January 6, 2010 at 12:40 am #2823
FYI – Cool stuff and potential BD area for Oil Industry Energy Units for Power options
Here is link to article in Dec 2009 issue of “Wired” magazine that everyone connected to power industry should take a look at
Uranium Is So Last Century – Enter Thorium, the New Green Nuke …
Dec 21, 2009 … Enter Thorium, the New Green Nuke. By Richard Martin Email Author … Weinberg and his men
proved the efficacy of thorium reactors in……..
This articles lead in comments below that describe main details of this “Green Reactor”.
The thick hardbound volume was sitting on a shelf in a colleague’s office when Kirk Sorensen spotted it. A 25 year old rookie NASA engineer at the Marshall Space Flight Center, Sorensen was researching nuclear-powered propulsion, and the book’s title – Fluid Fuel Reactors – jumped out at him. He picked it up and thumbed through it. Hours later, he was still reading, enchanted by the ideas but struggling with the arcane writing. “I took it home that night, but I didn’t understand all the nuclear terminology,” Sorensen says. He pored over it in the coming months, ultimately deciding that he held in his hands the key to the world’s energy future.
Published in 1958 under the auspices of the Atomic Energy Commission as part of its Atoms for Peace program, Fluid Fuel Reactors is a book only an engineer could love: a dense, 978-page account of research conducted at Oak Ridge National Lab, most of it under former director Alvin Weinberg. What caught Sorensen’s eye was the description of Weinberg’s experiments producing nuclear power with an element called thorium.
Weinberg and his men proved the efficacy of thorium reactors in hundreds of tests at Oak Ridge from the ’50s through the early ’70s. But thorium hit a dead end. Locked in a struggle with a nuclear- armed Soviet Union, the US government in the ’60s chose to build uranium-fueled reactors – in part because they produce plutonium that can be refined into weapons-grade material. The course of the nuclear industry was set for the next four decades, and thorium power became one of the great what-if technologies of the 20th century.
Today, however, Sorensen spearheads a cadre of outsiders dedicated to sparking a thorium revival. When he’s not at his day job as an aerospace engineer at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama – or wrapping up the master’s in nuclear engineering he is soon to earn from the University of Tennessee – he runs a popular blog called Energy From Thorium.
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