A month ago, the Japanese TV show "Morning Bird" discussed the current state
of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, and specifically Unit 4, which is in terrible condition
. During an interview with Dr. Hiroaki Koide, Research Associate at the Research Reactor Institute of Kyoto University, who explains the immense difficulty in moving the radioactive fuel rods - a process that will not even start
until 2013 - the presenter asks what would happen if even a moderate earthquake struck near the plant before the fuel rods can be moved. Koide replies
That will be the end.
posted by crayz
on Apr 14, 2012 -
MotherBoard TV: The Thorium Dream If, like many of the world's leaders, you are eager for a dependable and cheap energy source that doesn't spew toxins and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere -- and that doesn't result in terrible, billion dollar accidents -- you can end your search now.
At least, that's the news from a tight-knit collective of energy blogs, dedicated to a common but relatively unknown metal called thorium.
In the right kind of nuclear reactor, they say, thorium could power the world forever -- and without the problems that come with the nuclear energy we use today, from Fukushima-like meltdowns to the difficult by-products of plutonium that leave behind radioactive waste and weapons material.
The idea certainly sounds like the stuff of fringe internet conspiracists, but it was actually born in the U.S. government's major atomic lab in the 1960s under the auspices of one of the country's most respected nuclear scientists, and the inventor of today's most common kind of nuclear technology, the light water reactor.
- Thorium: World's Greatest Energy Breakthrough? [more inside]
posted by ninjew
on Nov 28, 2011 -
Nuclear engineers are never taught about the other kind of nuclear reaction. But a working prototype was built over 40 years ago. "The thick hardbound volume was sitting on a shelf in a colleague’s office when Kirk Sorensen spotted it. A 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." [more inside]
posted by Araucaria
on Dec 21, 2009 -
Take enough electricity to power 100 houses for two minutes and use it to generate enough elecrticity to power one 40-watt lightbulb for one ten-thousandth of a second. What do you have? Nuclear Fusion.
posted by alms
on Apr 7, 2003 -
Bush's energy plan.
We knew it was coming. Arguing the United States "faces the most serious energy shortage since the oil embargoes of the 1970's," Bush proposes the expansion of drilling, a new commitment to nuclear power, and a review of vehicle mileage standards. If you really want to dig--er, I mean drill--into it, the proposal is available on the White House website
posted by mrbula
on May 17, 2001 -