Tuesday, May 29, 2012

LFTR in 5 minutes

9 comments:

portland_allan said...

Nice. Did you end up watching the LFTR in 10 minutes I linked a while back in a comment?

CP said...

I don't think so.

"How you gonna watch 10 minute LFTR when there's a 5 minute LFTR."

Was there anything of significance?

portland_allan said...

It was a comment to your post from last year.

As for significance, depends. If you find the topic interesting, it includes URLs to 3 different source videos, is a lot less choppy, and covers the details a little bit more clearly. As far an elevator pitch, which is what all these are, about the same.

But like I said in my other comment last year, LFTR won't come from the US. It will come from Japan or China.

CP said...

What difference do you think thorium will make to other energy prices, if any?

portland_allan said...

What time-frame are you referring to?

In the long-run, after we're all dead, obviously it kills them. In the short-term, absolutely none. We don't have any functioning reactors, or, so far as I know, designs for functioning reactors. However, if we stopped blowing billions at the DoE on porn, cold-fusion, porn, and pork-barrel projects we might have something in a reasonably short-order.

One thing the 5 & 10 minute videos gloss over is while the LF part of the reactor was built and demonstrated 50 yrs ago, I don't believe the [breeder]TR part has been. On paper it is possible and makes perfect sense, in reality it needs some work put into it the engineering.

Then you have to scale it up while pulling 40 & 50 y.o. solid-fuel uranium reactors off-line. And our coal burners aren't getting any younger either. And that's just the grid. So, whether it hammers coal or nat-gas first, I don't know. I'd have to look into their cost curves, which I've never done.

As for oil, it is a function of our insane national politics and policy. As such, it has the furthest to fall, and maybe pursing LFTR shows a rationality which immediately craters the price of oil. But actually using LFTRs to synthetically generate oil on the order of 20 million barrels per day instead of digging it up seems like it's gonna be the last energy problem we'll solve, not the first.

CP said...

Why do you think it isn't being pursued?

Why are so many rational projects not being pursued?

portland_allan said...

LFTR isn't being pursued because no one in govt is interested in it. Our oil policy ensures we are center stage. Our nuclear policy ensures we are center stage. Both have enormous capital investments that would be virtually worthless if LFTR to come to fruition. (It's not too far different from te mortgage bubble and TBTF in that regard. Wiping equity holders and giving bondholders a haircut was unthinkable. Even though only 1% holds half the wealth, and the bottom 80% holds less than 10 or 20%.) It also allows countries, not the least of which is our own, to turn inward, mind their own business, and let all the various kleptocracies mind theirs.

As for the broader question of why so many rational projects not being pursued, we've lost our national vitality. The NY-DC elite have created something worse than single-party rule, they've created single-mind rule. The original value-creation generation are now 80+ or dead. The Boomers have always been about fighting over the pie we have, and rent-seeking to get themselves a leg-up at the expense of everyone else. The policies and paradigm has infected Gen X & Y, whose best and brightest are overwhelmingly engaged in zero-sum games like HFT and various other forms of Wall St rent-seeking -OR- social media and various other forms of Silicon Valley rent-seeking. That is, when they haven't checked-out entirely with the absolutely non-scalable and ironically unsustainable neo-hippie/urban self-sufficiency movement.

But now I'm sounding like a crank. So I'll stop here. :-)

portland_allan said...

Case in point, just after hitting 'Publish' I saw this headline: [Goldman's] SUMMER PROGRAM APPLICATION POOL WAS BIGGEST EVER"

CP said...

Good stuff! Keep it coming.