>>7765480 >Why don't we have Thorium reactors yet?
No one wants to make the fuel infrastructure development effort without a full understanding of thorium's nuclear fuel cycle, and assurance that any reactor using it would actually be profitable through the end of its life cycle.
>>7765480 Two reasons - thorium reactors are too clean, they don't produce weapons grade plutonium as a bye-product which is where the real profit is (iirc david susuki gave a lecture about the inefficiency of uranium reactors some years ago?) and (again, iirc) something about them requiring liquid sodium which is next to impossible to plumb, because that shit eats through everything (or maybe liquid floride? i dunno, I don't know shit about chemistry). Something about a thorium reactor built in Scotland in the 50's that had these problems. Source: asked my dad about it a couple of years ago, he was involved in building nuclear reactors back in the 50's (PHd ChemEng). I didn't into academia so a lot of what he explained is over my head. But also, hydrogen fuel cells; really bad idea again because plumbing - at some point you have to separate the hydrogen and some will escape the system and leave the planet and ultimately we'll have no hydrogen left and therefore no water and therefore no life. At least, that's what I understood from what he told me.
>>7765480 Because they are shit. You can either run them in normal mode which wont produce weaponizable fission products but does produce loads of extremely high energy gamma rays, lethal to man and machine alike, or you can run them in "safe" mode that avoids the gamma problem but then produces weaponizable fission products.
Whats the point. Normal reactors are safe enough as it is, and they produce plutonium so if you are going to end up with a bomb anyways, might as well end up with a good one.
>>7765480 Lack of capital. The base principles are well understood, and functional small scale reactors have been created and tested. The design would have to be updated and scaled up considerably which would take some time, the supply chain of refined fuel and waste management would also have to be sorted out. If the president said "Hey, lets make this thorium thing work" and congress approved the spending then we could have a reactor in probably 10 years give or take. The issue is that nuclear has a bad rap, and no one in the US wants to front the money for it.
Though China and India ave both begun heavily investing in it. China even started testing buses that run on dimethyl ether, a replacement fuel for diesel, and its one of the byproducts of a LFTR. A couple other countries have build some thorium test beds as well.
>>7765602 I'm willing to listen to what you say. Like I said, I don't know shit. Thorium reactors do produce weapons grade plutonium? you can plumb for liquid sodium/flouride/is it needed? Isolating hydrogen from other molecules won't allow it to escape the atmosphere and leave the earth a desolate mars-like rock? The plumbing isn't a problem? Genuinely interested, not withstanding 'what my dad did back in the day', since neither of us can prove that.
>>7765635 >Thorium reactors do produce weapons grade plutonium?
>you can plumb for liquid sodium/flouride/is it needed?
It's only needed if the reactor design calls for it. And it's wholly self contained. There is no genuine need for complex plumbing (for molten sodium cooled thorium reactors, outside water and pressure lines feeding hot water to condensers, etc).
>Isolating hydrogen from other molecules won't allow it to escape the atmosphere and leave the earth a desolate mars-like rock?
We've been separating hydrogen for years. And this planet isn't turning into, nor will it ever become, a "desolate mars-like rock". The process of containing hydrogen is somewhat convoluted, albeit effective. We burn more hydrogen gas (and various hydrocarbon compounds) daily when distilling/refining/drilling crude oil.
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