[Marxism] Technological optimism (was peak oil)

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Wed Oct 19 08:26:50 MDT 2005

Rod Holt wrote:

> The World Nuclear Association  says, "Thorium, as well as uranium, can 
> be used as a nuclear fuel. Although not fissile itself, thorium-232 
> (Th-232) will absorb slow neutrons to produce uranium-233 (U-233), 
> which is fissile. Hence like uranium-238 (U-238) it is fertile." I 
> guess my statement was too abbreviated for general discussion? Thorium 
> does accept a neutron. Then it decays to protactinium and then to 
> uranium 233 which is fissle and produces neutrons. I think.


>    A major application for conventional PWRs involves fuel assemblies
>    arranged so that a blanket of mainly thorium fuel rods surrounds a
>    more-enriched seed element containing U-235 which supplies neutrons
>    to the subcritical blanket

right, this is "processing in place", Th 232 --> U233, and then this:

> . As U-233 is produced in the blanket it
>    is burned there. 

the key point is to have a bath of thermal neutrons from the U235 to 
enable the conversion.

your comments on carbon - iron solutions was interesting, more on that soon.

les schaffer

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