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Pebble Bed Modular Reactor Uranium while we wait for Thorium

2013-11-07 - 609 - Carl Friis-Hansen

There is much talk about wind mills, solar electric panels, carbon dioxide, and a global body to control us and our energy. President Obama is going to Warsaw in Poland for a more less secret meeting with the UN, bypassing the democratic process, in order to set up a global binding treaty to control the climate, de-industrialize the planet and to reduce world population to about one tenth of what we are today - a la Agenda 21.

So while the greens are making the world a lot less green and sending us way below the living standards of the Dark Ages, let us look at a brighter and much more promising solution to energy, economy and prosperity. In my view, the basis for prosperity and a better world is cheap, clean and plentiful energy. Energy is what made it possible to raise from the Dark Ages and slavery. The venture pretty much started in Great Britain and soon spread all over the now industrialized parts of the world.

Energy has always played the major part of human development, from the fist wood fueled fires to cook your meal and to the electric stoves we use today. This leads us to talk about electricity. I prefer to see electricity, in this context, as a transport of energy. We should strive to use a fuel that can produce lots of energy per volume, also called high energy flux density. Wind is probably having the lowest energy flux density known to man and nuclear the highest. Following is an example of this, seen from an area use point of view.

To power 6 million homes:
Wind 250,000 acres
Solar 130,000 acres
Nuclear 430 acres

There are many more reasons why nuclear is the way to go for production of electricity and hydrogen, but the concern is generally the safety issue. Fukushima is still in the news and exaggerated grossly a few days ago by Dr. Suzuki, just as he always do with the climate issue. However, this plant was 40 years old and of the Boiling Water Reactor, BWR, type. Nowadays Pressurized two circuit systems are used. The immediate future is much safer, avoiding using words like full proof, with the newest type developed in South Africa and tested in Germany: The Pebble Bed Modular Reactor, PBMR, using uranium or thorium.

The PBMR type power plant does not use water, but helium. It is safe in the sense that you can pull the plug, so to say, and it will naturally cool down without causing any damage. There are similar safe designs like the Molted Salt Reactor, MSR, or the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor, LFTR, which were deigned back in the 1970's, but never fully developed for economic, military and political reasons.

There is no doubt in my mind that we need to go scientifically and rationally about the fundamental issue of energy production, let the scientists do their job and stop scaremongering people to the point of insanity. This goes for the climate too. The last 15 years has shown no global warming, except in the computer models and Dr. Hansen's doctored data. We may very well go into a prolonged cooling period starting in 2015, with or without more CO2 in the air. So instead of spending trillions of dollar on the non issue of the climate, we could better the world by spending just a fraction of these sums on real environmental issues, and to develop and build many more modern and safe nuclear power plants.

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