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The Forum > Article Comments > Seasonís greetings Tuvalu, and thank you Mr Kelly > Comments

Seasonís greetings Tuvalu, and thank you Mr Kelly : Comments

By Jennifer Marohasy, published 28/12/2018

A recent article at the ABC news website correctly explained that in the four decades to 2014, Tuvalu has actually grown by 73 hectares.

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You want fair electricity prices, Jenny? How about 2 cents or less per KwH retail? And from the profit orientated private sector?

No not hydro, we just don't have rivers with enough flow, nor the requisite reliable rainfall.

Why, our combined river flows hardly match that of the Fly river in our nearest northern neighbour PNG!

Thorium is the most energy material on the planet! And four times more abundant than uranium! Common as lead and not more expensive. And given a half life of around 15 billion years, (longer than the expected life of the universe) something we will never run out of!

Easily found with side-looking radar from aerial geophysical surveys.

Carbon free, MSR technology allows operation normal unpressurised operation. And therefore, given design specifics, walk away safe.

An also unpressurised, water jacket prevents nuetron leakage as does surrounding concrete walls, ceiling and floor.

Can be mass produced in purpose created factories, then shipped as shipping container sized, 40 MW reactors to virtually anywhere.

Thorium can be found almost anywhere, possibly in the beach sand of Tuvalu and just one ton of the refined metal, enough to power a 350 MW MSR thorium power plant for thirty years. Say the FUGI 350 MW rejigged for operation with fluoride salt!?

Why, the security guard out front, would cost more than the fuel.

Factory assembly from a single proven and road tested design, very doable. Not too dissimilar from the aerospace industry.

Yes I know, we did not always have planes nor a plane manufacturing industry nor ships plying the world transporting almost everything in shipping containers! Not having them at one time did not prevent us building them and sending them around the world.
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Saturday, 29 December 2018 12:05:01 PM
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I thought that atolls were always very slowly sinking anyway (didn't Darwin write something about that ?), and continually being built up by new deposits of sand.

If atolls WERE experiencing sea-level rise (or land subsidence), this could be partly explained by a growing population, taking more and more ground-water out. But it's a bit confounding for Greenhouse-Effect supporters to find that atolls may be actually growing out of the sea - that sea-levels there may be declining.

A climate-'woke' friend of a friend, from Bunbury, WA, told him that the sea-level at Fremantle had risen almost 3 cm in barely twenty years. My friend here in Adelaide asked him if it had risen around Bunbury. No, came the answer. Could the practice in Perth, of taking out massive amounts of ground-water, have caused the entire Perth region to sink 3 cm in 20 years ?

Of course, maybe - because of climate change - there is increased breakdown of shellfish in the Pacific, and those bits of shells are being ground down at increasing rates and deposited around atolls. Maybe, in fact, increasing area around atolls could actually be a measure of climate change ? Yeah, right.

During the Middle Ages, 'research' consisted of finding whatever fitted one's assertion - and, lo and behold, everything could, eventually. 'Climate science' seems to operate on similar principles.

Good on you, Jennifer.

Cheers,

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Sunday, 30 December 2018 10:53:03 AM
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I thought that atolls were always very slowly sinking anyway (didn't Darwin write something about that ?), and continually being built up by new deposits of sand.

If atolls WERE experiencing sea-level rise (or land subsidence), this could be partly explained by a growing population, taking more and more ground-water out. But it's a bit confounding for Greenhouse-Effect supporters to find that atolls may be actually growing out of the sea - that sea-levels there may be declining.

A climate-'woke' friend of a friend, from Bunbury, WA, told him that the sea-level at Fremantle had risen almost 3 cm in barely twenty years. My friend here in Adelaide asked him if it had risen around Bunbury. No, came the answer. Could the practice in Perth, of taking out massive amounts of ground-water, have caused the entire Perth region to sink 3 cm in 20 years ?

Of course, maybe - because of climate change - there is increased breakdown of shellfish in the Pacific, and those bits of shells are being ground down at increasing rates and deposited around atolls. Maybe, in fact, increasing area around atolls could actually be a measure of climate change ?

During the Middle Ages, 'research' consisted of finding whatever fitted one's assertion - and, lo and behold, everything could, eventually. 'Climate science' seems to operate on similar principles.

Good on you, Jennifer.

Cheers,

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Sunday, 30 December 2018 10:57:26 AM
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For a considerable time, I've followed Alan B's enthusiastic propositions for the use of thorium in power generation.
He seems well-informed on the subject yet I suggest that many of us are not.
I have tried to discover facts about thorium by hunting through sources such as Wikipedia but cannot find enough information for me to make a reasonable balanced approach in trying to understand why, if thorium has all the attributes outlined by Alan, it has not been widely accepted and adapted for Australia's power generation.
What I did find, however, were these suggestions which counter thorium's use:

Some experts note possible specific disadvantages of thorium nuclear power.
Breeding in a thermal neutron spectrum is slow and requires extensive reprocessing.
The feasibility of reprocessing is still open.
Significant and expensive testing, analysis and licensing work is first required, requiring business and government support.
In a 2012 report on the use of thorium fuel with existing water-cooled reactors, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists suggested that it would "require too great an investment and provide no clear payoff", and that "from the utilitiesí point of view, the only legitimate driver capable of motivating pursuit of thorium is economics"
There is a higher cost of fuel fabrication and reprocessing than in plants using traditional solid fuel rods.
Thorium, when being irradiated for use in reactors, will make uranium-232, which is very dangerous due to the gamma rays it emits.
This irradiation process may be altered slightly by removing protactinium-233. The irradiation would then make uranium-233 in lieu of uranium-232, which can be used in nuclear weapons to make thorium into a dual purpose fuel.

Maybe Alan B can direct us to a range of reading material about this seemingly great gift to our power system.
Posted by Ponder, Sunday, 30 December 2018 11:08:49 AM
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Ponder, as you say you don't understand how MSR thorium works. And tried to find out by reading ngative articles suppoting current solid state fuel rods, replete with extremely expensive enrichment And tons and tons of waste.

Yes, MSR thorium comes with complementary reprocessing. And the very reason a 350 MW thorium reactor, burns just one ton of fuel during a thirty year operational cycle, which needs to run its full course, if only to prevent totally unecessary decomissioning problems.

MSR essentially burns then reburns its own reprocessed waste! And the very reason why the wate component of a completely depleted thorium is less than 1% and far less toxic than that produced by solid fueled oxide reactors. Which operate necessarily at masssive DANGEROUS pressures of around 150 atmospheres.

Need reactor vessels made out of a single steel molding, seven inches thick and made only in Japan.

The fuel rods must be changed every 18 months and the innermost ones placed on the outer and the whole lot changed every 4.5 years at quite massive cost.

During thirty years of operation, need 3551 tons of fuel and from that produce 2550 tons of highly toxic nuclear waste!

MSR thorium burns one ton, produces less toxic 1% waste product eminently suitable for long life space batteries.

MSR thorium also produces many medical isotopes, the most important of being, miracle cancer cure bismuth 213. And trialled successfully against some death sentence cancers, like stage four ovarian, pancreatic, myleod luekemia and some very nasty brain cancers.

All condemned by the recalcitrant intransigence of our alleged representitives and the now consequential, very expensive production of bismuth, via firing particles at radium with a particle accellerator.

This comment edited and corrected by Grammerly!
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Sunday, 30 December 2018 12:13:49 PM
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Ponder.

MSR thorium not widely used because of our (Goverment imposed) anti nuclear rules and regulations. And by USA prohibition on Quality R+D. Which currently limits the amount of thorium used in research to 6 grams or less.

And because if widely accepted would decimate both the fossil fuel industryand big nuclear! Not to mention the pecuniary interests of big pharma and some coal fired politicians?

However, billions now poured into R+D in China, Brazil,South Africa Indonesia and several others. Just not here!

Suggest you go to google tech talks on utube and listen to Informative Former NASA scientist and nuclear technologist, Kirk Sorensen.

Or prize winning investigative Journalist and science writer Richard Martin, who encapsulates his book, Thorium, Super Fuel, subtitled, green energy.

Or ivy league Professor, Economst Robert Hargreaves, who as he encapsulates his book, claims of power prices as low as one dollar and nine eight cents retail PKWH, for MSR thorium.

Thorium is fertile not fissile, And needs to spend a fortnight in the blanket of a nucler reactor, to become U233. The fissile product that fires up a MSR thorium. Could explain more but for word and ccomment limits. Read or listen to the above three, for more comprehensive informed understanding.

Seasons greetings and salutations.
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Sunday, 30 December 2018 12:39:27 PM
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