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[MIT News] Clean energy could lead to scarce materials - Page 6

post #51 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nixuz View Post

320

First thing that came to my mind was this:
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post #52 of 68
Windmills are a waste in the places the US is putting them. We need to keep nuclear tech movin'.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Amik Vase View Post

Don't be silly guys, thorium is from WoW!
Herp derp derp
What?
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post #53 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just a nickname View Post

In every turbine you need a magnet to generate current. Permanent magnet unless you are using electromagnet but then I don't know how effective it would be to power your magnet to produce (more we wish) energy...

All large generators use electromagnets because they run at fixed rpm, to create 60Hz sign waves. Using an electromagnet allows them to adjust the amount of real and imaginary power that they are supplying to compensate for the changing load they are supplying.
Edited by rancor - 4/9/12 at 10:11pm
post #54 of 68
even though people are saying that China is hoarding natural resources and what not but so is US.
There's plenty of rare earth magnet in the world but countires are not bothering to mine their own because at the moment it's cheaper to buy from China and not bother with all the envirnmental hazards associated with any form of mining. Also for the oil OPEC is raising the price because there's demand for it and people are willing to pay. If OPEC release all of it's oil at once we'd be paying half, if not more of what we're paying currently. US has decent amount of oil reserve, both natural (in the ground) and strategic but buying up other country's oil.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/11/30/us-energy-provedreserves-eia-idUSTRE6AT68Q20101130
post #55 of 68
Bah, we need to stop inefficiently converting water to steam to drive turbines. There has to be a better way to convert energy from fusion reactions into something usable, or some way to build devices that run off plasma, or something like that.
post #56 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just a nickname View Post

Just to point out, the problem in modern reactors isn't the fact "you cannot stop reaction" or whatever that would actually make the Thorium "safer" to prevent what we saw at Tchernobyl.

There is in every reactors of this earth control rods used to control the chain-reaction. You can completely stop the reaction in no time. In thernobyl, they used a fluid that explode in contact with water, I think it was sodium can't remember. The fuel melt and it's so corrosive that it fissured the reactor hence the explosion. Now we use water instead so no more tchernobyl and we understand why the reactors were melting down (they did a mistake and miscalculated the temperature at which uranium melt). The main big problem we have left is in case of a catastrophe scenario, we need to cool down the reactor due to the radiations emitted. Thorium is just another combustible to lower the cost of nuclear exploitation.

In every turbine you need a magnet to generate current. Permanent magnet unless you are using electromagnet but then I don't know how effective it would be to power your magnet to produce (more we wish) energy...

1. the problem with modern reactors IS that if the cooling system fails, it goes critical and goes boom. if you turn off the coolant in a thorium reactor, the thorium melts the glass plug at the bottom, and drains away from the initiator, and then fission stops. That is the magic. so long as the laws of physics don't change, auto shutdown works.

and no, putting in control rods does not save you from heat. the core can still melt away from the control rods. With thorium, in a disaster, the thorium itself completely removes the fuel from the fission initiator. if the fuel melts a hole in the bottom, it doesn't do a whole lot, because it's barely radioactive. it can just sit there and be hot. (I know what I just said was very clumsy)

What I'm trying to say is the problem of a meltdown, i.e. uncooled, exposed fuel rods overheating, melting and ending up in a CLUMP on the bottom of the reactor is a non issue.
when a thorium reactor "melts down" it turns off.


2. You're missing the point. thorium isn't "just another fuel", it's a fuel that can't burn without help. regular reactors are kinda like thermite - once it's going, it's going. you have to keep thorium going, it can never be critical by itself.

3. Magnets the size of a house that you can't turn off would be insanely dangerous. think MRI + steel. your car alternator is an example of a permanent magnet free power generator. it takes 30 or 40 watts to run the field coil for the alternator that puts out 2000 watts.

A car alternator may not be the most efficient setup, but it has to work at any RPM from 1000 to 16000 or more. a power plant generator can be optimized for the only speed it spins at, which depends on the system.
Edited by u3b3rg33k - 4/9/12 at 10:32pm
 
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post #57 of 68
China undercut prices for rare earth metals in the 1990s, and as a result they've become the world's almost exclusive provider. Now that they have been reducing their exports, several countries including the United States are reopening old mines that were shut down, such as Mountain Pass Mine in California, and also looking for new sites.

It's not as though China magically sits on all the Earth's rare metals. They merely made it more economically viable for countries to import them from China than mine them themselves, although now that their production no longer meets worldwide demand, that will change.
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post #58 of 68
People in industry should just start forging 1000's of iron daggers untill they unlock thorium manufacture
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post #59 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeardedJesus View Post

People in industry should just start forging 1000's of iron daggers untill they unlock thorium manufacture

LOL!

OT: Screw the electric cars. Just force car companies to start making better cars that have 200+ MPG and a few months back weren't they researching renewable fossil fuels or something like that?
     
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post #60 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigkahuna360 View Post

LOL!
OT: Screw the electric cars. Just force car companies to start making better cars that have 200+ MPG and a few months back weren't they researching renewable fossil fuels or something like that?

One golf ball of thorium is enough for the life time of a family in energy needs. 1gr of thorium in a small plant within a car would be enough for a whole year. Wanna see how common thorium is?

400

Screw fossil fuels period.
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