With Molten Salt nuclear Reactors there is no risk for a meltdown, the fuel is already molten, and that is a safe design. The fissile fuel in a Thorium reactor is U-233 in the form of UraniumFluoride (UF4) salt which also contains Lithium and Beryllium. In its molten form it has a very low vapor pressure. The salt flows easily through the heat exchangers and the separators. The salt is very toxic, but it is completely sealed. Being a fluid, it is constantly mixed for optimum efficiency. The reactor will never have to be shut down for refueling, it is a continuous flow process. Uranium-235 Nuclear reactors on the other hand have to be shut down for refueling and rebalancing of the fuel rods a little more often than once every two years. The average shutdown is 35 days, or about 5% of the time. Then comes the major problem of safely and securely transporting and reprocessing the spent fuel.
Gov. Sarah Palin tweeted February 17, 2012:
“SarahPalinUSA: House passes energy bill. Will Pres. Obama & Senate Democrat leadership ignore it while Americans face $4 a gallon gas?
The House on Thursday evening passed a bill that seeks to encourage oil shale development, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and offshore drilling in the Atlantic, Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as force approval of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.
The House approved the bill on a mostly party line vote of 237-187.
On eight occasions, the current occupant of the White House (Obama) has referred to the Spanish model as an example to follow.
After a leaked Spanish government report, a newspaper in Spain (La Gaceta) confirms that the country’s “green economy” policies — the model for the Obama administration’s “green jobs” efforts — have been a disaster: expensive, ineffective, and unworkable
The official jobless rate in Spain went from 7.9% in May 2007 to 19% in Nov 2009. It now stands at 22.8% (Jan 2012)
The Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (Spanish: Partido Socialista Obrero Español [parˈtiðo soθjaˈlista oˈβrero espaˈɲol], PSOE [peˈsoe]) is a social-democratic political party in Spain. Since the General election on 14 March 2004, the PSOE has been the governing party of Spain. The PSOE is a full member of the Party of European Socialists and the Socialist International.
MADRID — Spaniards struggling with high unemployment and a credit squeeze delivered a punishing verdict on almost eight years of Socialist government at the ballot box on Nov 20 2011, turning to the conservative Popular Party in the hopes of alleviating the pain of Europe’s debt crisis. The Popular Party, led by Mariano Rajoy won 186 seats and a governing majority in the 350-seat lower house of Parliament, while the governing Socialists plummeted to 110 seats from 169. It was the Popular Party’s best showing, and the Socialists’ worst, since Spain’s return to democracy in the 1970s.
Jan 27 2012 Fitch Ratings has resolved the Negative Rating Watch on six Eurozone sovereigns, downgrading the IDRs for Belgium, Cyprus, Italy, Slovenia and Spain while affirming ratings for Ireland. The Negative Outlook on all six countries indicates a slightly greater than 50% chance of a downgrade over a two-year time horizon.
Oh, and gasoline in Spain is upwards of $5.75 a gallon.
Obama: Let’s follow the path set by Spain.
Will the Senators block common sense once again?
Sarah Palin makes sense
She is not on the fence:
Live free! Independence again let’s attain!
The wormlight is good for us I have been told.
Soon it’s the only light left to be sold.
Our future seems stark
We’re held in the dark.
With no more of drilling we’re left in the cold.
Complain ‘bout the loo-flush was what he did do,
Others chimed in, “ours don’t work well too”
But Paul was unfazed
Eyebrows were raised
For he dared to say: You dumb bureaucrats, Boo!
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)