Beavering Away 233


I am sorry there have been so few posts lately. I am terrifically busy. Yesterday I was up before dawn and back after midnight, having spent the day in Wales. Regular readers will realise that I am working on something I shan’t be able to blog about until it has come to fruition. I was most amused recently by a commenter who called me an “armchair critic.” I shall be in Germany, Brazil, Afghanistan and Ghana in the next two months.

Also I continue to dig into the extraordinary case of Adam Werritty and just why he was holding all those meetings with Matthew Gould, while Gould was Private Secretary to Miliband and then while he was Private Secretary to Hague, and then while he was UK Ambassador to Israel. I have new information, but as I am working on it with someone else quasi-mainstream I shan’t break it before they do. It is a story that really ought to be a television documentary, but given the mainstream media blackout, I was considering whether a podcast format might be a good way to get it further out there. But I need someone who can film it in a reasonably professional way, cutting in pictures, document extracts and interviews in a manner that looks good.

Any ideas or volunteers out there?


233 thoughts on “Beavering Away

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  • Fedup

    Clark,
    We are getting closer to agreement. As you have outlined, the vested interests and their business models, in maintaining the current state of inertia, may elect to inject copious amounts of disinformation into the debate. Therefore your, calls for vigilance is needed in sourcing the material.
    ,
    Noting this line of thinking, I have been reluctant to forward my sources, ie I am trying to keep you away from my domain of research, and maintain a firewall between us. this is in a hope that any probable contaminations of data at either end can become an apparent affair. Furthermore, I hope that our discourse can draw the attention of others to the somewhat difficult subject of nuclear power generation, that despite its simplicity remains so full of myths and fables.
    ,
    Your forwarded contentions, need further research in given that, evidently there have been working models set up and studied in US.
    ,
    Finally it is evident we agree upon the need for a solid and reliable substitutes for Hydrocarbons, therefore the credible nuclear power production models ought to be given a fair hearing and be re-examined in the public domain.
    ,

  • Fedup

    Crab
    A mundane thought experiment;
    ,
    A formula one car is designed and built around acceleration and speed during short intervals on known and established road circuits.
    ,
    A heavy goods truck is designed around hauling heavy goods, over vast distances over an extended period.
    ,
    there cannot exit a hybrid of these two.
    ,
    What is trouble now Crab?
    ,
    What do you find difficult to understand?

  • Fedup

    Crab,
    I just noticed the source of your confusion;
    50 mwe is not exactly a huge power output, Drax is managing 4 gW and it runs on coal.
    ,
    Manox produce electricity as a secondary output, their primary task remains in production of bomb making material. Hence back to the original point;
    1- A bomb martial making reactor does not produce electricity.
    2- A power production reactor does not produce bomb making material.

  • crab

    Fedup your ‘thought experiment’ was a truely ridiculous escape into imagination and a sorry indication of how you misuse your imagination to support your overly strong opinions.
    .
    You are so obviously not any kind of engineer much less any sort of qualified lecturer on the subject of reactor technology. So what are you getting out of lecturing, moaning about (having to debate), and trying to broaden my imagination – instead of supplying verifiable information which an expert can -which even Clark can cause he actualy has such a thing as an interest in the subject. You need to posture and duck all the time like a politician! You wouldnt have time or patience to read your own stuff if you didnt know you wrote it.

  • Fedup

    Crab,
    Who is imagining?
    ,
    You are so obviously not any kind of engineer much less any sort of qualified lecturer on the subject of reactor technology. So what are you getting out of lecturing,
    ,
    Divinations galore, crabbing on, en route to the next imbecilic episode.
    ,
    What do you get out of it Crab, for being so belligerent in your ignorance? There is an expression for that.
    ,
    “Strong Opinions”? Science does not do opinions.
    ,
    Back to the thought experiments;
    ,
    Can crab eat its cake?
    -yes
    Can crab keep its cake?
    -yes
    Can crab eat its cake, and keep its cake concurrently?
    -depends on the rate of nibble and its inverse desire to nibble!
    ,
    ,
    You cannot have bomb making factories and power production reactors at the same time, these two facets are incompatible, regardless of tying to introduce miracle indexes and wish constants.
    ,
    Clark is going on about a differing substrate to be used as reactor fuel, that is not naturally fissile, and needs supportive technologies to become fissile. This forms the basis of a “waste less” reactor. A brave jump, alas not supported by the data. Although there seems to have been some kind of a working model, alas the secrecy and fantasy indexes applied, pushes this notion into the category of must be investigated, that is not much use for we must build now and more of them that I am advocating.
    ,
    Mind crab you are right, I am an ordinary punter, nothing special, in fact the worst nightmare scenario; I get nothing Pecuniary out of it.

  • Clark

    Fedup: “This forms the basis of a “waste less” reactor. A brave jump, alas not supported by the data.”
    .
    Actually, I have the opposite problem with this; more data than I can assess. The entire development notes from the 1960s MSR programme in the US have been posted on-line, here:
    .
    http://www.energyfromthorium.com/pdf/
    .
    I started downloading this lot; my connection gave up at about 4GiB. Reading it will take a while. But politics may supply a clue here. Alvin Weinberg was a major contributor to both the MSR and LWRs (Light Water Reactors); it would probably be fair to credit him as the inventor of both, along with Eugene Wigner. According to various sources, Weinberg was pushing for MSRs to be developed in preference to LWRs for civilian power generation on grounds of safety; he considered PWRs safe enough only for military use. It seems that his concerns for safety conflicted with the political priority of making plutonium, leading to his replacement as director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1973. That sounds like typical politics to me, a bad decision made for the wrong reasons, so I consider it plausible.

  • Fedup

    Clark,
    Use of Light Water Reactors or in general PWR reactors in military is for the reasons of propulsion of submarines, aircraft carriers, and at one point in the past have been forwarded as aircraft engines too. There is a strong probability that USSR got their nuclear powered aircraft airborne, whilst US engine tests on an experimental craft got nowhere. (the comparatively low levels of radiation makes this class of reactor more desirable, for confined spaces and environment)
    ,
    Throughout our debate you have pointed out the presence of bomb making material in the spent fuel, and transmutation of most of the fuel into such a material, that in effect validates the cock and bull we are subject to on a daily basis, to discourage the proliferation of nuclear power production methods.
    ,
    The current material available on the net, are put there by the interested parties to corroborate/validate their own agenda/favoured cause/politics. Nuclear industry is a secretive industry, therefore the latest developments and innovations are not to be easily found around the internet. Further, to study the subject perhaps a good book or two needs to be referenced too.
    ,
    However, at the outset we must agree that even the high waste reactors do not produce huge volumes of waste, due to the dense nature of the nuclear products specific volumes are low, and can be easily disposed of in the various disused mineshaft/cave network/ocean burial sites/space. This is the lines of thinking James Lovelock is forwarding. Alas, as you have already mentioned the politics that has dogged the development of Thorium reactor, have also put paid to publicising and or promoting Lovelock’s thoughtful approach, due to the fact if nuclear industry finds a good enough traction, the rapid developments thereof could follow. One such a development would be a thorium reactor. Here we must understand that once Thorium can be used as a substrate for a reactor, next step could be almost any material also can be used too, with potential for exotic transmutation and potentially vast new areas of research as yet not even dreamt up could be open to investigations.
    ,
    Therefore the constant politics of negativity when it comes to nuclear power generation, because you have already mentioned the mindset of the military industrial complex is guns/weapons/bombs, and certainly precludes any notions of butter/bread/welfare.
    ,
    With the above in mind, with respect to the developments in places like Iran. This would be the catalysts for a race for peaceful nuclear power generation methods, that could result in the change of attitudes in the West too, and for once bread and butter are the winners.
    ,
    Now do we agree, or disagree Clark?

  • Clark

    Fedup, OK, I found this on Wikipedia:

    Weapons-grade plutonium is defined as being predominantly Pu-239, typically about 93% Pu-239. Pu-240 is produced when Pu-239 absorbs an additional neutron and fails to fission. Pu-240 and Pu-239 are not separated by reprocessing. Pu-240 has a high rate of spontaneous fission, which can cause a nuclear weapon to predetonate. To reduce the concentration of Pu-240 in the plutonium produced, weapons program plutonium production reactors irradiate the uranium for a far shorter time than is normal for a nuclear power reactor. More precisely, weapons-grade plutonium is obtained from uranium irradiated to a low burnup.
    .
    This represents a fundamental difference between these two types of reactor. In a nuclear power station, high burnup is desirable. Power stations such as the obsolete British Magnox and French UNGG reactors, which were designed to produce either electricity or weapons material, were operated at low power levels with frequent fuel changes using online refuelling to produce weapons-grade plutonium. Such operation is not possible with the light water reactors most commonly used to produce electric power. In these the reactor must be shut down and the pressure vessel disassembled to gain access to the irradiated fuel.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weapons-grade#Weapons-grade_plutonium
    .
    Thanks for raising this; I’ve learned something.
    .
    So our disagreement (confusion?) stems from different usages of the term “high burnup”. In conventional, solid cored reactors for electricity production, 6% is considered high. Even lower burnup could be used in some reactor types (eg. Magnox) to produce weapons-grade plutonium, with greatly reduced electrical power output while doing so.
    .
    6% is not considered high burnup in MSRs, which should achieve 90% and above.
    .
    So my initial concerns about the Bushehr reactor were overstated. The plutonium 239 that Bushehr will make will be contaminated with plutonium 240, and thus not suitable for making nuclear explosions. However, my point about pressure on Iran remains, for two reasons:
    .
    (1) Bushehr will be making plutonium, though not of weapons grade. But given the exaggerations and misdirections currently being deployed by those who demonise Iran’s nuclear programme, any production of plutonium by Iran will be used to raise fear, just as uranium enrichment is being used now. Giving up enrichment will not protect Iran from sanctions or from being attacked.
    .
    (2) Iran is regularly accused of aiding terrorism. The degree of truth in this matters little. Even if Iran imported its enriched uranium, as soon as Bushehr is refueled, Iran’s enemies will start agitating about possible “dirty bombs”; conventional explosives that distribute plutonium.
    .
    I have been unable to discover if the Bushehr reactor could be operated in a low burnup mode to produce weapons-grade plutonium. Adequate inspections would eliminate such a risk, but Iran’s enemies will deploy FUD nonetheless.

  • Clark

    Fedup, I mostly agree. A few points:
    .
    “There is a strong probability that USSR got their nuclear powered aircraft airborne…”
    .
    If you have a reliable source for this, please consider either updating Wikipedia yourself, or sending me some links so that I can do it. The current article claims that such reports were a hoax.
    .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_aircraft#Soviet_Nuclear_Bomber_hoax
    .
    “…whilst US engine tests on an experimental craft got nowhere.”
    .
    This was ORNL’s Aircraft Reactor Experiment (ARE), consisting of the first MSR, heat exchangers, and heat powered aircraft engines. The programme was essentially successful, but the elements were not combined into an operational aircraft by the time that ICBMs made the idea of permanently airborne bombers redundant. The programme then morphed into the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE), which appears to have been highly successful as a power generation reactor.
    .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_Nuclear_Propulsion
    .
    I don’t know how secretive the nuclear industry is, but the pro nuclear power community have seemed pretty open to me. It is true that political decisions about nuclear power in the UK were shrouded in secrecy, probably elsewhere too; this led to a lot of distrust from environmental activists.
    .
    I thought that James Lovelock was initially opposed to nuclear power, but changed his mind because he came to see global warming as a much greater threat.
    .
    There’s quite a lot of “spent fuel”, the US alone has about 70,000 tonnes, I think. I’m opposed to disposal of “spent fuel” for two main reasons. I’m worried that it can’t be kept from dispersing over the immense time-scale for which it will remain dangerous, but apart from that it’s just a waste; about 94% of its energy is yet to be released. This stuff should be stored until reactors that can burn it have been developed.
    .
    I’ve more to write, but I have a visitor now…

  • crab

    “You cannot have bomb making factories and power production reactors at the same time, these two facets are incompatible, regardless of tying to introduce miracle indexes and wish constants.”
    .
    Sure edup, more dictation and piss taking from your incredible imagination. So do i take an “ordinary” punter’s uncomprehended, unreferencale techno blagging seriously? Or for example, “The Union of Concerned Scientists” literature?
    .
    http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear_power/nuclear_power_risk/nuclear_proliferation_and_terrorism/
    “UCS opposes reprocessing—a method of extracting plutonium from spent nuclear fuel for reuse—because it opens the door to nuclear proliferation and terrorism.”
    .
    There is NO reference in this thread to even a half qualified statement that isotopes for bombs can not be produced in power producing reactors. There is just a hell of alot of standard prancing and prattling from Fedup, joined by a remarkabley patient and curious Clark who is very ambitiously trying to derive a reliable statement on the matter himself -from wikipedia draughts! Its nuclear tech guys! GET A GRIP

  • Fedup

    So do i take an “ordinary” punter’s uncomprehended, unreferencale techno blagging seriously? Or for example, “The Union of Concerned Scientists” literature?
    ,
    Crab you can fucking take it any which way you like included with Vaseline. Wow Isotopes is that the word of the day out of the round window?!!!!! fucking pathetic “edup”. now git.

  • Fedup

    Clark,
    I will do a bit of chasing and see if I can dig a reliable source, for the first part of “Clark 27 Jan, 2012 – 2:19 pm”,
    ,
    As for:
    I have been unable to discover if the Bushehr reactor could be operated in a low burnup mode to produce weapons-grade plutonium. Adequate inspections would eliminate such a risk, but Iran’s enemies will deploy FUD nonetheless.
    ,
    Although you are aware of FUD (Fear Uncertainty Doubt) factor promoted around the Iranian nuclear power production, then you fall into the trap. Why would anyone wish to destroy their PWR pushing it to run hot?
    ,
    As you have said Iran’s enemies, and the enemies of people like you and I, have for long tried to milk the last bit of profits from every worn out bit of obsolete technology at their disposal (consider this as return on investment), yielding grudgingly to advances only as a last resort. Fact that nuclear power production is the cheapest method of power production, fact that nuclear engineering can complement various fields of engineering, food and medicine, aside, this particular field has been suppressed in case someone somewhere made a bomb!!!!
    ,
    The vested interests whose vision statement is; hold the bastards down at all costs, are not going to let you and I and Iranians, live a life free from molestation and interference. These bunch of venal and corrupt bastards will always have plausible excuse, it is up to you and I not to fall into their trap.
    ,
    I hope you enjoyed your visitor.

  • Clark

    Fedup, I’m not particularly scared about Iran building a nuclear weapon, and I don’t even think it is likely. However, if the Bushehr reactor could be made to produce weapons-grade plutonium, we should say so, rather than pretending that it is impossible in some misguided act of support for Iran, or we’ll just discredit ourselves and lose the argument. Besides, are you sure that running a PWR in weapons grade plutonium production mode actually does damage it? I haven’t heard this before.
    .
    Nuclear reactors last some thirty to forty years. This is a longer timescale than many political regimes, and plenty of time for threats and pressures upon a country to change, so the capabilities of the reactors ought to be considered. Politicians will order the most desperate measures to obtain plutonium if they feel sufficiently threatened; just look at what the UK did at Windscale in the 1950s. What if the US reduces Iran to chaos like they did Iraq? The Iranian nuclear facilities could end up under the control of almost any random group.
    .
    Crab, I rather like Wikipedia. I know it has been criticised for inaccuracy, and I’ve seen some pretty dreadful articles a few years ago, but I think the quality has improved enormously and remarkably quickly. Ultimately, an open, collaborative effort like Wikipedia is the only way to produce a definitive encyclopedia. Any approach that is restricted to “experts” is vulnerable to criticisms of institutional bias. As the concept has caught on, Wikipedia has attracted quite a lot of expert contributors. The “Talk” pages are often very interesting.

  • Fedup

    Clark,
    We are going back now. Here we face the classic problem; do we believe the lies, or our eyes?
    ,
    How do you think uranium is transmuted into plutonium? If the decision is to get as much plutonium then there is a need for it to be produced, as you have already pointed out;
    ,
    ….which were designed to produce either electricity or weapons material, were operated at low power levels with frequent fuel changes using online refuelling to produce weapons-grade plutonium. Such operation is not possible with the light water reactors most commonly used to produce electric power

    ,
    This thread has been episodes of good debate that is questioning the current myths surrounding the use of nuclear power production, that is spasmodically given to henny penny skies are falling then coming back to sanity, and so forth.
    ,
    ,
    Fact is, Iran is in the business of energy supply, she is supplying Gas, Hydrocarbons, and electricity. In fact she exports electricity to Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, etc. and even Kuwait if I am not mistaken. Therefore her efforts in developing her indigenous nuclear industry, is an extension to their business model.
    ,
    You mention the long life of reactors and see this as a negative, also you are pointing out that if pressures were put on Iran, etc. ,
    Fact is these pressures ought not be on Iran, and as I have already pointed out, it is up to you and I not to subscribe into the utter bilge so prevalent in all affairs nuclear, and Iran.
    ,
    Finally, Pakistani/Indian bombs ought to be sources of more worry than any Iranian would be, could be, bombs. Further, given the degrees of instability that Isreal is experiencing, as well as the overstated and overblown nationalism inherent in zionism that is congenitally afflicted with massada complex in combination of her being in possession of nukes and hydrogen bombs, you are worried about what if the various groups in Iran tried this and that sometime into the future?
    ,
    Clark check and see what is your energy bill, and ask yourself could it have been cheaper? Why is it not, ought to be your next question?

  • Clark

    Fedup, I’m not sure of the accuracy of this line: “Such operation is not possible with the light water reactors most commonly used to produce electric power”. It’s in Wikipedia, but it carries no citation, I know of no theoretical support for it, and this article contradicts it:
    .
    http://web.archive.org/web/20060307121518/http://www.nautilus.org/archives/pub/ftp/napsnet/papers/hayes1193.txt
    .
    I’m also not sure that plutonium 239 contaminated with plutonium 240 cannot be made into a nuclear weapon. OK, such a weapon might blow up prematurely, but (1) that’s obviously a problem to a country with hundreds of nukes, but if it doesn’t happen very often it might be acceptable to a desperate regime that can only make a few, and (2) plutonium can be used as part of a weapon such as a dirty bomb even if you can’t get it to explode as a nuke.
    .
    I’m not singling out Iran for special treatment, in fact that part of my paragraph didn’t mention Iran. I think that all nuclear installations should be monitored for diversion of nuclear materials; in Iran, UK, USA, North Korea, wherever. I think you’re underestimating the potential dangers from plutonium proliferation. We should expect nuclear power to carry grave dangers because it is so powerful – one kilo of uranium can yield as much energy as three million kilos of coal.
    .
    Yes, energy bills are too high (ie price fixing and excessive profits), but equally, many people in our society are too poor (ie couldn’t afford enough energy even if the price was fair). Yes, greedy corporations will exaggerate and publicise dangers in order to boost profits, but this doesn’t mean the dangers are all lies; a real danger is easier to exploit than a false, invented one.

  • crab

    “Crab, I rather like Wikipedia.”
    So do I Clark but best personally as a learning tool -The kind of learning which takes time and practice to learn, not just the few moments hazarded to see if the articles served before me reveal a certain position. I hazard too – but it should be about the learning. I “know” about just a couple of subjects and crafts well enough to dictate and answer questions well on.
    For a complex outcome of developed science, it really fucking helps to well learned in the feild to make big claims like fedup has been doing, preposterously, and you have been searching wikipedia for clues, while really you are mostly learning i presume. I mean, the learned generally try to correct WP articles rather than analyse them.
    .
    Anyway, I only have a hunch that the particular point i questioned fedup on is wrong, just a hunch that nuclear powerplants could and probably have been designed to produce both power *and* spent fuel suitable for refinement for nuclear weapons. >> But i dont claim my hunch is otherwise.
    .
    Fedup dodged the requests for references, while talking down freely, the truely ridiculous thought experiment, the answers “your confusion” etc, the restatement of his original claim along with nothing but sillyness and rudeness. I see his final reply is just a cartoon insult – vaseline ho ho. We will see how this not giving a shit will pan out on the blog…
    .
    Obviously ive got my own mood. But that silly windbag deserves all the ridicule he has been getting and i dont see the worth of pretending to have sensible conversations with him.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    You know Tony12 volunteered to Craigs request earlier. Any news Tony???? iirc he often misses comments.

  • Clark

    “…a hunch that nuclear powerplants could and probably have been designed to produce both power *and* spent fuel suitable for refinement for nuclear weapons.”

    Given politicians’ hunger for plutonium and power, this does seem likely. Or maybe Pu 239/240 separation isn’t so hard, or maybe there is some way around the spontaneous fission of Pu 240. These matters concern weapon design and manufacture, and are likely hidden behind far more secrecy than civilian power generation. Too many “maybes”; it seems right to regard plutonium proliferation as dangerous, even before we consider its chemical (as opposed to radioactive) toxicity and the possibility of dirty bombs or other deliberate contamination.
    .
    Fedup, please note that I’m not accusing Iran of anything here. I’m discussing rules that should be applied generally. Probably one of the countries deserving most attention is Israel, with its 300 or so undeclared nuclear warheads, and a known history of false flag operations.
    .
    It seems the best approach to plutonium is not to produce it in the first place, and that means not putting U238 into reactors; it’s just one neutron absorption from Pu239. Thorium 232 is four times as abundant as U238, and literally dirt cheap as it’s common in waste “tailings” from other mining operations. It is also seven neutron absorptions from Pu239.
    .
    I’m cynical enough to suspect that governments see this the other way around entirely; just possessing plutonium bestows power, even without the ability to make it into a bomb. Why on Earth would they use thorium when using U238 will give them plutonium?
    .
    This all reminds me of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, with plutonium as the One, the Ruling Ring which bestows absolute power, but the desire for which corrupts absolutely.

    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
    One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

    The only solution to the existence of the One Ring was to destroy it, and the only way to do so was to return it to the fire by which it was forged.
    .
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/kirksorensen/2011/07/27/waste-digester/

  • Clark

    Fedup, please don’t be offensive to Crab, who I believe has a good heart. Offensive language will also get you on the moderators’ “watch list”!
    .
    Crab, I’m glad of the discussion with Fedup, though I agree with you that he overstates his argument and is overconfident of being right. But this discussion has been useful to me; I didn’t know of the different operating regimes of the Magnox reactors, for instance, nor that North Korea’s reactors were developed from the UK Magnox design. It’s far more fun looking into these matters as part of a discussion than just exploring it all on my own, and for that I need an opponent.
    .
    Besides, this is how consensus is built – small point by small point.

  • Fedup

    Clark,
    You have gone into homily mode.
    ,
    Your obsession is with maybe, could be, possibly plutonium for bomb making in reactors, is it sufficient grounds to stop building of LWR PWR reactors, at once and get on with building thorium reactors?
    ,
    As of now UK has 130 tonnes of plutonium stashed away. How many bombs would this make Clark? What are the costs involved in keeping this amount of plutonium? what are the logistics entailed? How much US has stashed away? How much plutonium across the globe is being stored? How much plutonium do Isrealis have in storage?
    ,
    Well the above does not concern you, but the maybe could be LWR PWR reactors could be diverted into making the material bothers you.
    ,
    Before we go any further, we need to clarify what are the objectives that we intend to achieve with our debate?
    ,
    Are we trying to clarify to ourselves and others perhaps the most contentious issues surrounding the scaremongering so prevalent in the nuclear field? The efforts in conflation of nuclear with death and destruction have always been an all too easily portrayed affair, show a footage of Hiroshima, and a couple of photos/packages of atmospheric nuclear testing, and everyone is scared shitless.
    ,
    On the other hand any effort in clarification, always starts with massive amounts of technical data, and reels of information, and oodles of equations, and graphs, which in effect scare the already addled punters away. Therefore, debating the issues nuclear in a none technical and easy way, without falling victim to jargon, and indices, ought to be our aim.
    ,
    In fact have you read/heard of the radioactive boy scout? This young boy decided to build his own reactor in his mother’s garden shed?
    ,
    So if a boy scout can build a reactor, then anyone can. However to carry on with scaremongering to hold back the development of the nuclear power production is a dastardly plot that in the long run is doing no one any favours.

    PS, I have no tolerance for people bitching/condescending without any merits. Crab somewhat struts around as the blog owner, or some sort of an extra ordinary cut above the others character, with its constant condescensions, that is rude and obnoxious.

  • Fedup

    Clark,
    What is the threshold of the numbers of deaths, resulting from application of weapons systems that are to be qualified as; none lethal weapons classification?
    ,
    Therefore, to find a nuclear reactor that does not produce “bomb making material” what are the measurements involved?
    ,
    QED the ditched DPRK LWR construction. (Bu$h wanted to finish the job that was shoved into the pending box, back in 1950s)
    ,
    If there is will to screw up then anything can be screwed up.

  • Clark

    I wrote “It (thorium 232) is also seven neutron absorptions from Pu239”, as indicating thorium’s reluctance to form plutonium. This was an over simplification. Here’s what really happens to thorium in a molten salt reactor system:

    A liquid-fluoride reactor operating only on thorium and using a “start charge” of pure U-233 will produce almost no transuranic isotopes. This is because neutron capture in U-233 (which occurs about 10% of the time) will produce U-234, which will further absorb another neutron to produce U-235, which is fissile. U-235 will fission about 85% of the time in a thermal-neutron spectrum, and when it doesn’t it will produce U-236. U-236 will further absorb another neutron to produce Np-237, which will be removed by the fluorination system. But the production rate of Np-237 will be exceedingly low because of all the fission “off-ramps” in its production.

  • Fedup

    Clark,
    Why do you want to complicate the issues?
    ,
    Think simple, no need to frighten the punters away.
    ,
    Take a look at this it is all self explanatory.
    ,
    If you read about the Boy scout reactor construction badge, you will find he too was using thorium.

  • Clark

    Fedup, you wrote: “…scaremongering to hold back the development of the nuclear power production is a dastardly plot..” – I disagree. Of course there are vested interests that will plot, sow confusion, and exploit fear. But there is also genuine fear, partly justified, and partly born of ignorance. The ignorance is to be expected, as nuclear technology is only about sixty years old, less than a human lifetime.
    .
    Nuclear technology originated in a time of war, and then became a defining feature of the Cold War. People’s association of nuclear technology with weapons is entirely justified. The pursuit of nuclear weapons has set the direction of the entire nuclear industry. Fuel cycles that produced plutonium were chosen by governments in preference to those which did not. Now we are stuck with that legacy in the nuclear power industry, as private companies cannot compete with the much larger (and partly military) research and development budgets of national governments.
    .
    Fedup, are you arguing that, because there is already quite a bit of plutonium, it doesn’t matter if even more is made? I would not accept that argument. The more that is made, and the more reactors making it, the worse and more expensive the problem of securing it all.
    .
    No, I’m not arguing for the immediate decommissioning of existing reactors, nor the cancellation of those already ordered. But I am arguing for immediate development and prototyping of molten salt reactors and thorium based fuel cycles. The science behind this looks solid; it’s really just an engineering development problem. I’m also calling for the development of reactors to burn up, utilise and neutralise “spent fuel”. This is scientifically more problematic, with serious research to be done, but again, the molten salt reactors are probably the way to go.
    .
    Sorry, the only bit of your 12:48 pm comment that I understand is the last line, with which I agree.

  • crab

    “You want references go fucking find them yourself, you lazy shit.”
    .
    Fedup has not time to reference remarkable claims, but plenty of time for advice.

  • crab

    I dont beleive Iran’s nuclear power program is a real strategic problem -while it allows monitoring. I think without monitoring any nuclear power program can become such a risk. I wouldnt personally begrudge Iran its own nuclear weapons, because i recognise the demonisation of the countries people and leaders and religion, for what it is -demonistation. I wish by 2012 we were reaching out friendship and assitance to all countries and people! but all we do is abuse Iran while saying how dangerous they could get.
    .
    No doubt the iran nuclear technology problem is one created and perpetuated by the wests vultures of war.

  • Jon

    @Fedup/@Crab, alright, keep your hair on :). If a fruitful discussion is not emerging between any two people – in any electronic forum – it is often best to bow out.
    .
    @Fedup – I recognise that one or two posters in this thread haven’t been as diplomatic to you as they could have been. But you seem to be in ‘strike mode’ continuously on a number of threads, in particular when Iran is criticised. In general, when it is tempting to offload abuse at someone, I recommend taking a break, or posting that you intend to step out of particular conversation X. I’ve moderated out one of your posts here; others have been left in situ as it is unclear who upset the apple cart first. But please be civil with everyone – most people here operate in good faith, and if you suspect otherwise, it is impossible to prove.

  • Fedup

    Clark,
    This is highly unlikely that yo may read this in time, btu in a quantum world all is probable, hence; If you watch Discovery Turbo channel “Planes that never flew”, you will see the direct and indirect cycle reactors for the atomic powered bombers.

  • Fedup

    Jon,
    I am not in full strike mode, my tolerance threshold has been somewhat reduced by the constant streams of untruths, and abhorrent exceptionalisms that seem to be the order of the day.
    ,
    I discourage anyone stepping on my toes, that is all.
    ,
    However, if you read the preceding comments, you will find the comment was an advice, and reminder, forwarded as response in a robust manner.
    ,
    So far as Iran is concerned, that country has come to represent the Poland scenario in the last WW, and in fact any attacks on Iran can trigger WWIII, despite the optimistic bilge emanating from certain quarters, the realities surrounding the case all point to WWIII.
    ,
    I don’t know if you have your nuclear bunker at the bottom of the garden? Alas I don’t and judging the ill prepared and none existent civil defence infrastructure, here in UK, and elsewhere, the best way of survival for me, remains in stopping any probable aggression in that direction. Enough has been spent on wars, and the decade long wars of choice. These ought to come an end, without any further wars and carnage.

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