I’m on Al Gore’s radar – for showing a path forward

Heh. Apparently, I must be destroyed for having an opinion. From Al Gore’s “Reality Drop” project, the GoreBots have been given the orders.

OilPrice_realityDrop

What’s all the hullabaloo about? An interview I gave with a website that covers energy issues. 

I’m sure now the “Cooked up” conspiracy theory ideation that I’m in the employ of “Big Oil” will get even wilder. The fact is though, I’m not employed by “Big Oil” nor any energy company. I’m not employed by any NGO either.

Read the entire interview by James Stafford here to see what’s got them in a tizzy. One of the things I talk about in the interview is the need to move forward with energy, and surprise, it isn’t about oil. It is about Thorium powered reactors.

My observation on Thorium power from the interview last week is backed up today by the fact that the Chinese are moving forward on the taxpayer funded work we discarded in a  big way, and was handed to them by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

From an article in the Telegraph:

The thorium blueprints gathered dust in the archives until retrieved and published by former Nasa engineer Kirk Sorensen. The US largely ignored him: China did not.

Mr Jiang visited the Oak Ridge labs and obtained the designs after reading an article in the American Scientist two years ago extolling thorium. His team concluded that a molten salt reactor — if done the right way — may answer China’s prayers.

See this NYT article from March 11th: In Search of Energy Miracles

Among the new nuclear approaches, fission reactors based on thorium are especially intriguing, offering potentially huge safety advantages. The basic concepts were proved in research by the American nuclear establishment in the 1960s, but the idea was ultimately abandoned by the Nixon administration in favor of a riskier approach called breeder reactors, which turned into an $8 billion black hole.

An engineer in Alabama, Kirk Sorensen, has helped excavate the old thorium work and founded his own tiny company, Flibe Energy, to push it forward. But it will surprise no one to hear that China is ahead of the United States on this, with hundreds of engineers working on thorium reactors.

“They’re doing laps around the track, and we haven’t even decided if we’re going to lace up our shoes,” Mr. Sorensen said.

Here’s a 5 minute video summing it up:

And, there is a petition you can sign if you agree.

US White House Petition

WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
focus the bulk of American regulatory and technical prowess on developing a test Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor. (LFTR)

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/focus-bulk-american-regulatory-and-technical-prowess-developing-test-liquid-fluoride-thorium-reactor/CwFTY3DX

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136 thoughts on “I’m on Al Gore’s radar – for showing a path forward

  1. Do you recieve money in any capacity from any oil company or NGO, directly or indirectly? Same for Koch Brothers interests….?

    Reply. [Did you not "read" the first sentence of the thread? "I’m sure now the “Cooked up” conspiracy theory ideation that I’m in the employ of “Big Oil” will get even wilder. The fact is though, I’m not employed by “Big Oil” nor any energy company. I’m not employed by any NGO either." Mod]

    REPLY2: And that goes for Koch, as well as indirect funding as well. Some shared ad revenue with wordpress.com (where WUWT is hosted) along with the tip jar and some prints, calendar and mug sales are it. – Anthony

  2. Oh for crying out loud, Anthony… why do you keep giving those clown activists so much attention? It’s like arguing about the meaning of life with a 12-year-old, i.e., a waste of time.

  3. Do you receive any government grants to carry out research?

    REPLY: Nope, never even applied for one – Anthony

  4. Anthony,
    The Gorebots are non-rational kooks. Ignore their conspiracy based delusional accusations.
    That their fearless leader and so many other AGW opinion shapers actually engage in what they are accusing you of is just another source of endless entertainment.

  5. Brad says:

    March 12, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Do you recieve money in any capacity from any oil company or NGO, directly or indirectly? Same for Koch Brothers interests….?
    ===========================================================================
    I consulted for many big oil companies, and still have an interest in some wells. I just put another $50 in the tip jar. I’m sure that invalidates any science presented here.

    PS: Brad, remember, i before e, except after c

  6. I’m starting a new campaign.

    Let’s rename Kenji to “Big Oil”. Then you can turn your company ownership over to Kenji er “Big Oil” actually….

    The you can hold interviews on TV in the company of your new employer. He can handle the difficult questions. I can hear him now.. Is the Globe Warming? Woof Woof!. Is the Climate Change Disruptive? Bow Wow! Once people see it’s “true” that should generate a good laugh –maybe even at the Gorey ones expense.

    You can add in that boring scientificky stuff that is not covered by the important policy setters — your new boss will handle that! Woof!

    Nothing like working for “Big Oil” — maybe he can do something about your Pay Rate!

  7. Lol – as a Fort McMurray oil sands worker with my wife in upper management here, I can confirm we ain’t paying you anything Mr. Watts. But you have on occasion mentioned the Keystone Pipeline – and only ended up with ten thousand eco little devils that hated you. Now you just had to venture out into Thorium reactors? And gain even more demonic worship? Having all the AGW fans already hating you not enough? Would it be fair to say you top the list on the world’s most hated list? I cannot think of one single individual on planet earth more hated than you. Sure you weren’t a sh*t disturber in grade school?

  8. Are you now, or at any time have you ever been, a failed politician, happy to join any passing bandwagon playing flute music, which offers an enormous gain in your personal wealth based on specious nonsense?

  9. Thanks Brad – for proving once again that as soon as you hear information and facts you (and the many other warmists/alarmists) don’t like, go into the standard “Are you in the pay of BIG OIL” stance. I’m sure Anthony (and me) would greatly like to be receiving BIG OIL money to refute your position. But I think the cheque has gotten lost. Brad – and Joe Public – please lose that BIG OIL arguent. Its so out of date and worn out. Oh – here comes the postman. Maybe he as my cheque. (sarc)

  10. Just for information, in the summer of 1960, a friend of mine, Norm Snidow, was operating a thorium solid fuel (pin type oxide) powered reactor designed by Babcock and Wilcox at Consolidated Edison Indian Point, NY The plant is a short distance north of New York City. Quite successful but the momentium was for Uranium fuel.

  11. Hi Anthony. (Sarc on>) Can you please tell me how to contact Big Oil. I need to get rich fast. As a minimum I need to become as rich as Al Gore.

  12. Thorium’s a possibility – it even has its own website, which I visit from now and then.
    But fast reactors (Generation IV reactors) are the far closer reality and every bit as safe as a Thorium reactor, and has the added ability to burn up all our nuclear waste, which I might add,contains enough residual energy to provide all the energy this country needs for the next 1000 years. Russia’s world class nuclear company has already deployed fast rectors and
    they are due for widespread commercialization probably in the next 5 to 7 years. If Thorium
    reactors prove more cost-effective they will prevail, otherwise it looks to me like fast reactors will, along with water reactors are the future. I have no bets one way or the other.

  13. Objectively, the US DOE should be spending at least as much on Thorium flavors of Nuclear energy as it does on fusion research.

    Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTR) looks to me like the commercial challenge it is down to a chemical refining engineering problem. You must reprocess the entire fluid body of the reactor in the span of a month or two and pyro-chemically separate the reactor poison daughter products at an economical yield. This is an unsexy aspect of the LFTR that gets too little discussion in videos like that above.

    We shouldn’t be under the assumption that there is no radioactive waste. But what there is seems to be of very short half-life or quite manageable quantities. In any case, the radioactive waste is likely orders of magnitude less than some fusion designs currently funded for research. Hence, my conclusion that LFTR deserves at least as much funding as fusion.

    LFTR might not be low hanging fruit, but it is much closer to our reach than fusion.

  14. Anthony, I could care less where you get your funds from, NOMB, I do care about your ideas, please keep expressing them here. Thank you.

  15. The only way the ecos would accept thorium power would be if you could convince them that it was made from concentrated sunbeams.

  16. I wish “Big Oil” or “Big Coal” or whatever other “Big” group that is being demonized by the CAGW crowd would but big bucks into dispelling the lies surrounding the myth.
    I also wish those so concerned with where Anthony and others earn their money would be as concerned with where their heroes are getting theirs.

  17. At least you aren’t aiding and abetting Al Qaida like some not to be mentioned former Vice Preisdent. Funding terrorists is fine, working for oil companies is evil. So the goracle says….

  18. One of the good things about NOT having a world government is that individual countries are free to pursue their own energy and economic policies. Even if one or several nations embrace economic suicide (*cough* USA *cough*), others can choose growth and technological advancement (*cough* China *cough*). Good for them.

  19. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/9924836/Japan-cracks-seabed-ice-gas-in-dramatic-leap-for-global-energy.html

    Japan cracks seabed ‘ice gas’ in dramatic leap for global energy
    Japan has extracted natural “ice” gas from methane hydrates beneath the sea off its coasts in a technological coup, opening up a super-resource that could meet the country’s gas needs for the next century and radically change the world’s energy outlook.

  20. Please note that we now have both warmers (NYT) and skeptics (WUWT) taking note of what China/India are doing and advocating we work on LFTR technology. Luke warmer Roger Pielke is also on board.

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2013/03/learning-from-china-coal-and-its-nukes.html

    What are we talking about?

    Game changer: The “green” nuclear. Molten salt thorium nuclear reactors. Much cheaper, safer, and cleaner.

    Feb 2011

    “China has officially announced it will launch a program to develop a thorium-fueled molten-salt nuclear reactor, taking a crucial step towards shifting to nuclear power as a primary energy source.”

    “The project was unveiled at the annual Chinese Academy of Sciences conference in Shanghai last week, and reported in the Wen Hui Bao newspaper (Google English translation here).”

    “If the reactor works as planned, China may fulfill a long-delayed dream of clean nuclear energy. The United States could conceivably become dependent on China for next-generation nuclear technology. At the least, the United States could fall dramatically behind in developing green energy.”

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/02/china-thorium-power/

    June 2012

    “The U.S. Department of Energy is quietly collaborating with China on an alternative nuclear power design known as a molten salt reactor that could run on thorium fuel rather than on more hazardous uranium, SmartPlanet understands.”

    “Proponents of thorium MSRs, also known as liquid thorium reactors or sometimes as liquid fluoride thorium reactors (LFTRs), say the devices beat conventional solid fuel uranium reactors in all aspects including safety, efficiency, waste and peaceful implications.”

    http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/intelligent-energy/us-partners-with-china-on-new-nuclear/17037

    Jan 2013

    And India

    India is hosting what very well may be the first ever true conference dedicated to Molten Salt Reactor technology. They contacted me several months ago about giving a plenary talk and I was very surprised to learn of their increasing interest in MSR technology which is a bit of a departure from their traditional long term nuclear plans. They now have the website up regarding the conference.

    http://moltensaltindia.org/

    If you browse through things you’ll see some of their interest is related to the fact that molten salt technology is also applicable to things like processing of solid fuel fast breeder designs. However in my discussions with the organizers and by looking at the subjects they wish to cover at the conference it is clear that they have an increasing interest in true molten salt or liquid fuel concepts. Perhaps this is slightly reactionary to increased Chinese MSR interest but a hopeful sign nonetheless. Please check things out and I’d encourage people to consider submitting papers and/or attending.

    David LeBlanc

    http://www.energyfromthorium.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=3729

    The solution is there. Technology developed in the US in the 60′s. Just needs to be updated. Fortunately the Chinese and India (who do and will burn the most coal) are on to it. We can all breath easier.Game changer: The “green” nuclear. Molten salt thorium nuclear reactors. Much cheaper, safer, and cleaner.

  21. Wow. That video is almost as powerful as the one on desertification.

    One contrast intrigues me though. With the science of desertification, the video explains how people (including the presenter) got it so wrong. Why/how did we get it so wrong on Thorium? Is there a counter-argument we’re not thinking of? I don’t see a motive for abandoning thorium, nefarious or otherwise.

  22. Lawyering. Ur doin it rong. It’s like this:

    When did you stop taking money from Bigoil, Inc.?

  23. Frederick Michael says:
    March 12, 2013 at 11:57 am

    “Why/how did we get it so wrong on Thorium? Is there a counter-argument we’re not thinking of? I don’t see a motive for abandoning thorium, nefarious or otherwise.”
    —————————————–
    I just read somewhere that our nuclear arms program depended on plutonium that was produced at uranium reactors. There was an incentive to keep uranium reactors running rather than adapt to thorium. I have no idea if this is true or not, but it sounds reasonable to me.

  24. I enjoyed reading the interview, it’s an honest opinion. so many thoughtful and honest opinions are shut out of our politicized social engineered smiley happy society.

  25. What’s really amusing is the fact that folks like Gore and others are living in the bygone
    USA-number-one past. We in this country are not in a position to determine which future energy or reactor types are going to be developed. China has already demonstrated the ability to build,
    at much cheaper costs, a type AP1000 reactor. A Russian nuclear build company
    is winning British contracts against the GE-Hitachi and Westinghouse groups, and also not
    only developing, but deploying some pilot fast reactors commercially. The days when the
    world followed along behind US technology are long gone. Apparently Al Gore still lives and thinks in a 1960′s time-warp capsule.

  26. Its a shame your a rabid, racist, denier…. because if you were a sinless, smart, kind worshipper, you could claim these are death threats and demand a special lab built just for you with hi tech protection and billions in funding…

  27. Al Gore has hundreds of millions to throw at projects, spam-bots that single out people and their views is what his crack-team came up with. what a joke!

  28. Anthony

    Great job! I can tell you why you are now in the Gorebot’s targeting sensors. This is from his book, Earth in the Balance….

    Page 204

    The environmental crisis is a case in point: many refuse to take it seriously simply because they have supreme confidence in our ability to cope with any challenge by defining it, gatherings reams of information about it, breaking it down into manageable parts, and finally solving it. But how can we possibly hope to accomplish such a task? The amount of information and exformation—about the crisis is now so overwhelming that conventional approaches to problem-solving simply won’t work.

    The issue is that because people like Gore cannot conceive of technical solutions to our energy and environmental problems, and of course since they are the smartest people in the world, then it is an article of faith that there ARE NO solutions except for the ones that they come up with.

    They actually disdain technical progress as is illustrated in this further excerpt.

    Page 207

    We have also fallen victim to a kind of technological hubris, which tempts us to believe that our new powers may be unlimited. We dare to imagine that we will find technological solutions for every technologically induced problem. It is as if civilization stands in awe of its own technological prowess, entranced by the wondrous and unfamiliar power it never dreamed would be accessible to mortal man. In a modern version of the Greek myth, our hubris tempts us to appropriate for ourselves—not from the gods but from science and technology—awesome powers and to demand from nature godlike privileges to indulge our Olympian appetite for more.

    This is nothing more than a slightly more hubristic restating of the same premises that are rife in the books “Limits to Growth” and “Beyond the Limits”.

    The simple fact is that Thorium energy is a fantastic near term solution to our increasing need for electrical power, especially if we want to power all of these electric cars that Gore supports.

    Next, Page 222

    Industrial civilization’s great engines of distraction still seduce us with a promise of fulfillment. Our new power to work our will upon the world can bring with it a sudden rush of exhilaration, not unlike the momentary “rush” experienced by drug addicts when a drug injected into their bloodstream triggers changes in the chemistry of the brain. But that exhilaration is fleeting; it is not true fulfillment.

    This is what Al Gore thinks of the process (industrial civilization) and the people (scientists and engineers) and the political system (freedom and capitalism) that has done more to improve lives, feed the poor, and heal the sick than any system outside of Jesus in the history of mankind.

    What you the reader of this blog must understand is that if you think that we have the solutions to the mess that they have helped bring (stopping progress), then you are their mortal enemy.

    I state it again, you are their mortal enemy, and thus people like Anthony Watts, myself, or any others who posit solutions that are technical in nature are the enemy, which must be crushed by any means, as the ends justify the means.

    What are their ends?

    Page 317

    Unless we come to a better understanding of both the potential and the danger of technology, the addition of more technological power simply ensures further degradation of the environment, and no matter what new technologies we discover, no matter how cleverly and efficiently we manage to get them into the hands of people throughout the world, the underlying crisis will worsen unless, at the same time, we redefine our relationship to the environment, stabilize human population, and use every possible means to bring the earth back into balance.

    These are Gore’s own words.

    Remember, you are the enemy.

  29. Actually, direct questions about funding are preferable to the alternative speculation and silly inductive reasoning that asserts WUWT must be funded by vested interests, but does not bother to verify the source of funding. Direct questions can be answered with specific, truthful, accurate, and up-to-date information.

    Funding is now the most important question in science. The existence of hundreds of thousands of NGOs complicates this greatly, because the term “Non Governmental Organization” is not to be taken literally; the fact is that according to wikipedia, NGOs are government funded. Therefore, making statements that a group is not government funded if it is funded by Non Governmental Organizations is false. NGOs are also almost universally structured for the purpose of political and social action. The acceptance of funds from NGOs should be clear and authentic, one way or another.

    Also, scientists should be aware that laws regarding these NGOs are liable to change. Russia has passed a law that requires them to file as “foreign agents.” Now, scientist accepting funding from foreign agents, NGOs, and engaging in political advocacy must not claim, at the very least, to be free from ties to governments and academic institutions. It simply is not truthful language.

    ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-governmental_organization
    ref: http://www.rapsinews.com/legislation_publication/20120727/263954264.html

  30. I really appreciate the comments that have appeared so far. My two cents’ worth is prompted by the “hot” appearance of the attack graphic above. Its colors remind me of blood, fire, and – oddly enough – the battles on the anime programs my teenager watches on TV. I don’t really care for them, but I allow them to play because that allows me to know what the kids are allowing to fill their minds and imaginations. I can putter around in the kitchen or do other chores, and only half-way be aware of the contrived battles, etc. It’s all about superheros and supervillains, I guess. Every supervillain seems intent on either destroying the world or subjugating it. Or both. It’s always framed as a battle to save the world. Ho-hum. Gets a bit old. I guess the young people can’t drum up any interest in a conflict where the fate of the world doesn’t hang in the balance.

    I don’t watch that genre of entertainment closely enough – has anyone ever created a supervillain whose aim it was to save the world from itself? For example, a supervillain who is insanely afraid of germs might have as his goal the destruction of all microbial life on the planet. Good luck with that.

    Or how about a bureaucrat or powerful elitist whose insane fear has to do with the risk of losing his power/wealth (which he didn’t earn, himself, but only inherited or married into or got himself elected to run!), if he were to allow the “unwashed masses” to have any modicum of control over their own lives? They can’t seem to remember that it was the great unwashed masses who made that accumulation of wealth possible. Just goes right over their head….

    Me? I prefer the old musicals. I have a long-standing appreciation of “The Music Man”. (Anyone ever dealt with a lying salesman?)

    Or how about “It’s a Wonderful Life”? I never understood why Potter’s dream world was populated with miserable, poverty-stricken renters who never could dig their way out of debt. No, wait – he gets more interest when they always have to borrow to make ends meet.

    Of course, there’s also the 2nd installment of the “Back to the Future” trilogy. Still not understanding why the villain’s dream world was populated with miserable, crime-besieged townsfolk in a locale where the only bright lights were in his own casino. He owned the cops, by his own admission. I’ve heard Las Vegas is like that, once you get off the strip.

    I just don’t get it. Why would anyone with the wealth and resources that some people have, have as their goal the crippling of the world’s economy and subjugation of its people? I just can’t wrap my brain around that one.

    Then, of course, there’s “1984″, either the book or the movie or the play. Prescient.

    I wonder if it’s possible that, whenever the elitists kill off the electricity-generating industry, or at least elevate its cost to the point where most people can’t afford to use it at their current level, then the low-information people will be delivered from their short-attention-span entertainment and have to look real life in the face again.

    But if they did that, wouldn’t they lose their best tool of control?

    P.S. I’m not in the pay of Big Oil or the Koch brothers, either. In the interest of full disclosure, however, I must admit that my current ride (a 1991 GM sedan) was purchased with a signing bonus on an inherited lease. I never get royalties, but I do have wheels because of oil money. I think the odometer just turned over 142,000 miles this month.

  31. Nixon, a typical political puppet, was of the mind that what is good enough for the Navy is good for everyone. Thus, breeder reactors for all. That is my understanding.

    omnologos says:
    March 12, 2013 at 11:41 am
    Fluoride? Who’s going to handle THAT!!

    Free supply for all the major cities who want so much to protect the children from tooth decay. Forget diet; forced medication. Hmmm…read the warning on toothpaste. “Keep out of reach of children under 6.” Hmmm…what? …not another contradiction?

    End result, it ends up in the sewer, right were they wanted it to start with.

  32. Is there a leader board for the children out there destroying denial? Is there somewhere to go to see something along the lines of…

    1. Pur3pwnag3 2,456,428
    2. XxBigMannStickxX 2,067,241
    3. 2ndChakraofLove 1,785,367
    4. SuperMandia1 1,567,147

    Just curious.

  33. One cannot but laugh at the irony of demonizing one receiving (supposedly) support from “big oil” and yet inadvertently extolling the virtues of funding by “big government”.
    Too many climate “scientists” at the big government trough….but this is apparently ok…or it might just be:. Douchebaggery.

    LOL

  34. I just visited the Reality Drop website. Is this really what the liberal mind is all about? “I have a really strong opinion about something…hang on while I check with Al Gore to find out what it is.”

    I wonder if I could attain the rank of Lieutenant by using their links and then dropping comments that express support for the articles they’re targeting? Would they throw me out? I think I want to become the first Reality Drop Dropout.

  35. If you take the letters from “Reality Drops”, add a few extra letters, take away a few letters, switch the letters around, the result reads “I made a few hundred million out of this scam”

  36. Thorium-based reactors appear to hold great promise for reliability, safety, scalability, and portability. And, yes, China and India are currently leading the pack in developing the technology and the USA is missing a huge opportunity to lead the future.

    A good book on the topic: Super Fuel, by Richard Martin is a pretty good read

    He credits Elmo Zumwalt (Sec Navy) with biasing the nuclear reactor development toward Uranium because he wanted to launch as many nuclear-powered submarines as possible post-WWII, and Uranium-fueled reactors were more developed at the time.

  37. Power Grab says:
    March 12, 2013 at 12:39 pm
    …”I wonder if it’s possible that, whenever the elitists kill off the electricity-generating industry, or at least elevate its cost to the point where most people can’t afford to use it at their current level, then the low-information people will be delivered from their short-attention-span entertainment and have to look real life in the face again….”

    Or, rely increasingly on the government that made their life difficult to begin with. How to catch a wild pig. Future generations will evolve with more and more reliance on “big brother”, not “big oil” which is purely a diversionary tactic.

  38. “We will never run out, it is simply too common”

    Apparently France gets 75% of its electricity from nuclear energy and even exports some.

    As for BRAD the first commenter questioning about oil funding and Koch. Here is a tip which I often point out. If WUWT was oil, fossil, gas funded it could do away with all the money generating pages on the right hand side bar and would have the following characteristics.

    Furthermore, if you want evidence of fossil fuel funding then you need to look closer to home. Have you asked CRU whether they have ever been funded by Shell or BP (tip: they have)? Have you ever asked the Sierra Club if they ever pocketed $25,000,000 from gas interests (tip: they have)?

    Well funded??? Here is well funded.

    The Climate Works Foundation, though, is of special interest as it was in 2008, awarded $460,800,000 from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation…..

    http://mrworthing.blogspot.com/2012/02/funding-imbalance.html

  39. Anthony: I read your interview on Oil Price and found it to be WUWT 101. This is very good for people who have never heard of you before, calm, rational, sensible and they did include a link so you gained a few more readers.
    Why then did it provoke such a knee jerk reaction from the CAGW bunch? You clearly stated they were half right, things have warmed slightly, and that is better than being totally wrong. Asking for clarification and to see the data is far from denial.
    I apply the same degree of skepticism to the thorium reactor idea. Molten fluoride salts are far from safe for fluorine tends to dissolve all it contacts. Much more work needs to be done finding a less reactive medium and extracting electricity directly from the reaction rather than dealing with superheated steam and the expense associated with it. Even at that it is a worthy line of research for thorium reactors do indeed work.

  40. Gunga Din says:
    March 12, 2013 at 11:45 am
    “I wish “Big Oil” or “Big Coal” or whatever other “Big” group that is being demonized by the CAGW crowd would but big bucks into dispelling the lies surrounding the myth.”

    The scenario is “Big Oil” pays “Big Green” to lobby against “Big Coal” who then via “Big Brother” agency regulation replaces “Big Coal” with “Big Methane” who is owned by “Big Oil.” So don’t hold your CO2 (breath :) ).

  41. Hi Brad,
    Can you let me know would Anthony would be pushing for Thorium powered reactors if he was in the pay of big oil / gas / coal? Does this make sense to you?

  42. “The most recent solar minimum, solar cycle 23-24 minimum, was unusually long (266 spotless days in 2008, the most since 1913), and the magnetic field at the solar poles was approximately 40% weaker than the last cycle; and unusually complex (the solar wind was characterized by a warped heliospheric current sheet, HCS, and fast-wind streams at low latitudes: the fast-wind threads the ecliptic more commonly in 2008 than 1996.) This complexity resulted in many effects observed from Sun to Earth, with many observations indicating unusual conditions on the Sun, in the heliosphere, and in the magnetosphere, ionosphere, and upper atmosphere of the Earth.

    This remarkable set of conditions provide the scientific community with an exceptional opportunity to assess the nature and structure of a very quiet Sun, and an upper atmosphere relatively devoid of solar influences, helping to provide a better understanding of the relative roles of solar activity and internal variability in the dynamics of the Earth’s upper atmosphere and ionosphere. Such an understanding requires a multidisciplinary approach.

    The main goal of the conference is to bring together the solar, heliospheric, magnetospheric, upper atmosphere, and ionospheric communities to debate and discuss interdisciplinary work and reach a better understanding of the nature and structure of a very quiet Sun, and of an upper atmosphere relatively devoid of solar influences, and in doing so, to help clarify the role of solar activity in the dynamics and variability of the Earth’s upper atmosphere and ionosphere relative to the internal variations.”

    http://chapman.agu.org/solarminimum/

  43. Big Oil; We want to buy your TV station.
    Gore; How much will you give me?
    Big Oil; $100 million. But there’s a condition.
    Gore; Which is?
    Big Oil; You have to accuse some people we don’t give money to of getting money from us.
    Gore; Uhm….why?
    Big Oil; So they are distracted from who we actually give money to.
    Gore; Oh, I see, you mean people like…. $100 million. I’ll take it. Done.

  44. “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” Winston Churchill

  45. Once I explained to my three sons that the Al Gore South Park Episode “ManBearpig” was a sarcastic shot at his position on Global Warming they totally got it. They are all now denialists in training.

  46. I believe, cannot remember where i read it, that the CanadianCandu reactor could handle a switch to Thorium cycles without too big a change.

  47. Big Oil funding is keeping temperatures flat and well-below the climate model forecasts.

    And increasing Antarctic sea ice to record levels etc. etc.

    We can’t seem to get the environmentalists or climate scientists to focus on facts. It is not what they are interested in.

  48. Doug says:
    “PS: Brad, remember, i before e, except after c”

    Our species’ grasp of science is not sufficient to seize the weird vein of foreign oil dependence, their feisty ignorance not withstanding.

  49. Well we all know that Al’s tobacco growing slave owning family have been far too close to power for years to be comfortable with in the first place but Al has ruined his own reputation with his forked tongue act and taking on Anthony will rebound against him.

  50. After the Sarah Palin debacle, regarding the “Bullseye” target affair ( http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/sarah-palins-crosshairs-ad-focus-gabrielle-giffords-debate/story?id=12576437 ), you’d think some bright Algorian would realize the seriousness of using a “crosshair targeting” symbolism with the vindictive instructions – “Destroy Denial (/Deniers)” attached.

    Heaven help Gore if any skeptic gets hurt by one of his more zealous followers.

  51. For the record, Anthony is very generous and gives equal shares of his Big Oil and Koch money to all who visit and leave a comment.

    Brad, check your mailbox. You’ll see that your share from Anthony is exactly equal to Anthony’s and everyone else’s here; share and share alike. Oh wait… I forgot! Anyone who asks Anthony directly about his Big Oil funding gets a double share. It’s your lucky day, Brad!

    (Best that I [/sarc]. Brad might be out there checking his mailbox.)

  52. For a man (or woman!) to truly deserve respect, it’s not so important that they have the right friends – it’s important that they have the right Enemies!

    And Anthony *Definitely* has all the right enemies.

  53. Here’s an example of the conspiracy theory mentality that pervades the thinking of some of the biggest AGW cheerleaders. The group-think is hilarious.

  54. France actually generates 84.6% of it’s electricity from Nuclear, exports 30% of it’s total, has a small but increasing number of Nuclear engineers studying Thorium AND is constructing the ITER Fusion reactor complex down south near Marseilles, it also has new generation (type 3 +) Uranium reactors under construction; what ever electrical problems are facing other European countries, e.g. The U.K. and Germany, they wont be troubling France.

  55. Thanks for your well-informed presentation.

    WRT:

    Oilprice.com: And is there any coherent data out there that would demonstrate how much of the rise in temperatures over the last 100 years is a result of carbon dioxide?

    Anthony Watts: I think what is left of the signal–i.e. the trend from the compliant weather stations that don’t have heat sink effects–can be attributed to CO2. That value appears to be half of what NOAA claims.

    I hoped someone can correct me if I am misinterpreting this, but it seems to be saying that all parts of the temperature signal are either spurious – or attributable to CO2?

    No natural causes?

  56. Well done Mr Watts. Good to see LFTR getting another look somewhere on Earth. Nice to hear about the Japanese with the hydrate mining. If they can pull that off it will make the shale gas glut look like a drop in the bucket.

    ” mnhawk says: March 12, 2013 at 1:00 pm Is there a leader board for the children out there destroying denial? ”

    My son did a paper up for school on the topic of renewable energy. He did a great presentation on LFTR and when someone in the class said “but thorium isn’t renewable” the reply was “it is as renewable as the rare earth minerals used in wind and silicon in solar”. Classic moment. I was so proud :)

  57. Brad says:
    March 12, 2013 at 11:05 am
    “Do you recieve money in any capacity from any oil company or NGO, directly or indirectly? Same for Koch Brothers interests….?”

    Why is it that this would even be a problem? Every left wing NGO receives funding via TIDES, the left wing money laundering operation, and TIDES in turn gets donations by Soros et al.

    The fact that leftists launder the donations makes it ok? Why is money laundering of donations even legal?

  58. Brad says:
    March 12, 2013 at 11:05 am
    “Do you recieve money in any capacity from any oil company or NGO, directly or indirectly? Same for Koch Brothers interests….?”

    Why haven’t you asked whether Anthony receives money from the Rockefeller foundation? 350.org is in part funded by them. If the Koch brothers are evil, what about Rockefeller’s?

  59. Peter says:

    “Doug says:
    “PS: Brad, remember, i before e, except after c”

    Our species’ grasp of science is not sufficient to seize the weird vein of foreign oil dependence, their feisty ignorance not withstanding.”

    I dub this the cleverest reply of the year.

  60. Matt says:
    March 12, 2013 at 2:12 pm
    “Germany already had a working Thorium reactor, but physicist (sic!) Merkel shut it down.”

    No, the HTR in Hamm Uentrop got shut down long ago, late 80ies I think, after they were not perfectly honest about a small Strontium dust leak. Problem with Strontium is its dustiness, so it can accumulate and form hotspots.

    You don’t want hotspots.

  61. At UCB in the early 70s the “guys down the hall” were working on thorium vs the fast breeder – what sold the latter and killed the former was that the breeder has the potential to clean-up nuclear waste, while thorium creates more of it. Not politics, not oil money: chemistry and nuclear
    engineering.

    In contrast, Battelle was working on what has since become “fracking” – and funding for that was later cut by Carter, apparently for political reasons.

  62. Have you stopped beating your wife, yet?
    Answer yes or no.
    Anthony, you must be on target if the lunacy project is obsessing over you.
    You are correct their disconnect is hilarious, hopefully this post will cause them to move to full auto fire, although I am not sure their feet will survive.
    As for the nitwits who ask where your funding comes from, I am sure they conveniently missed the “Fling Funds” icon.

  63. I dunno – seems to me all these alternative energy techs have their value and applications – in the sense that what we’re doing now seems to be less-than-elegant engineering and carry a host of ‘unexpected consequences’, ie waste/radioactivity issues, safety issues, distribution and power centralization issues (political), etc. However: –

    I’m most intrigued by a different approach, sort of rather than wrestling with nature, go with the flow. Seems this tech is pretty close now (though dependant on private funding since it emerged that it was far superior even in theory to Tokamak fusion design) and was cut off by NASA-JPL, DOE, Office of Fusion Energy Sciences in a tale that Prof Eric Lerner relates, that rivals the worst of scientific repression scientists ‘protecting their turf’, bureaucratic and political manipulation, open career threats, squelching peer-reviewed expermental data and a host of additional deeds-by-policy…that are the very heart of everything against which WUWT stands.

    DPF – Dense Plasma Fusion is projected to run on Hydrogen-Boron fuel, so there’s also no issue of fuel supply for hundreds of thousands of years.

    Seems the production line units should come in at about $300,000 each, power local neighbourhoods rather than whole cities and regions, cool down for monthly service in 9 hours, essentially zero radioactive waste (berillium anodes would have the signature of a classroom of kids – background rad. , basically), and weighing about 2 tons would easily fit in a spaceship to Mars in 4 weeks – Ion Drive, I guess is the term)

    The afficionadoes and some gorgeous animations of the physics can be found at http://www.FocusFusion.org – they’re already nearly successfully at ignition temps but want 1 billion E-volts – a challenge is faster capacitor switches, but bear in mind they’ve got zero support from any level of government, save University funding – all privately driven.

    [That's understandable, as totally local, decentralized, direct to electricity (no steam heating, no pressure vessels, etc) energy is not something too attractive to Centralized Government, eh?]
    For now, until I learn something new (I’m open to that, always), when I win the Lottery this is who will get my spec investment dollars.
    Prof. Eric Lerner’s story, in his own words, can be found on YouTube, titled “Solstice Seminar 4/5 – This Q&A is like a juicy pomegranate” – just cut’n’paste if interested, about 15 minutes. Makes one want to scream: – We could have had Fusion energy 15 years ago.
    Here’s a 90 second animation of the ignition sequence: –

  64. OK, I can’t resist – I find these things so stunningly elegant and beautiful, so much in harmony with what I’m beginning ( I hope correctly) to perceive as the ‘nature of reality’ (at least on the ‘physical level’, rather than ‘spiritual’, if you will) that I just gotta share.
    This is a high-speed camera look at the firing sequence – not an ‘animation’. Watch and enjoy, please! Titled (youtube) “Lassoed Lightning: Capturing the Focus Fusion-1 plasma on camera”

  65. Eric Booth says:
    March 12, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    After the Sarah Palin debacle, regarding the “Bullseye” target affair ( http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/sarah-palins-crosshairs-ad-focus-gabrielle-giffords-debate/story?id=12576437 ), you’d think some bright Algorian would realize the seriousness of using a “crosshair targeting” symbolism with the vindictive instructions – “Destroy Denial (/Deniers)” attached.

    Heaven help Gore if any skeptic gets hurt by one of his more zealous followers.

    Eric…. That was my very first thought. Though I’m not a Palin fan by any means, I defended her against that silly attack. The Gorbots don’t even see the hypocrisy. The irony is lost on them.

  66. Destroy denial – nice catchy slogan, but a bit inaccurate. How about:
    Drown out debate?
    Trash truth?
    F*** free speech?

  67. As if that’s not enough, Yasuhiro Iwamura, of Mitsubishi, who gave a talk on low energy nuclear transmutation (so-called “cold fusion”), linked to here:

    http://www.lenr-coldfusion.com/2012/12/09/yasuhiro-iwamura-ans-presentation-lenr-transmutation/

    has reported that Toyota scientists have replicated their results. LENR research has yielded inconsistent results since Pons and Fleischman, so this should be very important.

    I’D LIKE TO SEE ANTHONY REACH OUT A NON-CARBON, FUSION/THORIUM OLIVE BRANCH, IN A LOUD AND SUSTAINED FASHION, TO THE CO2 CATASTROPHIST CROWD, IN LARGE PART TO SEPARATE TRUE BELIEVERS FROM THOSE WHO ARE USING ‘SCIENCE’ TO PURSUE A POLITICAL AGENDA.

    Also, as a matter of national pride (I’m an American), I don’t want to buy thorium reactors from China or India, that we could just as well develop and manufacture, here.

  68. Hey Brad, why don’t you tell us where your income comes from and whether you have received funds from Rockefeller, Soros, Tides, or other NGO’s.

  69. I can see through this charade. Kenji is secretly trying to destroy China’s economy. So he hides behind the world’s most viewed climate web-site and gets his obedient soldier Anthony to leak news of long lost Thorium reactor plans that would generate nearly “free” power. And these plans are available free to the Chinese who spend the next thirty years trying to get these useless things running, slowly ruining their economy in the meantime. All the while the Americans sneak back onto low cost coal and pull even further ahead. Cue the mad laugh…brilliant work Big Coal…

  70. I’ve been following this topic for a while and recently discussed thorium cycle reactors with a friend who is a retired nuclear engineer. He said the basic idea is rock-solid but the tricky part is the engineering: the molten salt medium is incredibly corrosive and they could never find, or even imagine, an engineering solution (in his day). Engineering problems usually get solved though…….

  71. Brad says:
    March 12, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Do you recieve money in any capacity from any oil company or NGO, directly or indirectly? Same for Koch Brothers interests….?

    Reply. [Did you not "read" the first sentence of the thread? "I’m sure now the “Cooked up” conspiracy theory ideation that I’m in the employ of “Big Oil” will get even wilder. The fact is though, I’m not employed by “Big Oil” nor any energy company. I’m not employed by any NGO either." Mod]

    REPLY2: And that goes for Koch, as well as indirect funding as well. Some shared ad revenue with wordpress.com (where WUWT is hosted) along with the tip jar and some prints, calendar and mug sales are it. – Anthony

    Well, then, do you receive any money from medium or light oil? What about baby oil? Has your wife ever used Oil of Olay? Do you have an oil can in your garage filled with oil!?! Do you refer to margarine as oleo?!!!

  72. Thorium is fine, but instead of trying to use its energy (heat and/or electricity) to make diesel out of CO2 it would be much more efficient to just use coal as the source of carbon instead.

    CO2 concentrations of 0.04%, and much of that bound oxygen, compared with coal at 100% carbon…

  73. @Tiburon

    “Seems this tech is pretty close now (though dependant on private funding since it emerged that it was far superior even in theory to Tokamak fusion design) and was cut off by NASA-JPL, DOE, Office of Fusion Energy Sciences in a tale that Prof Eric Lerner relates, that rivals the worst of scientific repression scientists ‘protecting their turf’, ”

    Can you supply details, and/or a link?

    Another example of “protecting turf” was written about at physics.stackexchange.com, by Ron Maimon, the 2nd highest ranked commentator, there. At

    http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/43060/what-are-the-challenges-to-achieving-cold-fusion/

    he said,

    “The money was on the other side— the hot fusion folks were afraid of losing their funding, and said so. At MIT, they held a “death of cold fusion” party before the replication they were conducting was even run! In this video you have this fellow saying “Broadly speaking, it’s dead, and it will remain dead for a long, long time.” The notable part is the “long, long time”. What the heck is that supposed to mean? That all discredited ideas come back? This means “I know it’s real, but I’ll suppress it, because I am jealous of Martin’s immortality.” ”

    In this thread:

    http://forums.randi.org/archive/index.php/t-105871.html

    I noted Bussard’s claims about Dept. of Energy would kil his polyhedral fusion reactor design. (His friends in the Navy told him to not even attempt to get DOE funding.)

  74. zefal says:
    ..
    Well, then, do you receive any money from medium or light oil? What about baby oil? Has your wife ever used Oil of Olay? Do you have an oil can in your garage filled with oil!?! Do you refer to margarine as oleo?!!!
    ——————–
    :)
    We’re going to get to the bottom of this Watts. Have you ever used a coupon to lower the price of an oil change? Have you ever paid reduced admissions to enter a museum to examine oil paintings? Have you or any of your ancestors ever purchased an oil burning lamp at below market prices? Have you or anyone you’ve known ever had a problem with oily skin? Come on Watts, out with it!

  75. Bloke down the pub says: “The only way the ecos would accept thorium power would be if you could convince them that it was made from concentrated sunbeams.”

    That would be ridiculous. Crystals are made from concentrated sunbeams.
    /s

  76. Hey Metamars,
    Yes, I got a link – it’s a youtube clip I referenced in the comment. There’s a roundtable Q&A where a probing question to Prof Eric Lerner leads him to give a very short bio of the entire project, from it’s original backing by JPL (they were MOST interested in the Ion Drive potential, since you can’t put a Tokamak in a rocket ship (have you SEEN the size of the ITER in France?), plus of course totally Aneutronic, which cuts down on at least one aspect of risk in space exploration. I like the 4 weeks thing, pure acceleration out, then flip and brake, and you’re there!
    Anyone, back on point, it’s only 15 min, and the question comes just a couple of minutes in – and Lerner starts from the beginning and brings it to now.
    This man will perhaps be one of the great heroes of Science, as it was meant to be. He’s fought repression, villification and opprobrium for close to 3 decades. All the principles were in place 20 years ago, and today (through private financing, save University space/assistance) he’s likely less than 2 years from a prototype. ESPECIALLY if his work ‘catches a buzz’ and they can get sufficient research funding to ‘multi-task’ some of the peripheral challenges (faster engineered capacitor switches, the ion beam transformer – neither particularly insurmountable, just not done yet; they already have Patent on the x-ray absorbent shielding (thousands of layers of aluminum foil in the little chamber, basically – as I understand it, in turn directing the energy back into the cycle). They’ve also managed (I’m not pretending to understand this) to put a little ‘kick spin’ on the plasmoid, which boosts power output several fold. And they are ALREADY at ignition temperatures, apparently – but still things to tweak and study, the team folk are VERY methodical in their approach; no ‘shortcuts’ or hyperbole.
    Here’s the Q&A you requested: –

  77. @Tiburon
    Could you provide what the fusion reaction is, i.e. the molecules being fused? Know the ratio of energy in to energy out (captured) at this stage of testing?

    For those not familiar with how fusion works, it is the joining of two nuclei (the nucleus of an atom). It takes a tremendous amount of energy to accomplish this fusing, but the process releases a lot of energy in the form of alpha and/or beta particles, and electromagnetic radiation in the form of gamma, x-ray and a bunch more of the spectrum. Depending on the nuclei being fused, neutrons may be released. We have lots of ways of capturing these types of energy and our present day nuclear reactors are a good example of how we capture this energy. The sun is a fusion reactor and look at how much energy we capture from the little tiny window of exposure we get.

  78. Joe Public says: “Do you receive any government grants to carry out research?”
    Anthony – REPLY: “Nope, never even applied for one”

    Come on Anthony, we have all been told, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Thus, you must be hauling in those big-buck govy grants, forcing humble Hansen and maligned Mann to scrimp and scrape, their way through their toils…

    /Massive Sarc

  79. Anthony,

    There is solace in watching them froth at the mouth and spew lies.. It means that they have lost and their last ditch effort to discredit you is here.. Be calm and watch the clowns flail all over.. The circus has come to town and the public knows where to go see fools…

  80. I’m willing to make a friendly wager with Anthony (or anyone else for that matter) that LENR in the form of the device/technology developed by Andrea Rossi (the Nickel/Hydrogen LENR device) makes a commercial success of itself BEFORE the first ‘test’ output energy (I was going to say “Watt”) ever “hits the grid” from an LFTR reactor … shall we set 3 year time limit? Or 5 even, since Rossi has a head start on actually selling units, having received safety certification from EU authorities for industrial-use even.

    The strong, wrong-headed refusal to EVEN look at test-results over the years in the LENR/LANR field is a *perfect* exemplification of the age-old operating premise of mankind: “new ideas take root not on their merit but rather as the old, entrenched guard die off” * … you’ve all had a front row seat on this site with regard to CAGW “climate science” folk who are unwilling to even acknowledge that skeptics have merit in their argument, merit in their data analysis, or any validity on the myriad of points used to challenge the propositions set forth by the well-funded (by governments), entrenched CAGW crowd.

    If anyone thinks the world exists solely as you learned/were instructed (taught) in HS or college (just a few years back even), many, many are going to find out they were sorely mistaken.

    .

    * I might add: there is one other way, wherein some entrepreneur, with a vision so sharp and resolve so firm can by sheer force of will bring developed product to market … Can you say ‘Apple’? Never mind having to dot all the “i’s” or cross all the “t’s” and provide all the ‘required’ proofs demanded-of by an unconsulted peanut gallery concerned only with their own view, or ‘position’ on the laws of nature … the ultimate proof is in the operation of the device regardless of what contrary thoughts may be held in the cranium of mere mortal ‘man’ (literally: “mankind”). After all, one need not understand the complexities of fuel and oxidizer ‘combustion’ to make use of ‘fire’; better use of one’s time in that endeavor can be made in tinder selection and knowing what/how certain woods burn for the intended purpose.

    .

  81. I flat-out do not understand why we have ignored throium. Good for China for realizing an opportunity.

  82. Hey Leg
    OK, again, I’ll emphasize I’m a total tyro in all this – really zero hard sciences background scholastically ( I CAN, I guess, hold my own in discussion of politics, sociology and comparative religion, but…so what!) – Here’s what I know and for the real skinny I’d direct you to the The Focus Fusion Society at http://www.focusfusion.org , where some very hardworking volunteers have put together some clear explanations of the processi for the layman.

    Apparently, when one ‘cracks’ (fuses then ‘they explode’) certain isotopes of hydrogen, like deuterium and tritium, one gets a pretty dangerous emission of neutrons which as I understand can then irradiate other things and ‘turn them radioactive’. If that makes any sense, but don’t quote me.

    What the Fo-Fu folks are doing is working with pB11, proton Boron and hydrogen (it would be as a gas in the ignition chamber, which even now could theoretically fit on a two-ton truck) it, to quote from a nice blurb with pictures on the site: – “When a boron-11 nucleus fuses with a hydrogen nucleus – the result is three helium nuclei (aka “alpha particles”) and energy, but no radioactive waste.”

    Actually, if the chamber was destroyed catastrophically, like if an ion powered plane crashed, the wreckage WOULD be radioactive, for about 20 minutes. Other than that though, the beryllium electrodes (the anode(?)) would have to be replaced only once a month, a servicing/maintenance procedure, 9 hours to cool down and then the Cable Guy could do it.
    The beryllium would be recycled for use again, the issue is due to very high temperatures (as at about 100 Million degrees C they’ll wear out pretty quick). There’s a few other issues too, like getting rid of the waste heat. However, as Lerner points out in one of this discussions, as their ‘ideal’ initial production model would be about 5 megawat (about 1000 homes, a neighbourhood), it could almost be simply vented to atmosphere, but in larger arrays (like aluminum production where one might have 20 units running) one would likely require the same capital cost for cooling as in conventional power plants – ie water cooling with it’s attendant challenges, environmental mostly. They want to solve those issues somehow, more elegantly – it’s more engineering than anything else though, not a physics puzzle.
    The small size of individual power units is great, for energy security, and less need for transmission infrastructure, just distribution lines, relatively cheap.

    In space it’s another question, because as he explains, cooling can only take place by radiation in ‘vacuum’, but there’s some interesting thoughts ‘afoot’ in that area too – like having a controlled curtain of ‘particle-sized’ water coming down the side of the spacecraft, and being recovered – which would give you the necessary radiative surface…

    Anywaze, Aneutronic Fusion processes, compared with the conventional neutronic fusion processes, nice simple (for which I’m grateful) diagrams, can be found here: –

    http://focusfusion.org/index.php/site/category/C63

    Enjoy!

  83. @ Leg
    oh, regards ‘efficiency’, apparently it looks like about 40% but that’s without the cooling issues, if I understand. Some of that is of course ‘well-understood physics’ – they have the necessary temps but haven’t yet moved to pB11 in testing, but are using deuterium for now, initially, to solve many other related questions as prelude.
    They’re working with the private firm Lawrenceville Plasma Physics and this is timeline description of the the LPPX (Experiment) process and discussion: –

    http://focusfusion.org/index.php/site/category/C30

    Prof Lerner is, btw, fully supportive of all advances in the Fusion field, and articulates the importance of advancing many models in order to ‘do the science’ and arrive at the best. It’s just that it’s appearing his team is way out in front, and accelerating (if it’s not cut down by the PTB, that is)

  84. Leg says March 12, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    For those not familiar with how fusion works, it is the joining of two nuclei (the nucleus of an atom). It takes a tremendous amount of energy to accomplish this fusing, but the process releases a lot of energy in the form of alpha and/or beta particles, and electromagnetic radiation in the form of gamma, x-ray and a bunch more of the spectrum. …

    (The above is an exemplification of what I was high-lighting or pointing out in my previous post , no offense to Leg. <grin>)

    Leg, can I challenge you to ‘repeat’ the above after having viewed just the first three videos of the on-line 101 IAP course by Dr. Peterhagelstein of MIT as linked below? willing to bet here (on my part) that this is new information e.g. the loading of a Palladium crystal lattice with D, the repeated appearance of elements thought only possible via ‘fusion’ processes, yet little to no alpha, beta, gamma, x-rays …

    1 Cold Fusion 101 Dr. Peter Hagelstein at MIT 01/22/2013 (Day 1 Part 1)

    2 Cold Fusion 101 Dr. Peter Hagelstein at MIT 01/22/2013 (Day 1 Part 2)

    3 Cold Fusion 101 Dr. Peter Hagelstein at MIT 01/22/2013 (Day 1 Part 3)

    .

  85. Important; correction to last comment – the FocusFusion folks are NOT using deuterium! for their testing now (I don’t think! – ) Reminds me to keep my mouth shut when I get out of my depth, which I try to do. Here’s a short video of one of their recent (2010) ‘shots’ where I think they mention what they’re using, some sort of non-flammable gas? There’s been some talk of using another boron based gas, decaborane or octaborane before going to pB11 but in any case for more info pls follow the links to the papers and status today…

  86. @Tiburon Thanks very much. Will take a look, later on this week.
    I’ve met Eric, and we chatted about last summer. At the time, what he described to me as their #1 challenge sounded like a problem in materials science, not physics.

    I’ve also met Alvin Marks, who held (and probably still holds) the record for total number of patents. (Well, I guess he couldn’t beat out Edison, so maybe he had the most of any living inventor, while he was alive.) He died with something like 120 patents to his name.

    He spent a good chunk of his later years trying to develop solar technology, which was supposed to get 80% efficiency, not the piddling 20+% they’re still getting, after all these years. From speaking to his ex-wife, a Mrs. Aitken who was still involved with Marks’ endeavors, they WERE opposed by an evil oil man. Armand Hammer.

    Marks’ brother’s chauffer was killed, a plant they had was burned to the ground, Mr. Aitken was beaten to a pulp in Europe, and died within, I think, a couple of years. Hammer seemed to known more about some of these events than he ‘should’ have, and seemed a little amused, when Mrs. Aitken spoke with him at a party thrown by the Kennedys. (Yes, those Kennedys).

    Although I don’t think there’s any connection between Al Gore’s CO2 fixation and Armand Hammer, IIRC, the Gore family fortune came from Hammer’s oil dealings. I find Gore, McKibben, Hansen, et. al,, curiously uninterested or unaware of fusion, thorium reactors, and even the suppression of geniuses like Alvin Marks who could have made solar energy much more practical.

    I hope Eric gets the support he deserves. To frustrate a genius like Alvin Marks was a crime.

  87. triple correction. they DO use deuterium, for now. pB11 later. I’ll now shut up and let physics majors take over, ‘K?

  88. “Tiburon says: March 12, 2013 at 3:26 pm OK, I can’t resist –”

    You sound like someone I could go for a coffee with and talk for hours to about energy. There is just so much out there these days that seems so close. The FocusFusion, Dr Brussard’s work, Z-Machine and so many other fusion developments are just so cool to read and think about.

    Even if LFTR doesn’t work out or gets leap frogged technologically it is still way better than our current reactors. I’m curious about the liquid fluoride confinement. It is very corrosive but they did run a test reactor in the 1960s for 5 years (no electricity, just measurements). What did they use to confine it for 5 years?

    ” _Jim says: March 12, 2013 at 6:50 pm
    I’m willing to make a friendly wager with Anthony (or anyone else for that matter) that LENR in the form of the device/technology developed by Andrea Rossi ”

    I wouldn’t bet against it but I don’t think Rossi has the best understanding of what is going on. Nor do I think he will be first to market. There are several competing theories that I’ve tracked over the years. Dr Mills “hydrino” theory (blacklightpower.com), Mark L. LeClair’s “cavitation” (nanospireinc.com), Robert E. Godes “Quantum Fusion” (brillouinenergy.com) and some others.

    Brillouin have way smoother heat output than Rossi for instance. The big heat spikes you see in Rossi’s (or other CF) are not there. Instead they can turn up and down the heat in a very controlled fashion.

    I personally lean towards the “cavitation” explanation from NanoSpire because it doesn’t require any lower electron orbits (blacklightpower). Perhaps it is just that their explanation of what they think is going on is easier for me to understand. I like you don’t have a science degree but love reading up on these things. Fun times.

  89. TRM says March 12, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    I wouldn’t bet against it but I don’t think Rossi has the best understanding of what is going on. Nor do I think he will be first to market. There are several competing theories that I’ve tracked over the years. Dr Mills “hydrino” theory (blacklightpower.com), Mark L. LeClair’s “cavitation” (nanospireinc.com), Robert E. Godes “Quantum Fusion” (brillouinenergy.com) and some others.

    Aside from George Miley, who is showing off hardware? Rossi has shown results, at least to his customers, and since his work is done with his own funding we (the public, the peanut gallery) don’t count for squat …

    Citing a prev post of mine here on this thread: ” one need not understand the complexities of fuel and oxidizer ‘combustion’ to make use of ‘fire’ “.

    .

  90. @ metamars.
    Wow, what a horrible tale – but unfortunately very believable. The older I get the more I seem to get wind of how deep the ‘rabbit hole’ goes with the graft, corruption and double-dealing. I’ve had projects and proposals ( incl. confidential biz plans) stolen from my group by government funding groups and given to cronies, and shady characters chase (and beat me up, though mildly) over other projects (natural food products, of all things!) – so I’ve learned to be a little more guarded in regards who and how I talk about stuff, personally.
    It’s unfortunate, I guess, because however naive I’ve always operated under the assumption that everyone is ‘inherently good’, and that good ideas should be shared far and wide for them to grow and blossom. Doesn’t always work that way, and the devil remains in the details on all levels.
    I’ve a solar thing I’ve been working with some folks on for two decades now, which still I believe carries merit, {unbelievably}. Stupid simple, home heating and electricity production, off-the-shelf technology and physics that go back to the Romans and that even I can understand. Waiting still for that ‘magic’ dynamic of a team/finance to do a working prototype, maybe in greenhouse model, maybe residential home model, but the initial calculations seem to show full ‘off-grid’ operation, solar source only, heat, light, pumps, the works, up to about 55 degrees latitude winters w/zero supplemental, reversible in desert heat conditions. I think no one has done it because only control systems could be deemed proprietory/patentable, and it’s affordable for dirt poor farmers and the lower middle-class.
    We shall see. Have a good night, and good ‘chatting’ with you.

  91. Come on Anthony. We know that you own several mansions which you have built by the coast which you claim is about to flood and which have massive heated swimming pools. We know that you fly around on private jets giving off that toxic poison CO2.

    Oh, wait a minute, I don’t think that was you after all. Now who is it that lives that way? Can anybody guess? You know, it’s that chap with no vested interests who also owns massive stakes in Carbon Trading Exchanges.

  92. “…The fact is though, I’m not employed by “Big Oil” nor any energy company. I’m not employed by any NGO either…”

    And never got arrested for trespassing in front of the White house, never admitted to wire fraud, never knowingly used upside-down data in a peer reviewed paper, never had a career as a cartoonist or author, never failed in a bid for President; just think, if all they’ve “got” on you is a supposed tie to big oil, then they’ve got to try harder.

  93. A century ago Standard Oil, the company of John D. Rockafeller, was broken up after being accused of ripping off customers where they had a monopoly, and unfairly destroying competitors with secret agreements discriminating against them.

    Today we have shrill NGO’s and environmental lobby-groups who have decided that the faults lie with the customers for wanting and needing to buy it, and with the oil itself, not just ‘Big oil’, but small and medium oil too.
    The logic escapes me.

  94. My understanding is that funding to develop molten-salt reactors (MSR) based on the thorium cycle would be forthcoming from private venture capitalists if the NRC (Nuclear ReductionRegulatory Commission) and government did not impose such huge penalties for reactors. Almost regardless of reactor size, the licence to build and operate costs millions every year.

    The strength of the thorium MSR is that its optimum size is “small”; in the hundreds of megawatts (~[200;500] MW), making it commercially viable to diffuse the supply grid from a small number of very large plants, to one of more medium-sized plants placed closer to the consumers of the energy; reducing grid costs and transmission losses. The size is also similar to that of “boilers” in conventional power plants, allowing MSR to progressively replace coal/oil/gas in existing plants.

    But if current policies, via the NRC and other channels, imposes disadvantage, commercial backing will be lacking, even with subsidies from government. Taxpayer-funded subsidies which offset penalties imposed for political purposes.

    It is better for the people to instruct their government to do less than to ask the government to do more.

  95. Some of us old retired folks have a few bucks in large index stock funds. Thus, we get regular checks from big oil, little oil, large coal, tall soft drink makers, and makers of curly fries, and . . .
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    @ davidxn, Peter, & Doug

    It’s a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.
    [Andrew Johnson]
    ———————————

    @jorgekafkazar says:
    March 12, 2013 at 5:38 pm
    “That would be ridiculous. Crystals are made from concentrated sunbeams.”

    Those would be Dilithium crystals in a starship’s warp drive?

  96. Brad says:
    March 12, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Do you receive money in any capacity from any oil company or NGO, directly or indirectly? Same for Koch Brothers interests….?

    Brad, tut, tut. You seem to be new to the BIG OIL / fossil fuel funding argument. Let me assist you to get up to speed. Here are just a few references to get you going.

    See:
    here (Climate scientists try to get big oil funding in leaked emails)
    here (CRU received funding from BP & Shell)
    here (Pachauri set up residual crude oil extraction company)
    here (Stanford climate research pledged $100 million from Exxon)
    here (Green group Sierra Club took $26 million from gas industry)
    here (Al Gore pocketed $100,000,000 from BIG OIL backed Al Jazeera)

    Further reading:
    Big Oil Money for Me, But Not for Thee
    compare & contrast funding

  97. There seems to be a lot of people here who have difficulties separating fluorides and fluorine. Fluorides are moderately corrosive and slightly toxic salts. Fluorine is an extremely corrosive and toxic gas. Molten fluorides have been handled on an industrial scale for a long time, without any particular problems.
    Ordinary table salt (natrium chloride) vs. chlorine is a analogous case.

  98. Many respondents here talk of fusion. Don’t! It’s vapourware.
    .
    LFTR’s are not a scientific problem. They are merely a re-engineering one.
    .
    The only reason they dropped the better nuclear system with a plentiful energy resource which scales down quite nicely was for a single political reason: Thorium reactors cannot produce the bomb. So basically the politics behind nuclear going the wrong way was based on death and murder and resulted in huge taxation and engineering issues. Just like this globull warming scandal.

    Others here have spoken against the LFTR’s remaining residuals which simply does not exist on the scale of the latest dry reactors. The notion that the latter “just burn about everything up” is pure propaganda because LFTR’s run a higher temperature and a lower pressure. LFTR’s do that and well.
    .
    Lastly, the LFTR is the only truly high power, viable lightweight power option for long distance, deep space travel for humans and certainly the only truly viable option for a moon base which will be in darkness two weeks of the month.

  99. A fFar more effective way to use thorium is to reactivate the PACER programm. It will cost about 3 billion US$. A short explanation of the PACER-Programm: You make hole in salt-dome 1 km under the surface with a diameter of 200 m. Fill the hole with water-vapor of 200 bar and 500 °C. Igniting a fusion-bomb of liquid deuterium with 20 kt and a mantle of thorium. You have to do this 5 times a day. You can harness the energy of the explosion and the U233 is bred without the built up of U232 with its high Gamma – activity of its daughter -products.

  100. I am sold on LFTRs. Safe, and current nuclear waste can be used to initialize them. Industry hates them because monies made from fuel rod replacement is not there, no fuel rods and cheap plentiful fuel, relative to PWRs etc.

  101. For those debating the Thorium reatcors see here:

    http://www.thoriumpowercanada.com/technology/the-projects/

    Interesting link I think…

    Our planned 10 MW thorium reactor located in Copiapó, Chile consists of a core and reactor manufactured by DBI Operating Company in California. The balance of plant, including all buildings and required infrastructure will be constructed on site.

    It is estimated that the TPC Thorium Reactor will provide enough power to produce 20 million litres per day at the desalination plant. This is the equivalent amount that would power 3500 homes.

    An application for condition approval to build a demonstration reactor has been submitted to the Chilean Government.

  102. Again, the usual progressive double-thinkspeak about funding. Who gives a flying frack about private funding, oil or otherwise? That’s between those two parties. PUBLIC funding is what the public is concerned about.

  103. Read the interview.
    Nice job, Anthony.
    Common sense, balance and a wide range of topics is why I visit this site.
    This is where intelligent conversation happens.
    cn

  104. Andyj says:
    Many respondents here talk of fusion. Don’t! It’s vapourware.

    Err, I don’t know – Looks pretty real to me …

  105. ” _Jim says:March 12, 2013 at 8:21 pm
    Citing a prev post of mine here on this thread: ” one need not understand the complexities of fuel and oxidizer ‘combustion’ to make use of ‘fire’ “. ”

    True but it sure helps you optimize the process and get the most out of it.

  106. There’s a Dutch saying that: the host of an inn views his guests in his own image. If he’s an honest decent bloke he will assume that his guests are too, if he’s himself dishonnest, he will view them with distrust.

    The fact that the warmists continually repeat the mantra of the skeptic being in the pay of “big energy” simply reflects a mindset in which their own dependency on NGO’s or the public purse is the natural state of affairs and they therefore can’t understand the concept of a truely independent position.

    Pathetic, really.

  107. arthur4563 says:
    March 12, 2013 at 11:41 am
    Thorium’s a possibility – it even has its own website, which I visit from now and then.
    But fast reactors (Generation IV reactors) are the far closer reality and every bit as safe as a Thorium reactor, and has the added ability to burn up all our nuclear waste, which I might add,contains enough residual energy to provide all the energy this country needs for the next 1000 years. Russia’s world class nuclear company has already deployed fast rectors and
    they are due for widespread commercialization probably in the next 5 to 7 years. If Thorium
    reactors prove more cost-effective they will prevail, otherwise it looks to me like fast reactors will, along with water reactors are the future. I have no bets one way or the other.

    Speaking of nuclear waste, we have absolutely no plan to deal with it. Other countries recycle, reuse and reprocess their nuclear waste; afterwards, the amount of waste you have to deal with may be only 10% of what you started with (sorry, I don’t have time for attribution on that).

    If there’s one thing we should emulate France on, maybe it’s nuclear power.

  108. G. E. Pease says:
    March 13, 2013 at 10:56 am
    In the process of trying to examine many pros and cons on thorium reactors, I noticed that this piece contains a particularly large number of asserted cons:

    http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/environment/dont-believe-thorium-nuclear-reactor-hype/

    The article (and I use the term loosely) is heavy on references to a variety of “no nukes ever!” web sites, at least one authored by Oliver Tickell who may be best known as the author of Kyoto2. There is much declamation and little information.

  109. It is important to realize that there are two very different topics being mixed when folks talk about “Thorium Reactors”. One is a “Molten Salt Reactor” and the other is using Thorium as fuel.

    The two are separate.

    They only get mixed if you want them to be mixed.

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/nuclear-reactor-types/

    So we can run Thorium, now, in our existing reactors if we wished. A small company has worked out the fuel pins to do it. Also, as noted above, the CANDU reactor works on Thorium, as does the Indian “knock off” of the CANDU.

    You can even run mixed fuel beds of Thorium and Uranium and MOX (Pu / U )

    So we can start the whole “develop a thorium fuel infrastructure” process now, if we wanted to do so. Mining (by product “waste” of “rare earth mining” at present) and fuel fabrication. Certification trials, etc. Then, whenever desired or complete, start running MSR types with Thorium in them.

    We’ve already made Thorium “go”.

    BORAX-IV, built in 1956, explored the thorium fuel cycle and uranium-233 fuel with a power of 20 MW thermal. This experiment utilized fuel plates that were purposely full of defects in order to explore long-term plant operation with damaged fuel plates

    Note that U-233 is what is produced from Th when it gets irradiated.

    I must lead this section with my favorite reactor design. The CANDU. This Canadian design is, IMHO, just stellar. The US designs of the era are compromised by the US Government’s demand for ever more proliferation resistance, even if that meant kludgy designs The CANDU was made to use natural uranium (so no first step enrichment needed to be in the nuclear business) and have active refueling while on line (so easier and in many ways safer operation as the whole core does not need to be shut down and opened). It is also flexible enough in the use of moderator and absorber plates that the fuel used is highly flexible. From U to MOX (mixed oxide with U and Pu) to Thorium.

    Fuel cycles the CANDU can use (nice drawing):

    This Indian reactor uses U-233 metal bred from Thorium in other reactors.

    KAMINI (Kalpakkam Mini reactor) is a research reactor at Indira Gandhi Center for Atomic Research in Kalpakkam, India. Its first criticality was on October 29, 1996. It produces 30 kW of thermal energy at full power.

    KAMINI is light water cooled and moderated, and fueled with uranium-233 metal produced by the irradiation of thorium in other reactors.

    So there are several and sundry ways of using Thorium even in our present reactor fleet.

    As a distinct issue, there are Molten Salt Reactors that may use Thorium, or can use other fuels.

    Oh, and we can use MSR to get “process heat” for turning coal (or trash or…) into Diesel fuels and gasoline if we so desired:

    There are also the Very High Temperature Reactors that have an outlet temp of up to 1000 C and are the reactor I usually talk about in the context of making nuclear “process heat” for cheap “Coal To Liquids” facilities.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Very_high_temperature_reactor

    That includes a liquid salt cooled variation as well, the LS-HTGCR

    The molten salt cooled variant, the LS-VHTR, similar to the advanced high temperature reactor (AHTR) design, uses a liquid fluoride salt for cooling in a pebble core. It shares many features with a standard VHTR design, but uses molten salt as a coolant instead of helium. The pebble fuel floats in the salt, and thus pebbles are injected into the coolant flow to be carried to the bottom of the pebble bed, and are removed from the top of the bed for recirculation. The LS-VHTR has many attractive features, including: the ability to work at high temperatures (the boiling point of most molten salts being considered are >1,400°C), low pressure operation, high power density, better electric conversion efficiency than a helium-cooled VHTR operating at similar conditions, passive safety systems, and better retention of fission products in case an accident occurred.

    Note that this does NOT say “Thorium”. It can be, or it can be other fuels.

    The simple fact is that we can use Thorium any time we want and we can proceed with MSR design and testing any time we want and we can mix those two, or not.

    I looked at some of the more recent efforts here:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/thorium-china-india-piigs-demographics/

    that shows how various countries and consortia are shifting positions. (Along with looking at some demographic connections).

    So we have made “MSR” in the past. We can make them again. We have used Thorium fuel in the past, it is being used now in India (as they have lots of Thorium).

    It just isn’t all that much of a Brave New World so much as knocking the dust off the old world and sprucing it up some. In fact, the first full scale commercial reactor used it:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shippingport_Atomic_Power_Station

    The Shippingport Atomic Power Station was the world’s first full-scale atomic electric power plant devoted exclusively to peacetime uses.[notes 1][notes 2][2] It was located near the present-day Beaver Valley Nuclear Generating Station on the Ohio River in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, USA, about 25 miles (40 km) from Pittsburgh.

    The reactor reached criticality on December 2, 1957, and remained in operation until October 1982. The first electrical power was produced on December 18, 1957 as engineers synchronized the plant with the distribution grid of Duquesne Light Company.

    Shippingport was created and operated under the auspices of Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, whose authority included a substantial role within the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). Its design team was headed by Alvin Radkowsky.

    Its final core was an experimental, light water moderated, thermal breeder reactor and is notable for its ability to transmute (inexpensive) Thorium 232 to Uranium 233 (the latter being the fissile material that fueled the reaction within the reactor core). The reactor was capable of an output of 60 MWe. The reactor was designed with two uses in mind: for powering military ships, and serving as a prototype for commercial electrical power generation. In 1977, it was converted to a Pressurized Light-Water Breeder Reactor (PLWBR). Over its 25-year life, the power plant operated for about 80,324 hours, producing about 7.4 billion kilowatt hours of electricity.

    So many folks have already consumed electricity from Thorium.

  110. Dr. David Leblanc points out that thorium is primarily a source of uranium (U233) via protactinium. Thorium, by itself, is not a fuel! The only reason that I can see for developing the proposed uranium-breeding, thorium reactors, would be a lack of natural uranium. All the advantages often quoted for liquid fueled (uranium-breeding) thorium reactors seem to also apply to basic Liquid Fueled Uranium Reactors. It would seem that the higher efficiency of liquid (molten salt) fueled reactors would greatly extend the availability of natural uranium, because today’s high-pressure, solid fuel reactors only burn a small percentage of their fuel before the fuel-rods become too contaminated with fissile waste products for continued use. Liquid fueled reactors appear to be self-cleaning.

    David LeBlanc – Molten Salt Reactor Designs, Options & Outlook @ TEAC4
    Likes 44, Dislikes 0; Views 3541; 19 min, 46 sec
    ” Published on Jul 20, 2012
    “Canadian David LeBlanc describes the benefits of liquid fuel Molten Salt Reactors over solid fuel reactors, emphasizing reactor design over any relative advantages of thorium or uranium.

    “‘Come for the thorium, stay for the reactor!’”

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