Energy Content of Thorium

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When a LFTR (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor) is used to extract energy from thorium, we could effectively “burn rocks” for energy.

Imagine a cube, perhaps roughly the size of a small car.  In order to see the tiny amount of thorium that would be contained within the average dirt pile, we need to zoom in.

Thorium is only ~0.001% in an average pile of dirt, but it packs in so much energy, that – using LFTR, it contains the equivalent energy content of 30 times the amount of crude oil, compared to the size of the original dirt cube!

Thorium Energy Content Merged Final

Click here if you want to see the math in detail for a cubic meter of dirt.

 

TEAC4

 

. Kirk Sorensen – A Global Alternative (thorium energy via LFTR) @ TEAC4Kirk Sorensen - A Global Alternative (thorium energy via LFTR) @ TEAC4

LFTR offers greater efficiency and safety over today’s operating reactors, and even proposed light water / boiling water reactors. LFTR also provides spare processes heat and valuable isotopes as a byproduct of normal operation, something today’s reactors can not, due to their low operating temperature.

 

. Baroness Bryony Worthington – Political Challenges of Thorium Molten Salt Reactors @ TEAC4Baroness Bryony Worthington - Political Challenges of Thorium Molten Salt Reactors @ TEAC4

Bryony Worthington encourages thorium proponents to work with existing environmental organizations, emphasizing the need for renewable energy until LFTR is ready for deployment.

 

 John Kutsch – Why of Thorium & the Way Forward @ TEAC4John Kutsch - Why of Thorium & the Way Forward @ TEAC4

John Kutsch, the director of Thorium Energy Alliance, summarizes outcome of his (and Jim Kennedy’s) political endeavors since TEAC3.

 

Magdi Ragheb – Thorium Fuel Cycle Using Electrostatic & Electrodynamic Neutron Generators @ TEAC4Magdi Ragheb - Thorium Fuel Cycle Using Electrostatic & Electrodynamic Neutron Generators @ TEAC4

 

Joe Bonometti – Thorium Education & Outreach @ TEAC4Joe Bonometti - Thorium Education & Outreach @ TEAC4

Joe Bonometti on the opportunity to expand an Albuquerque nuclear power museum to include coverage of Molten Salt Reactors.

 

Canon Bryan – Structural Concerns with Nuclear Fuel Supply @ TEAC4Canon Bryan - Structural Concerns with Nuclear Fuel Supply @ TEAC4

Canon argues that thorium based fuel cycle can alleviate USA’s vulnerability to imminent uranium supply crisis, as western nations start competing with China, Russia, Korea & Middle East for nuclear fuel.

 

Alex Cannara – Ionizing Radiation & Health @ TEAC4Alex Cannara - Ionizing Radiatoin & Health @ TEAC4

Alex gives overview of our current inadvertent terraform, focusing on ocean acidification as highest potential for near-term disaster. The urgency of addressing this problem is contrasted with mus-information and poor policy surrounding the effects of radiation. Linear no-threshold is examined.

 

Alex Cannara – Linear No-Threshold Radiation Lies @ TEAC4Alex Cannara - Linear No-Threshold Radiation Lies @ TEAC4

This is a portion of Alex Cannara’s TEAC4 presentation, focusing elusively on the effects of radiation, and that misinformation have been used to guide government policy, and also mislead the public as to the effects of exposure to small amounts of radiation.

 

David LeBlanc – Molten Salt Reactor Designs, Options & Outlook @ TEAC4David LeBlanc - Molten Salt Reactor Designs, Options & Outlook @ TEAC4

Canadian David LeBlanc describes the benefits of liquid fuel Molten Salt Reactors over solid fuel reactors, emphasizing reactor design over any relative advantages of thorium or uranium.  Come for the thorium, stay for the reactor!

 

David Earnshaw – How the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor LFTR could boost Wyoming’s Economy @ TEAC4David Earnshaw - How the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor LFTR could boost Wyoming's Economy @ TEAC4

David Earnshaw – How the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor could boost Wyoming’s Economy @ TEAC4

 

Kim Johnson – Thorium Molten Salt Science for Industrial Allies @ TEAC4Kim Johnson - Thorium Molten Salt Science for Industrial Allies @ TEAC4

Kim Johnson reviews what industries can benefit from Molten Salt Reactor process heat, such as Oil Sands, Natural Gas and Airlines. Interesting anecdotal evidence of particular contacts expressing interest.

 

Jim Kennedy – Link Between Thorium and Self Reliance in Rare Earths & Energy @ TEAC4Jim Kennedy - Link Between Thorium and Self Reliance in Rare Earths & Energy @ TEAC4

The western world has within its capacity far more than enough rare earths (including heavy rare earths) to meet its own industrial demand. It is an unwillingness to process material containing thorium which is ultimately impeding our high tech manufacturing sector.

 

John Kutsch – Welcome to Thorium Energy Alliance Conference #4 – TEAC4John Kutsch - Welcome to Thorium Energy Alliance Conference #4 - TEAC4

John Kutsch welcomes you to TEAC4 – Thorium Energy Alliance’s Conference #4, which was held in Chicago on May 31st and June 1st of 2012.

 

Joe Bonometti – Liquid, Modular & Thorium as the End Goal – Systems Analyst on MSR/LFTR @ TEAC4Joe Bonometti - Liquid, Modular & Thorium as the End Goal - Systems Analyst on MSR/LFTR @ TEAC4

Joe Bonometti summarized issues to discus at Thorium Energy Alliance’s 4th conference in Chicago.

 

Dr. David LeBlanc – Molten Salt Reactors, Canada, and the Athabasca Oil Sands @ TEAC4Dr. David LeBlanc - Molten Salt Reactors, Canada, and the Athabasca Oil Sands @ TEAC4

Dr. David LeBlanc speaks about using a nuclear reactor to generate steam for SAGD projects in the oil sands. Excerpted from the full presentation David LeBlanc – Molten Salt Reactor Designs, Options & Outlook @ TEAC4

 

Eric Meyer chroma interview for THORIUM REMIX shot at TEAC4Eric Meyer chroma interview for THORIUM REMIX shot at TEAC4

Right before TEAC4 wrapped up, Eric has a moment to step in front of the chroma-key and talk about what drew him to thorium as an energy resource.  Eric also shares his thoughts on effective communication, and how emotion affects learning.

 

Takashi Kamei – Thorium MSR [Molten Salt Reactor] Research Activities in Japan @ TEAC4Takashi Kamei - Thorium MSR [Molten Salt Reactor] Research Activities in Japan @ TEAC4

Takashi Kamei traveled from Japan to share insight into improved safety precautions being applied to Japanese nuclear reactors, and the heightened interest in thorium molten salt reactors.  This video discusses Fukushima in detail and the extra safety measures now being taken.

 

Robert Steinhaus chroma interview shot for THORIUM REMIX @ TEAC4Robert Steinhaus chroma interview shot for THORIUM REMIX @ TEAC4

Rick Maltese shot Robert Steinhaus in front of the TEAC4 chroma-key.

 

Eric Robinson – Metal Face Seal, Multi Mate / Demate Torque Elimination Fittings @ TEAC4Eric Robinson - Metal Face Seal, Multi Mate / Demate Torque Elimination Fittings @ TEAC4

Eric Robinson spoke about fittings used in nuclear applications, including Curiosity Rover (powered by RTG’s 4.8 kg of Pu-238).

 

John Kutsch of Thorium Energy Alliance – Chroma-key interview 1 shot for Thorium Remix @ TEAC4John Kutsch of Thorium Energy Alliance - Chroma-key interview 1 shot for Thorium Remix @ TEAC4

John Kutsch steps in front of the chroma-key at TEAC4. Is thorium valuable? What do you do for a living? Sneeze. What are you trying to accomplish?

 

Richard Martin, author of Superfuel, discusses Thorium & LFTR – shot for THORIUM REMIX @ TEAC4Richard Martin, author of Superfuel, discusses Thorium & LFTR - shot for THORIUM REMIX @ TEAC4

Richard Martin explains what drew him to thorium as a solution to our energy crisis, and why “big challenges” are not being tackled today as they were during WW2 and the cold war.

 

John Kutsch of Thorium Energy Alliance – Chroma-key interview 2 shot for Thorium Remix @ TEAC4John Kutsch of Thorium Energy Alliance - Chroma-key interview 2 shot for Thorium Remix @ TEAC4

John Kutsch on why thorium is important to him: As North Americans we consume a lot of energy. We don’t get to continue this lifestyle without a new source of energy.

 

Jim Kennedy – China, Espionage & [lack of] US Industrial Policy @ TEAC4Jim Kennedy - China, Espionage & [lack of] US Industrial Policy @ TEAC4

Jim Kennedy shared his thoughts (while standing in front of a chroma-key) on United States unwillingness to address China’s industrial espionage against Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) in [likely] pursuit of Molten Salt Reactor technology.  Jim asks: Is the Department of Energy intentionally facilitating Th-MSR technology transfer to China?

 

Takashi Kamei offers a pro-thorium perspective from Japan shot for THORIUM REMIX @ TEAC4Takashi Kamei offers a pro-thorium perspective from Japan shot for THORIUM REMIX @ TEAC4

Takashi Kamei is working on molten salt reactor design in Japan, and an accelerator to bypass need for fissile. First neutron will be available in 2014.

 

Simon Irish – Developed World Debt Levels Demand Power & Energy Revolution @ TEAC4Simon Irish - Developed World Debt Levels Demand Power & Energy Revolution @ TEAC4

We need a profound revolution in the way power is generated and delivered to our economies – cheap power, modular power, clean power. We need a revolution in power innovation, we need a new stream engine. – Simon Irish

 

Mark Halper – Emerging Nuclear Innovations / Race to Reinvent Nuclear Energy @ TEAC4 Mark Halper - Emerging Nuclear Innovations / Race to Reinvent Nuclear Energy @ TEAC4

Mark (writer for Smartplanet) contrasts thorium molten salt reactors with Bill Gates’ TerraPower, General Atomics, QPower (pebble bed) and other companies pursuing modular reactors. China itself could build as many as 100 reactors by 2030, and is actively pursuing a wide range of nuclear technologies (100 companies).

 

Richard Martin – Risk, Decline & the Future of Energy @ TEAC4 Richard Martin - Risk, Decline & the Future of Energy @ TEAC4

Richard was one of the first energy experts to promote the development of thorium (in Wired Magazine). SuperFuel explains how we can wean ourselves off our fossil-fuel addiction, deliver a safe energy source for a millennia, and avert the risk of catastrophic climate change.

 

Stuart Henderson – Thorium Energy from Accelerator Driven Reactors @ TEAC4 Stuart Henderson - Thorium Energy from Accelerator Driven Reactors @ TEAC4

Of the 3 options for creating energy from thorium (solid fuel in conventional reactors, liquid fuel in molten-salt reactors, or fuel in accelerator driven subcritical reactors), Stuart Henderson of Fermilab explores the accelerator driven approach.

 

Ondrej Chvala – Importance of Higher Education in MSR R&D and Development @ TEAC4 Ondrej Chvala - Importance of Higher Education in MSR R&D and Development @ TEAC4

Credible experts are mandatory for all steps of Molten Salt Reactor research, development and deployment. Very few people are available with both credentials and working knowledge of MSRs.

 

Charles Holden – Thorenco’s Process Heat Reactor / Liquefy Through Thorium @ TEAC4 Charles Holden - Thorenco's Process Heat Reactor / Liquify Through Thorium @ TEAC4

Charles “Rusty” Holden presents a Thorium Molten Salt Reactor design which emphasizes safety and regulatory compliance. Estimated output is 200 Megawatts.

 

Michael – Student Designers of Molten Salt Reactor Components @ TEAC4 Michael - Student Designers of Molten Salt Reactor Components @ TEAC4

Student Chapters of Thorium Energy Alliance helping with design.

 

Cavan Stone shares his interest in thorium as an energy source – shot for THORIUM REMIX @ TEAC4Cavan Stone shares his interest in thorium as an energy source - shot for THORIUM REMIX @ TEAC4

Cavan compares coal-tar to thorium, as a waste product nobody wanted which turned out to be extremely valuable. There’s going to be a major geopolitical shift towards the countries which develop thorium energy. Liquid fuel provides passive safety options.

 

Ondrej Chvala a Nuclear Engineering post-doc at University of Tennessee Knoxville for THORIUM REMIX Ondrej Chvala a Nuclear Engineering post-doc at University of Tennessee Knoxville for THORIUM REMIX

Ondřej observes lack of expertise in molten salt reactors (from people who are not retired or dead) is holding back development of this technology. Molten Salt Reactors are not taught as part of today’s nuclear curriculum.

 

Jim Kennedy – Link Between Thorium and Self Reliance in Rare Earths & Energy @ TEAC4 remix Jim Kennedy - Link Between Thorium and Self Reliance in Rare Earths & Energy @ TEAC4 remix

The western world has within its capacity far more than enough rare earths (including heavy rare earths) to meet its own industrial demand. It is an unwillingness to process material containing thorium which is ultimately impeding our high tech manufacturing sector.

 

Stephen Boyd – Rare Earth Elements, History, Chemistry, Physics & Applications Stephen Boyd - Rare Earth Elements, History, Chemistry, Physics & Applications

Fluorine chemist Stephen Boyd discusses rare earth fluoride doped salts, and why they are represented separately from the rest of the elements on the periodic table.

 

Darryl Siemer – Vitrification of Sustainable Nuclear Fuel Cycle Radwastes Darryl Siemer - Vitrification of Sustainable Nuclear Fuel Cycle Radwastes

Darryl runs inexpensive vitrification experiments in his basement on how to best prepare nuclear waste for storage.  Glassification is simpler & cheaper to fabricate than hot-pressed ceramics.

 

Alex Cannara’s environmentalist critique of low density energy sources and appeal of thorium @ TEAC4 Alex Cannara's environmentalist critique of low density energy sources and appeal of thorium @ TEAC4

Alex Cannara on the importance of nuclear power’s high energy density, and the advantage of thorium as a source of nuclear power.  Low energy density energy sources such as solar and wind have a significant environmental impact unless deployed on land already being used for other purposes, though rooftop solar gives an efficient use of space.

 

Rick Maltese – Support a Nuke Song @ TEAC4 Rick Maltese - Support a Nuke Song @ TEAC4

Rick Maltese wrapped up Thorium Energy Alliance Conference #4 with a song about nuclear power. He’s posted lyrics and a better sounding copy as a digital download here http://rickmaltese.bandcamp.com/

 

Richard Martin (author of SuperFuel) and John Kutsch say “bye” shot for THORIUM REMIX @ TEAC4 Richard Martin (author of SuperFuel) and John Kutsch say "bye" shot for THORIUM REMIX @ TEAC4

Richard Martin briefly mentions success to John Kutsch before departing TEAC4.  Superfuel sold over 1000 copies.

 

John Kutsch – Wrap-Up @ TEAC4 John Kutsch - Wrap-Up @ TEAC4

John Kutsch bids farewell to Thorium Energy Alliance Conference #4 attendees.

 

 Hope you enjoyed TEAC4!