Energy from Thorium. Save 500 Million from the Budget now!

Here is an idea on how to save money that comes from the Thorium community on how to save more than 500 million dollars in the federal budget and energy, scientific and medical benefits as a bonus.(1)

The situation:  The Department of Energy has 1400 Kg Uranium-233 stored at Oak Ridge National Lab. They are in process of downgrading it to natural uranium by downblending it with depleted uranium. They need 200 tons of depleted uranium to do the task, rendering it unusable for anything.

The decommissioning was approved in 2003 and to date 130 million has been spent, but the actual downblending hasn’t even started yet.

Proposal 1. Sell it to India which has an active Thorium nuclear reactor program. There it can be used as a fuel producing an estimated 600 million dollars worth of electricity. India is building full scale Thorium reactors. India would be an ideal partner for cooperation in future of nuclear power generation.

Proposal 2. Stop the decommissioning immediately. Build our own Thorium Nuclear Reactor and over time get 600 million dollars worth of electric power and 45g of Plutonium-238. We are out of Pu-238 and can do no more planetary exploration satellites (3).

All  deep space satellites all had Pu-238 power sources. Only Russia has Pu-238 left, and the U.S. is banking on getting it for a friendship price. In addition there are significant unique medical applications in treatment of cancer that can be obtained by radiation from byproduct of the Thorium process. Below are pictures of the Thorium process and what a Thorium Power plant might look like. (4)

 

 

 

(1) http://energyfromthorium.com/

(2) http://conclave.intoday.in/conclave/conclave2011.php

(3) http://www.satnews.com/cgi-bin/story.cgi?number=598732652

(4) http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/archibald-ncc-5th-february-2010.pdf

Lies, damned lies, Statistics and Climate Forecasting. A song.

It is hard to make predictions – especially about the future (Yogi Berra, Niels Bohr, et al.)

The Met Office has caused a storm of controversy after it was revealed their £30million supercomputer designed to predict climate change is one of Britain’s worst polluters. The massive machine – the UK’s most powerful computer with a whopping 15 million megabytes of memory – was installed in the Met Office’s headquarters in Exeter, Devon. With a total peak performance approaching 1 PetaFlop — equivalent to over 100,000 PCs and over 30 times more powerful than what was in place before. It is capable of 1,000 billion calculations every second to feed data to 400 scientists and uses 1.2 megawatts of energy to run – enough to power more than 1,000 homes.

So what glorious new and accurate information are they producing now?

Met Office Initial Assessment of Risk for Winter 2010/11 This covers the months of November, December and January 2010/11, this will be updated monthly through the winter and so probabilities will change. Temperature 3 in 10 chance of a mild start 3 in 10 chance of an average start 4 in 10 chance of a cold start Precipitation 3 in 10 chance of a wet start 3 in 10 chance of an average start 4 in 10 chance of a dry start Summary: There is an increased risk for a cold and wintry start to the winter season. Looking further ahead beyond this assessment there are some indications of an increased risk of a mild end to the winter season.

I am really impressed by their newfound forecasting ability. So impressed I have written a new lyrics to Merle Travis song: Sixteen tons (Popularized by Tennessee Ernie Ford)

Some people say people are made outta mud

Global warmists they are, they are chewing their cud,

Chewing their cud and follow Al Gore

A mind that’s a-weak can you ask for much more?

More than one megawatt, and what do you get?

Another prognosis and deeper in debt

Saint Peter don’t you call ’em ’cause you must let ‘em be

They sold their souls to the IPCC.

.

They came in one mornin’ when the sun didn’t shine

They picked up their papers and continued the grind

They had  sixteen conditions, mostly falsified bull

And the straw boss said “Well, a-bless my soul”.

More than one megawatt, and what do you get?

Another prognosis and deeper in debt

Saint Peter don’t you call ’em ’cause you must let ‘em be

They sold their souls to the IPCC.

.

They came in one mornin’, it was drizzlin’ rain

the prognosis had failed them again and again

The boss harshly told them, You will do many more

Do as I tell you, and agree with Al Gore.

More than one megawatt, and what do you get?

Another prognosis and deeper in debt

Saint Peter don’t you call ’em ’cause you must let ‘em be

They sold their souls to the IPCC.

.

The cold snap we’re having now, it just cannot last

and hidin’ the warming that occurred in the past

Their ol’  man Mann and his hockey stick.

With conditions like this nothing ever will click.

More than one megawatt, and what do you get?

Another prognosis and deeper in debt

 Saint Peter don’t you call ’em ’cause you must let ‘em be

They sold their souls to the IPCC.

The jet on e-bay Limerick.

There once stood a corporate jet in Anchorage,

When Sarah took reins of the State she had courage.

Without a delay 

she put on e-bay 

that state-supplied jet on Ted Stevens, Anchorage.

(Ted Stevens International Airport, that is)

I have researched matters further, here is version 2  of the Limerick.

There once stood a corporate jet in Juneau,

and Governor Sarah – “you Betcha ” you know

without a delay

she put on e-bay

that fuel-guzzling state-supplied plane in Juneau.

Those were two of the only three airports in Alaska with runways long enough for the W III jet.

Update: While it was put on e-bay, the sale of a corporate jet is a little more complicated than processing it thru PayPal, so the deal was finalized using a broker.

Obama and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Keystone XL pipeline decision.

The Obama administration announced Nov. 10 it would delay a politically explosive decision on the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline until after the 2012 elections. Congress corrected this dithering by forcing Obama to make a decision one way or another. He chose not to build it.

This decision was bad on so many levels it is hard to count them all.Let’s try to look at the ways:

Canada has oil sands and is exploiting the resources. U.S. is dependent on importing a large share of its crude oil.

The cheapest and most efficient way to transport crude oil is through a pipe line. It is also the safest and most reliable way of getting crude oil from point A to point B. To not O.K. the pipeline increases the cost and makes us more dependent of crude oil from the Middle East and Nigeria, as well as Venezuela.

Canada really, really wanted this deal. It would help improve our relations. Now they are strained.

The unions really wanted the jobs. It would supply them with more than 20000 direct, well-paid jobs. In addition there is secondary business generated whenever a project of this magnitude is undertaken. Why not generate jobs?

The newly discovered oil fields in North Dakota and Montana could use the pipeline as well. Now they will have to go it alone or transport their oil on railroad or barge traffic instead, a more expensive and less safe option. So why did Obama delay the decision?

It was because of the environmentalists. Let us examine why this decision was equally horrible from an environmentalist’s perspective. Canada is a sovereign nation. They have the oil and will sell or use it one way or another. The most energy conserving way is to transport it through a pipeline. Transport via train, truck or barge uses more energy (read more CO2) and costs about $15 per barrel vs. $5 for a pipeline.

Canada will sell it’s oil to China if we don’t want it. China has a well deserved reputation for producing a lot of pollution. The best environmental solution is for us to import this oil.

Nebraska protested there was a danger to damage their aquifer. The Keystone XL management offered to reroute the pipeline away from this sensitive aquifer, thereby solving that objection. By not importing oil from Canada the total carbon footprint will increase. We lose, and Canada loses. (I am not concerned that the CO2 is increasing, but that a valuable natural resource is excessively depleted.) Now it turns out that Canada has left the Kyoto Protocol, thereby being free to burn as much of its carbon as they want. Was that really what the environmentalists wanted?

So why did Obama first delay the decision until after the 2012 election, and then when forced deny the permit? Here are five possibilities:

1. Obama is a true believer that ”this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal”. As a true environmentalist his role can not be overestimated .

2. Obama is deliberately wrecking our economy, refuses to have an energy policy that will create jobs, but will support protest movements and foment unrest.

3. Obama is acting on orders from Global Governance people that do want U.S. to be totally dependent on international law and U.N. mandates.

4. Obama promised to be Brazil’s best customer from their deep sea oil drilling success, paid for by U.S. loan guarantees. He must be true to his promises.

5. Obama is half insane and surrounded by bad advisors.

This is the best I can do to explain the reasons for this decision.

80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050? Is that even possible?

Let me see if I get this right. The Cap and trade legislation has as a goal to meet an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050, but China is exempt. China just passed us in total CO2 emissions. As of March 2009 China had 19.66% of the world population while the US had 4.53%. If we assume a population growth in the US of 26% between now and 2050  we are promising to cut our CO2 emissions to less than 69% per capita of what China emits today. And they can continue to emit as much as their production demands. Looks like a cold and dark future for us.