The Ergosphere
Sunday, July 31, 2011
 

Plentiful Energy and the IFR Story

I'd like to call attention to the article with the above name (about 7 years old now) hosted at The Center for Reactor Information.  It lays out the brief history of the Integral Fast Reactor, including how it came within a hair's breadth of surviving the 1994 vote to kill it.  It also gives a brief listing of its selling points, including (contrary to claims often made by anti-nuclear activists) that its fuel cycle is unable to produce weapons-grade material and is effectively proliferation-proof.

This is an article suitable for non-technical readers and ought to be spread widely.  Some of its figures are out of date (wind power is now pushing 2% of US electric supply, not ¼%), but this is good for further analysis to show just how difficult it is to scale up renewable energy to the quantities we need.

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Friday, July 22, 2011
 

Quote without comment

Bureaucracy is a tool to keep the world as it is, not to change it. So, in perfect Tainter-style, the system works hard to avoid innovation, not to promote it. It is almost impossible to be financed to study resource depletion; that would highlight problems that would require changes and that's a no-no. Instead, it is still possible to obtain research grants as long as there is no risk that the results will threaten the status quo. Hydrogen as a fuel is a good example. It is high-tech, fashionable, sophisticated, popular, environmentally friendly, and it doesn't work. This last characteristic makes sure that its development will bring no changes whatsoever.
Ugo Bardi
Thursday, July 21, 2011
 

A personal endorsement

There are a lot of companies and websites who want space on your sidebar.  I've received dozens of requests for link exchanges over the years.  I've turned them all down, not even putting my blogroll there.  I just didn't think anything was worth that much attention.

That just changed.

Flibe Energy is now featured there.  This is not a commercial endorsement; I have no relationship to Flibe Energy or anyone in it, personal, financial or anything beyond commenting a few times on the energyfromthorium blog.  I just see nuclear energy as the best, and probably only, prospect for keeping industrial civilization going for the next several decades without fouling its own nest, and LFTR as having the best potential for efficiency, safety, scalability and cost.

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