Climate change is real and positive for the environment. The real challenge is clean and available water in the 10-40 region.

The safe, clean water essential to all life is rapidly running out in much of the world. Yet the politicians are concentrating on air pollution in the form of CO2 and methane as if a catastrophe is about to hit us. Western US, most of the 10-40 window (the area between the 10th and the 40th latitude), Australia and western South America are using up its safe and drinkable water supply much faster than it is replenished. In addition, what is left is getting polluted.Let me give you an anecdotal example.

More than twenty years ago I was part of a team that made wet processing equipment for making computer chip wafers. It involved cleaning and etching using isopropyl alcohol, hydrocloric, sulphuric, and hydrofluoric acid as well as Ozone, all potent stuff. To collect the used chemicals we had designed a 5-way output port, so the chemicals could be collected separately after use. The equipment was made and shipped off to South Korea. It was assembled in a brand new, state of the art positive air pressure clean room facility. The processing machine was installed by the Koreans, but under the 5-way port was a large funnel, going to the drain and directly out in the sewer.

A couple of years before, in the US we had a valve in a similar machine that sprung a leak, so a small amount of hydrofluoric acid got discharged into the sewage. This poisoned the sewage processing plant, and a large fine was levied. No such worry in Asia. The sewage went directly out in the ocean to be diluted. How could they be persuaded not to dump the alcohol and acid directly into the sewage? There were no environmental regulations prohibiting them from doing so. The only argument that persuaded them was economic. It was cheaper to collect the used alcohol and hydrofluoric acid, clean and reuse it rather than dump it. Unfortunately sulphuric acid and hydrocloric acid was too cheap to buy new, so that was still dumped. This is the mindset of many developing countries.

In China many of these facilities are inland, so large water aquifers get poisoned for centuries to come. These are the people we up to now have entrusted with our future production of just about everything, since they do not have the environmental protection laws they can produce the stuff much cheaper. But it comes at a price. The yellow river now does not anymore reach the ocean for part of the year.

As I have explained in a previous post: https://lenbilen.com/2020/02/28/climate-change-is-real-and-is-caused-by-rising-co2-levels-leading-to-less-extreme-weather-this-is-on-balance-good-for-the-environment/  global warming is real, but it only occurs in temperate regions, and predominantly in the winter. Summertime maxima are actually decreasing slightly, so the net effect of climate change is that it is positive for the environment.

Not so with water pollution. It is a much bigger and dangerous problem, and only by shifting our attention to it and from CO2 can we begin to solve it. To clean up the environment will take a lot of energy, and the only solution I see is switching our electric energy supply away from fossil fuel and to Thorium based nuclear energy. Here are

Twenty-five reasons to rapidly develop Thorium based Nuclear Power generation.

We need badly to develop and build Thorium based molten salt fast breeder nuclear reactors to secure our energy needs in the future. Lest anyone should be threatened by the words fast breeder, it simply means it uses fast neutrons instead of thermal neutrons, and breeder means it produces more fissible material than it consumes, in the case of Thorium the ratio is about 1.05.

1. A million years supply at today’s consumption levels.

2. Thorium already mined, ready to be extracted.

3. One ten-thousandth of the TRansUranium waste compared to a U-235 based fast breeder reactor.

4. Thorium based nuclear power produces Pu-238, needed for space exploration.

5. Radioactive waste from an LFTR decays down to background radiation in 300 years compared to a million years for U-235 based reactors.

6. Thorium based nuclear power is not suited for making nuclear bombs.

7. Produces isotopes that helps cure certain cancers.

8. Molten Salt Thorium Reactors are earthquake safe.

9. Molten Salt Thorium Reactors cannot have a meltdown, the fuel is already molten.

10. Molten Salt Nuclear Reactors have a very high negative temperature coefficient leading to a safe and stable control.

11. Atmospheric pressure operating conditions, no risk for explosions.

12. Virtually no spent fuel problem, very little on site storage or transport.

13. Thorium Nuclear Power generators  scale  beautifully from small portable generators to full size power plants.

14. No need for evacuation zones, can be placed near urban areas.

15. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors will work both as Base Load and Load Following power plants.

16. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors will lessen the need for an expanded national grid.

17. Russia has an active Thorium program.

18. China is having a massive Thorium program.

19. India is having an ambitious Thorium program.

20. United States used to be the leader in Thorium usage. What happened?

21. With a Molten Salt Reactor, accidents like the Three Mile Island disaster will not happen.

22. With a Molten Salt Reactor, disasters like Chernobyl are impossible.

23. With Molten Salt Reactors, a catastrophe like Fukushima cannot happen.

24. Produces electrical energy at about 4 cents per KWh.

25. Can deplete some of the existing radioactive waste and nuclear weapons stockpiles.

Published by

lenbilen

Retired engineer, graduated from Chalmers Technical University a long time ago with a degree in Technical Physics. Career in Aerospace, Analytical Chemistry, computer chip manufacturing and finally adjunct faculty at Pennsylvania State University, taught just one course in Computer Engineering, the Capstone Course.

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