India Nuclear News and Discussion - June 9th

svinayak
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Postby svinayak » 14 Jun 2007 04:31

http://hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Sto ... 48545c21e9

HINDUSTAN TIMES, JUNE 11, 2007

[quote]The tortoise & the hare

Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Hindustan Times
June 10, 2007

When Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria a year ago compared George W. Bush’s maiden voyage to India with Richard Nixon’s 1971 visit to China, even Indian bloggers derided him. It’s easy to see why. Nixon’s visit to China was the perfect combination of public relations and geopolitics. The world seemed to pivot around one seven-day visit, two leaders and one handshake. “This was the week that changed the world,â€

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Postby SaiK » 14 Jun 2007 04:45

i think the games are different, and can't be compared with tortise and hare story. its like saying winning a marathon or 1500 meter race is a robust win than a 100 meter dash.

the point is very simple, we missed the bus year long since Gandhi nehru days.. not having to become P6 nation then. compared to that, and we still feel tortoising the future then, think how many 100 meters chinese would be running and winning.

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Postby vsudhir » 14 Jun 2007 05:29

SaiK wrote:i think the games are different, and can't be compared with tortise and hare story. its like saying winning a marathon or 1500 meter race is a robust win than a 100 meter dash.

the point is very simple, we missed the bus year long since Gandhi nehru days.. not having to become P6 nation then. compared to that, and we still feel tortoising the future then, think how many 100 meters chinese would be running and winning.


I agree. Point is, now what? At least we do have the comfort of knowing that some ridiculous notions the rulers entertained ('Indi-chini bhai bhai' for instance) have fallen by the wayside, that some core strategic principles have emerged to guide policy, and that the scicoms have done a great job.

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Postby vsudhir » 14 Jun 2007 05:34

India, US hold talks on non-proliferation issues (Rediff)
At the two-day talks that will conclude on Thursday, the Indian side is led by Additional Secretary (International Organisations) in the External Affairs Ministry K C Singh while the US delegation is headed by Acting Under Secretary of State for International Security and Non-Proliferation John C Rood.

Among the issues being discussed are global non-proliferation challenges and approaches to addressing these, including through multilateral initiatives and strategic trade controls.

Regional security, including nuclear and missile issues and missile defence, are also being deliberated upon.

Issues like the threat posed by clandestine proliferation of nuclear weapons and the risk of atomic weapons being used by terrorists are also expected to be discussed


Does look ike SD is throwing the NPAs a bone by appearing to address their NP concerns w.r.t. India, perhaps.

Appropriately, desi babus have stymied the yanks with chai-biscoot at the under secy level.
[/quote]

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Postby vsudhir » 14 Jun 2007 08:13

India set to sign new IAEA initiative to protect n-material, facilities (IE)

If the Cabinet decides to ratify the amendment, India will be the first country with nuclear weapons to do so. Until now, only 10 countries have ratified this amendment and these include countries like Algeria, Nigeria, Austria and Bulgaria among others.

Though the convention only applies to the fuel on the civilian side of the nuclear programme, sources say the step will send a positive signal to the US and the international community at a time when New Delhi is negotiating the 123 bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement with Washington.

What is significant is that there is a separate clause on physical protection of the US-origin fuel and materials in this agreement. By ratifying this amendment, India will send out the message that it is willing to unilaterally accept such commitments. The hope is this would settle doubts among non-proliferation experts who continue to raise the prospect of India diverting fuel to its military programme.

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Postby rocky » 14 Jun 2007 08:29

Isn't this the first time ever that MEA is being involved in this IUCNA/Non-Proliferation jhamela?

Raju

Postby Raju » 14 Jun 2007 08:38

ShauryaT wrote:
Raju wrote:Today Lok Sabha TV aired an hour long solid discussion on the Nuclear deal and Nuclear affairs featuring Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, K. Subrahmanyam, Brahma Chellaney and Achin Vanaik (DU Prof). I guess it is the most authoritative discussion to be featured on Doordarshan on the Nuclear debate.
Anyone with a video or audio recording of the above? If someone can post a link, it will be appreciated. Thanks.


It's re-run is playing now at the same channel.

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Postby bala » 14 Jun 2007 10:32

When India wants to be a part of this, there should be some quid pro quo a) on the US-Nuclear Deal b) unfettered Uranium trade mate c) sign the freaking J18 statement and make India full fledged NWS (srew the NPT), d) partner in GNEP with the Nippon company, e) Indo-Japan trade and investment agreement f) more pressure on the terrorist countries like TSP

U.S., Japan keen to rope in India in quadrilateral security cooperation

United States, India, Japan and Australia decided to meet without any formal agenda. New Delhi finally committed itself to a dialogue with Japan "and other like-minded countries in the Asia-Pacific region on themes of mutual interest" during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Tokyo last December. Indian officials hope the message went out that the new `quadrilateral' sees itself as an adjunct to Asean. The U.S. has been quick to realise the value of a quadrilateral framework for dealing with strategic developments in Asia. The Indian, Japanese and Australian Navies worked together under U.S.

The high-level statement, issued on May 1 by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defence Secretary Robert M. Gates, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso and Defence Minister Fumio Kyuma sets out as a "common strategic objective" the task of "continuing to build upon partnerships with India to advance areas of common interests and increase cooperation, recognising that India's continued growth is inextricably tied to the prosperity, freedom, and security of the region."

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Postby ShauryaT » 14 Jun 2007 20:36

Raju wrote:It's re-run is playing now at the same channel.
Thanks for the info, Raju. I am not fortunate enough to live in motherland and choose to be a geek and not own a TV, here, in the US.

Raju

Postby Raju » 14 Jun 2007 20:42

You can write a letter to Doordarshan (Lok Sabha TV division) and request them a copy of the program. See what response you get.

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Postby Arun_S » 14 Jun 2007 22:55

John Snow wrote:This is the time I wish Sunil S , ALok N, kgoan and N cube come out for batting on this thread.

Folks come leave your differences apart , rip this tamasha wide open from all perspectives. Forget the Bradmins bad umpiring, padd up and bat please for the sake of BR.

Thanks in advance...


I fully agree. And add Sagun to the luminaries we need to hear from.

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Postby SaiK » 14 Jun 2007 23:17

vsudhir wrote:I agree. Point is, now what? A..nd that the scicoms have done a great job.


Principles should not guide foriegn policies. It should be driven by our strategic needs. Sorry panchasheel.. we respect that as long as our survival is ensured.

The point is, we are getting psy-oped by dragonites both the chinese and the Indian kind.

The simple rule is to ignore, and concentrate on what we need to get.

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Postby Prem » 15 Jun 2007 02:40

Arun_S wrote:
John Snow wrote:This is the time I wish Sunil S , ALok N, kgoan and N cube come out for batting on this thread.

Folks come leave your differences apart , rip this tamasha wide open from all perspectives. Forget the Bradmins bad umpiring, padd up and bat please for the sake of BR.

Thanks in advance...


I fully agree. And add Sagun to the luminaries we need to hear from.

Should we conclude these individuals as well as Forum Admins concerns overide Indian strategic intereshtst? :(

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Postby SaiK » 15 Jun 2007 02:57

except alok n, i have no idea of the three having a tussle with the admins, that too for a reason that should not have taken alok n to monsterous fight with jagan. anyways.. give & take mangta hai.. especially admins do delete post action rather delete user action. again thats entirely upto admins.

saw kgoan sometimes back.. n3 disappeared (active elsewhere).. so is sunil bhai long time no see. may be they ve got more busy stuffs in real life. i think we need to look for second tier executive members and round them up & hail them they are the best, and pamper them up. that way, we could attract back.

it takes some leadership qualities in posts to inspire people.

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Postby shiv » 15 Jun 2007 07:13

Don't forget that the person who made the post saying Alok N, Enqyoob, kgoan and Sunil Sainis all in one breath and in the same breath took a swipe at all admins is John Snow alias Umrao Jaan who has himself not said much on this thread other than the above rabble rousing post which takes a double pot-shot, one to chide four people for not saying much (which is what he too is doing) another pot shot at all admins, suggesting that there is some kind of conspiracy to gag people who are "strategically important to India"

The post is both unnecessary and the mother of all "You farted" allegations which will reappear as "common knowledge" on BRF a few years down the line that admins gagged "Alok N, Enqyoob, kgoan and Sunil Sainis". That is is Jaan Snow's viewpoint which he is welcome to hold.

Let me put the record straight in this regard. John Snow has been on this forum as long as all the other longstanding jokers including me. Other than Alok N who was banned as mentioned above - all the others are free to post and blaming someone or the other for their lack of posting is unnecessary.

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Postby Sanatanan » 15 Jun 2007 07:50

An article from Deccan Herald published on 15 Jun 2007 is posted here in full.

[quote]
IN PERSPECTIVE

Convergence or divergence?

By A Madhavan

A one-sided deal will hobble Indias nuclear planning for both energy and defence.

India and the US have both admitted that their vaunted nuclear deal is by no means a “done dealâ€

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Postby SaiK » 15 Jun 2007 10:05

In anticipation of the Indo-U.S. civilian nuclear agreement fructifying, pre-project activities are going on at Jaitapur in Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra for building two LWRs of 1,000 MWe each. According to informed sources, "If the agreement does not come through, we will build four more PHWRs of 700 MWe each at the existing sites. The next three years will be tough. After that, the situation will be under control."



next three years !? does that mean our Th reactors would up and running by that time? need expert expln on this. tia.

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Postby ramana » 15 Jun 2007 10:08

Whatever. Don't rush to over analyze every statement.

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Postby Singha » 15 Jun 2007 10:32

SaiK, BARC has the tech for 750MW reactors now. I dont know what type but sure about the capacity.

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Postby Gerard » 15 Jun 2007 11:17

The next three years will be tough. After that, the situation will be under control.


I believe he is referring to the supply of Uranium ore.

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Postby merlin » 15 Jun 2007 12:33

I dont know what type but sure about the capacity.


Most certainly PHWR. Its a scale up of their 540 MW design. Next stop (after the 700 odd MW) should be 1000 MW.

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Postby rocky » 15 Jun 2007 19:41

Gerard wrote:
The next three years will be tough. After that, the situation will be under control.
I believe he is referring to the supply of Uranium ore.
If this is true, then did the UPA use this lack of uranium ore fact to push through the lure of investor money and piggy-back "legitimacy" for India amongst the non-proliferation wallahs and the westernites? Because if lack of uranium will be overcome in three years, then there is no way this deal is going to help us earlier than that either.

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Postby ramana » 15 Jun 2007 20:12

Op-ed Pioneer, 15 June 2007
Hold firm at 123 talks

India must not yield to US pressure for short-term gains, argues Vinay Shankar

The nuclear deal has again gathered considerable momentum. Whether this perceptible impetus is driven equally by both India and the US is anybody's guess. But what ought to be clear is that wrapping up the deal is not time critical to us, though it is to the US. The Bush Administration has pitched strongly for this deal and it would like to brandish this accomplishment as it prepares to demit office.

At this juncture, it would be prudent not to lose sight of where each of us is coming from. We should not forget that the US's principle aim is to cap our strategic nuclear programme. The spin may be the compulsions of US policy on NPT and CTBT, but we would be naïve to believe otherwise.

The strategic inter-linkages that get inevitably woven into such a deal are in any case part of the US's planned global architecture for the 21st century. And then there are the big business opportunities that our potentially huge nuclear energy market has to offer, besides the mega defence purchases that are believed to be in the offing.

To us the deal is not just for nuclear energy as it was first made out. While we admittedly would require nuclear fuel for our energy generation projects, it is not an urgent need. Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar has said we have the capacity to increase our uranium reserves significantly in the next five years. With sufficient impetus to thorium refinement, we can expect to become more than self-sufficient for nuclear fuel in the long haul.

Thus, while the supply of nuclear fuel by the US and the NSG would be welcome in the short term, the price must be right. Otherwise we should wait.

Similarly, it is granted that we need dual use technologies. The question is: How much of it would be forthcoming and by when? In-depth analysis would suggest that notwithstanding the ongoing seduction game, dual use technology would probably continue to be denied to us. After all, what have we got from the time we started cozying up to each other? Next to nothing, other than some of our reputed companies getting blacklisted and individuals charge-sheeted for allegedly stealing technology!

Notwithstanding all this, good and enduring relations with the US are important to us. There is much to be gained by both countries given the wide range of converging interests. In India this realisation has taken root. In the US too there is growing awareness on this count. But mindsets of the past seem to be holding back American policy-makers and the intelligentsia.

Otherwise, how do we explain the thrust to contain rather than support our strategic military capabilities? We are not being greedy by aspiring to build a credible nuclear deterrence capability. Perhaps our officials have failed to sufficiently influence US opinion-makers on India's security concerns.

However, if for better and more abiding relations with the US, the nuclear deal is important, it would be unwise not to pursue it even if some compromises have to be made. Which is precisely what we are doing.
a)We have conceded to a separation of the civilian and military nuclear facilities.
b)We have accepted safeguards and inspection of our civilian nuclear facilities by the IAEA.
c)We are continuing with the totally uncalled for self-imposed moratorium on testing.
d)And to a considerable extent, we have even compromised on our foreign policy interests out of deference to American sensitivities.


But we have to draw the line somewhere, which is what the Prime Minister did in his statements to Parliament. He assured Parliament that
a)we would have full access to civil nuclear technology,
b)that all existing sanctions on dual use technology would be lifted and, most important,
c)we would have the same rights and obligations as the P-5, nothing more nothing less.
d)He also categorically stated there would be no compromise on our strategic nuclear weapons programme.


It is comforting to observe that till now we have not relented on the core issues. We have travelled more than halfway and we must not be pushed to concede more ground. If the US values our strategic relationship, it must find ways to make the 123 Agreement acceptable.

Hopefully, the Prime Minister will hold firm so that he does not go down in history as someone who set aside India's national interest on the basis of vague and uncertain American assurances. If in the bargain the deal does not happen, so be it.

(The author, a retired Lt General, is a Kargil war hero)


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Postby John Snow » 15 Jun 2007 20:19

Thanks Shiv for putting a totally new perspective on my post.
It smells totally different now. A spoon full of Epsom may be?
sorry folks no more diversions inspite of derision.

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Postby NRao » 15 Jun 2007 21:57

But we have to draw the line somewhere, which is what the Prime Minister did in his statements to Parliament. He assured Parliament that
a)we would have full access to civil nuclear technology,
b)that all existing sanctions on dual use technology would be lifted and, most important,
c)we would have the same rights and obligations as the P-5, nothing more nothing less.
d)He also categorically stated there would be no compromise on our strategic nuclear weapons programme.


IF I may:

e) Have a bold and totally independent foreign policy.

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Postby SaiK » 15 Jun 2007 22:26

I am thinking A3++ to Oz could make things better for civilian NSG supplies. I feel a friendly wallaby to supply and make happy our tong wallas, is strategic enough.

I know its tuff.. get them going..but just think about their mentality.. and their ordained relationship behavior. Only a threatening posture helps in all strategic situations.

I am waiting on the a3++ next test, and soon to be operationalize news.

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Postby NRao » 16 Jun 2007 00:04

SaiK,

I would think an Indian version of a BMW/MB would be a lot more threatening than a A3++, which has value no doubt. IF India can make their own, sound, sathya based gizmos (dish washers, radios, laundry products, medicines, insurance offerings, banks, etc, etc, etc) and FBRs, there is really no need for so much dependence (or fear to negotiate boldly with) on any other nation.

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Postby SaiK » 16 Jun 2007 00:19

precisely.. we are not putting our brains where the bread and butter is. for example, even with a corn culture, americans have developed (Ford) to use E85 (85% ethanol ) vehicles. Brazil is making a kill, that has lessened oil dependencies just from sugar cane ethanol which is cheaper than corn based. India lacks in developing such pure bread engines and/or is not showing interest to import such technology.

another alternative energy is wind power.., besides solar. we are not doing enough to tap these vast potentials.

furthermore, bio fuels could be used in the next generation thermal plants rather..

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Postby Vivek_A » 16 Jun 2007 00:35

shiv: posting in full because I don't know their archiving policy.


http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/348

New age nuclear
Issue 8 of Cosmos, April 2006by Tim Dean

Image: Justin Randall

Nuclear energy produces no greenhouse gases, but it has many drawbacks. Now a radical new technology based on thorium promises what uranium never delivered: abundant, safe and clean energy - and a way to burn up old radioactive waste.

What if we could build a nuclear reactor that offered no possibility of a meltdown, generated its power inexpensively, created no weapons-grade by-products, and burnt up existing high-level waste as well as old nuclear weapon stockpiles? And what if the waste produced by such a reactor was radioactive for a mere few hundred years rather than tens of thousands? It may sound too good to be true, but such a reactor is indeed possible, and a number of teams around the world are now working to make it a reality. What makes this incredible reactor so different is its fuel source: thorium.

Named after Thor, the warlike Norse god of thunder, thorium could ironically prove a potent instrument of peace as well as a tool to soothe the world's changing climate. With the demand for energy on the increase around the world, and the implications of climate change beginning to strike home, governments are increasingly considering nuclear power as a possible alternative to burning fossil fuels.

But nuclear power comes with its own challenges. Public concerns over the risk of meltdown, disposal of long-lived and highly toxic radioactive waste, the generation of weapons grade by-products, and their corresponding proliferation risks, all can make nuclear power a big vote-loser.

A thorium reactor is different. And, on paper at least, this radical new technology could be the key to unlocking a new generation of clean and safe nuclear power. It could prove the circuit-breaker to the two most intractable problems of the 21st century: our insatiable thirst for energy, and the warming of the world's climate.

BY THE END OF this century, the average surface temperature across the globe will have risen by at least 1.4ËšC, and perhaps as much as 5.8ËšC, according to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

That may not sound like much, but small changes in the global average can mask more dramatic localised disruptions in climate.

Some changes will be global: we can expect sea levels to rise by as much as 0.9 metres, effectively rendering a huge proportion of what is now fertile coastal land uninhabitable, flooding low-lying cities and wiping out a swathe of shallow islands worldwide.

The principal culprit is carbon dioxide, a gas that even in quite small quantities can have a dramatic impact on climate, and has historically been present in the Earth's atmosphere at relatively low concentrations.

That was until human activity, including burning fossil fuels, began raising background levels substantially.

Yet while we're bracing ourselves to deal with climate change, we also face soaring demand for more energy - which means burning more fossil fuels and generating more greenhouse gases.

That demand is forecast to boom this century. Energy consumption worldwide is rising fast, partly because we're using much more of it - for air conditioning and computers, for example. In Australia alone, energy consumption jumped by 46 per cent between the mid-1970s and the mid- 1990s where our population grew by just 30 per cent. And energy use is expected to increase another 14 per cent by the end of this decade, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Then there's China, which, along with other fast-growing nations, is developing a rapacious appetite for power to feed its booming economy.

And fossil fuels won't last forever. Current predictions are that we may reach the point of peak production for oil and natural gas within the next decade - after which production levels will continually decline worldwide.

That's if we haven't hit the 'peak oil' mark already. That means prices will rise, as they have already started to do: cheap oil has become as much a part of history as bell-bottomed trousers and the Concorde.

Even coal, currently the world's favourite source of electricity generation, is in limited supply. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests that at current levels of consumption, the world's coal reserves could last around 285 years. That sounds like breathing room: but it doesn't take into account increased usage resulting from the lack of other fossil fuels, or from an increase in population and energy consumption worldwide.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, as of 2003, coal provided about 40 per cent of the world's electricity - compared to about 20 per cent for natural gas, nuclear power and renewable sources respectively. In Australia, coal contributes even more: around 83 per cent of electricity.

This is because coal is abundant and cheap, especially in Australia. And although a coal-fired power plant can cost as much as A$1 billion (US$744 million) to build, coal has a long history of use in Australia. Coal is also readily portable, much more so than natural gas, for example - which makes it an excellent export product for countries rich in coal, and an economical import for coal-barren lands.

But the official figures on the cost of coal don't tell the whole story. Coal is a killer: a more profligate one than you would expect.

And it maintains a lethal efficacy across its entire lifecycle.

One of the main objections held against nuclear power is its potential to take lives in the event of a reactor meltdown, such as occurred at Chernobyl in 1986. While such threats are real for conventional reactors, the fact remains that nuclear power - over the 55 years since it first generated electricity in 1951 - has caused only a fraction of the deaths coal causes every week.

Take coal mining, which kills more than 10,000 people a year. Admittedly, a startling proportion of these deaths occur in mines in China and the developing world, where safety conditions are reminiscent of the preunionised days of the early 20th century in the United States. But it still kills in wealthy countries; witness the death of 18 miners in West Virginia, USA, earlier this year.

But coal deaths don't just come from mining; they come from burning it. The Earth Policy Institute in Washington DC - a nonprofit research group founded by influential environmental analyst Lester R. Brown - estimates that air pollution from coal-fired power plants causes 23,600 U.S. deaths per year. It's also responsible for 554,000 asthma attacks, 16,200 cases of chronic bronchitis, and 38,200 non-fatal heart attacks annually.

The U.S. health bill from coal use could be up to US$160 billion annually, says the institute.

Coal is also radioactive: most coal is laced with traces of a wide range of other elements, including radioactive isotopes such as uranium and thorium, and their decay products, radium and radon. Some of the lighter radioactive particles, such as radon gas, are shed into the atmosphere during combustion, but the majority remain in the waste product - coal ash.

People can be exposed to its radiation when coal ash is stored or transported from the power plant or used in manufacture of concrete. And there are far less precautions taken to prevent radiation escaping from coal ash than from even low-level nuclear waste. In fact, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the U.S. estimates the amount of exposure to radiation from living near a coal-fired power plant could be several times higher than living a comparable distance from a nuclear reactor.

Then there are the deaths that are likely to occur from falling crop yields, more intense flooding and the displacement of coastal communities which are all predicted to ensue from global warming and rising oceans.

There's so much heat already trapped in the atmosphere from a century of greenhouse gases that some of these effects are likely to occur even if all coal-fired power plants were closed tomorrow. Whichever way you look at it, coal is not the smartest form of energy.

THERE ARE MANY REASONS to move away from coal as our primary source of electricity generation, but it's not an easy task. The list of required attributes for an ideal power generation technology looks intimidating.

First of all, it should offer abundant power.

It also needs to be clean, safe and renewable as well as consistent. And ultimately, it needs to be economical.

Solar power contains much promise as a clean and practically infinite renewable power source. But photovoltaics, the most common form of solar electricity generation, are still a very expensive form of electricity, and lack the consistency to be suitable as a primary source of power - to provide the 'baseload' that is, the kind of power you can rely on to be there to keep everyone's refrigerators humming all day and night.

Wind has seen application in specialised wind farms, both onshore and offshore, especially in Europe where solar power is less efficient than in sunnier climes such as Australia's. Germany alone accounts for around 40 per cent of the total wind power generated worldwide.

Wind is an effective and clean form of power, but it too has its drawbacks. First, it is uncommon for a wind generator to be operating at more than 35 per cent of capacity, and 25 per cent is more common. This means it's idle and not generating power for 65 to 75 per cent of the time. Wind power is relatively cheap, with a cost per kilowatt-hour similar to that of coal in some places, although the volume of wind power is limited and often the best locations for wind turbines are far from the populous areas where electricity is needed. Environmentally, wind power poses a minor threat to birdlife, as well as being considered an eyesore in some communities.

While solar power is relatively expensive, and wind is limited in its implementation, both have a highly important role in renewable electricity generation. Unfortunately, even granting considerable advances in technology and efficiency of both technologies, neither has the potential to become a primary source of electricity because of their intermittent nature: neither could ever be relied upon to meet baseload supply.

IN THE 1950s, nuclear power generation, or the so-called 'peaceful atom', promised to unshackle us from fossil fuels and provide our society with limitless clean power that was going to be "too cheap to meter". Like many utopian visions, the truth was considerably less appealing. While nuclear power has for the most part provided bountiful energy without significant environmental impact, what everyone remembers are the accidents: the Windscale fire at Sellafield in 1957, the meltdowns at Three Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986. At a time when the public psyche was reeling from the fear of global nuclear war, the threats from nuclear power plants were suddenly seen in a similar light.

Another issue that caused growing public concern was the disposal of high-level nuclear waste. Some of the by-products of nuclear power include spent fuel rods: mostly byproducts of nuclear fission, including some highly radioactive actinides with half-lives of many thousands of years - which means they remain lethally toxic for millennia. They have to be housed in waste dumps isolated from all possible contact with the environment for up to 10,000 years. This means building a structure that will survive for twice as long as the Great Pyramid of Egypt has to date.

Needless to say, the engineering difficulties involved in building facilities that can safely contain such waste for 100 centuries, are immense - as are the costs.

Then there are nuclear weapons. Some waste can be reprocessed into weapons-grade plutonium. In particular, the processing of plutonium for re-use as fuel for reactors is difficult and, as such, much of the waste is left to build in weapons-grade stockpiles that could pose a serious security threat were some to fall into the wrong hands.

All three of these issues result from the nuclear fuel cycle in conventional reactors.

The typical nuclear fuel cycle kicks off with a quantity of refined uranium ore. This ore is primarily composed of uranium-238 (U-238), the most common, weakly radioactive isotope that has a very long half-life and is not fissile.

This means U-238 doesn't easily undergo fission, the process in which the nucleus of the atom splits, releasing tremendous quantities of energy.

Usually, a very small percentage of the ore will be U-235. Unlike U-238, U-235 is fissile, and makes up the primary fuel for most nuclear reactors. It is also, incidentally, the uranium isotope that can be used to make nuclear weapons.

This is because when a U-235 atom splits, it releases a spread of high-energy neutrons.

If one of these neutrons then collides with another U-235 atom, it can cause the atom to split, releasing more neutrons in the process.

This runaway chain reaction is responsible for the fantastic explosive power of an atom bomb - and for the meltdowns at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.

However, there is too little U-235 in mined uranium ore to maintain enough fission for a nuclear reactor or a bomb. The ore needs to be 'enriched', boosting the proportion of U-235 in the ore. Nuclear reactors require around 3 per cent to 5 per cent of U-235, while nuclear weapons often require 85 per cent or more. One of the most popular methods of enriching uranium is a gas centrifuge, where the uranium in the ore is converted into uranium hexafluoride gas and rapidly spun, forcing the heavier U-238 gas to the extremities for separation.

Once a sufficient proportion of U-235 is achieved, the ore can be made into fuel suitable for a reactor. Also, while U-235 is busily destroying itself in the reactor, the U-238 in the fuel is not sitting idly by. This is because U-238 is 'fertile', which means it can transmute into other, fissile elements in a process called 'breeding'. In this process, if an atom of U-238 absorbs a neutron, such as one thrown out by a nearby splitting U-235 atom, it can transmute into the short-lived U-239. This then rapidly decays into neptunium-239, which itself quickly decays into plutonium-239 (Pu-239). Pu-239 is another possible fuel for nuclear reactors because, like U-235, it is actively fissile and can maintain a chain reaction. The problem is that many reactors are not optimised for burning plutonium, and as a consequence large quantities of Pu-239 remain as a waste by-product in spent fuel rods.

Pu-239 can be reprocessed from spent fuel rods and turned into a compound called MOX (Mixed Oxide) fuel. This can then be reused in some nuclear reactors in the place of conventional enriched uranium. However, it is Pu-239 that also represents the greatest weapons proliferation threat. So reprocessing plutonium becomes a very costly and a politically sensitive business. This means it is less likely to be used as a nuclear fuel for a civilian power plant and is less likely to be reprocessed.

Nuclear physics is a complex and messy business, especially when dealing with large unstable elements such as uranium. When the U-235 in nuclear fuel burns down to around 0.3 per cent concentration, it's no longer of use in a reactor. At this point, the proportion of U-238, along with other fission by-products, including some very radioactive isotopes of americium, technetium and iodine, is too high. Many of these elements are called 'neutron poisons' because they absorb neutrons that would otherwise be happily colliding with other U-235 nuclei to spark off more fission.

This spent fuel can be reprocessed - but this is a much more difficult job than basic enrichment because of the high number of fission by-products in the spent fuel. This means that a great deal of spent fuel - highly radioactive as it is - becomes waste that needs to be stored. For a very long time.

THIS IS WHERE THORIUM steps in. Thorium itself is a metal in the actinide series, which is a run of 15 heavy radioactive elements that occupy their own period in the periodic table between actinium and lawrencium. Thorium sits on the periodic table two spots to the left (making it lighter) of the only other naturally occurring actinide, uranium (which is two spots to the left of synthetic plutonium). This means thorium and uranium share several characteristics.

According to Reza Hashemi-Nezhad, a nuclear physicist at the University of Sydney who has been studying the thorium fuel cycle, the most important point is that they both can absorb neutrons and transmute into fissile elements. "From the neutron-absorption point of view, U-238 is very similar to Th-232", he said.

It's these similarities that make thorium a potential alternative fuel for nuclear reactors. But it's the unique differences between thorium and uranium that make it a potentially superior fuel. First of all, unlike U-235 and Pu-239, thorium is not fissile, so no matter how much thorium you pack together, it will not start splitting atoms and blow up. This is because it cannot undergo nuclear fission by itself and it cannot sustain a nuclear chain reaction once one starts. It's a wannabe atom splitter incapable of taking the grand title.

What makes thorium suitable as a nuclear fuel is that it is fertile, much like U-238.

Natural thorium (Th-232) absorbs a neutron and quickly transmutes into unstable Th-233 and then into protactinium Pa-233, before quickly decaying into U-233, says Hashemi- Nezhad. The beauty of this complicated process is that the U-233 that's produced at the end of this breeding process is similar to U-235 and is fissile, making it suitable as a nuclear fuel. In this way, it talks like uranium and walks like uranium, but it ain't your common-or-garden variety uranium.

And this is where it gets interesting: thorium has a very different fuel cycle to uranium. The most significant benefit of thorium's journey comes from the fact that it is a lighter element than uranium. While it's fertile, it doesn't produce as many heavy and as many highly radioactive by-products. The absence of U-238 in the process also means that no plutonium is bred in the reactor.

As a result, the waste produced from burning thorium in a reactor is dramatically less radioactive than conventional nuclear waste. Where a uranium-fuelled reactor like many of those operating today might generate a tonne of high-level waste that stays toxic for tens of thousands of years, a reactor fuelled only by thorium will generate a fraction of this amount. And it would stay radioactive for only 500 years - after which it would be as manageable as coal ash.

So not only would there be less waste, the waste generated would need to be locked up for only five per cent of the time compared to most nuclear waste. Not surprisingly, the technical challenges in storing a smaller amount for 500 years are much lower than engineering something to be solid, secure and discreet for 10,000 years.

But wait, there's more: thorium has another remarkable property. Add plutonium to the mix - or any other radioactive actinide - and the thorium fuel process will actually incinerate these elements. That's right: it will chew up old nuclear waste as part of the power-generation process. It could not only generate power, but also act as a waste disposal plant for some of humanity's most heinous toxic waste.

This is especially significant when it comes to plutonium, which has proven very hard to dispose of using conventional means.

Current programs used for the disposal of plutonium reactor by-products and weapons-grade material using the MOX process are both expensive and complex. Furthermore, thorium proponents say that in conventional reactors, MOX fuel doesn't use plutonium as efficiently nor in the same volumes as thorium fuel would at lower cost.

So thorium might just be able to kill two birds with one stone. Not only does a thorium-fuelled reactor produce significantly less high-level waste, but it can also dispose of the decommissioned nuclear weapons and highly radioactive waste from nuclear reactors using more conventional fuels. Oh yes, it can also generate electricity.

SO WHY ISN'T EVERYONE using thorium reactors? The main drawback to thorium is that it's not vigorously fissile, and it needs a source of neutrons to kick off the reaction.

Unlike enriched uranium, which can be left to its own devices to start producing power, thorium needs a bit of coaxing.

Thorium also cannot maintain criticality on its own; that is, it can't sustain a nuclear reaction once it has been started. This means the U-233 produced at the end of the thorium fuel cycle doesn't pump out enough neutrons when it splits to keep the reaction self-sustaining: eventually the reaction fizzles out. It's why a reactor using thorium fuel is often called a 'sub-critical' reactor.

The main stumbling block until now has been how to provide thorium fuel with enough neutrons to keep the reaction going, and do so in an efficient and economical way.

In recent years two new technologies have been developed to do just this.

One company that has already begun developing thorium-fuelled nuclear power is the aptly named Thorium Power, based just outside Washington DC. The way Thorium Power gets around the sub-criticality of thorium is to create mixed fuels using a combination of enriched uranium, plutonium and thorium.

At the centre of the fuel rod is the 'seed' for the reaction, which contains plutonium.

Wrapped around the core is the 'blanket', which is made from a mixture of uranium and thorium. The seed then provides the necessary neutrons to the blanket to kick-start the thorium fuel cycle. Meanwhile, the plutonium and uranium are also undergoing fission.

The primary benefit of Thorium Power's system is that it can be used in existing nuclear plants with slight modification, such as Russian VVER-1000 reactors. Seth Grae, president and chief executive of Thorium Power, and his team are actively working with the Russians to develop a commercial product by the end of this decade. They already have thorium fuel running in the IR-8 research reactor at the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow.

"In the first quarter of 2008, we expect to have lead test assemblies in a full-size commercial nuclear power plant in Russia," said Grae.

He believes mixed thorium fuels can not only dispose of weapons-grade plutonium, but also be developed into a fuel for many conventional reactors to prevent production of any further plutonium as a by-product.

Thorium Power believes there is a market for about four thorium-powered reactors each in Russia and United States just for plutonium disposal. It's also aiming for reactors dealing with commercial plutonium by-products in Europe, Japan, Russia and the USA.

Grae is also enthusiastic about the benefits thorium fuels offer the environment. "All nuclear compares well to coal, in terms of no emissions into the atmosphere, including no carbon dioxide," he said. The environmental credentials of his company are also boosted by the presence of environmental lawyer and former member of the Centre for International Environmental Law, David MacGraw, he added. Grae muses that Thorium Power may be the "only nuclear company in the world with an environmentalist on the board".

AN ALTERNATIVE DESIGN does away with the requirements for uranium or plutonium altogether, and relies on thorium as its primary fuel source. This design, which was originally dubbed an Energy Amplifier but has more recently been named an Accelerator Driven System (ADS), was proposed by Italian Nobel physics laureate Carlos Rubbia, a former director of one of the world's leading nuclear physics labs, CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research.

An ADS reactor is sub-critical, which means it needs help to get the thorium to react. To do this, a particle accelerator fires protons at a lead target. When struck by high-energy protons the lead, called a spallation target, releases neutrons that collide with nuclei in the thorium fuel, which begins the fuel cycle that ends in the fission of U-233.

A nuclear reactor that requires a particle beam to keep it running might seem a bit strange. But on the contrary, this is one of the ADS design's most attractive features. If the particle beam is switched off, it is impossible for the fuel to enter a chain reaction and cause a meltdown. Instead, the rate of fission will immediately begin to slow and the fuel will eventually cool down and die out. According to Sydney's Hashemi-Nezhad, a sub-critical reactor such as this has clear safety benefits over uranium reactors. "It has zero chance of a Chernobyl-type accident," he said.

Another major advantage of this design is that it only requires thorium as fuel.

Hashemi-Nezhad also says thorium is a highly abundant resource "550 times more abundant in nature than uranium-235".

It's also an element in which Australia is well blessed - we have the largest known thorium reserves in the world. Thorium mining is also less complex than uranium mining; and the ore doesn't even require enrichment before use in an ADS reactor.

In a non-proliferation sense, there are also good reasons to prefer a sub-critical thorium reactor, as it is impossible to make weapons-grade materials from thorium.

Even traces of unburnt U-233 in thorium reactor waste products are more difficult to convert into a usable nuclear weapon than U-235 or Pu-239. Imagine the West offering thorium-fuelled ADS reactors to countries such as Iran or North Korea: this would satisfy their demands for cheap nuclear power, but entirely avert the risk of the civil nuclear program leading to the development of nuclear weapons.

The other key advantage of the ADS design is that it can be used to dispose of dangerous weapons-grade material and commercial reactor by-products in a similar way to mixed thorium fuel.

While the ADS design has promise, it presents challenges. First, there's the design itself: while lab tests have proven the concept of using a particle beam to start the thorium fuel cycle, the physics of scaling it up to the size of a commercial reactor are unproven and could be more complex. Then there's the way the particle beam interacts with the spallation target and the fuel in order to operate efficiently. Also, while there are plenty of existing conventional nuclear reactors that can be fairly inexpensively converted to mixed thorium fuel, an ADS reactor would have to be designed, built and paid for from scratch.

Retrofitting old reactors is not an option.

Does this make a large-scale ADS reactor viable? CERN thinks so. It recently released a detailed report covering the financial viability of the ADS design for power generation, and found it to be at least three times cheaper than coal and 4.8 times cheaper than natural gas. Any nuclear reactor will have a high establishment cost, but CERN stresses that a long-life reactor will be highly competitive compared to fossil and renewable energy fuels.

Hashemi-Nezhad has been working on the ADS reactor concept with colleagues in Germany, Russia, India and Eastern Europe, and is enthusiastic about it. "The future of nuclear reactors is in ADS because it operates in a sub-critical condition. Only under this condition it is possible to transmute waste isotopes while gaining energy and producing fuel at low cost. And it's safe," he said.

He also thinks Australia could play a leading role in the development and promotion of thorium-fuelled reactors. "It is up to the Australian government to make an investment in this research. Huge thorium resources in Australia can provide green energy at low cost for several centuries." An enticing prospect, to say the least.

CAN ATOMIC POWER be green? Physics suggests it can. And our consumption of energy is accelerating at the same time the climate is being affected by power generation.

Unless we start seriously exploring energy alternatives to burning fossil fuels, erratic and destructive weather conditions could be with us for generations to come. Renewable energy such as wind and solar have bright futures, and will play a large role in any future energy program - but they can never hope to satisfy baseload requirements of a city.

Hydroelectric power is an option - but most of the economical sites have been exploited, and biodiversity suffers when valleys are flooded to create dams. So, unless some groundbreaking discovery in nuclear fusion is made, making it not only possible but efficient and economical - then nuclear fission will remain on the agenda for promising baseload energy alternatives.

Despite its drawbacks, conventional uranium-fuelled nuclear power is a realistic option that is likely to be continued worldwide.

But it is thorium reactors that present a real quantum leap forward. Humble thorium could potentially alleviate three of the most pressing issues facing modern civilisation in the 21st century: the hunger for energy, the spectre of climate change and the need to eliminate nuclear weapons.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tim Dean is a science and technology journalist in Sydney, editor of the Technophile section of COSMOS, and a former editor of the computer magazine, PC Authority.

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Postby Gerard » 16 Jun 2007 01:12

Cabinet clears amendment to key UN nuclear convention
The Indian cabinet Friday approved the ratification of an amendment to a key UN convention on protecting nuclear material that will also help in combating nuclear terrorism.

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Postby SaiK » 16 Jun 2007 02:28

Nuclear weapon-free world — a mirage?

M.R. Srinivasan

There are some new portends of a revival of the cold war era arms race. India should propose an updated version of the Rajiv Gandhi Plan, focussing on a no-first-use commitment by all states possessing nuclear weapons and a comprehensive test ban.

THE RECENTLY concluded G8 Summit in Germany discussed more extensively issues of climate change and aid to Africa. Among other subjects, it also discussed global security concerns. In the nuclear area, the G8 agreed to strengthen measures to prevent proliferation, intensify counter-proliferation initiatives, and tighten sanctions against Iran to prevent it from pursuing enrichment of uranium. It also decided to take coordinated steps to prevent the spread of uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing (to separate plutonium) technologies. Regrettably, it took no initiative to reduce arsenals with the nuclear weapon states, much less discuss how the world can rid itself of the menace of nuclear weapons. This is not surprising as the original G7 (Russia is a recent addition) were all members of the Euro-Atlantic alliance led by the U.S, which has never been a supporter of the idea of a nuclear weapon-free world.

In July 2007, the Pugwash movement is holding its 50th anniversary meeting at Pugwash, Nova Scotia in Canada. This movement was launched in response to a call from Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russel with an appeal to the statesmen of the world to save mankind by eliminating all nuclear weapons. In its initial years, the Pugwash meetings brought together scientists from the U.S. and the USSR (and other countries too) so that the isolation on contacts imposed by the cold war could be breached. These contacts eventually paved the way for more formal discussions on the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaties and the treaties on the elimination of chemical and biological weapons. In the 1980s and '90s, the Pugwash movement commissioned studies on how to achieve the goal of a nuclear weapon-free world. The late Joseph Rotblat, as Chairman of the Pugwash conferences for many years, actively championed this cause. While he and the Pugwash movement were honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize in the mid-1990s, the pursuit of a nuclear weapon-free world has disappeared from the global agenda.

In 1988, India presented to the United Nations Special Session on Disarmament, the Rajiv Gandhi Plan for a nuclear weapon-free world. This plan envisaged a time-bound elimination of all nuclear weapons by all countries possessing them. The plan was rejected out of hand by the U.S. The USSR under Mikhail Gorbachev welcomed it; this support however meant little as the USSR was itself hurtling towards implosion. Had there been a positive response to this plan, even if the timetable indicated in it was much too optimistic, it is entirely possible that neither India nor Pakistan would have gone overtly nuclear 10 years down the line. After the Pokhran II tests of 1998, India announced that it would develop a credible minimum nuclear deterrent; it also announced a no-first-use policy and that it would observe a voluntary moratorium on further testing. Ever since, India has reiterated its commitment to universal nuclear disarmament.

The question now is whether the time has come to revive the idea of a nuclear weapon-free world. In January 2007, four U.S. veteran policy makers, Henry Kissinger, Sam Nunn, William Perry, and George Schultz, some of whom were nuclear hawks in the past, stated that "Reassertion of the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons would be, and would be perceived as, a bold initiative consistent with America's moral heritage. The effort could have a profoundly positive impact on the security of future generations. Without the bold vision, the actions will not be perceived as fair or urgent. Without the actions, the vision will not be perceived as realistic or possible. We endorse the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons and working energetically on the actions required to achieve that goal."

More recently, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, warned there could be 30 "virtual new weapons states" on the horizon. He has gone on to say that elimination of nuclear weapons in all countries is the only way that will prevent new countries from acquiring nuclear weapons. Some time last year, the IAEA Director General also stated that there were "no legitimate nuclear weapon powers." He implicitly reminded the nuclear weapon states of their obligation to eliminate them over a period of time and not to claim a legal right to possess them for all time to come.

There are some new developments that portend a revival of the arms race, which characterised the cold war era. The U.S. is considering launching a new family of nuclear weapons called the "reliable replacement warhead" to replace its ageing arsenal. It is also working on a "bunker buster" to destroy heavily guarded underground facilities where WMD activities may be hidden. Russia and China will then be provoked to respond with their own plans. The U.S. is planning to set up missile defences in Poland and the Czech Republic ostensibly to counter Iran and North Korea. Russia has reacted angrily and said is would be forced to target such missile bases in Europe to safeguard its own security.

In parallel, the weaponisation of space is gathering pace with incremental actions taken notably by the U.S., Russia, and China. As long as the U.S. and the other nuclear weapon powers continue to rely on them for their security into the indefinite future, the rest of the countries will come under severe domestic pressure to acquire nuclear weapons to improve their political leverage. The restraint they have accepted under the NPT cannot be expected to last forever, especially when the weapon states have not kept their part of the bargain to denuclearise themselves over a period of time. There is of course the moralistic argument that the world is still spending far too much of its resources on military expenditure and if those moneys could be spent on elimination of hunger and poverty, and provision of education and healthcare, the world would become a happier and more peaceful place.

It is time therefore for India to propose an updated version of the Rajiv Gandhi Plan either at the United Nations General Assembly or the Conference on Disarmament. The elements of the plan would be a no-first-use commitment by all states possessing nuclear weapons and a comprehensive test ban. The nuclear weapon states should terminate the production of nuclear weapons and also abjure all new developments of nuclear weapons. There must be an agreement on dismantling of existing nuclear arsenals on a balanced basis and the fissile materials removed from the weapons returned to the civilian domain irreversibly. There would have to be a fissile materials cut off treaty that is universal, non-discriminatory, and verifiable. The IAEA, which has already developed considerable capabilities and expertise in safeguards activities, could be entrusted with verification and monitoring activities to ensure compliance of different states to their commitment to eliminate all nuclear weapons. There would be a transitionary period when nuclear warheads, fissile materials, and production facilities would operate under the surveillance of the IAEA. The IAEA would also be responsible for a fissile materials bank into which all fissile materials committed earlier to weapons would be deposited and made available to countries for use in civilian energy production. All countries of the world would also be obliged to close down the nuclear weapons laboratories and redeploy the scientists in other areas of civilian applications. The world as a whole is looking for non-carbon sources of energy to mitigate the global warming phenomenon. Nuclear energy has an important role to play in this context; however commerce in the technology has been seriously constrained by proliferation concerns. Once the world is launched on elimination of all nuclear weapons, is will be possible for the full potential of safe and economic nuclear power to be realised for the benefit of all mankind and for the health of the planet.
------------
(The writer is a former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and presently member of the AEC.)

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Postby shiv » 16 Jun 2007 06:32

Vivek_A wrote:
http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/348

One company that has already begun developing thorium-fuelled nuclear power is the aptly named Thorium Power, based just outside Washington DC. The way Thorium Power gets around the sub-criticality of thorium is to create mixed fuels using a combination of enriched uranium, plutonium and thorium.

At the centre of the fuel rod is the 'seed' for the reaction, which contains plutonium.

Wrapped around the core is the 'blanket', which is made from a mixture of uranium and thorium. The seed then provides the necessary neutrons to the blanket to kick-start the thorium fuel cycle. Meanwhile, the plutonium and uranium are also undergoing fission.

The primary benefit of Thorium Power's system is that it can be used in existing nuclear plants with slight modification, such as Russian VVER-1000 reactors. Seth Grae, president and chief executive of Thorium Power, and his team are actively working with the Russians to develop a commercial product by the end of this decade. They already have thorium fuel running in the IR-8 research reactor at the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow.

"In the first quarter of 2008, we expect to have lead test assemblies in a full-size commercial nuclear power plant in Russia," said Grae.

He believes mixed thorium fuels can not only dispose of weapons-grade plutonium, but also be developed into a fuel for many conventional reactors to prevent production of any further plutonium as a by-product.

Thorium Power believes there is a market for about four thorium-powered reactors each in Russia and United States just for plutonium disposal. It's also aiming for reactors dealing with commercial plutonium by-products in Europe, Japan, Russia and the USA.
....
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tim Dean is a science and technology journalist in Sydney, editor of the Technophile section of COSMOS, and a former editor of the computer magazine, PC Authority.


Amazing

Absolutely amaaaaaaaaaaaaazing!

One heckuva long article on Thorium power and the letters I-n-d-i-a do not occur together anywhere in the article - the only country in the world that is decades ahead of everyone else in the business of thorium power.

The West has programmed itself to be blind about what goes on around these parts...

Fine. So be it.

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Postby NRao » 16 Jun 2007 06:37

Shiv,

There are two sides to it.

One is the commercial side, which even if India produces ASAP, will only lead to contention.

The second is India needs to produce - for her own. What has happened has happened, now the challenge, IMHO, is internal.

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Postby SaiK » 16 Jun 2007 06:58

Country Th Reserves (tonnes) Th Reserve Base (tonnes)
Australia 300,000 340,000
India 290,000 300,000
Norway 170,000 180,000
United States 160,000 300,000
Canada 100,000 100,000


Austrailia and US & Canada et al should be also equally be interested in Th power.

from the link (from comments) above:-
http://gunnisondems.org/ksalazar.pdf

I think that a Manhattan-project effort with parallel
development and some risk-taking could make this practical in just a few years. I'm not sure how to
push this; realistically I think it will be developed in India and/or Australia in 10-15 years, but not in the
USA although it could be done faster with the resources here if enough were persuaded.
..................................
Here is a list of a few references which your office might wish to pursue. The first is the well written
and enthusiastic Cosmos article. The second is an enthusiastic report from the CERN Courier in 1995
about the Nobel Prize winner Carlo Rubbia's proposal in 1995. It is followed by a reference to a 75 page
detailed report by Rubbia and others on the economics of the ADS. The fourth is a "roadmap" for Indian
ADS development. Maybe they'll get to it first! I have no doubt there is a wealth of other references on
this subject which I haven't seen yet.
In particular it isn't clear to me what is the detailed outline of
"Advanced Reactor Development" in the most recent United States energy bill.
1) http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/348/
2)http://einstein.unh.edu/FWHersman/energy_amplifier.html
3)R. Fernandez, P. Mandrillon, C. Rubbia et J. A. Rubbio CERN/LHC/96-01 (EET)
http://doc.cern.ch/archive/electronic/c ... 96-001.pdf
4)http://www.iaea.org/OurWork/ST/NE/NEFW/documents/TMonUseofLEUonADS/PDFPapers/Degwe
ker_Paper.pdf
5) A note of thanks to Dr. Ralph E. Clark III for information about the local thorium deposits,
Last edited by SaiK on 16 Jun 2007 07:07, edited 4 times in total.

Raju

Postby Raju » 16 Jun 2007 07:02

India is the first according to revised estimates.

Thorium reserves have been estimated to be between 3,60000 and 5,18000

Source: Indian Embassy, Athens.

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Postby NRao » 16 Jun 2007 07:31

Austrailia and US & Canada et al should be also equally be interested in Th power.


Well, they would be IF they had the techs and enough control to corner all the $$. I feel that is their game plan. Just that India got there a lil' bit ahead of them it looks like - thus the need to figure out the techs (why reinvent?) without paying for it.

The pressure to sign the Hyde Act/123 is legalised industrial espionage.

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Postby SaiK » 16 Jun 2007 07:38

What about ADS?

It is required for two reasons. One is that the ADS produces neutrons by the spallation process, which means boiling. Neutrons in a reactor are produced by fission. When high-energy protons [from an accelerator] are bombarded on heavy nuclei like lead, the nuclear particles in the target nucleus are excited to a level that some of the neutrons are liberated from the nucleus. This is known as spallation. Spallation neutrons can augment the neutron supply, which can be used again for converting thorium to uranium-233. The second reason for the development of the ADS is that they are eminently suitable for transmuting the highly radioactive waste from conventional nuclear reactors to shortlived radio-nuclides, which do not require a long-term storage under surveillance.

ADS development will take time because this involves a series of steps and each of them is technologically challenging.

http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl2408/ ... 709900.htm

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Postby CRamS » 16 Jun 2007 07:55

shiv wrote:The West has programmed itself to be blind about what goes on around these parts...

Fine. So be it.


Good point. Several years ago, my dad who is a retd astrophysicist was co-opted by the govt of Mauritius to build a radio telescope. This was an achievement that caught the attention of US scientific community, and a Washington reporter called my dad to interview him. After a few questions that were science related, the questioning veered towards what kind of US cooperation was involved in this effort, and rather obsessively. The report was shocked when my dad told him that no US university or org was involved. :-).

No doubt, most of the state-of-the art innovations take place in US, but their programmed mindset that anything worthwhile invented has to be from US shows their ossified mindset

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Postby vsudhir » 16 Jun 2007 08:12

NRao wrote:
Austrailia and US & Canada et al should be also equally be interested in Th power.


Well, they would be IF they had the techs and enough control to corner all the $$. I feel that is their game plan. Just that India got there a lil' bit ahead of them it looks like - thus the need to figure out the techs (why reinvent?) without paying for it.

The pressure to sign the Hyde Act/123 is legalised industrial espionage.


Aha, another 'told ya so' moment.

Have been tom-tomming that the next gen energy cycle is worth trillions in future rev streams. Would be as big in 20+ yrs as oil is today. Any power that won't play by cartel rules is a serious threat to the spoils from that profit stream.

If we're to walk away from the 123 agreement (I wish our negotiaters could see the obvious), they'll come back to us with new and sweeter schemes. Time is on our side, We only need to wait....

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Postby Vivek_A » 16 Jun 2007 08:28

shiv wrote:
Vivek_A wrote:


Amazing



Shiv: Indian doesn't need endorsement of it's capability from anybody. Are we like pakis who will headline even a one line mention in goat mating illustrated?

The article was posted to give people information on the thorium thing.


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