Day By Day

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Green Nukes!

A very cool article on the coming use of thorium as a fission fuel for reactors. The greens don't want us to build more hydro power, we can't burn fossil fuels, we can't burn waste, can't build solar or wind right there because that spot is special and we can't have nukes because of 3 mile island and Chernobyl; yet something has to give in order to sustain our technological civilization. This looks like a really good choice to me and despite my rejection of CO2 as the driving force in so-called climate change I'm all in favor of reducing emissions as soon as technology permits. Here's an interesting summary albeit with a bit of condemnation for Hiram Rickover
In 1965, Weinberg and his team built a working reactor, one that suspended the byproducts of thorium in a molten salt bath, 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, de facto 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.
 That seems a bit quaint to me, I'm sure Admiral Rickover was not a fan of thorium (and it'd be better if the author was astute enough to spell his name correctly) but I suspect there were far more people than just the Admiral who wanted that plutonium for weapons.

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