Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Thorium nuclear reactors not the answer to climate change

Will Thorium Save Us From Climate Change? EcoWAtch, | February 11, 2014″…….What are “safer nuclear power systems?” And are they the answer?

Proposed technologies include smaller modular reactors, reactors that shut down automatically after an accident and molten salt reactors. …….One idea is to use thorium instead of uranium for reactor fuel. Thorium is more abundant than uranium. Unlike uranium, it’s not fissile; that is, it can’t be split to create a nuclear chain reaction, so it must be bred through nuclear reactors to produce fissile uranium……..

Although they may be better than today’s reactors, LFTRs still produce radioactive and corrosive materials, they can be used to produce weapons and we don’t know enough about the impacts of using fluoride salts. Fluoride will contain a nuclear reaction, but it can be highly toxic, and deadly as fluorine  gas. And though the technology’s been around since the 1950s, it hasn’t been proven on a commercial scale. Countries including the U.S., China, France and Russia are pursuing it, but in 2010 the U.K.’s National Nuclear Laboratory reported that thorium claims are “overstated.”

It will also take a lot of time and money to get a large number of reactors on-stream—some say from 30 to 50 years. Given the urgent challenge of global warming, we don’t have that much time. Many argue that if renewables received the same level of government subsidies as the nuclear industry, we’d be ahead at lower costs. Thorium essentially just adds another fuel option to the nuclear mix and isn’t a significant departure from conventional nuclear. All nuclear power remains expensive, unwieldy and difficult to integrate with intermittent renewables—and carries risks for weapons proliferation……

investing in renewable energy and smart-grid technologies is a faster, more cost-effective and safer option than building new nuclear facilities, regardless of type. ……we must also build on the momentum of renewable energy development, which has been spurred by its safety, declining costs and proven effectiveness.http://ecowatch.com/2014/02/11/will-thorium-save-us-from-climate-change/

 

February 12, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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