Episode 24 – Blowing in the Wind. An Eagles Nightmare – Unintended Consequences – Chapter 9 Part 1

Eagle and Turbine

Blowin’ Wind

I was thrilled when the first windmills appeared on the Laurentian Divide near my hometown of Virginia, Minnesota, but a few years later, having noticed a significant amount of “down time,” I checked on wind power’s record with the help of my new associates in the Thorium Energy Alliance and discovered that the windmill industry had been selling more sizzle than steak.

During the “green” search for energy alternatives, which was guided by an “anything but nuclear” bias, the Sierra Club and others to which I once belonged took pains to define what was “renewable” and what was not. In so doing, they deliberately (and ironically), excluded CO2-free nuclear power, even though we have enough uranium and thorium to last 100,000 years.

Because those who profit from wind and solar said nothing about their carbon footprints, environmental damage, resource use, inefficiency, bird, bat and human deaths (death prints) and the need for huge subsidies, we drank their Kool-Aid, and now wonder why it’s making us sick. Well, here’s why, from many points of view.

Number 1 – Safety

Windmills kill 1 million birds and 1 million bats per year, even as insect borne diseases like Zika, dengue fever and malaria are increasing. (Bats can be killed by just getting too close to the low pressure area that accompanies each blade, which ruptures their lungs) How “green” is that?

Energy company to pay up to $35 million after turbines killed eagles by Lindsey Bever, 9 April 2022

150 Eagles Killed. The Money Won’t Bring Them Back

Shouldn’t environmentalists care that, according to Save the Eagles International, “windmills kill 30 million birds and 50 million bats per year.”

George Erickson
Birds in Flight

Spain’s 18,000 wind turbines are killing 6-18 million birds and bats yearly – actual carcass count

Spanish Ornithological Society

Shouldn’t they care that Pacific Corp., which owns 13 windfarms, has sued the U. S. Interior Department to keep it from revealing how many birds and bats their windmills have killed?

Dead Eagle Data: Buffet/Berkshire/PacifiCorp Don’t Want You to Know

Don’t these “environmentalists” care that, according to Science magazine, a “single colony of 150 brown bats has been estimated to eat nearly 1.3 million disease-carrying insects each year”? Shouldn’t they know that, according to the US Geological Survey, bats consume harmful pests that feed on crops, providing about USD 23 billion in benefits to America’s agricultural industry every year?

53 Billion Reasons Why Bats are Important

United States Geological Survey

“North America lost 3 billion birds between 1970 and 2019” [ WSJ] but no one mentions windmills for contributing to this disaster!

Birds Are Vanishing From North America

The number of birds in the United States and Canada has declined by 3 billion, or 29 percent, over the past half-century, scientists find.

Carl Zimmer 19 September 2019

Part 1 of Chapter 9 continues next week… Vanishing Humans…

Coming up next week, Episode 25 – Hazards to Humans. The Blades of Death.

Links and References

  1. Next Episode – Episode 25 – Hazards to Humans. The Blades of Death
  2. Previous Episode – Episode 23 – Can’t Afford a Model T? How About a LFTR?
  3. Launching the Unintended Consequences Series
  4. Dr. George Erickson on LinkedIn
  5. Dr. George Erickson’s Website, Tundracub.com
  6. The full pdf version of Unintended Consequences
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia,_Minnesota
  8. https://thoriumenergyalliance.com/resource/burning-windmill/
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium_Energy_Alliance
  10. https://www.sierraclub.org/about-sierra-club
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sierra_Club
  12. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/04/09/eagle-turbine-deaths-settlement/
  13. https://www.linkedin.com/in/lindseybever/
  14. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/apr/07/wind-energy-company-guilty-killing-eagles
  15. https://savetheeagles.wordpress.com/
  16. https://www.oregonlive.com/business/2014/11/pacificorp_sues_to_block_relea.html
  17. https://www.masterresource.org/cuisinarts-of-the-air/wind-industry-dead-eagle-problem-1/
  18. https://www.usgs.gov/faqs/why-are-bats-important
  19. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/19/science/bird-populations-america-canada.html?
  20. https://www.linkedin.com/in/carlzimmer/
  21. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Ornithological_Society
  22. https://earthsky.org/human-world/loss-of-bats-will-hurt-agriculture/
  23. https://www.science.org/content/article/three-billion-north-american-birds-have-vanished-1970-surveys-show

#UnintendedConsequences #GeorgeErickson #Fission4All #RadiationIsGood4U #GetYourRadiation2Day #InvisibleFire #Eagles #Bats #Birds #SierraClub #WindTurbines

Episode 23 – Can’t Afford a Model T? How About a LFTR? – Unintended Consequences – Chapter 8 Part 7

15 Millionth Ford Model T
The Model T Ford made motoring what it is today: affordable, reliable, ubiquitous with 20th century living. It’s this same dogmatic approach to manufactured simplification that will make Fission the energy of the 21st Century.

Can’t afford it?

A modern, 1 GW LWR generates 9,000,000 kWhrs per year which, at 10 cents per kWhr, creates revenue of USD 900,400,000 per year. Deduct USD 220 million for operating expenses for a profit of USD 680 million per year. California’s Diablo nuclear plant generates electricity for about 3 cents per kWhr.

If the plant’s two reactors cost USD 7 billion, their combined profit will repay the 7 billion in 5.7 years, after which they will net USD 1.3 billion/year while employing about 1,000 well-paid workers.

While we temporise, Russia and South Korea are building modular reactors (conventional and MSRs), for sale abroad, some of which will be mounted on barges that can be towed to coastal cities, thus making long transmission lines, with their 10% power loss, unnecessary. In 2020, the first of these barges began operation in Pevek, a town in eastern Siberia. (China makes a 1 GWe reactor for USD 3B in less than 5 years – Dr. Alex Cannara.)

MURMANSK, RUSSIA – AUGUST 23, 2018: The Akademik Lomonosov, a barge containing two nuclear reactors, is pictured in Murmansk during its departure for Pevek, Chukotka Autonomous Area, on Russia’s Arctic coast where it will function as a nuclear power station; built at St Petersburg’s Baltic Shipyard, the Akademik Lomonosov was towed in 2018 from the Baltic Sea to an Atomflot base in Murmansk on Russia’s Barents Sea coast to be loaded with nuclear fuel. Lev Fedoseyev/TASS (Photo by Lev Fedoseyev\TASS via Getty Images)

In 2016, Russia inaugurated a commercial Fast Breeder Reactor (FBR) that extracts nearly 100% of the energy value of uranium. (LWRs utilize less than 5%.) The FBR creates close to zero waste and guarantees that we will never run out of thorium, uranium and plutonium, which yield 1.7 million times more energy per kilogram than crude oil.

Russia Sets New Domestic Nuclear Generation Record

Canadian Government agrees to work with United Kingdom on nuclear power

Instead of pursuing these profitable programs, we [USA] have spent USD 400 billion on worthless F-35 jet fighters plus USD 2 billion PER WEEK in Afghanistan – AND there’s that missing USD 8.5 TRILLION that the Pentagon can’t find. [The Pentagon’s $35 Trillion Accounting Black Hole, by Michael Rainey, January 23, 2020]

The US Air Force Quietly Admits the F-35 Is a Failure

Penta-Gone! – The Pentagon’s $35 Trillion Accounting Black Hole

Meanwhile, according to the GUARDIAN, “in 2013, coal, oil and gas companies spent USD 670 billion searching for more fossil fuels, investments that could be worthless if action on global warming slashes allowed emissions.”

Leave fossil fuels buried to prevent climate change, study urges

California plans a USD 100 billion high speed train to serve impatient commuters between San Francisco and Los Angeles, and in 2014, Wall Street paid over USD 28 billion in bonuses to needy executives. If you include greedy sports team owners and players who, between 2000 and 2010, received 12 billion tax dollars to help pay for their arenas, the total could exceed USD 1 trillion.

“When you’re in a hole, stop digging,”

Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org

With that money, we could easily build enough MSRs to end the burning of fossil fuels for generating electricity while drastically cutting carbon dioxide production.

Russia offers nuclear desalination bundle

According to WORLD NUCLEAR NEWS, Russia’s Rosatom Overseas intends to sell desalination facilities powered by nuclear power plants to its export markets: Dzhomart Aliyev, the head of Rosatom Overseas, says that the company sees ‘a significant potential in foreign markets,’ and is offering two LWRs producing 1200 MW each to Egypt’s Ministry of Electricity as part of a combined power and desalination plant.

“Desalination units can produce 170,000 cubic meters of potable water/day with 850 MWh of electricity per day. This would use only about 3% of the output of a 1200 MWe nuclear plant. In addition, two desalination units are also being considered for inclusion in Iran’s plan to expand the Bushehr power plant with Russian technology, and another agreement between Argentina and Russia also includes desalination with nuclear power.” Dzhomart Aliyev, chief executive officer of Rusatom Overseas.

In 2016, the Vice President of Rosatom reported that the company plans to build more than 90 plants in the pipeline worth some USD 110 Billion, with the aim of delivering 1000 GW by 2050.

“By 2030 we must build 28 nuclear power units. This is nearly the same as the number of units made or commissioned over the entire Soviet period… ROSATOM, the Russian nuclear power corporation and builders of the Kundamkulam nuclear power plant in India, has orders for building many nuclear power units abroad.” (XXII Nuclear Inter Jura 2016 Proceedings of the Congress)

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia

Stratfor Global Intelligence reported in an October, 2015 article titled Russia: Exporting Influence, One Nuclear Reactor at a Time that “Rosatom estimated that the value of orders has reached USD 300 billion, with 30 plants in 12 countries. From South Africa to Argentina to Vietnam to… Saudi Arabia, there appears to be no region where Russia does not seek to send its nuclear exports.”

In addition, China has purchased four, 1200 MW Russian reactors. Rosatom will also supply the fuel for a new Chinese- designed fast reactor.

However, our [USA] nuclear industry, opposed by Climate deniers like Donald J Trump, fervent “greens” and powerful carbon companies that put profit before planet, struggles to stay alive.

In Why Not Nuclear? Brian King described our failure to build Generation IV nuclear plants that, unlike LWRs, take advantage of high-temperature coolants such as liquid metals or liquid salts that improve efficiency.

“Argonne National Laboratory held the major responsibility for developing nuclear power in the U.S. By 1980, there were two main goals: Develop a nuclear plant that can’t melt down, then build a reactor that can run on waste from nuclear power plants…

“In the early 80’s Argonne opened a site for an experimental breeder reactor in Idaho. About five years later [two weeks before Chernobyl], they were ready for a demonstration. Scientists from around the globe were invited to watch what would happen if there was a loss of coolant to the reactor, a condition similar to the event at Fukushima where the cores of three reactors overheated and melted.

“Dr. C. Till, the director of the Generation IV project, calmly watched the gauges on the panel as core temperature briefly increased, then rapidly dropped as the reactor shut down without any intervention!

“The Argonne Generation IV project was a success, but it couldn’t get past the anti-nuke politics of the 1990’s, so it was shut down by the Clinton administration because they said we didn’t need it.

“One can only imagine what the world would look like today, with a fleet of Generation IV nuclear plants that would run safely for centuries on all of the waste at storage sites around the globe. No heat-trapping carbon dioxide would have been created – only ever increasing amounts of clean, reliable power. So why not nuclear power?

“Unfortunately, most environmentalists oppose nuclear power, as do many liberals. The Democratic Party is afraid of anti-nuclear sentiment… like the Nation Magazine, the Sierra Club and others. Why are all these people against such a safe and promising source of energy?

“… nuclear power has been tarred with the same brush as nuclear weapons. Nuclear power plants can’t explode like bombs, but people still think that way….

“There is also a matter of group prejudice, not unlike a fervently religious group or an audience at a sports event of great importance to local fans. People are afraid to go against the beliefs of their peers, no matter how unsubstantiated those beliefs may be.

Biden launches $6 billion effort to save nuclear power plants, to help combat climate change, 22 April 2022

”Finally, some good news: In July, 2018, Advanced Reactor Concepts (ARC) and Canada’s New Brunswick Power agreed to build a sodium-cooled, small modular reactor (SMR) – and thereafter at other sites worldwide.

The ARC-100 Advanced Small Modular Reactor

“The ARC-100 includes a passive, “walk away-safe” design that ensures the reactor cannot melt down – even if the plant loses all electrical power. The ARC-100 can consume the nuclear waste produced by LWRs and operate for 20 years without refuelling. Ontario approves nuclear.

OPG paving the way for Small Modular Reactor deployment, 6 October 2020

Small Modular Reactors

  • Their operation can be based on Gen II or Gen IV technologies.
  • Most of them generate less than 300 MW.
  • They run independent without active cooling (or offsite power)
  • They are small enough to have the entire reactor module fabricated at a central facility and then shipped by rail or by truck.

TerraPower advances plans for next-gen nuclear plants, earning Bill Gates’ praise

Starting in 2018, China will begin turning coal plants into nuclear reactors, by Graham Templeton,  23 November 2016

Why a Greenpeace co-founder went nuclear, by Erika Lovley 4 March 2008

Patrick Moore: Why I Left Greenpeace

Canada to boost nuclear power to help meet climate target, 15 March 2015

South Korea reactors That “Won’t Melt Down” approved for US in contract between Doosan and NuScale Power.

August 2020

South Korea companies develop molten salt reactor for shipping, power generation, 24 June 2021

Under the agreement, the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute and Samsung Heavy Industries plan to develop molten salt reactors for marine propulsion and floating nuclear power plants, using molten fluoride salts as the primary coolant at low pressure.

KAERI, 17 June 2021

Poland goes nuclear with plan to build six reactors by 2040, by David Rogers, 9 November 2020

Dr Richard Steeves at Rethinking Nuclear

Advanced Nuclear Reactors by Dr Richard Steeves

Dr. Steeves drives an electric car and flies an electric airplane.

Dr. Richard Steeves

Nuclear Q&A prepared by The Finnish Greens for Science and Technology

The Tennessee Valley Authority announces new nuclear programme

Nuclear Power: The Road to a Carbon Free Future, IAEA 9 Jan 2020

Coming up next week, Episode 24 – Blowing in the Wind

Links and References

  1. Next Episode – Episode 24 – Blowing in the Wind
  2. Previous Episode – Episode 22 – The Pros of LFTRs. Why They Are So Cool
  3. Launching the Unintended Consequences Series
  4. Dr. George Erickson on LinkedIn
  5. Dr. George Erickson’s Website, Tundracub.com
  6. The full pdf version of Unintended Consequences
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Model_T
  8. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-cannara-6a1b7a3/
  9. https://rosatom.ru/en/press-centre/news/rosatom-world-s-only-floating-nuclear-power-plant-enters-full-commercial-exploitation/
  10. https://www-atomic–energy-ru.translate.goog/news/2016/08/10/68139?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&_x_tr_sl=ru&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en
  11. https://www.powermag.com/russia-sets-new-domestic-nuclear-generation-record/
  12. https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/320295-the-us-air-force-quietly-admits-the-f-35-is-a-failure
  13. https://www.stripes.com/branches/navy/2022-01-28/photos-leaked-F-35-fighter-jet-crashed-into-South-China-Sea-4448944.html
  14. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/pentagon-35-trillion-accounting-black-231154593.html
  15. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/07/much-worlds-fossil-fuel-reserve-must-stay-buried-prevent-climate-change-study-says
  16. https://gofossilfree.org/
  17. https://350.org/
  18. https://www.linkedin.com/in/bill-mckibben-6174131b7/
  19. https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-Russia-offers-nuclear-desalination-bundle-0403151.html
  20. https://www.rusatom-overseas.com/
  21. https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/457339/Construction-of-phases-2-3-of-Bushehr-nuclear-plant-has-started
  22. http://aidn-inla.be/content/uploads/2016/12/proceedings-new-delhi-2016.pdf
  23. http://en.kremlin.ru/
  24. https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/russia-exporting-influence-one-nuclear-reactor-time
  25. https://neutronbytes.com/2019/04/06/russia-to-build-four-1200-mw-vver-at-two-sites-in-china/
  26. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nuclear-power-biden-climate-change/
  27. https://www.arcenergy.co/technology
  28. https://energyrealityproject.com/nuclear-power-climate-change-warrior-for-the-21st-century-2/
  29. https://www.opg.com/media_releases/opg-paving-the-way-for-small-modular-reactor-deployment/
  30. https://www.geekwire.com/2020/terrapower-advances-plans-next-gen-nuclear-plants-earning-bill-gates-praise/
  31. https://www.energy.gov/ne/versatile-test-reactor
  32. https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/239588-starting-2018-china-will-begin-turning-coal-plants-nuclear-reactors
  33. https://twitter.com/grahamtempleton
  34. https://www.politico.com/story/2008/03/why-a-greenpeace-co-founder-went-nuclear-008835
  35. https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2016/10/03/greenpeace-co-founder-patrick-moore-makes-case-sustainable-gmo-golden-rice/
  36. https://www.prageru.com/video/why-i-left-greenpeace
  37. https://phys.org/news/2018-03-canada-boost-nuclear-power-climate.html
  38. https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/south-korea-companies-develop-molten-salt-reactor-for-shipping-power-generation/
  39. https://www.samsungshi.com/eng/default.aspx
  40. https://www.globalconstructionreview.com/poland-goes-nuclear-plan-build-six-reactors-2040/
  41. https://emerging-europe.com/voices/the-first-polish-nuclear-plant-will-eventually-be-built/
  42. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opole_Power_Plant
  43. https://rethinkingnuclear.org/who-we-are/
  44. https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-steeves-373808a5/
  45. https://rethinkingnuclear.org/advanced-nuclear-reactors/
  46. https://rethinkingnuclear.org/articles/evolution-of-more-innovative-reactor-designs/
  47. https://www.viite.fi/2021/01/20/nuclear-qa/
  48. https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/TVA-announces-new-nuclear-programme
  49. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ravKXD4iqQ
  50. https://TheThoriumNetwork.com
  51. https://ThoriumEnergyAlliance.com/

#UnintendedConsequences #GeorgeErickson #ClimateChange #FissionEnergy #NuclearEnergy #SpentNuclearFuel #MoltenSaltReactor #LFTR #TheThoriumNetwork #Thorium #Fission4All #RadiationIsGood4U #GetYourRadiation2Day #InvisibleFire #Russia #China #SouthKorea #Poland #USA #Iran #ModelTFord

Episode 22 – The Pros of LFTRs. Why They Are So Cool – Unintended Consequences – Chapter 8 Part 6

Russia Considering Thorium for Waste Burning

Advantages of LFTRs

Many of these also apply to MSRs that use Uranium)

  • No CO2 emissions.
  • Produce only a small amount of low radioactivity waste that is benign in 350 years.
  • The liquid fuel, besides being at 700-1000 degrees C, contains isotopes fatal to saboteurs.
  • Do not require water cooling, so hydrogen and steam explosions are eliminated.
  • Don’t need periodic refuelling shutdowns because the fuel is supplied as needed and the by-products are constantly removed. (LWRs are shut down every 2-3 years to replace about ¼ of the fuel rods, but, LFTRs can run much longer.)
  • Thorium 232 is far more abundant than U-235. Well suited to areas where water is scarce.
  • Do not need huge containment domes because they operate at atmospheric pressure. Breed their own fuel.
  • Can’t “melt down” because the fuel/coolant is already liquid, and the reactor can handle high temperatures.
  • Fluoride salts are less dangerous than the super-heated water used by conventional reactors, and they could replace the world’s coal-powered plants by 2050.
  • Are suitable for modular factory production, truck transport and on-site assembly.
  • Create the Plutonium-238 that powers NASA’s deep space exploration vehicles.
  • Are intrinsically safe: Overheating expands the fuel/salt, decreasing its density, which lowers the fission rate.

Also at play is Doppler Broadening

Fighting Doppler Broadening a.k.a the Doppler Effect
  • If there is a loss of electric power, the molten salt fuel quickly melts a freeze plug, automatically draining the fuel into a tank, where it cools and solidifies.
  • Highly efficient. At least 99% of a LFTR’s Thorium is consumed, compared to about 4% of the uranium in LWRs.
  • Are highly scalable – 10 megaWatt to 2,000 MW plants. A 200 MW LFTR could be transported on a few semi-trailer trucks.

Micro-Reactors by Brian Yang, 16 January 2019

  • Cost less than LWRs. Can consume plutonium.
Rising Costs of Old Nuclear Energy Systems
Rising Costs of Old Nuclear Energy Systems by Atkins Engineering 2014

Can thorium reactors dispose of weapons-grade plutonium? by Michael Irving

Brattle Group study shows value of US nuclear industry

U.S. funds projects on tackling waste from advanced nuclear plants by Valerie Volcovici  and Timothy Gardner

  • Although our current LWRs are very safe and highly efficient, LFTRS are even more productive, and they cannot melt down.
  • Data from the Australian Nuclear Society and Technological Organization of the Australian government:
    + Thorium fuelled molten salt reactors have an energy return ratio of 2,000 to 1. [Also called Energy Density]
    + Our current LWRs that are fuelled with uranium have an energy return ratio of 75 to 1.
    + Coal and gas have an energy return ratio of about 30 to 1. Wind has an energy return ratio of 4 to 1.
    + Solar has an energy return ratio of 1.6 to 1.

Phasing Out Coal Will Require Germany to Build New Gas Plants, by Jesper Starn, June 22, 2021

Big Backpedal: A Week After Shutting its Coal-Fired Plants Germany Forced to Reopen Them, by StopTheseThings, April 25, 2021

“Officials say the weather is partly to blame.”

Germany on Coal Energy Highs and Wind Energy Lows

Germany: Coal tops wind as primary electricity source by DW

Germany 2021: coal generation is rising, but the switch to gas should continue, by Simon Göss, 23 September 2021

“The increase in coal-fired power generation is thus mainly driven by low renewable generation, increased electricity demand and partly also by the high gas prices this year.”

Simon Göss

Coming up next week, Episode 23 – Can’t Afford a Model T? How About a LFTR?

Links and References

  1. Next Episode – Episode 23 – Can’t Afford a Model T? How About a LFTR
  2. Previous Episode – Episode 21 – No Big Noises Here. How a LFTR is Proliferation Proof
  3. Launching the Unintended Consequences Series
  4. Dr. George Erickson on LinkedIn
  5. Dr. George Erickson’s Website, Tundracub.com
  6. The full pdf version of Unintended Consequences
  7. https://lftrsuk.blogspot.com/2011/07/radioactive-nuclear-waste-from-lftrs.html
  8. https://www.nuclear-power.com/glossary/doppler-broadening/
  9. https://analyticalscience.wiley.com/do/10.1002/gitlab.15855
  10. https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2019/01/micro-reactors-as-cheap-as-natural-gas-without-air-pollution.html
  11. https://www.linkedin.com/in/brian-wang-93645
  12. https://thebulletin.org/2019/02/the-pentagon-wants-to-boldly-go-where-no-nuclear-reactor-has-gone-before-it-wont-work/
  13. https://www.lanl.gov/discover/publications/1663/2019-february/megapower.php
  14. https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/C-Brattle-Group-study-shows-value-of-US-nuclear-industry-1007157.html
  15. https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/us-funds-projects-tackling-waste-advanced-nuclear-plants-2022-03-10/
  16. https://www.linkedin.com/in/valerie-volcovici-086b094/
  17. https://www.linkedin.com/in/timothy-gardner-1448953/
  18. https://www.ansto.gov.au/our-science/nuclear-technologies/reactor-systems/advanced-reactors/evolution-of-molten-salt
  19. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-21/phasing-out-coal-will-require-germany-to-build-new-gas-plants#xj4y7vzkg
  20. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesper-starn-03b7681b8/
  21. https://stopthesethings.com/2021/04/25/big-backpedal-a-week-after-shutting-its-coal-fired-plants-germany-forced-to-reopen-them/
  22. https://www.dw.com/en/germany-coal-tops-wind-as-primary-electricity-source/a-59168105
  23. https://energypost.eu/germany-2021-coal-generation-is-rising-but-the-switch-to-gas-should-continue/
  24. https://www.linkedin.com/in/simon-g%C3%B6%C3%9F-aa98885a/

#UnintendedConsequences #GeorgeErickson #ClimateChange #FissionEnergy #NuclearEnergy #SpentNuclearFuel #MoltenSaltReactor #LFTR #TheThoriumNetwork #Thorium #Fission4All #RadiationIsGood4U #GetYourRadiation2Day #InvisibleFire

Episode 21 – Proliferation? Not on Our Watch – Unintended Consequences – Chapter 8 Part 5

Nuclear Explosion

Taking the Easiest Course of Action

It would be very difficult to make a weapon from LFTR fuels because the gamma rays emitted by the U-232 in the fuel would harm technicians and damage the bomb’s electronics.

Uranium could be stolen during enriching, production of pellets, delivery to the reactor, and for long-term storage, but LFTRs only use external uranium to start the reaction, after which time uranium is produced within the reactor from thorium.

The Most Radioactive Places on Earth

The United Kingdom tried unsuccessfully over a period of 10 years, from the 1950’s to the 1960’s, to produce a weapon from Thorium. They gave up and switched to the uranium path. Still today, 1.5 tonnes of Thorium remain stored from that program. This is enough to power the entire UK for 10 years – Carbon Free.

The USA fired one Thorium driven test in 1955 (MET/Operation Teapot), but the results so poor and complications so high they did no further.

A 1 GW LWR [Light Water Reactor] requires about 1.2 tons of uranium per year, but a 1 GW LFTR only needs a one-time “kick-start” of 500 pounds [225 kg] of U-235 plus 1 ton of Thorium per year during its 60 year lifespan.

The half-life of Thorium 232 is 14 billion years, so it is not hazardous due to its extremely slow decay.

The primary physical advantage of Thorium fuel is that it uniquely makes possible a breeder reactor that runs with slow neutrons, otherwise known as a thermal breeder reactor. These reactors are often considered simpler than the more traditional fast-neutron breeders.

IAEA 2005

[When Thorium 232 takes up a neutron, the subsequent decay takes two paths: mostly U233 and some U232. The U233 provides most of the useful energy production by Fission. U232 provides protection against proliferation as several decay daughters are high energy gamma emitters – meaning they burn out silicon chips. For example the gamma spike coming from Thallium 208 is 2.6 MeV. ]

[Shielding using advanced materials and methods, such as distance (air), lead, and water can reduce radiation energy to levels where dosages are at recommended levels around 10 microSiverts per hour or 100 milliSiverts per year.

Note that there have been many examples of doses much higher than this causing no concern, such as 350 microSiverts per hour received by Albert Stevens for over 20 years.

Radiation shielding is a mass of absorbing material placed between yourself and the source of radiation in order to reduce the radiation to a level that is safer for humans.

This is measured by using a concept called the halving thickness – the thickness of a material required to halve the energy of the radiation passing through it.

Remember also, that Radiation decreases with distance in accordance with the inverse square law.]

Radiation Halving Thickness Chart

Material100 keV200 keV500 keV
Air3555 cm4359 cm6189 cm
Water4.15 cm5.1 cm7.15 cm
Carbon2.07 cm2.53 cm3.54 cm
Aluminium1.59 cm2.14 cm3.05 cm
Iron0.26 cm0.64 cm1.06 cm
Copper0.18 cm0.53 cm0.95 cm
Lead0.012 cm0.068 cm0.42 cm
Radiation Halving Thickness Chart

Quotes by Albert Einstein

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

“Had I known that the Germans would not succeed in producing an atomic bomb, I never would have lifted a finger,” 

“I made one great mistake in my life-when I signed the letter to President Roosevelt recommending that atom bombs be made but there was some justification-the danger that the Germans would make them.”

“The release of atomic power has changed everything except our way of thinking … the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.” – Albert said this in 1945, after the US bombed Japan with nuclear weapons and killed over 200,000 innocent civilians. Approximately 50,000 of them where children, 100,000 where women, and the balance the elderly. There were minor military casualties.

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.”

“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.”

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

“He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilisation should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.”

Albert Einstein, the Grandfather of Fission Energy

Energy production is the only viable way away from militarisation of Fission Energy. In the same way fire is harnessed in a fireplace to warm our homes or make our steels, Invisible Fire, Fission Energy, Energy from the Atom, does the same.

We are blessed by people like Alvin Weinberg who dedicated their lives to the cause after witnessing how their scientific endeavours were employed with such militaristic zeal for death and destruction.

“Weinberg realised that you could use Thorium in an entirely new kind of reactor, one that would have zero risk of meltdown. … his team built a working reactor … and he spent the rest of his 18-year tenure trying to make Thorium the heart of the nation’s atomic power effort. He failed. Uranium reactors had already been established, and Hyman Rickover, defacto head of the US nuclear program, wanted the plutonium from uranium-powered nuclear plants to make bombs. Increasingly shunted aside, Weinberg was finally forced out in 1973.”

Richard Martin, 2009, Wired Magazine

Russia Investigates Thorium for Power Generation

Coming up next week, Episode 22 – The Pros of LFTRs. Why are they So Cool?

Links and References

  1. Next Episode – Episode 22 – The Pros of LFTRs. Why are they So Cool?
  2. Previous Episode – Episode 20 – Got a LFTR? What’s Under the Hood
  3. Launching the Unintended Consequences Series
  4. Dr. George Erickson on LinkedIn
  5. Dr. George Erickson’s Website, Tundracub.com
  6. The full pdf version of Unintended Consequences
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium_fuel_cycle#Uranium-232_contamination
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Stevens
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRL7o2kPqw0
  10. https://modernsurvivalblog.com/nuclear/nuclear-radiation-shielding-protection/
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioactive_contamination
  12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma_ray
  13. https://www.nuclear-power.com/nuclear-engineering/materials-nuclear-engineering/properties-of-water/water-as-gamma-radiation-shielding/
  14. https://www.flickr.com/photos/mitopencourseware/3776104498/in/photostream/
  15. https://www.nuclear-power.com/nuclear-power/reactor-physics/atomic-nuclear-physics/radiation/shielding-of-ionizing-radiation/shielding-gamma-radiation/
  16. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium-232
  17. https://patreon.com/posts/39262802
  18. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein
  19. https://www.vintag.es/2016/04/amazing-black-and-white-photographs.html
  20. https://inktank.fi/five-fascinating-facts-you-didnt-know-about-albert-einstein/
  21. https://www.history.com/news/9-things-you-may-not-know-about-albert-einstein
  22. https://www.neimagazine.com/news/newsrussia-investigates-thorium-4986083/

#UnintendedConsequences #GeorgeErickson #ClimateChange #FissionEnergy #NuclearEnergy #SpentNuclearFuel #MoltenSaltReactor #LFTR #TheThoriumNetwork #Thorium #Fission4All #RadiationIsGood4U #GetYourRadiation2Day #InvisibleFire