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Old 11-04-2013, 12:29 AM   #1
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Thorium fueled car

Thorium-Fueled Automobile Engine Needs Refueling Once a Century
By: David Russell Schilling | October 28th, 2013


Thorium Concept Car - Image Courtesy www.greenpacks.com

There are now over one billion cars traveling roads around the world directly and indirectly costing trillions of dollars in material resources, time and noxious emissions. Imagine all these cars running cleanly for 100 years on just 8 grams of fuel each.

Laser Power Systems (LPS) from Connecticut, USA, is developing a new method of automotive propulsion with one of the most dense materials known in nature: thorium. Because thorium is so dense it has the potential to produce tremendous amounts of heat. The company has been experimenting with small bits of thorium, creating a laser that heats water, produces steam and powers a mini turbine.


Cadillac World Thorium Fuel Concept (Image Courtesy CuteDesign.com - This Name Is Now Available to Rent or Buy !!!)

Current models of the engine weigh 500 pounds, easily fitting into the engine area of a conventionally-designed vehicle. According to CEO Charles Stevens, just one gram of the substance yields more energy than 7,396 gallons (28,000 L) of gasoline and 8 grams would power the typical car for a century.

The idea of using thorium is not new. In 2009, Loren Kulesus designed the Cadillac World Thorium Fuel Concept Car. LPS is developing the technology so it can be mass-produced.

Wider Implications of Thorium

According to Robert Hargraves, “low or non-CO2 emitting energy sources must be cheaper than coal or will ultimately fail to displace fossil fuels.” The United States uses 20% of the world’s energy today and, according to Hargraves, if it cut its CO2 emissions to zero, 80% produced by other countries would still be a problem. With CO2 emissions climbing seemingly beyond all bounds, pessimism is rampant and bold ideas are needed.

Thorium may also be the answer to the world’s nuclear energy conundrum and Wikipedia provides some of its advantages:

Weapons-grade fissionable material (233U) is harder to retrieve safely and clandestinely from a thorium reactor; this means, for example, Iran could be asked to develop only a thorium based reactor, virtually eliminating the issue of nuclear weapon development.
Thorium produces 10 to 10,000 times less long-lived radioactive waste;
Thorium mining produces a single pure isotope, whereas the mixture of natural uranium isotopes must be enriched to function in most common reactor designs. The same cycle could also use the fissionable U-238 component of the natural uranium, and also contained in the depleted reactor fuel;
Thorium cannot sustain a nuclear chain reaction without priming,[29] so fission stops by default in an accelerator driven reactor.
Hargraves sees factories and other industrial concerns using thorium as well. Stay tuned as we track this idea and its development.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium_fuel_cycle
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:39 AM   #2
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:14 AM   #3
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I heard that Timponium is more dense than thorium.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:10 AM   #4
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i have more faith in mr. fusion becoming reality:

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Old 11-04-2013, 09:43 AM   #5
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HOW the heck you get into this car...
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:04 AM   #6
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HOW the heck you get into this car...
When I was really young, and knew nothing about the mechanics of cars, I drew some pretty awesome crazy looking car designs.

As you get older and learn more about the technical requirements of a vehicle, you start to think "inside of a box" and it limits how fantastic your designs are.

The designer is an accomplished artist, but I think he was going for that initial wow factor above and beyond any thoughts of practicality.

BTW, that car is dubbed the Cadillac World Thorium Fuel concept. (aka the Cadillac WTF concept)

LOL
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:59 PM   #7
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Thorium as a means of energy production has already been proven to work, it was scrapped because of the need for weapons grade Uranium during the manhattan project, which then turned into the standard issue reactor for the US and the world. The use of nuclear weapons as a deterrent for war is ever so popular among nuclear states, and few are willing to give up the means to produce weapons en masse, means such as Uranium light and heavy water reactors.

To essentially recap what the article states;

The difference between Thorium and Uranium is that Thorium reactors shut themselves off if they are left unattended, which is the direct opposite of the Uranium reactors which will melt down if left unattended. Another benefit of a Thorium reactor is that it produces less waste, paired with the fact that Thorium is more abundant than Uranium.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:20 PM   #8
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Thorium also requires way, way, way more processing than uranium before it can be used as fuel. Also, density has literally nothing to do with energy. Iridium and osmium are some of the densest elements known and they have zero potential for energy production. The entire article screams bullshit to me.

Even if it were accurate, emergency crews have a hard enough time dealing with gasoline and coolant cleanup in collisions. Can you imagine having to call in a nuclear cleanup crew every time someone merged without shoulder checking? The roads would be in a permanent state of gridlock.
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:15 PM   #9
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Thorium also requires way, way, way more processing than uranium before it can be used as fuel.
But it doesn't... you know... fuck everything up and turn into lava if you abandon it in an earthquake.

The only danger with equipping a car with a miniature nuclear reactor is the containment aspect as you have so clearly stated. If such a reactor could be as crash proof as the current locomotive based containment vessels that transport waste, I'd venture to say that it's worth doing.

Last edited by Yodamaster; 11-05-2013 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:33 PM   #10
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The roads would be in a permanent state of gridlock.
What a wonderful world it would be.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:25 PM   #11
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Not BS, just...not fully developed to date.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_fluoride_thorium_reactor
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Old 11-06-2013, 06:45 AM   #12
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I know the thorium fuel cycle is a real thing, the article about it is what's bs.
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Old 11-06-2013, 10:13 AM   #13
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No one is going to sign off on having a nuclear reactor powering cars on the streets. Safe nuke or not.
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