly though
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post #45 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaedrus2129 View Post
Thorium is radioactive. An alpha emitter. Which is a short range type of radiation, but is very deadly when particles of alpha-radioactive matter are inhaled or ingested. For instance, as would happen if there were a car crash and 8g of Thorium were pulverized and released into the air.


Yeah, next.
Protected properly the chances of a significant thorium leak happening in any road collision would be next to none.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nckid4u View Post
But in this instance, you are dead and have also released a radioactive toxin into the atmosphere. A going away present for all of mankind who follows you.
8 grams of thorium aerosol would be a localized health hazard, but most certainly would not have an influence on "all of mankind".

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonindeBeatrice View Post
250MW powerplant for a typical auto?

250MW translates to 335,250 HP. That's three hundred thousand horse power. A two ton car with 300,000 HP would be an ideal replacement for the space shuttle orbiter.

250KW would make a little more sense, but >300 HP is still radical overkill for our daily drivers.

I believe someone probably has lost a decimal place, or that scientist is the nuttiest professor in the world.
I'm pretty sure they meant KW.

250KW isn't overkill, given the efficiency losses in getting that power to the wheels.

Afterall, a 335hp internal combustion engine makes a lot more than 250KW of heat energy, probably more than a megawatt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaedrus2129 View Post
That's not the problem. What happens when there's a head-on collision? You get 8g of Thorium (or 16g if both are Thorium based) pulverized and released into the air. You can't make a containment strong enough to survive an impact like that that wouldn't make the car too heavy to be practical.
Wrong.

8 grams of thorium will fit in a test tube.

I could protect it from a 1,000 mph head on collision, every single time, with ten pounds of good steel.

Total weight of the thorium plus containment will be less than the half full gas tank in a Prius.
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post #46 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joephis19 View Post
What happens if you need engine repairs? My local service station doesn't have any nuclear scientists.....
I am gambling on that being the kicker. These would not be serviceable units in terms we know now. I suspect they would be factory sealed and not something you could take to the local shop for a tune up. These are far from a consumer product, but a valuable avenue of research nonetheless.
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post #47 of 236
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post
Protected properly the chances of a significant thorium leak happening in any road collision would be next to none.



8 grams of thorium aerosol would be a localized health hazard, but most certainly would not have an influence on "all of mankind".



I'm pretty sure they meant KW.

250KW isn't overkill, given the efficiency losses in getting that power to the wheels.

Afterall, a 335hp internal combustion engine makes a lot more than 250KW of heat energy.



Wrong.

8 grams of thorium will fit in a test tube.

I could protect it from a 1,000 mph head on collision, every single time, with ten pounds of good steel.

Total weight of the thorium plus containment will be less than the half full gas tank in a Prius.
Basically sums up why Blameless is my favorite contributer on the Science boards.
He's so smart. :
post #48 of 236
yawn, they already have way too many ways to replace gas, 'they' just wont. too much $ loss
    
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post #49 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by mushroomboy View Post
Not sure if those sites are related, one seems to point at ZPE? ZPE is a joke as of now, until somebody can give us some valid proof they can use it.
Laser Power Systems is the company proposing this
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post #50 of 236
Honestly the biggest problems I see with getting something like this into the mainstream aren't technical ones.

Nuclear powered anything has so much bureaucratic red tape and public stigma attached to it that I would be amazed if this ever got off the ground, no matter how perfect the technical, economic, and environmental realities were.

The public and the governments they sponsor have proven time and time again that they prefer the status quo, no matter how good any alternative may be. People fear change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nckid4u View Post
I am gambling on that being the kicker. These would not be serviceable units in terms we know now. I suspect they would be factory sealed and not something you could take to the local shop for a tune up. These are far from a consumer product, but a valuable avenue of research nonetheless.
It shouldn't be hard to make everything serviceable except for a sealed fuel/containment module.
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