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Sunday, January 08, 2012

Saturday, October 09, 2010

PeoplePowerCo has Device with Open Source System and Language for Smart Grid

This company has a device consumers can connect to their home and power meter so that they can interact and conserve power for the household or place of business. They will be able to set it up to be interactive over the internet. It's open source and uses TinyOS operating system and OSHAN language. They are a company to watch for maybe even invest. It will eventually allow developers to create applications for the consumer and the will help enable smart grid. They started a contest for programmers March 2010 and had submission deadline for September 15. So we may hear some news soon

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What is well informed and how to choose a side!!!

I have been watching how the "media" such as Fox News and even those on the opposite side handles manipulating the public. What I've noticed is that extremists like Glenn Beck will spew out a list of the enemies and say for instance Brave New Foundation has the following supporters and thinks that by inferring they are the enemy the viewers will buy it. I'm sure that even some of the statements are wrong but what's important here is that there is no intellectual content. No journalism. All there is is pure evangelical style ranting and this alone is suppose to be enough to convince viewers who are the enemy. This is a sign we should do away with Televisions if this is the kind of airtime is being made available.

More than ever it has become clear that the masses who try to survive are finding it impossible to care any more because the misinformation is so rampant and they have no energy left to actually research the truth. The truth does matter and your opinion counts.

more later...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rod Adams on Nuclear Energy's Energy Density

Rod Adams's discusses his personal experience and gives an excellent example of how dense nuclear energy really is. We could be using nuclear fuel in much the same way he describes. Also read Kirk Sorensen's TEAC2 Talk on how inter-dependent reactors are the fastest route to 2020 energy independence.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bill Gates on TED. Very important speech

Watch Bill Gates amazingly good speech on TED about what challenges we face to save the environment.

In a nutshell. How can we prevent climate change and save billions of lives.

He does not use scare tactics he simply explains the best way to improve the quality of life. Nuclear advocates should be happy that he speaks so well and concisely about the benefits of Nuclear Energy also he mentions twice that "liquid" is a valid competing strategy.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Frightening GOP Behavior

I want to call the Republicans hypocrites but that's not strong enough a word and evil is touch extreme but there is no doubt that divisiveness is a result of their tactics. The biggest criticisms that Republicans hurl at people remind me of the total lack of compassion among racially motivated disputes such as those between Jews and Palestinians. I've also seen it between Russians and non-Russians and of course White Americans and Black Americans. What I'm trying to say is that it is not so much that I am concerned with such small minded behavior but that it is so unanimously small minded. The really sad thing is that the actual policy differences are not that great between Republicans and Democrats. That's why I can't help wonder what else could be driving their unanimous vote. When cliches like "united we stand, divided we fall" have no other intelligence behind their decisions it reveals a serious character flaw. What is this Partisan crap. I say too many minds have been infected with the notion that there is strength in bringing down your opponent even at the cost of straying from your own values. Power for power's sake. Greed for greed's sake. Can this really be their motivation?
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Nuclear Power for energy consumption and Nuclear Proliferation have nothing to do with each other!!

DV82XL explains how Nuclear Power for energy consumption and Nuclear Proliferation have nothing to do with each other.

It’s the tendency the nuclear nerds have to want to share their knowledge that is the Nuclear Energy advocate’s Achilles heel. The best counter argument to any claims by anti nukers is to let the historical record demonstrate that no parallel has ever existed.

At the risk of offending some individuals, certainly not my aim, I’d like to give an analogy. Let’s assume you are a politician and tempted by a beautiful woman to pay her for sex but the woman turns out to be an undercover police woman. You are arrested for taking the bait so to speak. Well, kind of an extreme example but when an anti nuker raises the proliferation issue as a concern to nuclear energy investment or research, by responding at the technical level you are taking the anti-nuker’s bait and you look foolish in the eyes of the frightened masses.

So a jedi or samurai or zen master might suggest you take a breath and relate to the less technical minds rather than the 2% who might have some idea of what you are saying.
It’s the non-technical minds that need winning over.
Make it a history lesson not an esoteric science discussion.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thorium Condensed

Thorium as a nuclear fuel is proliferation safe and zero carbon footprint
Gordon McDougall has edited together various talks on Thorium Molten Salt Reactors
called LFTR's. They could be the answer to the world's energy needs and a carbon free source.

16 minute version

10 minute version

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Those Who use Marketing vs. Those Who Market the Marketing Hype.

I was noticing the trends of numerous websites and discovering the really opportunistic ways various organizations and marketing gurus and guru wanna-be's keep exploiting those who are legitimately trying to market their products on the internet. Many people are seduced by the promise of free secrets or free information or software and then find out that they eventually have to pay to actually get the knowledge or information to the marketing secret or angle. I'm one of those who has been solicited and conned. Now I am even more sympathetic to the ordinary businesses wanting to succeed on the internet. I want to add my two cents to the giant list of existing blogs and marketing hype and hopefully help some small business or individual to get a grasp on what kind of things are needed to get traffic to your websites and to attract visitors to buy.

Like it or not making money on the internet is not as simple as the marketers claim. The concept of search engine optimization and pay-per-click is unfortunately totally inadequate for the majority of products being sold on the internet. Also what has started happening in recent years is that the massive quantity of websites out there trying to do what you're doing has continually been reducing the effectiveness of any techniques you may have discovered.

Learn to recognize when you're being conned or seduced. Get away from the built-in deception of the apparent instant response,instant gratification that the browser seems to offer.

When guru wanna-be's package the obvious in new ways. You will find the following expressed in different ways to make obvious choices appear more scientific and clever.

1. Like make sure your product is sellable.

2. Do a campaign to announce your site launch

3. Capture as many visitors relevant information as possible.

4. Take advantage of word of mouth and the social marketing opportunities.

5. Learn the Search engine tricks.

6. Make money off of advertising

The primary goals are getting traffic and making sure that your product or service is really interesting to visitors.

.. Stay tuned this article will be finished soon.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Nuclear Physics 101 (in progress)

Hydrogen Fuel
Biodiesel Fuel
Canada's Green Party
Batteries and Supercapacitors

Nuclear Physics 101
Nuclear Paradigm Shift
Can Auto Dealers Go Green
Wind and Other Energy Alternatives

The Obama team needs a primer on Nuclear Physics. And so do most people who care about the future and want to do something about the damage being done to our planet. The four generations of Nuclear Energy development and the latest rediscovered fertile to fissionable Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) design which for lack of a better word I'll refer to as THOR. I really mean Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR). But that's a mouthful and the catalyst is Thorium so lets call it THOR coming from the name for the God of lightning.

Since it is 60 years old in concept it's hard to think of it as fourth generation reactor design but it is being classified as such along side of the souped up Light Water Reactors (LWR) and upgrades of the traditional reactor designs that produce so much more dangerous nuclear waste.

The nuclear industry keeps boasting about it's safety record since Chernobyl and relatively harmless Three Mile Island incident. What is conveniently unspoken is that they still need to store significant amounts of radioactive fuel. So what else is new? Actually THOR or LFTR is what's new to most of us and very different from the traditional view of nuclear reactors.
It's the alchemists dream, turning iron into gold, living forever, an abundant energy source a dream at least in terms of nuclear energy.

Nuclear Physics 101
(without gluons, quarks, leptons, fermions, hadrons, bosons and antineutrinos.)

The only naturally occurring source of nuclear fuel is Uranium. Thorium is not a fuel, technically, but later I'll explain the Thorium Cycle which produces fuel. We'll come back to this. Uranium is found in trace amounts and needs processing to be as pure as possible. The ability to create man made Isotopes of radioactive elements is partly what is keeping the nuclear industry alive. And although very expensive to build Nuclear Reactors are still the most efficient electricity producers ever.

Nuclear energy is not new it's just new to humans. They started to understand it about 100 years ago. But nuclear energy was around when the first stars were born and the big bang occurred. In fact, have you ever wondered how the center of the earth stays hot and keeps molten lava flowing. It is the presence of thorium and uranium changing from one state to another perpetually releasing energy and heat that causes the melting rock.

Let's look at it's chemistry. Transuranic elements are the elements that are heavier than Uranium (element 93) and more unstable than the lighter elements and no longer exist naturally. Over the earths history they all decayed or converted to other substances then vanished. An unstable element is called "radioactive" however everything is radioactive to some degree. The elements that decay the fastest and have a significant level of decay are called "radioactive" and they have a short half-life and are often the most toxic.

Uranium is getting scarce and has been expensive to process. The industry has come up with some creative ways to produce fissile Uranium including breeder reactors and the dismantling of nuclear bombs to use the Uranium for fuel. Plutonium is very familiar to us and is generally man made by using nuclear fission. Because these elements are unstable they will convert to stable or unstable isotopes meaning they will have an atomic weight more or less near the natural weight plus or minus a few neutrons. For instance 238U is the normal atomic weight of Uranium but they have some 235U and 234U mixed with it. Just trace amounts can weaken Uranium's fissile ability so Uranium is processed by chemical means either into its useful concentrated 235U or into depleted Uranium-238 which is useless for energy but used in weapons ammunition. So a fissile element is able to convert to a new element and in the process releases energy. Note:E=mC2 the famous Einstein formula which explains where the energy comes from in a nuclear reaction. What happens when observing the binding forces in order of the smallest atomic weights to the largest the atoms actually reverses their ability to bind and these atoms are described as too large. So the ideal binding elements are, no surprise, iron and nickel. But really the study of the elements properties are the key. The elements instability are caused by their size.
It's actually the opposite in gravitational forces of large bodies. The larger the object the greater the density.

Radium (element 88) was the first synthetically recreated radioactive element back in 1936. Now various isotopes of Uranium and Plutonium are the most used in Nuclear Power plants. The atomic number indicates the number of protons in an element. Fission is dependent upon the unstable elements being able to absorb the uncharged unstable neutrons. Actinides (now called Actinoids) are all radioactive and are typically created during fission in nuclear reactions. Their order starts at a lower atomic weight (89-103) than Transuranics (93-118) however they also include some of the transuranics (93-103).
Thorium has 90 protons and is element 90. In it's natural state it has an equal number of
protons and electrons.

Neutrons are uncharged and unstable. This unstable state therefore can be harmful but also very useful. Here's where the clever idea came from to manipulate the isotopes.
If you think of the nucleus as a big ball of protons and neutrons and the forces that bind them together as having a limited range of say... the diameter of an iron or nickel atom... what happens when you have a really big atom like uranium where the protons at the north pole are beyond the attraction range of the protons at the south pole?
Now the electromagnetic forces with their long range can start to cancel out some of the overall binding energy since the protons hate each other electromagnetically.
Now imagine this ball like a drop of liquid, suspended in space. Then a neutron comes along and makes it wobble... wibble... and at some point, the nucleus elongates and you have enough protons outside that short range from each other. The strong nuclear force starts to isolate to binding these two future twins and the electromagnetic force between these two hemispheres is the only force remaining.... PING... fission. The smaller pieces added together require a lot less energy to stay together because more of the protons are in range of each other. The leftover energy is that ping that sent them flying away from each other. The kinetic energy (plus the lesser gamma and neutron energies) of the 2 fission fragments flying away from each other is equal to the "mass defect" between U-235 and FP1 + FP2 (Fission Product 1 + Fission Product 2). As it turns out, all the parts put together in the original uranium atom have a higher mass than the pieces after fission. The mass difference got turned into an energy of approximately 200 MeV (pronounced mega-electron volts). Of this energy, 168 MeV is the kinetic energy of the FP1 and FP2 running away from each other, an average of 2.43 neutrons are emitted with a kinetic energy of ~2 MeV each, and a ~30 MeV gamma.

This curve is one way of expressing how all the stuff of the world behaves according to the size of it's nucleus (Uranium at 235 is really proud of it's nucleus) and compares that nucleus size to how strong each nucleon (neutrons and protons) is glued together. When we fission a heavy nucleus, we are really just taking energy that was stored as mass from when some star went kablooey a kazillion years ago and pushed a bunch of elements together very tightly, all kinds of heavy stuff was made. Since the short range nuclear force can only hold such a big atom together, all we ever find is Uranium since it's pretty stable. Who knows, maybe that Uranium atom was something really big at first but decayed to where it is now. If it wasn't for the kablooey, we wouldn't see atoms much bigger than nickel or maybe cobalt.

The Thorium Cycle
This is a process which starts as Thorium then converts to Protactinium-233 and then decays after 27 days to become Uranium 233.
Molten salt melts at higher temperature than pressurized water and it is safer in reactors because it does not require high pressures that Light Water Reactors and CANDU reactors need so that the water remains in a liquid state. Fluoride salt has some very stable qualities. Fluoride is the salt of choice for THOR LFTR's (undecided but I'm tempted to use THOR instead of LFTR's but that might defeat our cause) ... ... to be continued

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Nuclear Paradigm Shift While We Were Not Looking

Hydrogen Fuel
Biodiesel Fuel
Canada's Green Party
Batteries and Supercapacitors

Nuclear Physics 101
Nuclear Paradigm Shift
Can Auto Dealers Go Green
Wind and Other Energy Alternatives

Thorium is the 90th element in the periodic table not far below Uranium and Plutonium. Its use in the form of a Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) specifically Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTR) has re-emerged in recent years as a surprisingly neglected alternative approach to creating nuclear energy. In fact I was amazed at what I did not know and had been kept secret for so many years. For instance. Why did the idea of a safer technology get shoved aside in favor of Light Water Reactors? Some say it was because the safer MSR was not able to produce Nuclear Weapons grade fuel. How different things could have been if the MSR's were developed instead of the water cooled
and more dangerous and expensive and toxic variety.

A quick list of advantages. Current Scientists and Engineers are saying that Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors:
1) eliminate the need for fuels that produce carbon emissions therefore removing one of the root causes of war. It's true we fight to defend what we need. And for too long we have needed energy in the form of fossil fuels. And that needs to change. Our military leaders know that and more than anything they want to change that basic story. That is why our message of thorium-based power enabling US energy independence resonates so strongly with them. It will also resonate well as a deterrent to allowing countries such as Russia from bullying other countries in need of their fossil fuels.
2) can consume waste nuclear fuel. LFTR's in the modern view are actually two Nuclear Plants in one. They can provide energy and burn up Nuclear Waste. Imagine where Pakistan, Iran and North Korea would be if this technology had been pursued back in the 1960's when it was first proposed.
3) safer and more stable since they don't reach high enough temperatures for meltdown
and therefore do not require expensive containment or high pressure water.
4) provide a means for third world countries to improve their economies by replacing
high carbon emission methods with far cleaner technology and cheaper than coal plants.
5) are much more difficult or nearly impossible to produce nuclear weapons
6) are less expensive than traditional reactors because the byproducts are far less toxic and do not require expensive containment.
7) Thorium is abundant and stockpiles are already stored so very little if any mining is required
8) Robert Hargraves makes a convincing argument that it will lower the worlds population.
energy=industry=jobs=education=birth control=population control
9) LFTR's can potentially assist in Hydrogen Production, heat buildings,
help in the desalination process.
10) will produce far more energy than wind or solar power ever could

The story stretches back to the days when Italian Physicist and Nobel Prize winner Enrico Fermi came to America during Mussolini's anti Jewish campaign. Fermi's wife was jewish. Eugene Tigener and Alvin Weinberg, both chemists, were also part of Fermi's team and worked together to create the first nuclear chain reaction. The team eventually split in different directions. Fermi went to Argonne National Laboratory and Tigener and Weinberg went to Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The MSR was first concieved by Eugene Tigener when working with Fermi. Later when the idea of a nuclear powered plane was proposed the MSR took shape as a prototype for flight. It never was completed but the reactor plans lived on after 1960 as pet projects of Tigener and Alvin Weinberg. Called the "chemists reactor" Weinberg led the field of Nuclear Power and Molten Salt Reactors were a favorite design of both Tigener and Weinberg.

Why were they able to make them smaller?

Biggest fears about Nuclear Power no longer an issue with proposed MSR (Molten Salt Reactors) LFTR (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor)

Old Way: Radiation Leak or Meltdown New Way: Meltdown is not possible since it is already contained under no pressure in a molten state below dangerous temperatures

Old Way: Used to create Nuclear Weapons New Way: Thorium makes it very difficult to produce nuclear weapons

Old Way: Disposal is hazardous New Way: Not hazardous anymore. LFTR Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors can use waste Uranium and Plutonium to create energy so it will eliminate existing nuclear waste

Old Way: Too expensive New Way: Many engineers feel that low cost reactors are totally possible and they can be made cheaper than coal plants.

Read more about thorium at Kirk Sorenson's Forum or Charles Bartons Blog

Hansen's letter to Obama had influence of Kirk Sorensen

The Aim High lecture and book by the same title by Robert Hargraves is also a fascinating look at the LFTR solution. Segment from Aim High Lecture