Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Traveling Wave Nuclear Reactor

Capable of using uranium 238 or thorium 232 for fuel, a Traveling Wave nuclear reactor could potentially increase global terrestrial nuclear energy supplies by hundreds of times. And if uranium from seawater is utilized, then such reactors could provide all of the electricity and synfuels required to power human civilization as long as the Earth exist!


Norman Copeland said...

I've seen the effects of nuclear power and seen the fear that it causes, truefully, modern America was built on fear, the fear that the defecting german scientists educated America about and convinced the then president that is would be fatal if they did not beat the German ss scientist to building the Atomic bomb.

Einstein colloborated with the American government to deliver the science necessary for slowing neutron's to align with the nucleus of the uranium or plutonium element.

It still worries me that someone, especially with the number of terrorists that have aquired nuclear weapon technology will get into space with nuclear weapons and destroy any hope we have of becoming a multi planetary enhabiting race.

I really don't like the idea of keep trying to be clever all the time, I think it's really immature and, I would be very happy to see us continue with solar power basic energy power [at its simplist solar reception].

How will we keep these ideas from being used to destroy us?

Marcel F. Williams said...

Trying to control human ingenuity is difficult. We can't un-invent the use of fire and we can't un-invent the use of nuclear energy. Fire can be used for good or for evil and the same is true with nuclear energy.

But I could easily destroy billions of humans on Earth in a few hours by using solar energy. A titanic Earth orbiting solar power plant could beam masers down to the Earth microwaving millions of people in minutes.

I could use a solar sail to grab small NEO asteroids only a few thousand tonnes in mass and send them towards the Earth. The impact would be equivalent to a thermonuclear weapon.

So there are lots of ways you can use solar energy as a weapon of mass destruction.

DocForesight said...

@Norman -- Do you spend a lot of time worrying about these events?

BTW, did your solar panels provide the electrical energy to post your comments?

As Marcel correctly notes, the energy can be used for good or ill. Why not err on the positive side - say, for water desalination, refrigeration, lighting, electric motors that run lathes to make handsome furniture or pianos - rather than the negative?

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Destination Moon

glennwsmith said... Very nice, Marcel. This is one of the most beautifully put together, forward-looking, and yet also understated videos which I've yet seen from a major space agency -- and it just goes to show that there's a lot of good material out there if you know where to find it.

G. W. (Glenn) Smith


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