nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors unlikely to be commercially developed

Around the World, Nuclear Can’t Compete With Growing Renewables “What is spectacular is the extent to which the nuclear industry is appearing to ignore reality.”  Katherine Tweed Greentech Media, July 16, 2015 “……..For the reactors that are in operation, many are aging rapidly. The mean age for reactors worldwide is about 29 years, and most were designed for life spans of 40 years, but many will operate beyond that. The cost of going beyond 40 years isn’t cheap — about $1 billion to $5 billion per reactor. By 2050, nuclear’s share of global electricity generation is expected to be similar to its role today, which amounts to about 10 percent.

Given the cost and time necessary to build large reactors, many in the industry have argued for a move to small modular reactors. Yet SMRs have also suffered from higher-than-expected costs and long development timelines, the report states.

SMRs-mirage

The U.S. Department of Energy has been one of the proponents of this technology, yet none of the designs it said in 2001 could be available by the end of the decade were deployed. Of the two companies the DOE chose years later for SMR development funding, one slashed its spending on SMRs in 2014. NuScale, the other SMR manufacturer, is still continuing with development. Even so, “there is no evidence that SMRs will be constructed in the United States anytime soon,” the report states.

The picture is not rosier in other countries that have lent support to SMRs. South Korea, for example, has been developing an SMR since the 1990s, and while it was approved in 2012, no orders have yet been received. Saudi Arabia did say earlier this year it would test the technology in a three-year pilot.

“The static, top-heavy, monstrously expensive world of nuclear power has less and less to deploy against today’s increasingly agile, dynamic, cost-effective alternatives,” wrote Porritt. “The sole remaining issue is that not everyone sees it that way — as yet.”http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/renewables-outpace-nuclear-in-major-economies

July 18, 2015 Posted by | technology, thorium | Leave a comment

Confusing that Republicans support uneconomic thorium nuclear reactors

text-SMRsWhy GOP support for subsidized nuclear energy is confounding Bangor Daily News, By Peter Bradford, July 11, 2015,

Two unusual bills promoting nuclear power were introduced in the Maine Legislature this session. One, from Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, would have fast tracked Maine’s path to a reactor using thorium to create a uranium isotope different from those that fuel nearly all of today’s power reactors. The other, from the office of Gov. Paul LePage, would have exempted “small modular reactors” from the referendum process Maine requires for other nuclear power plants.

Neither bill passed as proposed.

Still, what on earth is going on here? No license applications for these designs have ever been filed at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. No one knows what they would cost or how reliably they would operate.

New, conventional reactors being built at customer expense in South Carolina and Georgia will have to charge well over twice the prevailing and projected market price of electricity in New England. No private company wants to build or finance a reactor under anything resembling New England power market rules. Large subsidies will be essential to the development of new reactors, including thorium and small modular reactors.

When it comes to much smaller subsidies for solar energy, LePage has vetoed legislation that would have added a surcharge amounting to less than one-tenth of a percent to Maine electric bills. He asserted that the legislation “unilaterally selects solar above other solutions that have proven to be more cost effective.” He is equally dismissive of support for wind energy or energy efficiency.

What is it about taxpayer subsidy and big government cronyism that pose such an irresistible attraction for conservatives only when directed to nuclear power? Like a reverend preaching temperance from a barstool, LePage vetoes and disparages government support for proven technologies while embracing an unproven and subsidy-addicted reactor technology as a solution to Maine’s electricity needs.

Subsidies for today’s reactors pale beside past nuclear largesse. Reactors — including thorium reactors — and nuclear fuel enrichment facilities were invented in government laboratories and given to private industry in combination with massive incentives to build power plants. The federal government made unique commitments to own and dispose of the waste fuel while limiting liability for serious accidents. States were preempted from any safety judgements about nuclear power. When electric industry restructuring threatened nuclear profitability in the 1990s, a multibillion-dollar surcharge was added to customer electric bills to cushion the impact on investors. A Congressional Research Service Report estimates that half of all federal energy expenditures on energy research and development have gone to nuclear power………….

given Maine’s experience with past nuclear mirages, the state should not anoint any single technology without an even-handed evaluation of the alternatives.

Peter Bradford chaired the Maine and New York utility regulatory commissions and was a member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He is an adjunct professor at Vermont Law School. http://bangordailynews.com/2015/07/11/the-point/why-gop-support-for-subsidized-nuclear-energy-is-confounding/

July 15, 2015 Posted by | politics, thorium, USA | Leave a comment

The global clean energy movement at risk of infiltration by the thorium nuclear cult

Thorium Church: a trojan horse in the “green” movements. Here the Removal Tool. No Nukes, 
By Massimo Greco June 2015   
What are trojan horses?

Trojan horses, otherwise known as trojans, are programs or applications that are inadvertently opened by the user, who expects the file to be something else..  by the same way “thorium supporters” are infecting forums, mailing list, debacts and environmental organizations.

Thorium-cultIt’s a strategy that is working in progress from some year. In few years they infected large part of the web.  Like any malware, thorium’s priests are insinuated through any open space or open port .. and they are able to act at different levels. Mutating depending on the circumstances, improvising them selves as technicians or economists with the sole purpose of creating deviationism which in practice consists of annoying redirect to their cause that is regularly touted as a “green” solution or, even, “pacifist” or as a miraculous solution for the “salvation of the climate”.

Their function is aggressive, especially when you try to contradict them. They always want to have the last word in any discussion, obsessively, and only when it is too late you will realize how they can make you loosing your precious time. At that point you will no more than take note that they have achieved their goal. The infection has taken place and yours space is compromised. Whether it on youtube, any social network, forums or in any blog … it makes no difference: the malware is mutant. And in this, their behavior is very reminiscent of the deviationist hysteria typical of the fanatics of “chemtrails”. And this is not a “coincidence”. In fact one of several strategies, probably the most important, of the priests of thorium, has been to adopt the method of the conspiracy. Internet is full of delusions offering thorium as ecological way prevented by the famous NWO …. This was the most successful strategy in the work of proselytism in previous years, because it could involve a considerable number of idiots on the net.

Thorium’s priests respond with their usual strutting arrogance that scandals such as Kerr-McGee Chemical LLC affair at West Chicago, Ridgewood … NYC’s Most Radioactive Place … The affair of the soil that came from radioactive waste storage site in St. Louis and dumped at West Lake …. or the thorium contamination (with murders and judiciary prosecution) for military use in Sardinia (and in other NATO italian bases …) “has nothing to do with LFTR” …..

“that has nothing to do..” ???

So… why, in their propaganda, the most important slogan is “Thorium is green”? “it’s natural”… “viable”… “clean”…. or “peaceful”???

This is the best example of the typical commercials fraud of the lies in matter of communication.

Is there any “pope” in this kind of “church”?

Oh yess! More than one!

According to an article diffused by “Energy & Capital” that is a network resource that promotes “Pratical Investment Analysis in the New Energy Economy”, Bill Gates (whose company TerraPower has also begun testing thorium reactors) is one of the major investors.

On the Huffington Post you can read also that “In the U.S., TerraPower, founded by former Microsoft chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold, with backing from Bill Gates, is working on a “traveling wave reactor”–often described as ‘the world’s most passive fast breeder reactor’ –that will be able to run on both thorium and uranium and is due, in prototype form, by 2020.”

Another important bishop, Kirk Sorenson, chief technologist for the Energy from Thorium Foundation, says that “To stop global warming,” says…  “we need thousands of new reactors worldwide; currently we have hundreds. It took three years from when they invented the fluoride reactor until they built the first one. That was fifty years ago, and we know a lot more about how to do it now.” [Huffinghton Post]

So not only priests but also cardinals…. like Kirk Sorensen, former NASA aerospace engineer and formerly chief nuclear technologist at Teledyne Brown Engineering. Often present in all the results of the infected search engines used to promote about “the potential for thorium to offer humanity a safe, cheap and abundant source of energy”.

But the Thorium Church is also “modern” and “emancipated”, so you can learn that there is also a woman pope… :
Bryony Katherine Worthington, Baroness Worthington, patron of the Weinberg Foundation, she is a life peer in the House of Lords. She became a member of the Lords on 02-Feb-2011. The Baroness was once “passionately opposed to nuclear power” but came to advocate the adoption of Thorium as a nuclear fuel in the name of “climate change mitigation”…
On 29 February 2012 a Thorium all-party parliamentary group was formed; its officers were Worthington, Julian Huppert and Ralph Palmer, with twenty other members at founding. According to the info of wikipedia Worthington is no longer listed on the APPG registry however, we can’t know why… maybe there are different strategies or competitive conflicts inside the Church.. :p

That’s all you need to know in order to undestand, better, what we are talking about before to talk about their “trojan horse” propagandistic resources and how to get safety protection about it…http://www.nonukes.it/rna/news326.html

 

June 19, 2015 Posted by | spinbuster, thorium | 1 Comment

How to detect and remove thorium nuclear propaganda from your environmental group

Thorium-snake-oilThorium Church: a trojan horse in the “green” movements. Here the Removal Tool. No Nukes, 
By Massimo Greco June 2015 

“…….Scanning and Removal tool

“How do I know if my preferred “green” organization, or group, or leader… is infected by the ‘thorium church’ trojan horse?”

First check if the leader or “group leader” you are referring knows the problem of thorium, whether it has never taken a position on it. If the answer is “I do not know the problem” or “what you’re talking about,” you have the first certainty that your organization or target group is NOT protected.

If the answer is: “It is not a problem that concerns us”, “there is no matter in our topic or with antinuclear matter or uranium …”, or even worse … “nuclear thorium could be a clean way but the NWO prevents “… then you have the most certain that your group or environmental organization is terribly infected and that the leader is highly compromised.

If you are doing this survey “in public”, in a forum related to your organization reference, and after posting these sacrosanct questions and you are reproached or assaulted without causing or leading an intervention by the “admin” able to defend you, that’s another proof that your organization, or environmental group, results hugely infected.

You can also do a very easy search to see if the “admin” or the “most active” subjects are related to pro-thorium forums or registered as supporters of fan in groups offering thorium as a “savior” or “green”, especially when you attend to spam and suspicious behavior in the forums or social networks. You can do the same search about chemtrails or “HAARP” deviationism. As better Explained before, Thorium Church used very much the conspiracy decoy in order to mislead, confused and make it weak, vulnerable and unpractical environmental movements.

How to protect yourself from malicious propaganda of Thorium Church or from related compromised group or organizations.

If, as explained above, your reference group or environmental organization is infected: leave the group. This way you will avoid being accomplices. Thou hast tried, you have already taken the necessary steps. You’re not responsible. You have tried to change things.

If you are a “leader” or admin of a forum, or group… or green or environmental organization, you have to eject such people before they get completely the control of any topic. You have the duty to eject these individuals, without any hesitation of “democracy” and “freedom of confusion”… Because they, in the spaces controlled by the Thorium Church, do not allow you ever to contradict them and erase systematically, as their typical practice, anything that might cast doubt on their truth or propaganda. And, in any case, as admin or “leader” you have a duty to treat these subjects like any nuclearist that want to provoke discussion on the space that you are owning, or controlling.

If you are owning a youtube channel or any social page on social networks and you want to get protection from the thorium worm.. specially concerning antinuclear or environmental documents:

Simply “turn off” the option about “free comments” and choice comments under authorization or moderate. If you are admin of social pages delete their worms (spamming) and eject the veicle of infection (for the reasons better explained before).

“How can I become active against cultural damages of pro-nuclear business propaganda of the Thorium Church?”

Ofcourse there are many different ways. Remember that pro-nuclear lobbies are pushing for the “new generation of nuclear power”, that means not only tradicional way of uranium. In fact they are talking about “nuclear of future”. So, “green”, environmentalist organizations, antinuclear people need to look about future strategies of the lobbies and not only to the past or the temporary, local, contingencies.

In recent years many antinuclear resources and internationally famous have taken a position on thorium. Just think about documents released by Bellona, Beyond Nuclear or to the Excellent article from Bob Alvarez on why thorium is not the wonder fuel it’s being promoted as and a brief history of the US’s persistent failure in making thorium safe or efficient ending with the expected trail of dangerous, weaponizable, waste… or the position of Helen Caldicott, violently attacked by the priests of the Thorium Church with a lot of insults like at the time of the “Scarlet Letter”…

[Dr. Arjun Makhijani on the downsides of the proposed thorium reactors (by Dr. Helen Caldicott)]

So it’s important to diffuse all the events, documents and positions, everywhere is possible, in order to counteract the mala information and debunking thorium commercials spot on the net.

To start an international and active support of the antinuclear movement in Indonesia, Malaysia, specially concerning the mobilization around Lynas, Koodankulam and any Rare Earth opposition in the West Asia. Promoting an active “UPGRADE” of all the antinuclear organizations.

Not only. You can help also supporting all the RNA spaces. Like this. For a new “NoThorium” activism. RNA was the first organization that started activism against thorium in Italy and in Paris. And at this moment has and diffuses the most rich archive of documents against thorium.

Better active today than radioactive tomorrow http://www.nonukes.it/rna/news326.html

June 19, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, spinbuster, thorium | Leave a comment

Pentagon’s arms provider, and billionaires Bill Gates and Paul Allen in propaganda push for Small Nuclear Reactors

text-SMRsPlanet Ark  16-Jun-15 USA Timothy Gardner The Pentagon’s top arms provider and firms partly funded by Silicon Valley billionaires Bill Gates and Paul Allen are among dozens of companies collectively betting more than $1.3 billion that a new wave of nuclear power can be a force to fight climate change.

Advanced nuclear power plants, which will employ techniques such as using fuels other than uranium and coolants other than water, have attracted private investments from more than 40 companies from Florida to Washington state, the Third Way think tank says in the first report specifying the number of firms and total money invested in the technologies……..

Companies expressing faith in advanced nuclear power range from Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon’s largest supplier, to Holtec International, which is building a $260 million technology campus in economically depressed Camden, New Jersey.

Gates has partially funded TerraPower, a company that aims to build reactors cooled by liquid metal, and Allen has partially funded TriAlpha, a company that plans to make nuclear fusion plants……

Gates'-travelling-Wave-Nucl

Critics of advanced nuclear say companies have yet to make small reactors economically viable despite decades of development by energy companies and the U.S. military. Advanced reactors using new fuels, such as thorium, and new cooling systems, such as molten salt, are also difficult to make economically viable, they say.

The nuclear industry has also been weakened by a political backlash following radioactive leaks at Japan’s Fukushima power plant in 2011. And the U.S. natural gas boom has slashed the cost of that fuel, making it harder for nuclear power to compete.

The Third Way report was not funded by the nuclear industry. But the think tank has received financial support from The Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry’s lobby group, and Babcock & Wilcox, a company hoping to build small nuclear reactors…….http://planetark.org/enviro-news/item/73313

June 19, 2015 Posted by | spinbuster, technology, thorium, USA | Leave a comment

Jonathon Porritt busts the pro thorium nuclear reactor hype

flag-UKFriends Of The Earth: Still Critical to Anti-Nuclear Movement, Jonathon Porritt, 9 June 15 “…….Using thorium as the basis for the nuclear fuel cycle solves none of the problems of high cost, nuclear weapons proliferation, nuclear waste, radioactive emissions and decommissioning. The only difference is a lower production of long-lived transuranics(like plutonium) in the waste.

And it has three huge disadvantages:

• First, the develop the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR) technology favouredby thorium advocates would likely cost of the order of $100 billion;
• Second, we don’t know if a working design would ever result as there are huge engineering challenges, for example in creating materials to withstand the high temperatures and intense radiation for decades on end;
• Third, even if the project were successful, there’s no way that LFTRs could be deployed at scale for half a century – by which time, the rapid development ofrenewables that’s taking place will have made it entirely redundant.

Thorium-pie-in-sky

So in my humble opinion, any idea of supporting more research into thorium reactors is plain daft. If there’s a spare $100 billion to be spent on energy research, it should go into accelerating the development of clean, green renewable technologies!……..

As the Government’s pro-nuclear position has become more and more extreme, it’s having a more and more disturbing impact on energy policy in general – as I’ve explained in umpteen blogs over the last few years. The renewables sector has already taken a massive hit because of the preferencing of nuclear, and energy efficiency barely gets a look-in when it comes to thinking strategically about our energy infrastructure.

As both Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace stay in the background on nuclear issues, largely invisible and mostly silent, more and more people are gulled into thinking that nuclear really does have some part to play in securing our low-carbon energy future – not just in the UK but around the world. This fantasy persists in part because those who know just how ludicrous it is apparently haven’t got time to speak up and campaign against it…….

it’s foolish to think that the nuclear industry’s dreams will automatically fade away with the collapse of the Hinkley Point project. There’s an extremely aggressive campaign already under way to accelerate approval for a completely different kind of reactor at Sellafield, led by the NuGen consortium, and other sites (including Sizewell) are only too aware of being ‘next in line’……….http://www.jonathonporritt.com/blog/friends-earth-still-critical-anti-nuclear-movement

 

June 10, 2015 Posted by | thorium | Leave a comment

Nuclear Lobby’s convenient amnesia about the sorry history of Small Modular Reaactors (SMRs)

text-SMRsSmall reactors, in fact, date back to the earliest days of atomic power, and this long history shouldn’t
be overlooked as vendors tout new generations of the technology. As the history makes clear, small nuclear reactors would be neither as cheap nor as easy to build and operate as their modern proponents are claiming they would be.

nothing in the history of small nuclear reactors suggests that they would be more economical than full-size ones. In fact, the record is pretty clear: Without exception, small reactors cost too much for the little electricity they produced, the result of both their low output and their poor performance. 

In the end, as an analyst for General Electric pronounced in 1966, “Nuclear power is a big-plant business: it is most competitive in the large plant sizes.” And if large nuclear reactors are not competitive, it is unlikely that small reactors will do any better. Worse, attempts to make them cheaper might end up exacerbating nuclear power’s other problems: production of long-lived radioactive waste, linkage with nuclear weapons, and the occasional catastrophic accident


The Forgotten History of Small Nuclear Reactors
 Economics killed small nuclear power plants in the past—and probably will keep doing so, The Spectrum,  By M.V. Ramana 27 Apr 2015 A tantalizing proposition has taken hold again in the nuclear industry: that small nuclear reactors have economic and other advantages over the standard-size ones being built today. The idea is that by reducing the substantial financial risk of a full-scale nuclear project, small reactors are the best option for kick-starting a much-discussed revival of nuclear power. Continue reading

May 29, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, technology, thorium | Leave a comment

Opposition in Greenland to Australian rare earths/uranium mining project

Uranium opponents look to other sectors for job growth Opponents of uranium mining in southern Greenland have put forward a list of proposals they believe can create jobs and in the process make a highly contested mine unnecessary The Arctic Journal, May 13, 2015 – By Kevin McGwin In the town of Narsaq, on Greenland’s southern tip, debate is coming to a head over whether residents can make do without a near-by mine that will create jobs, but which some fear will make the town unliveable.

The concerns come as Greenland Minerals and Energy, an Australia-based mining outfit, closes in on final approval to begin production rare earths, a mineral vital for use in modern technologies……

in order to extract rare earths, GME will also need to mine uranium as a by-product, and that has raised fears, particularly among farmers, sheep farmers and those making a living off tourism, that dust from the open-pit facility will taint the region’s soil and water, and in the process spoil the region’s image.

Instead representatives from Urani Naamik, an anti-uranium group, together with IA, the main opposition party, have put forward 17 proposals they say could help to stimulate job growth in other sectors of the economy, including agriculture, fishing and bottling of glacial meltwater.

Until 2013, mining uranium in Greenland was explicitly banned. A law change opened up the possibility for such operations to be approved, but the issue remains divisive.

“We’re told that without a mine out at Kvanefjeld, Narsaq will die. We say that Narsaq will die if the build a mine it will kill Narsaq,” Mariane Paviasen, a Urani Naamik representative, said in April…….

Another criticism of the Kvanefjeld mine is that GME intends to dump tailings, a miner’s term for unwanted material, into a lake close by the facility. Berthlesen defends the process, calling it the best way to protect the surrounding area against possible radiation from the tailings.

Urani Naamik, however, wants an independent study looking into the mine’s environmental impact to be conducted. …..http://arcticjournal.com/oil-minerals/1583/uranium-opponents-look-other-sectors-job-growth

May 16, 2015 Posted by | ARCTIC, RARE EARTHS, Uranium | Leave a comment

Designing for recycling of rare earths is essential – theme for April 2015

The world is still in the grip of the philosophy of endless growth, endless consumption of material “goods” and energy. Along with that goes the “throwaway mentality.

The result – not just the disappearance of precious resources – water, land , biodiversity  – but also the dirty pollution of the ecosphere with wastes. One of the worst is radioactive wastes. (Don’t be caught by the nuclear lobby lie about the’nuclear fuel cycle’ – which is really a chain leading to toxic wastes needing burial)

However, environmentalists must wake up to the fact that nearly all of our advanced technology requires “rare earths” – cerium,  15 lanthanoid elements and one or both of the elements yttrium and scandium. Thorium is often classed with them. Mining these elements results in highly toxic radioactive tailings.

If we’re serious about not creating radioactive wastes disasters, such as the notorious ones in Malaysia and China then the answer must be – DESIGN – designing wind turbines, cell phones, lap-tops etc – in a such a way that the rare metals can be easily retrieved and used again.

The situation clearly calls for international policy initiatives to minimize the seemingly bizarre situation of spending large amounts of technology, time, energy and money to acquire scarce metals from the mines and then throwing them away after a single use.”

recycle-rare-earths-A

April 25, 2015 Posted by | Christina's themes, RARE EARTHS | Leave a comment

NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY CHALLENGES

The decline of the nuclear industry poses huge challenges –  nuclear experts need not fear unemployment.

RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL.  If all nuclear reactors stopped today, and all nuclear weapons were “turned off”, the world would still be left with a massive unsolved problem of disposing of the wastes.

BURYING THE CORPSES of nuclear reactors – (they prefer that nice word “decommissioning”) – a huge part of the unsolved waste problem.

ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGIES

Renewable energy is taking over –  it is supposed to be “clean and green”. And digital communications are also taking over the world.

But at present, both of these require “rare earths”

RARE EARTHS     On the one hand, these play a  part in the renewable energy future, for example in making wind turbines, and in electric car batteries.  Rare earths are a group of 17 chemical elements ( yttrium and the 15 lanthanide elements (lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, and lutetium)    Rare earth metals and alloys that contain them are used in many devices that people use every day such as: computer memory, DVD’s, rechargeable batteries, cell phones, car catalytic converters, magnets, fluorescent lighting and much more.  http://geology.com/articles/rare-earth-elements/

On the other hand, – the downside of rare earths  –  in the mining and processing of these rare earth minerals, radioactive wastes are produced.

April 23, 2015 Posted by | Christina's themes, RARE EARTHS, Reference, Uranium | Leave a comment

Rare Earths, Recycling and the Nuclear CHAIN – theme for April 15

FIRST – there is NO “Nuclear Fuel Cycle” – only a toxic Nuclear Fuel Chain nuclear-fuel-chain3

The nuclear lobby is telling one of its finest whoppers – that there really is a “nuclear fuel cycle” – that toxic radioactive wastes can be turned into lucrative nuclear fuel – for a never ending glorious “cycle”

Not true. It is truly a Nuclear Fuel Chain – that the lobby hopes to put around Australians’ necks. The new geewhiz (not yet existing) Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs) and Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs), including the  Power Reactor Innovative Small Module (PRISM) – all produce highly toxic wastes that have to be buried. Reprocessing is NOT a “cycle”

SECOND  – Rare Earths involve highly radioactive wastes – and require a big switch in DESIGN – so that they can be recycled.

Environmentalists must wake up to this. There must be a paradigm shift from the thinking, ) – from “dig it up – use it – throw it away” – to DESIGN.

The modern technologies that we value – from wind turbines to mobile phones must be redesigned, so that their rare earths can be easily retrieved and re-used.

Otherwise the planet will be further plagued by radioactive wastes from rare earths.

recycle-rare-earths-2

April 11, 2015 Posted by | Christina's themes, RARE EARTHS | 2 Comments

Thorium – a very large threat to the planet

ThoriumDon’t Jump on The Thorium Bandwagon – It’s Not Green, Not Viable, And Not The Answer To Our Energy Problems Prevent Disease.com, Nov 10, 2013 by KELLEY BERGMAN….. thorium still represents a very large threat to the planet whose problems over current nuclear systems exist only in details. It is not eco-friendly by any stretch of the imagination, although it is being promoted as such to nations around the world. It’s not renewable, green or clean and definitely not the answer to the world’s energy crisis as scientists around the world are deceptively claiming.

Due to its extreme density, thorium is being highlighted for its potential to produce tremendous amounts of heat. Many companies have been experimenting with small bits of thorium, creating lasers that heat water, producing steam which can power a mini turbines. According to CEO Charles Stevens from Laser Power Systems (LPS) from Connecticut, USA,, just one gram of the substance yields more energy than 7,396 gallons (28,000 L) of gasoline and 8 grams would power the typical car for a century.

The idea of using thorium is not new. In 2009, Loren Kulesus designed the Cadillac World Thorium Fuel Concept Car.

Dozens of other companies are investing millions and jumping on the thorium bandwagon without any foresight or wisdom into the long-term devasting effects of another nuclear-based problem.

Thorium is now being heavily promoted by the nuclear industry and various lobbies. Its mining is based on exploitation of workers forced to work with bare hands and contamination, sacking and devastation of territories.

What Is Thorium?

Thorium is a radioactive chemical element. It produces a radioactive gas, radon-220, as one of its decay products. Secondary decay products of thorium include radium and actinium. In nature, virtually all thorium is found as thorium-232, which undergoes alpha decay with a half-life of about 14.05 billion years.

As far as nations go, Canada, China, Germany, India, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States have all experimented with using thorium as a substitute nuclear fuel in nuclear reactors.

Highly Carcinogenic Causing Defomities 

Besides being radioactive, thorium is also a highly carcinogenic heavy metal used in military targeting systems and has been found in honey, milk, and other areas of the food chain where the military has been testing thorium such as Sardinia……

Sardinia is the victim of weapons manufacturers, polluting military activities and a political system that cares about power and money over the health of people and the environment. An epidemic of cancers and birth defects is now evident in this region through their soil, air, food and water contaminated with heavy metals, jet fuel and other poisons.

The nuclear physicist Evandro Lodi Rizzini of Brescia University and CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) found elevated levels of radioactive thorium 232 and cerium (proving that the thorium was man-made) in the tissues of 15 of 18 bodies in the Quirra area of Sardinia where they died of cancer between 1995 and 2000.

On March 24, 2012, prosecutor Domenico Fiordalisi in Lanusei, Sardinia, indicted twenty people on charges of “willful omission of precautions against injury and aggravated disasters or because they falsely certified the absence of pollution with the aim to “hide the environmental disaster.” The documents from Fiordalisi’s investigation have now been turned over to a tribunal for prosecution.

Fiordalisi opened his investigation when he learned the results of cancer research in the Quirra area. In the last 10 years, 65 percent of shepherds were diagnosed with leukemia, lymphomas and autoimmune diseases. He suspected that the materials used in the polygon contaminated soils, pastures, water and air poisoning people, plants and animals as a consequence.

On 8 May 2012, Fiordalisi reported to the Parliamentary Committee of Senators’ Inquiry on DU the results of these investigations led by him. He detailed how chromium, tungsten and thorium and of the extreme danger of the alpha particles generated by this substance.

He explained that thorium is much more harmful than depleted uranium, and that the area of the polygon of Quirra was completly impregnated. This substance has found its way into cheese, worms, mushrooms, sheperds and animals: pigs born with six legs and lambs with a single large eye. He stated that the 1187 milan missles that were launched between 1983 and 1999 which, in the opinion of the nuclear physicist Evandro Lodi Rizzini were responsible for an epidemic of cancers and lymphomas in the military due to the release of radioactive substances.

Dr. Rizzini said, “One micro-gram, that is, one millionth of a gram is sufficient to kill a person. It causes a rise in atomic disintegrations; with a production of 2000 alpha rays a day, nuclear radiation is most damaging.”

The organizations International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons and Mother Earth have good information about depleted uranium.

“With uranium-based nuclear power continuing its decades-long economic collapse, it’s awfully late to be thinking of developing a whole new fuel cycle whose problems differ only in detail from current versions.”
Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute, March 2009………….http://preventdisease.com/news/13/111013_Dont-Jump-on-The-Thorium-Bandwagon-Not-Green-Not-Viable-Not-The-Answer.shtml

April 1, 2015 Posted by | Reference, thorium | 1 Comment

Examining the claims of the thorium nuclear lobby

Thorium-dreamtext-relevantDon’t Jump on The Thorium Bandwagon – It’s Not Green, Not Viable, And Not The Answer To Our Energy Problems Prevent Disease.comNov 10, 2013 by KELLEY BERGMAN

“………Numerous claims of advantages for thorium as a nuclear fuel and for LFTR (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor) design have been made over conventional solid fuel reactors.

Nuclear Weapons Proliferation

Claim: thorium reactors do not produce plutonium, and so create little or no proliferation hazard.

Response
: a LFTR could be adapted to produce plutonium of a high purity well above normal weapons-grade, presenting a major proliferation hazard. Beyond that, the main proliferation hazards arise from:

  • the need for fissile material (plutonium or uranium) to initiate the thorium fuel cycle, which could be diverted, and
  • the production of fissile uranium 233U.Claim: the fissile uranium (233U) produced by thorium reactors is not “weaponisable” owing to the presence of highly radiotoxic 232U as a contaminant. Response: 233U was successfully used in a 1955 bomb test in the Nevada Desert under the USA’s Operation Teapot and so is clearly weaponisable notwithstanding any 232U present.


Safety

Claim: LFTRs are intrinsically safe, because the reactor operates at low pressure and is and incapable of melting down.

Response
: the design of molten salt reactors does indeed mitigate against reactor meltdown and explosion. However, in an LFTR the main danger has been shifted from the reactor to the on-site continuous fuel reprocessing operation — a high temperature process involving highly hazardous, explosive and intensely radioactive materials. A further serious hazard lies in the potential failure of the materials used for reactor and fuel containment in a highly corrosive chemical environment, under intense neutron and other radiation.


State of Technology

Claim: the technology is already proven.

Response
: important elements of the LFTR technology were proven during the 1970s Molten Salt Breeder Reactor (MSBR) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. However, this was a small research reactor rated at just 7MW and there are huge technical and engineering challenges in scaling up this experimental design to make a ‘production’ reactor. Specific challenges include:

  • developing materials that can both resist corrosion by liquid fluoride salts including diverse fission products, and withstand decades of intense neutron radiation;
  • scaling up fuel reprocessing techniques to deal safely and reliably with large volumes of highly radioactive material at very high temperature;
  • keeping radioactive releases from the reprocessing operation to an acceptably low level;
  • achieving a full understanding of the thorium fuel cycle.


Nuclear Waste

Claim: LFTRs produce far less nuclear waste than conventional solid fuel reactors.
Response: LFTRs are theoretically capable of a high fuel burn-up rate, but while this may indeed reduce the volume of waste, the waste is more radioactive due to the higher volume of radioactive fission products. The continuous fuel reprocessing that is characteristic of LFTRs will also produce hazardous chemical and radioactive waste streams, and releases to the environment will be unavoidable.

Claim: Liquid fluoride thorium reactors generate no high-level waste material.
Response: This claim, although made in the report from the House of Lords, has no basis in fact. High-level waste is an unavoidable product of nuclear fission. Spent fuel from any LFTR will be intensely radioactive and constitute high level waste. The reactor itself, at the end of its lifetime, will constitute high level waste.

Claim: the waste from LFTRs contains very few long-lived isotopes, in particular transuranic actinides such as plutonium.
Response: the thorium fuel cycle does indeed produce very low volumes of plutonium and other long-lived actinides so long as only thorium and 233U are used as fuel. However, the waste contains many radioactive fission products and will remain dangerous for many hundreds of years. A particular hazard is the production of 232U, with its highly radio-toxic decay chain.

Claim: LFTRs can ‘burn up’ high level waste from conventional nuclear reactors, and stockpiles of plutonium.
Response: if LFTRs are used to ‘burn up’ waste from conventional reactors, their fuel now comprises 238U, 235U, 239Pu, 240Pu and other actinides. Operated in this way, what is now a mixed-fuel molten salt reactor will breed plutonium (from 238U) and other long lived actinides, perpetuating the plutonium cycle.

What Can You Do? 

Spread the word about Sardinia. More information is available athttps://docs.google.com/open?id=0B-F67wRS5N7sR3hYMl9id0xkNWs where the original 7500-word research document is stored.

Contact your congressional representatives and demand the closure of the Sardinia NATO bases.

Do we really want another polluting energy source with high-level waste which is non-renewable and highly carcinogenic? Before jumping on the thorium bandwagon, please share this information, do your own research and think twice before spreading the hundreds of myths (not facts) about this very dangerous alternative to uranium.

Sources:
nuclearfreeplanet.org
nonukes.it
industrytap.com
envirosagainstwar.org

Kelley Bergman is a media consultant, critic and geopolitical investigator. She has worked as a journalist and writer, specializing in geostrategic issues around the globe.http://preventdisease.com/news/13/111013_Dont-Jump-on-The-Thorium-Bandwagon-Not-Green-Not-Viable-Not-The-Answer.shtml

April 1, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, thorium | Leave a comment

Thorotrast: the highly cancer-causing thorium drug – (no longer used)

ThoriumThorotrast  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorotrast

   Thorotrast is a suspension containing particles of the radioactive compound thorium dioxide, ThO2, that was used as a radiocontrast agent in medical radiography in the 1930s and 1940s. (Use in some countries, such as the U.S., continued into the 1950s.)

Thorium compounds produce excellent images because of thorium’s high opacity to X-rays (it has a high cross section for absorption). Unfortunately, thorium is retained in the body, and it is radioactive, emitting harmful alpha radiation as it decays. Because the suspension offered high image quality and had virtually no immediate side-effects compared to the alternatives available at the time, Thorotrast became widely used after its introduction in 1931. (António Egas Moniz contributed to its development.).[1] About 2 to 10 million patients worldwide have been treated with Thorotrast.

Safety Even at the time of introduction, there was concern about the safety of Thorotrast. Following injection, the drug is distributed to the liver, spleen, lymph nodes, and bone, where it is absorbed. After this initial absorption, redistribution takes place at a very slow pace. Specifically, the biological half-life is estimated to be 22 years.[2] This means that the organs of patients who have been given Thorotrast will be exposed to internal alpha radiation for the rest of their lives. The significance of this long-term exposure was not fully understood at the time of Thorotrast’s introduction in 1931.

Due to the release of alpha particles, Thorotrast was found to be extremely carcinogenic. There is a high over-incidence of various cancers in patients who have been treated with Thorotrast. The cancers occur some years (usually 20-30) after injection of Thorotrast. The risk of developing liver cancer (or bile duct cancer) in former Thorotrast patients has been measured to be well above 100 times the risk of the rest of the population. The risk of leukemia appears to be 20 times higher in Thorotrast patients.[3] Thorotrast exposure has also been associated with the development of angiosarcoma. German patients exposed to Thorotrast had their median life-expectancy shortened by 14 years in comparison to a similar non-exposed control group.[4]

The Danish director Nils Malmros‘s movie, Facing the Truth (original Danish title At Kende Sandheden) from 2002, portrays the dilemma that faced Malmros’s father, Richard Malmros, when treating his patients in the 1940s. Richard Malmros was deeply concerned about the persistence of Thorotrast in the body but was forced to use Thorotrast, because the only available alternative (per-abrodil) had serious immediate side-effects, suffered from image quality problems and was difficult to obtain during the Second World War. The use of Thorotrast in Denmark ended in 1947 when safer alternatives became available. Today, iodinated hydrophilic molecules are universally used as injected contrast agents for X-ray procedures.

February 28, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health, thorium | Leave a comment

Chronology of the radioactive thorium pollution, Bukit Merah, Malaysia

The Star has discovered that 80,000 200-litre drums containing radioactive waste are currently being kept at the dump located in the Kledang Range behind Papan town. The site is about 3km from Bukit Merah and Papan and about 15km from Ipoh. And the waste is thorium hydroxide, not amang.

ThoriumChronology of events in the Bukit Merah Asian Rare Earth development http://www.consumer.org.my/index.php/health/454-chronology-of-events-in-the-bukit-merah-asian-rare-earth-developments Eight men — a welder, a shoemaker, a general worker, a pensioner, a barber, a tractor driver, a crane-operator and a cancer victim who was to die shortly — sued Asian Rare Earth in 1985 on behalf of themselves and 10,000 other residents of Bukit Merah and the environs in Perak. They wanted to shut down this rare earth plant in their village near Ipoh because its radioactive waste was endangering their lives.

When the Mitsubishi joint venture plant opened over 1982, the villagers soon began complaining of the factory’s stinging smoke and bad smell which made them choke and cry. Worse was to come. Their health began failing, indicated not only by frequent bouts of coughs and colds, but a sharp rise in the incidence of leukaemia, infant deaths, congenital disease and lead poisoning.

For the first time in Malaysian legal history, an entire community has risen to act over an environmental issue, to protect their health and environment from radioactive pollution.

Below is the chronology of what happened when a radioactive rare earth plant was set up in Bukit Merah. Today, about 30 years later, the Government is allowing a new rare earth plant to be set up by Lynas in Gebeng, Kuantan. This new project should be scrapped if the Malaysian Government puts the health of Malaysians before profits. Continue reading

February 28, 2015 Posted by | Malaysia, Reference, thorium | Leave a comment

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,022 other followers