Sunday, July 29, 2012

The WTF - You Definitely Can't Build THAT

This is the World Thorium Fuel concept car, which GM calls the Cadillac WTF. The idea is a car that lasts for 100 years and would need maintenance to its reactor every five years or so and no refueling. In the meantime, it generates electricity to run your house while it is parked. I can see Kanye driving one. You see, thorium reactors can be very small.

It's OK, let your mind run for a little bit. Sorry for the disruption.  If you have 5 minutes look at the beginning of this:!

Now remember what the federal regulatory state says.

"You can't build that."


Keith said...

Very good post. The 5 minutes well worth it. But the regulations would indeed strangle the concept.

chess said...

But there are two problems with using uranium for nuclear fission. First, of uranium's three isotopes (uranium-234, uranium-235, and uranium-238), only one—uranium-235—undergoes fission. The second problem is that this isotope of uranium is quite rare. Out of every 1,000 atoms of uranium, only seven are uranium-235. Tons of uranium ore must be processed and enriched to make tiny amounts of this critical isotope. It is difficult and extremely expensive.

Scientists know that another isotope of uranium, uranium-233, will also undergo fission. The problem is that uranium-233 does not occur in nature. So how can it be used to make atomic weapons or nuclear power?

The trick is to start with an isotope of thorium, thorium-232. Thorium-232 has a very long half life of 14 billion years. If thorium-232 is bombarded with neutrons, it goes through a series of nuclear changes, first to thorium-233, then to protactinium-233, and finally to uranium-233. The whole process only takes about a month. At the end of the month, a supply of uranium-233 has been produced. This isotope of uranium has a fairly long half life, about 163,000 years. So once it has been made, it stays around for a long time. It can then be used for nuclear fission.

Scientists would like to find a way to use this process to make uranium-233 economically. Thorium is much more abundant than uranium. It would be far cheaper to make nuclear bombs and nuclear power plants with thorium than with uranium.

I know this is long but it explains 2 things .First it explains what the idiot in Iran is using the centrifuges for.CONCENTRATING.
2nd .. How the hell does something have a half life of 14 billion years???? Thats how old everything is since the big bang.And we will let GM build it..WHAT COULD GO WRONG????

Bzod said...

Off-topic, but worth a read for RFNJers (provided you haven't seen already):

frithguild said...

Chess - the Oak Ridge LFTR ("Lifter" - great word) used neutron radiation to decay Thorium into fissile U-233, which can be chemically separated, not very easily, from the thorium and protactinium. There is a pretty large supply of U-233 in Oak Ridge right now, which they are thinking of just carting off to Yucca Mountain.

Centrifugal force is used to separate U-235 from uranium ore, which then can be used to make a "little boy" style gun bomb. Oak Ridge had massive calutrons that used mass spectrometry to separate out the U-235. After a great effort, they had enough U-235 for just one bomb, and not enough for even a test fire.

Chess said...

Frith all this technology amazes me but I have just one problem. WE ARE BROKE. We have a pos prez that has pitched the space program . Thank God our Chinese friends?? can get us into space.. Letting GM anywhere near this stuff would be like letting Homer S impson work at a nuclear power plant?? DOH!! The solid union worforce would have Detroit glowing at night.Which now that I think about it might not be a bad idea.

frithguild said...

I never said this should be a government project - I imagine just the opposite. The capital cost for construction of a thorium reactor is small. Put a small one where you need power, like in your driveway, and you also cut out the cost of building an electricity delivery grid. The LFTR is self regulating - so good work for the guys at LFTR Local 42.

Chess said...

I always envisioned a "dirty bomb " being dumped in NYC or on Isreal cause the bad guys never could quite get to the end game.I may be provn wrong as I type.
For some reason I see our society going slowly into the crapper ie. Mad Max.So I just cant wrap my elderly brain around anything that actuall y might work let alone be good for society.If we get fomo we will have peaked and started down the slippery slope to mediocrety.
We already accept-on a daily basis- that we are the best looking horse at the glue factory..So we may already be on that slippery slope. To accept it is too acknowlegde it.
One of my friends with younger kids had a teacher at that school tell his daughter to not run so fast because it made the fat kids feel bad..So mediocrity is started in youth and propagated all the way up.. Jesus.

Chess said...

In fact Brian Maloney says we are already there. Instead of celebrating his hard work and effort and getting ahead what do the libtards say??? Stop running so fast you are making the fat kids feel bad.Dont be successful youl make less fortunate feel bad. We have a prez that is making the slipeery slope more slippery. dont strive for better cause ok is just fine. In fact we should drag the hard workers down.Eventually we will all be like me . quit working hard at 50.