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The Forum > Article Comments > Australia's contribution to nuclear proliferation risks > Comments

Australia's contribution to nuclear proliferation risks : Comments

By Bridget Mitchell and Jim Green, published 6/9/2017

Instead, Australia has fallen into the trap of bending over backwards to support its allies on an international scale.

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As I've explained a dozen times, Fertile material (thorium) can't be compressed to produce a thermonuclear explosion! Whereas fissile material like enriched uranium and plutonium can.

We who invented pulsed laser light enrichment ought to deploy that technology to enrich our exports to power production grade only! And enter into long term contracts to take it back when they've finished extracting the energy it gives up in conventional reactors, for a suitable fee!

Molten fluoride salt is a very poor receptor of neutrons, meaning. The possibility it could transfer them elsewhere is very remote. Therefore, decommissioning a molten salt reactor is never ever going to be as problematic as radioactively hot oxide reactors etc.

A walk away safe molten salt thorium reactor, operates well below the boiling point of molten salt! Meaning two things, an ability to extract the medical isotopes from an operational reactor on the fly and add the waste to be burned or unburned. Furthermore, produce enough heat to lend itself to the catalytic cracking of the water molecule, to produce humongous and extremely cheap hydrogen, which can then be piped almost without loss to where the consumer is, then converted to electrical energy via locally invented, ceramic fuel cells.

Currently, transmission line losses can be high as 30%? With the average being a reported 11%! However, distribution losses can be as much as 64%?

And due to the resistance in millions of miles of wires and voltage altering transformers some in step down transformer stations, others on poles, that supply a few individual houses.

Just this difference could quarter prices and before we calculate how much cheaper wholesale distribution will be! A 1 cent PKH is feasible as publicly supplied, ceramic cell distributed wholesale/industrial power!

And with a safely buried system with few if any moving parts to wear out or needing to be maintained!
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Wednesday, 6 September 2017 2:40:23 PM
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A footnote: Given molten fluoride salt doesn't boil until around 1200C and given the preferred FUJI maximum operating temp, is listed as around 950C!

It therefore follows, no expensive containment vessel need be built to contain a steam explosion. Particularly, when the preferred cooling/heat transferring medium is also fluoride salt, not water, per se.

This means, with mass production, the build is going to be significantly lower than any comparative coal fired power station.

A drainage pipe at the bottom of the reactor is kept cool by the flow of air blown over it. causing the salt there to crystallize and form a plug.

If the power is for any reason whatsoever, terminated. This flow of air automatically stops and the inherent heat, melts the salt plug, and allows the entire contents of the reactor to drain into a purpose built containment vessel, where there is never ever enough concentrated mass to support a reaction!

Meaning the salt cools then crystallizes. And would still do so, if the operators were home in bed or deceased as a result of some disaster.

That said, if they are located underground, they are less easy to spot or become targets of choice. Coal fired power stations with the mountains of coal just don't lend themselves very easily, to that option!
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Wednesday, 6 September 2017 3:03:10 PM
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As all people who never left their 18-year-old-leftist-uni-kids brains know.

If we're nice and export no uranium. North Korea's

- Kim Jong-un will go away

- and China will do what we say
Posted by plantagenet, Wednesday, 6 September 2017 4:09:32 PM
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One of the mysteries of Australian political life is why so many loopy left extremists come from Victoria.

My theory is that the entire state was contaminated by Socialist Left dogma when Baghdad Bill Hartley, George Crawford and Bill Brown, but I'm conscious that the Maoist, Trotskyite and other left extremism in Victoria go back long before that.

It's amusing that Mitchell and Green seem to think anybody would take them seriously.
Posted by calwest, Wednesday, 6 September 2017 5:49:54 PM
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Alan
Do you have costing on catalytic cracking of water ? .75c kg?
Cheap and clean: Australian company creates hydrogen with near ...
https://www.theguardian.com Environment Electric, hybrid and low-emission cars
Jul 21, 2016 - .. Methane cracking made viable with iron ore. Our goal is to be halving or more than halving the cost [of hydrogen production], so taking it to $0.75 per kilogram.
Posted by nicknamenick, Wednesday, 6 September 2017 8:06:40 PM
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After all but eliminating costly transmission and line losses, Is there another reason to create massive hydrogen gas as outlied?

Well yes, one being an ability to store excess production and use it when the intermittent power provided by much more expensive renewables, takes a holiday!

And the fact that hydrogen is a lighter than air gas, that'll climb uphill without the need of energy consuming pumps, just strategically located expansion chambers.

Finally, we might have to spend over 24 billion to do reactors pipeline now?

Or for the diabolical dithers, or those with a hidden agenda? e.g.,Investments in coal/coal fired assets? One decade of business as usual blame shifting, obfuscation or prevarication, will see those costs literally doubled.

Spending this money now, on essential infrastructure could resuscitate near dead manufacturing sector/quite massively grow the economy!?

It's time to grasp the nettle! As always, grabbing it quickly and firmly. eliminates even the possibility of pain.

And in our case, literally halves the necessary and unavoidable outlays another decade of dithering will create!

Just get it done minus all the (yes, but well, well, but, but, you see, we're technology agnostic) BS, that private enterprise can do it cheaper/better?

Maybe, but not monolithic oligarchs, ripping us off for all they're worth/destroying our economy/goose that laid the golden egg as they do! And the sole stinking to high heaven, reason. where we are today!

Alternatively, create/enable employee owned co-ops and give them a crack at proving they're the cheapest most efficient option/one that pays all its relevant tax, while ensuring all after tax profits remain in our own economy!

Where every one retained dollar, does the work of several, all while adding massive impetus to our own economy! Economists refer to it as the usual flow on factors.

Only Ideological idiots, welded exclusively to ideological imperatives, would argue otherwise! Incidentally, unburn in previous post should read reburn.

I seem to be getting uninvited spelling assistance? Not all of it helpful!
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Wednesday, 6 September 2017 8:37:47 PM
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