Saturday, April 14, 2012

LFTR vs Nuclear Waste - Plutonium, americium, curium (transuranics) can be fissioned / disposed

Uploaded by thoriumremix on Oct 7, 2011

Long lectures on the subject are broken down into digestible parts.  This part is about the nuclear waste issue.  The fact is, there is little wasted in a LFTR.

FAQ's page on LFTRs

All you wanted to know about LFTRs, but were afraid to ask.

Thorium Petition - Secure our Energy & High-Tech Independence!

Published on Mar 12, 2012 by thoriumremix

Why Thorium can solve our energy problems and what you can do about it. (sign the petition, I did)

Kirk Sorensen on Energy from Thorium

Published on Apr 11, 2012 by ICOSAmagazine h/t Energy from Thorium blog


Here's more info from Energy from Thorium blog. It is an interview with Jim Puplava.. A link to the interview on a mp3 file here.

Sorensen has founded a new company called Flibe Energy which will commercialize the technology.  A screenshot from the introduction of the company below:

Taxing the Rich will not Offset the Deficit 4-11-12

CNBC - Rick Santelli

Yep. Even if you take all of what the millionaires make in a year, you hardly put a dent in the deficit.

Does the Obama Administration and the Democrats actually want a solution?

The Future of Nuclear Power: Getting Rid of Nuclear Waste.

TEDxNewEngland | 11/01/11  h/t Al Fin Energy

For the first time in decades, there are an abundance of new designs for nuclear power reactors -- ones that are safer, more powerful, more portable, and even ones that produce hardly any nuclear waste. From the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Professor Dr. Richard Lester and Graduate Students Mark Massie and Leslie Dewan will talk about the evolution of nuclear power in the United States, and directions that the industry might take in the future. They will also describe new technology that solves two of the biggest problems with nuclear power -- Safety and Waste Disposal.

This proposed technology will be able to burn most of the nuclear waste in existence now and convert it into electricity which by itself could power the world for decades.

Yes, there are solutions, but are they wanted?

The Population Control Holocaust

by Robert Zubrin  h/t Instapundit

This is quite devastating.  It should shock and horrify those who read it.  A few excerpts:

  • There is a single ideological current running through a seemingly disparate collection of noxious modern political and scientific movements, ranging from militarism, imperialism, racism, xenophobia, and radical environmentalism, to socialism, Nazism, and totalitarian communism. This is the ideology of antihumanism: the belief that the human race is a horde of vermin whose unconstrained aspirations and appetites endanger the natural order, and that tyrannical measures are necessary to constrain humanity.
  • Until the mid-1960s, American population control programs, both at home and abroad, were largely funded and implemented by private organizations such as the Population Council and Planned Parenthood — groups with deep roots in the eugenics movement
  • President Johnson bought the claptrap, including the phony math. Two months later, he declared to the United Nations that “five dollars invested in population control is worth a hundred dollars invested in economic growth.” 
  • Around the world, the population control movement has resulted in billions of lost or ruined lives. We cannot stop at merely rebutting the pseudoscience and recounting the crimes of the population controllers. We must also expose and confront the underlying antihumanist ideology. If the idea is accepted that the world’s resources are fixed with only so much to go around, then each new life is unwelcome, each unregulated act or thought is a menace, every person is fundamentally the enemy of every other person, and each race or nation is the enemy of every other race or nation. The ultimate outcome of such a worldview can only be enforced stagnation, tyranny, war, and genocide. The horrific crimes advocated or perpetrated by antihumanism’s devotees over the past two centuries prove this conclusively. Only in a world of unlimited resources can all men be brothers.
Note:  all emphases were added.  It is a phenomenon that I've note here on this blog.  It is the us v them mentality.  The limited resource notion that everything is a zero sum game.  It pits everyone against everyone else.  The result must be war and genocide.   That is why solutions are not wanted.  It is not welcomed to have new energy sources found, such as LFTR's or even cold fusion.  Because in doing so, it invalidates their beliefs.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Texas Oil Commissioner talks about possible 4 million barrels of oil per day in 2016 from Texas

Next Big Future

I could paint a scenario for you where we are producing 3 million more barrels per day by 2016, which would almost get us to the point where we could eliminate 60 to 70 percent of our OPEC imports,” said Texas Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman. “With that greater control over our own energy security , we could care less about what happens in the Strait of Hormuz” — the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf that serves as a seaway for 22 percent of the world’s oil supply.


Do you want the USA to be more like Texas or more like California?  Texas produces oil, which works.

California produces nothing, because solar and wind doesn't work.

The question is a twist on the question that Reagan asked in 1980.

A simple message may be all that's needed

In 1980, Ronald Reagan may have won the election by asking this simple question: Are you better off than you were four years ago?

It has been said that the election was close until that debate. Perhaps it was this or it may have been some other thing. Obviously, I think that the simple explanation may be the one that is most nearly correct.

The key is not obfuscation, but clarity. Somehow, the winner will make everything clear enough so that the case can be made. Otherwise, you may get lost and confused in the noise.

Surprising:Net illegal immigration from Mexico: zero



Mexico’s growth rate is tied not to that of the United States but to that of Texas, which has been a growth leader because of its intelligent public policies which have prevented public employee unions from plundering the private sector economy. [emphasis added] 


Barone says that Mexico is becoming a middle class country, hence the slowing down of immigration from there.  If he's right, the immigration issue doesn't work for Republicans and may actually be counter productive.   What would work better is to focus on the size of government, in particular, reining in the large public employee unions.

Obama’s Second Term Tax Plans

Dick Morris TV: Lunch Alert!


Higher taxes and higher energy prices.  That's what another Obama Administration will cost.

Keystone XL: It Was Never About The Environment

Keystone XL: It Was Never About The Environment

In Nebraska, where environmental groups had protested the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline because it would pass through the “environmentally sensitive” Sand Hills, they are now protesting a proposed solution as well.


A recent poll had Obama ahead of Romney on the subject of Energy.  If that is true, it is no wonder that this isn't hurting Obama as much as it should.   Energy was supposed to be Obama's Waterloo.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Elon Musk to Jon Stewart: sustainable energy easier than making life "multi-planetary"


part 2

Obama, Not Holding the Center

Josh Kraushaar -

Despite claiming that he’s governed as a moderate, Obama has rarely broken ranks with his party’s congressional leadership, as Clinton did with NAFTA and welfare reform. Merely mounting a reactionary defense of the way things have been done in the past isn’t enough anymore. [ emphasis added]


Obama does seem to say things that are not exactly accurate.  One could infer from that that he is a liar.  But that would be extreme. ( ha, ha)

If this is going to be an ideological election, as some say it will be, who will be fighting for the votes of the center?  If anything good can be said of Romney's Etch A Sketch, it may make him look a little more moderate, for what that is worth.

How Will Obama Explain Away His Record? Dick Morris TV: Lunch Alert!

How Will Obama Explain Away His Record? Dick Morris TV: Lunch Alert!

Optimism v. pessimism.

Prosecutors face hurdles in Trayvon Martin case


But prosecutors face steep hurdles to win a second-degree murder conviction against neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin, experts say. They will have to prove Zimmerman intentionally went after Martin instead of shooting him in self-defense, refute arguments that a Florida law empowered him to use deadly force and get past a judge's ruling at a pretrial hearing.


Aside from how the media has treated this case, I have tried to keep pretty mum on it.  After reading this account of the basic information, I think I now know more about it than I did before.  The trouble for me is, who can you trust to report the facts honestly after what has happened already?  This report seems factual.  Hopefully, it is accurate.

An impression from the report is that some sort of plea bargain may have been attempted by taking the most severe charge possible and try to bargain it down.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The difference between Social Darwinism and Laissez Faire

by Richard A. Epstein

  • With biological evolution, death follows from the failure to marshal resources.
  • Under laissez-faire, bankruptcy is the fate of those unable to succeed in the market.
  • Unlike laissez-faire, Social Darwinism takes a decidedly hostile attitude to private charity.

It looks like an emotional comparison since bankruptcy isn't death.  Here's the key point:  Social Darwinists are more like Nazis than libertarians.  Nazis wanted to get rid of the weak by killing them, or letting them die.  Libertarians aren't opposed to private charity- quite the opposite, actually.  Libertarians are opposed to public charity, as it implies coercion, and believe that individuals should help each other according to their own conscience.  Hopefully, enough people can discern the difference, and not fall for this political ploy.

Ending The Poverty Blues

Walter Russell Mead

  • One of the most important claims that the friends of the blue social model make is that it addresses the needs of the poor and the weak better than any other existing social system...but the claim is more questionable than blues admit
  • The horrendous conditions in inner cities...the entrenched mediocrity and worse (far, far worse in too many cases) of so many public schools...raise legitimate questions about whether blue really performs as advertised.
  • Some of the programs (like Medicare) will literally bankrupt us if not changed
  • big changes are needed, and this is where a new social vision is going to have to take shape
  • All things being equal, a wealthier society will be more willing and more able to help the poor than a poorer one.
  • Ripping up the bloated administrative systems, deflating the cost structures...are vital for the social productivity and economic prosperity of the nation as a whole
  • Much of the change that we need will offend powerful interest groups.
  • Both Obamacare and single payer systems bureaucratize health care and slow down the process of deep restructuring that the sector actually needs.
  • A leaner, more effective government will promote economic growth and employment in other ways.
  • Blue partisans are stuck on the idea that progress to be real must be blue. That idea doesn’t work anywhere these days, and it works least of all for the poor.
Comment: [emphasis added]

An honest appraisal of Obama does not yield what this piece suggests.  It comes from a Democrat, which should not be reassuring to Democrats.  Unless they are willing to do a lot of soul searching, a victory for Democrats this November will yield a lot of bitter fruit for everyone.  The question is:  will enough people wake up in time?

Random Thoughts

In politics, few talents are as richly rewarded as the ability to convince parasites that they are victims. Welfare states on both sides of the Atlantic have discovered that largesse to losers does not reduce their hostility to society, but only increases it. Far from producing gratitude, generosity is seen as an admission of guilt, and the reparations as inadequate compensations for injustices — leading to worsening behavior by the recipients. [ emphasis added]

That's really a troubling thought.  Leadership should inspire, but it looks like it is inspiring just exactly the wrong kind of feelings.

O’s Losing Strategy – It’s All Fear And Envy, No Hope

Note that Obama regularly draws 49 percent to 52 percent of registered voters in national polls against Romney — but does far worse when the poll is limited to the smaller pool of likely voters, trailing Romney 47 percent to 45 percent (Rasmussen) or tied at 47 (Bloomberg).

That gap illustrates Obama’s central problem: turnout.

He won in 2008 because blacks rose from 11 percent of the vote to 14 percent, Latino participation rose from 7 percent to 8.5 percent, and the under-30 voters dramatically increased their turnout as well.

This may explain the attempts to rev up the base:  "war against women", Trayvon Martin shooting, the Buffet rule and so forth.   Morris believes that this won't work, but Obama's team thinks it will.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The future is better than you think...

So says Peter Diamandis in his new book.

Well, support for that notion exists from the past , if this photo is any indication.  Woof.

PJTV Exclusive: How NBC Editors Made the Zimmerman 911 Call Sound Racist



Is it possible for such an internal edit that substantially alters the nature of Zimmerman’s call with the 911 dispatcher to happen by chance? As an audio and video editor for going on 20 years, in my opinion it is highly implausible and close to impossible for that edit to have occurred by chance. Watch this video and you’ll see why


I haven't studied this much, so I won't offer much of an opinion on the technical details.  Let's assume that this is 100% correct.  That means that NBC is lying to cover up what this makes them look like they are doing, which is to inflame racial passions.  Why would NBC do this?

Let's also say that this increases the probability that Zimmerman is charged.  Now, if Zimmerman is charged, does this help Democrats?  I'm trying to get at the motivation for doing this.  Evidently, if this was done deliberately, those responsible must believe that it gives them a political advantage.  But is this so?  What if it backfires?  What if it is perceived as an unjust persecution of Zimmerman?  What will be the political response to that, should it occur?


It isn't unheard of for the media to make up stuff.  One thing that comes to mind was the fake video of the exploding gas tanks in simulated crashes:
On Monday, February 8, 1993, GM conducted a highly publicized point-by-point rebuttal in the Product Exhibit Hall of the General Motors Building in Detroit that lasted nearly two hours after announcing the lawsuit. The lawsuit was settled the same week by NBC, and Jane Pauley read a 3 minute 30 second on-air apology to viewers.

A short perusal of the wikipedia article linked above shows that Matt Lauer is a contributing anchor to Dateline NBC, which was involved in the lawsuit mentioned above.


Let me try to answer the motivation question I posed above.  It could be nothing more complicated than money.  This kind of story can produce ratings and ratings means money.

Politics?  Maybe, but the risk of a negative political response doesn't seem to have stayed their hand.  The exploding gas tanks story was aired after the election in 1992.  The common theme could be money.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Michigan Tech Breakthrough Could Slash R&D Time for Next Generation of Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Michigan Tech News  h/t  Next Big Future

April 3, 2012—

It took Thomas Edison two years and over 3,000 experiments to develop a marketable light bulb. It has taken 10 times that long and who-knows-how-many experiments to develop a system that is far more complicated: the inner workings of a reliable, marketable hydrogen fuel cell.
Also, from the comments section of Next Big Future says his hope is that walk away safe nuclear reactors will replace combustion based power production.

Well!  These reactors existed 40 years ago, so that is already here.  It only needs to be seen and appreciated for the opportunity that it provides.

The main article discusses how R&D time is being slashed in the search for an affordable fuel cell.   Hopefully, it won't take 40 years after something is found before somebody realizes the answer has been right under the noses the whole time.

Unapproved Thoughts: Glenn Reynolds and Walter Russell Mead

Unapproved Thoughts: Glenn Reynolds and Walter Russell Mead: In Tuesday afternoon, I had the good fortune to attend a forum about blogging at the Baker Center down on the UT campus.  Glenn Reynolds of ...

I like this quote:

Glenn related Ted Sturgeon's Law. When asked why he wrote science fiction since 90% of science fiction is crap, Sturgeon replied, "90% of everything is crap!"

The Story Behind US Gas Price Pain  h/t Instapundit

  • With production up and demand down, the basics of supply and demand indicate that oil prices should be falling. Americans should be paying less at the pump.
  • What gives? 
  • Two main forces are driving fuel prices upward in the United States: high global oil prices and the state of the US oil transportation and refining industry.
  • The system’s disconnectedness means that refiners in different regions are forced to pay whatever the price may be for the crude oil they can access – and those prices differ significantly.
  • As for high oil prices in general, the biggest question there is Iran.
Some pay a premium, others get a discount.  The difference in prices are as much as 40%.  But it is regional.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

This is good

Nuclear waste, what it is, and what to do about it

This is a complex subject, due to the complexity of nuclear physics itself.  To explain this or to listen to it being explained may tax the patience of Job.  Consequently, a lot of misinformation could be introduced which is difficult, if not impossible to correct.  The result is that people are going to be averse to this subject and will tend to avoid it, thus making the task ever harder.

Given the stakes involved, it would be better if people would not take counsel of their fears, and let themselves be educated on the subject.  As President Franklin Roosevelt famously said in his first inaugural, "the only thing to fear is fear itself".  This is especially true in this subject, as the tendency to be afraid of radioactivity is very easy to acquire.  Those who would seek to inspire fear in others would find a useful ally in the subject of radioactivity.  We all want to be safe, but excessive fear of harm can be worse than the harm itself.

Well, what about it then?  What is nuclear waste?  One thing about it is that it is mostly the same stuff than went into it.  For nuclear reactors based upon the uranium fuel cycle, this means that most of it is the same uranium that went into it.  Less than 5% of the uranium is consumed by the fission reactions before the fuel rod must be retired.  Therefore, 95% of the stuff is the same old stuff.  It is the 5% that is left over that we are so worried about.

Since the Carter Administration here in the US, reprocessing of spent fuel has been stopped.  It has rested in that state since then.  This had the effect of playing into the hands of anti nuclear activists, who want to shut down nuclear power altogether.  It didn't have the effect Carter had hoped for.  In the meantime, new nations are joining the nuclear club and the threat of proliferation is as strong as ever.  What should come next?

That's where the Molten Salt reactors come in.  These greatly reduce the proliferation risk and the waste problem.  The Thorium fuel cycle in a molten salt reactor can not only produce the energy we desperately need in the coming years, but it also fulfills the dream of closing the nuclear fuel cycle promised by conventional uranium light water reactor and breeder reactor designs.

It does this by being a breeder reactor, and by not using a pressurized design.  It is a slow breeder, as opposed to the fast breeder, which was to breed new fuel from plutonium.  The plutonium was to be reprocessed from the fuel rods of conventional reactors.  By breeding the plutonium, and reprocessing, the waste problem was to minimized, yet that didn't happen.  However, the molten salt reactor will reprocess and breed its own fuel, while operating in a walk away safe manner.  Not only is it walk away safe, it will burn nearly all of its fuel and leave relatively small amounts of waste which will have short half lives.

What's not to like?  The Molten Salt reactor using the Thorium fuel cycle will take care of its own waste processing by not producing much at all.  That waste that does remain will have short half lives and will no longer pose a threat after a short interval.

But, it is radioactive anyhow.  Thorium does has a half life of 14 billion years.  It was here before the Earth was, and will be around long after the Earth is gone.  With such a long half life, isn't that bad?  Isn't it long lived nuclear waste itself?

By the way, what is more dangerous- a short half life radioactive substance, or one with a long half life?  Think of it like a match that burns.  The half life is how much time does it take to decay by 1/2 of its original mass.  With Thorium, it will take over 14 billion years to decay to 1/2 the mass that it has now.  There are some substances with half lives that are, let's say, much shorter.  If the substance has a half life of 1 second, the match will burn 99.9% of itself within 10 seconds.  That's two times two ten times, which is 1024.  Thus, one in 1 thousand is equivalent to 99.9%, you see.  The comparable rate for Thorium would be 140 billion years.  A slow burning match indeed.  It can be seen that Thorium is not very dangerous at all compared to the match that burns up in 10 seconds.

It appears that the way to solve the problem is to go into a different direction than the one being followed now.  The conventional water cooled reactors are not good enough and should be replaced with LFTRs ( Liquid Floride Thorium Reactors).  LFTRs were invented and advocated by the inventor of the light water reactor.  But he was ignored and policy drifted down the wrong path until this very day.  It is not a new design.  It has been proven, but forgotten.  It should not ignored much longer.  As a matter of fact, it won't  be ignored much longer.  It appears that the Chinese will pick up where it left off.  They will use the American designs themselves as a starter.  They plan to have their own reactors up and running within a decade.

It is going to happen one way or another, so it is time to get started before this technology is taken over by the Chinese.  It would be a shame to let this one get away from us like so many other things.


A presentation by Kirk Sorensen on the subject.


Here's what's inside a spent fuel from a light water reactor