[FoRK] Malthusian machinations

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Fri Jun 11 23:05:01 PDT 2010


On 6/11/10 4:40 PM, Sean Conner wrote:
> It was thus said that the Great Jeff Bone once stated:
>    
>> Last bit: anybody catch the bit about wet-phase uranyl extraction from
>> sea water that made the rounds last week?That was one of the first
>> things I've seen in a while that makes me optimistic that the race
>> against time can be won w/o a serious die-back.
>>      
>    No, but I did come across this:
>
> http://market-ticker.org/archives/2385-Energy-Are-You-A-Pig-And-A-Bigot.html
>
> 	1. We have a lot of coal in this country.  It contains Thorium,
> 	   which is a natural substance that can be used to build nuclear
> 	   piles.  Said technology was developed and built more than 30
> 	   years ago - this is not "pie in the sky" technology.
>
> 	2. Each ton of coal we burn up contains 13 times as much energy as
> 	   that liberated by combustion of the carbon in said Thorium.  We
> 	   could thus receive the same electrical energy we gain by burning
> 	   the coal through extracting the Thorium and using the nuclear
>    

The thorium is not likely to be split by burning, so why not burn it and 
also collect the thorium from the result for later fission?  Might be a 
good way to fund carbon / emission scrubbing.


> 	energy to produce power.  With the rest of the energy, the other
> 	   12/13ths, we could then extract hydrogen from seawater (which we
> 	   have lots of) and convert the remaining coal to either diesel
> 	   fuel or gasoline.  To put a not-fine-point on this, we throw away
> 	   more than 100 billion gallons of gasoline (after conversion
> 	   losses) in thorium tailings alone.  That is damn close to all of
> 	   our existing gasoline consumption - with ZERO oil being drilled.
> 	   (PS: Those are conservative estimates - mathematically, it's 200
> 	   billion gallons!)
> 	
>    -spc (Wouldn't mind seeing Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon refuse to sell
> 	California energy; let's see how long those "Not-In-My-Backyard"ers
> 	last ... )
>    

You mean like the not-in-my-backyard'ers in Nevada who don't want 
nuclear "waste" buried deep in a mountain?
Where we can get to deep bedrock with no real water table invasion and 
mixing problem, we have all of the safe storage we could want.  It's 
dumb not to use it unless there are clear, scientific dangers.

sdw



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