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all 19 comments

[–][deleted] 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Check out his TED Talk... He lays out his plans in detail.

[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Excellent....

[–]redspex 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I can already hear steve jobs warming up his podium to declare death to nuclear and the birth of the solar age. Either that or something new for the iPad...

[–]Equality72521 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Anyone know why they went with depleted uranium instead of thorium?

[–]xenofon 0 points1 point  (0 children)

well, from a quick reading, I see a few reasons:

  • No refueling needed, it comes pre-packed with 60 years of fuel. That decreases maintenance tremendously, making it more suitable for developing countries, which are the target for this technology.
  • greater fuel efficiency than LWRs
  • hundreds of thousands of tons of fuel already available and sitting there, enough for thousands of years of energy generation. The fuel is waste from the uranium refining process, so using it also helps with the problem of what to do with the waste we already have
  • easy to make low power reactors in the 300 Megawatt range. In developing countries, you might want to spread out the power, put up lots of small reactors instead of a few large ones. Saves on transmission costs and transmission losses, gets the energy where it's needed, with a cheaper reactor.
  • not a great target for theft of material to make bombs. The bulk fuel is uranium from which u-235 has already been extracted, so it's useless. The actual breeding zone is pretty tiny, that's where new fuel is being produced. Of course, reactors are targets in other ways, such as someone crashing a plane into them or stuff like that. However, the sealed design with no refueling means you could possibly bury the whole chamber underground where it was safe from such attacks.

I'm not against thorium at all, specially molten salt thorium designs. I think it's great though, to not rely on a single technology hoping it will work out. Multiple approaches mean that even if one fails, you still have a chance.

[–]DrWhoMetaCrysis 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is a guess, but we (the US) are way more experienced with uranium. Sure we could switch to one of the more exotic new technologies down the line, but lets just get something started.

[–]cn45 3 points4 points  (0 children)

This doesn't really come as a surprise. There are probably five people in the world with the capitol to do with this that are not completely backed by the government.

[–]Aegean 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Since there will undoubtedly be protests - how much clean energy has been prevented by people / protesters who mean well but miss the big picture?

I'm willing to bet that meaning well but missing key intelligence amounts to plenty of waste and false starts.

In my area alone; at least 6 billion dollars worth of clean energy was wasted. But we're still paying for a fully built but non-operational reactor in our electric bills AND burning more fossil fuels.

People could say - "who knew?"

looks towards Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant

Someone did.

[–]StabsWithBricks 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Im learning about nuclear energy now in school. It is reckoned no nuclear power plant in the western world could explode like chernobyl, they lower carbon rods which slows the neutrinos and inhibits the reaction.

Anyways, we should look into fusion more since it almost has an unlimited amount of fuel(sea water), safe(the plasma just cools down if it touches any surface, reaction stops) and gives around 100x more energy. Don't take my shitty word for it, look it up yourselves it's fun stuff :D

[–]aaaargh 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I hope your school doesn't think they drive reactors by controlling the neutrinos. And that they know the difference between slowing and absorbing neutrons - which one makes the power go up and which makes it go down. And what are these carbon rods?

[–]geekville -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

A nuclear reactor running Windows?!

[–]drew3000 -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Download patch for nuclear meltdown exploit coming soon.

[–]Aegean -1 points0 points  (2 children)

[–]TheDude069 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

well think about it, if there is no electricity no one can use his computers...

[–]DriftingJesus -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

Bill Gates or future Overlord?