The Thorium Powered Car

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Why is it that alternative technologies that clearly do not work –  which are so gimped by functional and economic problems as to be not-viable on the market absent huge subsidies and even then, it’s hard to give them away – continue to receive seemingly endless financial and political support … while technologies that actually might work better than current internal combustion engine technology can’t seem to get any traction at all?

Electric cars are hopeless.baker ad

For more than a century now, generations of engineers have tried – and, so far, failed – to develop a battery that will endow an electric car with the range and reasonable recharge times necessary for everyday-driver viability… at a cost (not subsidized) that would make such a car a better choice, economically speaking, than an otherwise comparable gasoline (or diesel) powered car. Billions of dollars, probably, have been thrown at the electric car and – so far – no major technological improvement over a 1906 Baker Landolet.

Meanwhile, whatever happened to the natural gas-burning car?

Back in the mid-’90s, both Ford and GM built – and actually sold – natural-gas (CNG) fueled cars. Several things about them were interesting.

One, they were big cars. Ford sold a CNG version of its six-passenger/full-size Crown Vic; GM sold a CNG version of the Vic’s primary competition – the Chevy Caprice. Part of the reason for going with the big car as the platform was the need for a big trunk to house the CNG tank (and still have some trunk space left for people’s things). But the take-home point was that you got a nice big family car – with a V8 engine – rather than a scrunched up subcompact.CNG pic

Two, they were practical. No range issue, because you had plenty (150-plus) on the CNG and the distance you could drive was not affected by the outside temperature or greatly reduced if you ran accessories like the AC and headlights, as it is in electric cars. And besides, when the CNG ran dry, the car automatically switched over to gasoline.

These cars were dual fuel.

An internal combustion can burn gas and CNG (or propane). All that was necessary to allow the switch from one fuel to another was some additional plumbing and calibration of the car’s ECU (the computer that makes air-fuel ratio adjustments and so on).

So, no worries about running empty – and no waiting for hours to refuel.CNG schematic

Three, CNG was (is) cheap and burns very cleanly and is massively abundant right here in the U.S.  At a stroke, the three major charges leveled against the pure-gasoline-burning car are vacated. The CNG car hardly pollutes and it greatly reduces and potentially eliminates dependence on “foreign” oil. Also, the cost of the CNG car itself was within reason because no uber-elaborate technology was necessary (unlike electric cars and hybrid electric cars). Just some modifications to an existing car. Sure, there were some issues to be sorted out – the big one being making it easy (and safe) for the average person to refill the CNG tanks. But the technology of the car itself worked – and was economic.

So why wasn’t it developed?

Perhaps precisely because it did work – and was economic.

People could drive big – and powerful cars. At a reasonable cost.

Well, they could have.

Here’s another, more recent one: The thorium-turbine powered car.thorium Caddy

Heat energy from the thorium – a weakly radioactive element (named after the Norse god Thor) that is estimated to be 3-4 times more naturally abundant than uranium and which contains 20 million times the energy as an equivalent lump of coal – is used to generate steam, which is then used to power a small turbine, which provides the motive force. The beauty of the system is that – like a nuclear submarine – the fuel lasts almost forever. Well, longer than you will last, probably.

How’s 100 years sound?

No more stopping for “gas”… ever.

This alone would make current IC cars seem as wasteful of time (and energy) as current IC cars make electric cars look wasteful of time and energy.

But wait, there’s more.

Well, less.thorium lead

No emissions at all. Because nothing’s being burned, there’s no exhaust. Water to steam, expansion and contraction – and back again. Closed (and clean) loop. The Algoreans ought to be ecstatic. Yet there is dead silence.

You can hear the crickets chirping.

Is it because thorium is radioactive? The word is third rail to scientifically illiterate homo Americanus – who fears it in the same way a savage fears the voices coming out of the Talk Box (radio). The mere mention of the word is sufficient to incite a panic. It’s why the nuclear power grid is dead in the water; or rather, as old as a Betamax copy of Saturday Night Fever.

But it’s not even the same thing. Thorium is mildly radioactive. Dr. Charles Stevens, CEO of Laser Power Systems – which is developing the technology, or at least, trying to – says: “The radiation can be shielded by a single sheet of aluminum foil.” thorium two

Bear in mind that gasoline is a highly volatile, highly explosive liquid fuel. But most of us do not sweat having 15 or so gallons of the stuff sloshing around in our cars, because we’re used to it. Because we know the gas tank is well-protected and not likely to burst into flames. It could happen, sure. But the individual risk is very small – just as the individual risk posed by a thorium-turbine car’s low-level radioactivity is small.

Well, would be. If such cars were to be produced.

But, it doesn’t look like they will be.

Stevens told Mashable that “the automakers don’t want to buy them” – so his company is focusing on other applications of the technology, including an air conditioner-size unit that could power an entire restaurant or hotel, eliminating the need for grid electricity. This ought to please the Algoreans, too – since the electric grid is powered mostly by coal and oil-fired utility plants.

But, again, crickets.

It kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

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112 COMMENTS

  1. Fusion Test Log

    Results of Rossi/Parkhomov Replication – Reactor #1

    Disclaimer:
    This blog is mostly meant to be a record of my testing, for me. If it helps other people out, great. It is not intended to persuade anyone as to the reality of “cold fusion” or the “Rossi Effect”. If you still don’t know that it is real, then I suggest you do as I have done and get in the game.

    These experiments may look very simple, but they are the results of months and months of work and many failed efforts. If you choose to attempt this yourself, please be very careful. Very real dangers exist in this work.

    Lessons Learned

    Assuming that the data is accurate I learned the following lessons from this test:

    High temperature is key in getting the reaction started. Interesting things started happening at 1200C+.

    Inco 255 nickel seems to work. I’m sure Rossi’s nickel has been optimized for a higher COP and lower starting temperature. Hopefully Dr. Parkhomov’s nickel will also give us clues.

    The pressure in the reactor does not need to be astronomical. In fact, high pressures may result in higher starting temperatures assuming the lithium boiling hypothesis.

    The heater waveform doesn’t seem to matter. While the highest temperatures were achieved with the chopping dimmer, I believe the variac pure sine was hinting at similar results.

    A temperature control circuit is absolutely necessary to prevent runaway.

    A reactor can be restarted after cooling. The reactor sat cool two nights before the excitement happened.

  2. Yemen born Indian citizen Mukesh Ambani (Net Worth$21.5 B) is the wealthiest man in the energy business in the world. Shown with wife Nita Ambani.
    – – –

    Approximately 3.6×10^38 protons (hydrogen nuclei) are converted into helium nuclei every second during the sun’s solar fusion releasing energy at a rate of 3.86×10^26 joules per second.

    The core produces almost all of the Sun’s heat via fusion: the rest of the star is heated by the outward transfer of heat from the core. The energy produced by fusion in the core, must travel through many successive layers to the solar photosphere before it escapes into space as sunlight or kinetic energy of particles.

    The energy production per unit time (power) of fusion in the core varies with distance from the solar center. At the center of the Sun, fusion power is estimated to be about 276.5 watts/cubic meter.

    Despite its intense temperature, the peak power production density of the core overall is similar to an active compost heap, and is lower than the power density produced by the metabolism of an adult human. The Sun is much hotter than a compost heap due to the Sun’s enormous volume.

    The low power outputs occurring inside the fusion core of the Sun are surprising, considering the large power which might be predicted by a simple application of the Stefan–Boltzmann law for temperatures of 10 to 15 million kelvin.

    Layers of the Sun are radiating to outer layers only slightly lower in temperature, and it is this difference in radiation powers between layers which determines net power production and transfer in the solar core.

    At 19% of the solar radius, near the edge of the solar core, temperatures are about 10 million kelvin and fusion power density is 6.9 W/cubic meter which is about 2.5% of the maximum value at the solar center. The density here is about 40 g/cubic centimeter, or about 27% of that at the center. Some 91% of the solar energy is produced within this radius.

    Within 24% of the radius (the outer “core” by some definitions), 99% of the Sun’s power is produced. Beyond 30% of the solar radius, where temperature is 7 million K and density has fallen to 10 g/cubic centimeter the rate of fusion is almost nil.

    There are two distinct reactions in which 4 H nuclei may eventually result in one He nucleus. The first of these, known as the proton-proton chain:

    This reaction sequence is believed to be the most important one in the solar core. The characteristic time for the first reaction is about one billion years even at the high densities and temperatures of the core, due to the necessity for the weak force to cause beta decay before the nucleons can adhere. The time that deuterium and helium-3 in the next reactions last, by contrast, are only about 4 seconds and 400 years. These later reactions proceed via the nuclear force and are thus much faster.

    The total energy released by these reactions in turning 4 hydrogen atoms into 1 helium atom is 26.7 MeV.

    The second reaction sequence, called the carbon-nitrogen-oxygen (CNO) cycle, generates less than 10% of the total solar energy. This involves carbon atoms which are not consumed in the overall process.

    The average density of the sun taken as a whole, is 1.4 grams per cubic centimeter, or about the same density as molasses.

    The Sun’s Vital Stats
    http://solar-center.stanford.edu/vitalstats.html

  3. Marking a major milestone in production of fuel required for nuclear reactors in India, the Nuclear Fuel Complex achieved a record output of 1,252 metric tonnes of fuel bundles this year.

    The record production was achieved through automation and without adding even a single employee, A new unit of NFC producing 500 tonnes per annum was coming up at Kota, Rajasthan with an investment of Rs. 2,400 crore.

    While 650 to 700 tonnes of fuel bundles would be required for all 18 operating nuclear power reactors, barring Kudankulam, the remaining quantity will be stocked to meet the future needs.

    Currently 21 reactors are producing 5,850 MWe in India and 4,300 MWe are expected to be added by 2018.

    http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/nfc-achieves-record-output-of-nuclear-fuel/article7087897.ece

    NFC also ensured timely supply of critical components and various sub-assemblies for meeting the commissioning schedule of 500 MWe Thorium Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor at Kalpakkam, which is expected to go on stream in July 2015.

  4. – one has to marvel at the conclusive authoritative tone of academic laymen regarding a phenomenon such as cold fusion. I call such close-minded men: hyperskeptics.
    – –

    Cold Fusion Gets Cold Shoulder

    The thing itself: Two scientists announced in 1989 this device had achieved cold fusion.

    1989: Two electrochemists announce they’ve produced energy with a fusion reaction in a benchtop apparatus at room temperature. The world reacts with surprise, skepticism and, ultimately, derision.

    Stanley Pons of the University of Utah and his mentor, Martin Fleischmann of Britain’s University of Southampton, made the startling revelation in a news conference 20 years ago today in Salt Lake City. They claimed they had fused the atomic nuclei of deuterium (heavy hydrogen) using routine electrochemical techniques. Each deuterium nucleus with one proton and one neutron would couple with another nucleus to create a helium nucleus with two protons and two neutrons, plus extra energy that could be harvested for human use.

    Pons and Fleischmann’s glass percolator used two electrodes and heavy water (with deuterium rather than ordinary hydrogen), and they said the simple apparatus put out up to 100 percent more energy than was required to run it.

    Until that time, only hot fusion reactions had produced energy in more than minuscule amounts for more than fleeting periods of time. And we mean hot, like a million degrees or so. Think about the sun and other stars on the one hand, or the uncontrolled chain reaction of a hydrogen bomb on the other. Not exactly benchtop stuff.

    If the experiment could be replicated, and then scaled up to industrial production, it promised a nearly limitless supply of cheap, clean energy. If …

    Questions quickly arose. Pons and Fleischmann were not experts in quantitative isotope analysis. A few labs rushed into experiments that seemed to confirm the findings, but the researchers were often outside their areas of expertise as well. When they belatedly added sufficient controls to their experiments, the allegedly confirmatory results vanished, and many labs had to issue embarrassing retractions.

    An MIT team soon found big problems with Pons and Fleischmann’s gamma-ray spectra. There were no signs of nuclear processes, specifically of any neutron activity.

    When the U.S. Department of Energy concluded in October that cold fusion was not demonstrated, cold-fusion advocates complained they were being politically victimized by the hot-fusion and particle-physics establishment.

    After it couldn’t replicate the earlier results, the University of Utah discontinued cold-fusion research in 1991 and allowed its cold-fusion patents to lapse in 1998.

    Pons and Fleischmann left for for the south of France in 1992 to continue research for a Toyota subsidiary. But even Japan’s government stopped funding cold-fusion research in 1997.

    Nonetheless, a network of dedicated cold-fusionists still toils away in a vineyard that looks pretty barren to almost everyone else.
    – – –

    The hyperskeptic, does not often contribute to the advancement of science. The hyperskeptic is one who will not accept an assumption that is fundamental to a field of study thereby leaving him blind to the research. Consequently his “criticisms” are not useful to those to whom they are directed.

    The world accepts the implication of Magellan’s ship’s journey circumnavigating
    the globe, but a hyperskeptic flat-earther does not.

    A cartographer puzzles over the paradox of how to design a flat map to depict the spherical Earth. The distortions implicit in his finished map are ridiculed by the hyperskeptic as error. The hyperskeptic thus imagines himself a critic. The hyperskeptic, believing the world to be flat, does not recognize that the cartographer’s mapping problem exists. His “criticisms” do not help the cartographer.

    The data of interest in cold fusion studies imply the existence of anomalous
    power in the Fleischmann and Pons experiment. Those committed to the
    field strive to assess that data with increasing rigor while the hyperskeptic ignores
    that same data. The hyperskeptic can criticize them; he can not help them. His
    “criticism” is sterile. Nevertheless, hyperskeptics have played a significant, possibly formative, part in the cold fusion saga. Their part in it must be thoroughly considered.

    The field of cold fusion research suffered from the armchair hyperskeptic. He
    was supremely confident of his nuclear theory and so did not venture into the
    chemistry laboratory. He somehow knew, a priori, that anomalous power did
    not exist.

  5. NC SOS filing for Industrial Heat LLC
    Industrial Heat, LLC

    Principal Office: 111 East Hargett Street Suite 300 Raleigh, NC 27601
    Reg Office: 230 N. Elm Street, Suite 1500 Greensboro, NC 27401
    Ph: 919-743-5727

    Tom Darden – Cherokee Fund
    http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:Industrial_Heat,_LLC

    http://www.cherokeefund.com/team.htm

    Tom Darden Still Bullish About Industrial Heat Nuke Tech
    http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/blog/techflash/2014/10/raleigh-investor-darden-still-bullish-on.html?page=all

    Rossi’s technology, dubbed E-Cat, uses cold fusion to generate large amounts of green energy cheaply.

    And, according to a new 54-page report leaked on the Internet, the technology has been verified by third-party researchers.Those researchers collected data over a 32-day time span in March, producing 1.5 MWh of energy.

    “This amount of energy is far more than can be obtained from any known chemical sources in the small reactor volume,” the report reads.

    Darden calls the new data “promising.”

    “So we’ll continue to work on it,” he says.

    Darden says his group was not involved with the test cited in the report.

    “We built the reactor, but we shipped it over to Switzerland,” he says.

    Tom Darden Cherokee CEO
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHNUoHqDs24

    Industrial Heat Delaware Cert Validation Info:
    https://delecorp.delaware.gov/tin/CertificatesValidation.jsp

    entity formed: 24 October 2012
    authentication number: 5232221
    file number: 2132174

  6. The Energy Catalyzer – also called E-Cat

    On 6 April 2011 an application was approved by the Italian Patent and Trademark Office, which issued a patent for the e-cat invention, valid only in Italy. Under then-current Italian law, the examination of the application was more formal and less technical than for the corresponding PCT application.

    European Patent Register EP2259998

    E-Cat Cold fusion device independently validated producing 800% more energy than input

    More Details of Russian e-cat Replication Available

    Cold fusion reactor verified by third-party researchers, seems to have 1 million times the energy density of gasoline
    http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/191754-cold-fusion-reactor-verified-by-third-party-researchers-seems-to-have-1-million-times-the-energy-density-of-gasoline

    NASA’s cold fusion tech could put a nuclear reactor in every home, car, and plane
    http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/149090-nasas-cold-fusion-tech-could-put-a-nuclear-reactor-in-every-home-car-and-plane
    – – –

    NASA is working on a competing model: The Widom Larsen theory experiments but not Rossi Replication

    Dr Dennis Bushnell (chief scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center) wrote “We [NASA Langley] are NOT doing a Rossi Replication attempt although we are using/ had planned to use H2 and Nickel. We are doing experiments to verify, or not, the W-L [Widom Larsen ] theory.”

    Dr Dennis Bushnell, chief scientist at NASA’s Langley research center told New Energy Times today that NASA is attempting a low-energy nuclear reaction replication.

    “Our experiments are based upon the earlier Piantelli-Focardi work, which were some of the better bits extant,” Bushnell wrote. “But we are trying to core down on the theory, as well as utilize it for system optimization. We are not trying to do a net energy demo at all, we are simply trying to make sure there is a valid theoretical understanding.”

    Bushnell told New Energy Times that their LENR experimental approach is based on the nickel-hydrogen research of Francesco Piantelli, retired from the University of Siena, and Sergio Focardi, retired from the University of Bologna.

    The theory NASA is evaluating is the “Ultra-Low-Momentum Neutron Catalyzed Theory of LENRs” developed by Allan Widom and Lewis Larsen.

    – LENR may well become common, but based on the power of its patrons, it’s going to be presented as part of the Widom Larsen theory as developed at NASA Langley and not under Rossi’s Italian Patent.

    The Italian patent is hamstrung from being used properly, due to the immense web of EU bureaucracies, which greatly limit the usefulness of E-Cat’s Italian patent.

    They’ve already effectively prevented nuclear power from ending most forms of energy scarcity. There’s little chance they’ll peacefully allow fusion power or other emerging technologies much additional impact either.

    – – On a positive note, the electric chair didn’t stop alternating current from transforming the electricity market. Maybe there’s still some hope for the market and the power of innovation and true progress.

    • Tor,

      Don’t believe Wikipedia on this. The section is edited by AndyTheGrump who spends his life deleting edits with a view contrary to his.

      Rossi’s patent is pretty useless in my opinion. The whole patent area on cold fusion is such a mess I expect the lawyers to make as much as the inventors. The US Patent Office will not even accept patents on cold fusion.

      I am familiar with all the links you provided as I have been following this closely since 2011. I don’t believe the Widom Larsen theory. Re NASA and Ni/H2 I have reason to believe Lithium is vital. It will be good and help understanding of the process if others manage to demonstrate it too.

      New Energy Times has been pushing Widom Larsen, but Krivit fell out with Rossi a long time ago and writes negative things about him.

      The proof of the pudding is Industrial Heat’s 1 MW plant. If that continues to do well for the balance of the year there will be no stopping it. Tom Darden is no pushover and has good connections in China. If you read the interview you will have seen he is driven to reduce pollution.

      • I just sent AtG a wikilove kitten!
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:AndyTheGrump#A_kitten_for_you.21

        You can’t win for losing with a deletion specialist admin such as he.
        – – –

        My Name is Andy, and I am a Grump. Fremo Ergo Sum.

        Well, you’ll probably have figured that out from my username. I’ve not yet determined whether Grumpiness is an infliction or a Human Right, though I’m inclined to the latter view.

        As for further autobiographical details, I’ll remain relatively anonymous for now, beyond stating that I’m male, old enough to know better (if not always wise enough), and educated sufficiently well to understand how little I can ever know.

        I’m also prone to writing over-long, unnecessarily convoluted sentences (with unnecessary parenthetical insertions and unnecessary repetition of the same words); often with dubious punctuation, which I’ll leave for other editors to clarify, disambiguate, and otherwise improve on, while I concentrate on addressing the core of the topic in hand (if I can remember what it was by the time I’ve written this much…). I can sometimes write short pithy sentences, however.
        – – – –

        Poor Sources
        Since when torrentfreak and other news articles are poor sources? –Robin WH

        Any source which doesn’t say what it is being cited for is a poor source. And Wikipedia is not a platform for semi-literate unsourced opinions. This is an encyclopaedia, not your personal blog. AndyTheGrump

        Well show me how YOU can do it better, smartass, instead of just deleting it. –Robin WH

        Show me some sources that actually support what you are saying, halfwit – and the next time you add this crap, you will be reported for edit warring and being a complete jerk. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:23, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

        Shows only you haven´t read those referenced pages at all. Torrentfreak is regular source for many article on wikipedia and for SOPA you can also find article on BBC pages about his attack on google during SOPA campaign. Robin WH (talk) 23:30, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

        Evidently you haven’t even read the Wikipedia article – it already discusses Murdoch’s support for SOPA. As for the techdirt piece, it says nothing about Murdoch, News Corp, or the ‘internet community’ (whatever that is supposed to mean). We don’t cite sources for things we’d like them to have said but didn’t. And please at least try to write in coherent grammatical English… AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:39, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

        Evidently, one sentence that he also supports SOPA is not enough since he has targeted online piracy and IT companies quite often in last few years. As for english, I don´t see what I have written wrong, but I am not native english speaker, so please tell me what is not coherent. A too long sentence?Robin WH (talk) 23:46, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

        If you are incapable of writing in coherent English, I suggest you find a more appropriate version of Wikipedia to contribute to. And if you insist on contributing to this one, please familiarise yourself with policy before wasting any more of other people’s time. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:50, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

        Well I could write some coherent obscenities on your adress, but I would never even dream to descend to YOUR level. I think from their use it is certain you haven´t seen that policy. Calling someone a smartass maybe not polite, but certainly is not as pejorative like names you are calling me. So I will refrain from editing on article, for now. Though I plan to return. Good night.Robin WH (talk) 00:05, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

        If you are under the misapprehension that calling someone a ‘smartass’ isn’t pejorative, I can only suggest that once more it indicates the inappropriateness of your contributing to an English-language encyclopaedia – complaining when someone responds in kind does little to enhance your credibility. And before you return, find some sources that actually support the material you propose to contribute. You will generally find it makes editing a much more satisfactory process. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:20, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

  7. 1MW is enough power to run an electric race car up pikes peak.

    Will there be an LENR vehicle entered soon I hope?

    The blunt truth is 99% of men can’t even think for themselves and are for all intents and purposes women in men’s clothing. Actually, something quite far less than women, since many women have proven their unique value, empathy, and loyalty over the millenia time and time again. Most men are Myn and utterly despicable really, I sometimes hope these neo-suffragettes fully reap the gender-eugenic apocalyptic purge they have for too long sown.

    anyway.

    First 1MW race car at Pike’s Peak
    http://www.electricautosport.com/2015/04/worlds-first-1-megawatt-all-electric-race-car-to-compete-at-pikes-peak/

    PPIHC
    http://www.ppihc.com/2015-race/

  8. India will be opening the world’s first Thorium Reactor in early 2016 under IGCAR:
    the tiny 500MWe Kalpakkam mini reactor is using thorium as a nuclear fuel, by breeding fissile U-233. It is the only reactor in the world running on U-233 fuel.
    – – –
    World Nuke Assoc – India Profile
    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-G-N/India/
    – – –
    As of April 2015, 30 countries worldwide are operating 443 nuclear reactors for electricity generation and 66 new nuclear plants are under construction in 15 countries. Nuclear power plants provided 10.9 percent of the world’s electricity production in 2012.

    The scam we should be most concerned with is the scam of authority, which has prevented closer to 100% of the world’s electricity from being generated by nuclear power, and causing continued poverty and death because people have insufficient access to low-cost safe clean nuclear power.

    World Nuke Stats
    http://www.nei.org/Knowledge-Center/Nuclear-Statistics/World-Statistics

    The various forms of government pretense are a mere trifle. We of all people must see through the scams of one class of men deigning to rule over another class and fight for what’s best for all people: a freer market in energy.
    – – –

    How Reactors Work
    http://www.nei.org/Knowledge-Center/How-Nuclear-Reactors-Work

    Two Types of Uranium

    Nuclear fuel consists of two types of uranium, U-238 and U-235. Most of the uranium in nuclear fuel is U-238, but U-235 splits—or fissions—easily. In U-235 atoms, the nucleus, which is composed of protons and neutrons, is unstable. As the nuclei break up, they release neutrons.

    When the neutrons hit other uranium atoms, those atoms also split, releasing neutrons of their own, along with heat. These neutrons strike other atoms, splitting them. One fission triggers others, which triggers still more until there is a chain reaction. When that happens, fission becomes self-sustaining.

    Rods inserted among the tubes holding the uranium fuel control the nuclear reaction. Control rods, inserted or withdrawn to varying degrees, slow or accelerate the reaction.

    Water separates fuel tubes in the reactor. The heat produced by fission turns this water into steam. The steam drives a turbine, which spins a generator to create electricity.

    Types of Nuclear Power Plants

    Commercial nuclear power plants in the United States are either boiling water reactors or pressurized water reactors.

    Both boiling water reactors and pressurized water reactors are cooled by ordinary water. The water is the main link in the process that converts fission energy to electrical energy.

    Boiling water reactors heat the water surrounding the nuclear fuel directly into steam in the reactor vessel. Pipes carry steam directly to the turbine, which drives the electric generator to produce electricity.

    Pressurized water reactors heat the water surrounding the nuclear fuel, but keep the water under pressure to prevent it from boiling. The hot water is pumped from the reactor vessel to a steam generator. There, the heat from the water is transferred to a second, separate supply of water. This water supply boils to make steam. The steam spins the turbine, which drives the electric generator to produce electricity.

    Approximately two-thirds of the 100 reactors in the United States are pressurized water reactors, and one-third of them are boiling water reactors.
    – – –
    The Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) is a 500MWe fast breeder nuclear reactor presently being constructed in Kalpakkam, India by the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prototype_Fast_Breeder_Reactor

  9. The thorium thing sounds like a scam to me, although a stationary thorium reactor generating electricity for a battery electric vehicle makes a great deal of sense and is safer than current fission reactors.

    With this portable concept I’m left with nothing but questions. Since cars spend a great deal of their time parked, would an on-board reactor shut off once the on-board battery is filled? Would it even use a battery? If not, what powers this magical laser that heats the thorium and why not just use that heat to drive a turbine directly? If the reaction is started by some external energy aren’t we just talking about a thorium battery?

    The CNG thing just needs a more ubiquitous re-filling infrastructure for home and away and is far more likely. CNG is a good alternative for when diesel prices go too high and seems well-suited to larger trucks and buses.

  10. I drive a CNG dual fuel Ford pickup, and have daily fuel costs for a 59 mile round trip commute identical to my Honda VFR 750, which has maintenance costs far higher than the pickup truck.
    Of note, when gasoline prices took their very temporary dip this winter, CNG did not fluctuate but a cent or two, and has had an 18% hike in the 20 months that I have been a CNG user.

    • Bobber,

      Reprocessing the fuel with a breeder reactor is still illegal in the US (I think) because of the risk of proliferation. Having said that I don’t think it is as bad as the article makes out. Actually the tritium from a fusion reactor is a higher risk.

      What I have already pointed out is that LENR doesn’t have any of these problems, is cheaper and can be made small enough to power vehicles. No one is interested enough to comment though. I suppose we will have to wait until the commercial units are readily available before many believe it works.

      • Hi Adrian. Great post. I said at the time it was announced that Pons and Fleischman had discovered a “cold fusion” process that it would immediately be discredited and suppressed. There are too many firmly entrenced and fully vested competing interests. Big oil, big coal, solar & wind developers (think Harry and Rory Reid, the Chinese energy giant ENN and the Bundy ranch incident here) along with existing grid based utilities, et al, want no parts of small packaged power / steam sources that will put them out of business, at least in the long run. One would think the Algoreans would be all over Low Energy Nuclear Reaction technology. But they really don’t care about the environment or the consumer.

        These self styled “elite” care only about themselves, feathering their own nests and getting rid of those nasty “weed people” cluttering up “their” planet. Here’s how “green” windmills really are http://tinyurl.com/4u2xjst. And a quick web search for solar panel hazardous waste will show you “solar” isn’t any better.

        The fact is low cost, clean energy would promote the proliferation of Homo Sapiens. The elite want near extinction of the human race (save them and their chosen servants of course); that’s their idea of sustainability. But as is always the case, truth and the free market will eventually win out and our current energy paradigm will go the way of buggy whips and powdered wigs. It won’t happen soon enough to suit me and I work in the utility industry!

        • Hi Boothe,
          Than you for your comment. I was beginning to wonder if anyone had read what I wrote!

          About a third of the way down I posted a comment with several links for those interested in finding out more about LENR.
          http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/BeaudetteCexcessheat.pdf
          this gives an explanation of why cold fusion, as it was then, was not accepted. McKubre’s paper under Current Science explains why the early attempted replications were doomed to fail.

          So rather than the likely suspects you mention, the reason LENR was dropped was the hot fusion scientists blew it. Their statements that it didn’t work and was pseudo science were lapped up by the non technical press who didn’t know any better. To be fair, very few knew any better at the time.

          That it was pseudo science is now so firmly engrained that conventional scientists won’t even look at the evidence. Wikipedia is a good example.
          Andrea Rossi forecast long ago that no experiment would ever convince the skeptics, only the commercial sale of working units. It looks like he is right. So we will have to wait until the end of the year when the results of the one year trial of his 1 MW plant are published.

          • Great points. If I recall correctly both Pons and Fleischmann were both electrochemists, not physicists. How dare they tread in the domain of physicists. I believe that was one of the key reasons the “hot fusion” camp immediately set about “proving” there was no validity to their claims. There’s a lot of rivalry, politics and back stabbing in the research science community. But I still won’t discount some intervention by the usual suspects. There were a lot of folks with a vested interest in discrediting them.

            Never forget that Preston Tucker would have brought us automobile technology in the late 1940’s that the big three didn’t dole out in spits and spurts until the late 70’s to early 80’s. And who killed the Tucker and ruined Preston Tucker for being a forward thinker and engaging in geniune free market competition? Why the big three through their paid henchmen: the news media and the U.S. gun-vermin! Don’t think for one minute that the same type of nefarious players didn’t have a hand in smearing Pons and Fleischmann as well. There was too much at stake.

        • Good points Boothe. “Clean” energy looks nice only because environmentalists choose to turn a blind eye to its less savory aspects. Solar panel production requires Silicon, the manufacture of which (from sand) is a very energy intensive and polluting process, most of which happens far away in China. I don’t know if anyone has calculated the net energy output from a Solar panel against the energy used to make it.
          Wind turbines not only require rare earths to be made, they kill thousands of birds each year, and create severe noise pollution around them, driving local residents crazy.

            • Texas used to have natgas fired generating plants at many small lakes. i realize a couple big coal fired plants may save some money but the gas plants were virtually free of anything except carbon monoxide. Now there are major points where coal is hauled in to service the new powerplants, needing trucks, trains, and nasty exhaust from coal. I think it’s more political, the power of Warren Buffet and his lock on the coal trade. Damn glad I live well SW of OklaUnion and its swell exhaust.

              Those ignorant of how it works point to the vast amount of electricity produced by wind not realizing the costs would be enormous to try to keep it in a localized area hence it goes straight into the national grid. In the rare times wind doesn’t blow, other sources can increase their output.

              I’m not so sure since the costs of windgen has dropped greatly if it isn’t a big boon power-wise although I won’t address the other issues. I sometimes work right under them. I’d be crazy if I had to live close to even a single unit. They make some godawful sounds and vibrations. I had to pull off to the side of one of their access roads one day to let a few trucks and a large crane go by. I pulled into the area right beside a windmill since it was a wide area. While waiting, something hits my windshield and runs down it……looked like clean motor oil or compressor oil. I moved away from it and cleaned it since leaving it would have been a disaster….glad to have some good glass cleaner and disc brake cleaner as well.

              Since that time I found out each one has a 55 gallon barrel of lubricating oil that’s delivered as needed. You should see one up close and personal when it burns. It’s spectacular to say the least.

      • The Rossi Lugano report was issued on October 10, 2014.

        It was troubling in that Rossi had control of the fuel powders. The analysis suggested that Ni-58 was converted to Ni-62. Also Lithium-7 was converted to Li-6. We know that Rossi had access to Li-6 and Ni-62 powders. He could have easily ‘salted’ the reactors before or after a run.

        The analysis concludes that Rossi had added 100 milligrams of LiAlH4 as a source of hydrogen gas. The system apparently produced excess heat, but the pyrometry seemed designed to confuse. As a result the report was nearly worthless.

        Everything about LENR

        • Tor Libertarian,
          For crying out loud, The Elforsk experiment was supposed to prove the E-Cat HT produced anomalous heat, above any chemical possibility. Rossi could put what ever he liked in the fuel powder (and we are assured a sample of that was taken by the team.) He doesn’t have any protection for his proprietary secrets, largely due to the US Patent Office not accepting patents on Cold fusion – thanks to group-think DOE.

          Do you blame him for being present to provide guidance on how to start the E-Cat up from cold, considering how important the results would be?
          You have probably seen the problems others have had with replications failing or overheating – like Parkhomov.
          But he wasn’t even present for much of the test – so do you doubt that excess heat was found?

          It is starting to look like Lithium is an essential ingredient. Lithium was used in the original F&P experiment too, as the electrolyte.
          I still haven’t seen a believable theory to explain how it works, but it certainly is not like conventional fission or fusion. Any theory has to explain the lack of radiation.

          • Quite the contrary. You are a new breathe of fresh air here. I’m just a longtime gadfly on some fertile feces I find on the internet.

            I believe in seastedding. Asteroid mining. Exoplanet colonizing. Mars One’s reality shows. EAST experimental superconducting tokamak magnetic fusion energy reactors, μCFs , Lunar X prize rovers and colonies, living deep underwater as a prelude to living on Venus, colonies on the Mercury polar icecaps. Life after 150, and all the rest of it.

            I hope you stick around and have an impact. I grow weary of the useless cud chewing about whether Rand Paul or Ron Paul is better or which founding father’s hat was the most tri-corny-est.

            It is innovation and the materialization of creative mindpower that will get us through all this and nothing else. We must cooperate to increase the overall wealth, yet resist the thieving bullies, and appreciate what is real and sustaining, and leave the pie slicing and pie stealing to lesser lights and their undertakers. May all such dead in intellect and spirit all bury their own dead.

            • Tor,
              I fear the the political problems are much the biggest. There are currently >90 million American adults not working. Technical innovations like robotics. AI and true automation will cut the existing work force another ~40%

              So while one might think these new things, together with cheap LENR energy, would make life better for everyone, I don’t see any solution our politicians would accept. The only theoretical solution I’ve seen is something like this http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-19/next-qe-switzerland-prepares-living-wage-2600-every-citizen but I can’t see that happening before riots and chaos destroys everything.
              Sorry – off topic. Enough.

  11. I think a better way to use nuclear power to run automobiles would be to use the heat from a reactor to make diesel ( something the Navy does now to make jet fuel ), or use the same heat to depolymerize coal into diesel.

  12. Thorium wouldn’t work in the car itself, as it is not capable of going critical. Thorium is used as a breeder blanket in a U-232 reactor, to produce more U-232 for the reactor.

    One thing you can do is use Strontium-90, an ash product of U-232 energy production, to run a small pebblebed reactor to make steam for an automobile. The SR-90 will burn at 500 degrees C, and produce easily shielded electrons as a byproduct ( beta radiation ). You can use the waste heat to run a home heater, or air conditioner while it is parked in it’s garage.

    Expect a 45 year fuel cycle for an SR-90 reactor.

    • No. Uranium 232 is indeed produced, by side reactions and in small quantities, but it is a contaminant that hinders operation by producing high levels of gamma radiation; that both interferes with human handling and can produce structural damage and even unwanted neutrons or other things in the wrong places, from being absorbed by materials that then produce those.

      The main, and desired, breeder reaction is to get uranium 233. It is analogous to this two stage process that breeds plutonium 239 from uranium 238: a uranium 238 nucleus absorbs a high energy neutron and usually almost immediately undergoes beta decay, emitting an electron and becoming neptunium 239 when one neutron becomes a proton; after a brief half life (a few days) the neptunium 239 also undergoes beta decay and becomes plutonium 239 – unless something else happened to it while it was waiting in the reactor, which is unlikely as it’s not around very long. Something very similar happens in breeding uranium 233 from thorium 232 (which is practically the only kind): a thorium 232 nucleus absorbs a low to moderate energy neutron and usually almost immediately undergoes beta decay, emitting an electron and becoming protactinium 233 when one neutron becomes a proton; after a moderate half life (many days) the protactinium 233 also undergoes beta decay and becomes uranium 233 – unless something else happened to it while it was waiting in the reactor, which is all too possible as, in many reactor designs, it is around for a while.

      Notice some differences: it is easier to breed fuel from thorium than from uranium 238, since the reactor doesn’t need to be as fast, but it is also harder to avoid getting contaminants – and as well as making handling harder, some of those are neutron absorbers that make neutron economy worse, which makes a problem as thorium breeding only just beats break even anyway (fast breeder plutonium fuelled reactors need more work to be fast at all, but after that they are clearer of break even).

  13. Daniel,
    Where do you get the H2 from? Right now it is made from natural gas! Electrolysis? So you are just transferring the pollution to the source.

    Then there is no distribution system in place – which would cost a lot. The fuel tank would have to be bullet proof with H2 under pressure, in case you had an accident.

    Why not LENR, that is cheaper, safer, pollution free? Not to mention you could drive continuously for six months without a refill.

    • I am not holding my breath on the thorium reactor or LENR technologies. Rossi is NOT credible IMHO, and thorium reactors require some nasty salts and awkward temperatures. I take this position while holding a PhD in electrochemical engineering with expertise in molten salt chemistry.

      I’m not totally sure what you mean by pollution–its an ambiguous term nowadays. To me, nuclear waste is pollution; CO2 is not pollution

      Yes, you can get H2 via electrolysis or by the reaction of hydrocarbons and water at high T. There are other ways as well.

      I think solar is the ideal energy source. Electrochemical reactions that are better than both the current lithium-ion tech and water formation (i.e. fuel cell ) is needed. This will come with time.

      The new fuel cell vehicle from Mirai is significant. It can go 700 km on a five-minute charge. Any savvy petrochemical company could produce hydrogen on site.

      I have yet to see Mr. Peters dismiss H2 technologies.

      Personally, I think that eventually the borohydrides will replace gasoline altogether. With these fuels, theoretically, a vehicle like the Mirai would be able to go twice as far.

      Cheers,
      Daniel

      • Daniel,
        I agree thorium reactors have some engineering problems. Although I believe these are solvable, as I said, it doesn’t matter. LENR is far better.

        The E-Cat doesn’t have ANY waste products as far as one can tell. Even the Ni is recyclable. I agree that CO2 is not a pollutant. The IPCC has exaggerated the warming due to CO2 by about 2, not that it matters if LENR replaces fossil fuel. I prefer Akasofu’s approach (see Fig 2b)http://people.iarc.uaf.edu/~sakasofu/pdf/two_natural_components_recent_climate_change.pdf

        You need to review your opinion of Andrea Rossi. He has had a remarkable life and contrary to the what the trolls say was acquitted over Petroldragon. The law was applied retroactively to re-class the waste he had collected as hazardous. It looks like the Mafia had a hand in it as he was cutting into their waste disposal business.

        Read Mats Lewan’s book http://animpossibleinvention.com/

        See Tom Darden’s interview http://infinite-energy.com/images/pdfs/DardenInterview.pdf

        Do you think Industrial Heat would build this if it didn’t work? Without testing a module first? (1 MW plant middle photo)
        http://andrea-rossi.com/1mw-plant/
        I have seen two independent reports that say it is working well.

  14. Sure, there were some issues to be sorted out – the big one being making it easy (and safe) for the average person to refill the CNG tanks.

    I would say that the need for a large vehicle for its fuel storage space is a big issue for people who want small vehicles, e.g. for price or mileage reasons. It’s only a non-issue for someone who has a separate reason for wanting a big vehicle.

    No emissions at all. Because nothing’s being burned, there’s no exhaust.

    Ah… no. There has to be a way to dump out heat, just as in any other steam car. Not only does that hamper weight and bulk, and so performance, there are indeed radiation issues (see below).

    Thorium is mildly radioactive. Dr. Charles Stevens, CEO of Laser Power Systems – which is developing the technology, or at least, trying to – says: “The radiation can be shielded by a single sheet of aluminum foil.”

    Ah… no, not once you start using it in nuclear reactions (see Well’s remarks, apart from where he mistakenly thinks you can ever get a critical mass of either plain thorium or plain uranium). One of the problems of thorium breeder reactors is that you are not directly using thorium but the uranium isotopes bred from it, some of which present huge gamma radiation problems. And whether you go that path or the “energy amplifier” one that works directly with thorium by means of a particle accelerator, the breakdown products also present huge radiation problems. Either way, you get huge bulk and weight. (Oddly enough, the similar problems with nuclear aircraft were eventually solved, but only after other approaches to meeting the underlying needs had arrived, and only by using the large dimensions possible in mid-air; the only part of that work that can apply to cars is based on nuclear batteries – which have worse performance issues than ordinary ones.)

  15. America is far behind China in CNG vehicles. Most of the taxis are CNG and maybe half the city buses. About one-in-five gas stations can refill CNG. The cars are mostly copies of about a 1990 VW Jetta made by VW; they don’t have to be huge. There must be a million or more CNG vehicles in China. It is part of their crash program to clean up the air.

  16. What about the new H2 fuel cell vehicle from Toyota (Mirai)???? 700 km per charge; five minutes fill up time; 60,000 USD.

  17. Eric,
    The Cadillac WTF car looks like a digital design exercise. Has a concept car shell actually been built? I rather doubt it or there would be some show news about it. Certainly it would not have been powered by a thorium turbine when Loren Kulesus made the design in 2009.

    Laser Power Systems was founded in 2007, but as far as I can tell has never demonstrated their thorium reactor to the public or an independent third party. Several things the company states don’t sound right. LFTRs (liquid fluoride thorium reactor) have been known since the 11940s and do actually work. While the concept is good for making a power plant it is fundamentally unsuitable for a small reactor. That LPS tries to link the two is also very suspicious.

    While LENR (low energy nuclear reaction), mentioned in my earlier post, is not understood, the difference is it has been demonstrated many times and the E-Cat replicated (by Elforsk and this year by Dr. Parkhomov in Russia) as well as several public demonstrations, so there is reason to believe it is real. LENR promises the same advantages but actually exists. It will take 10 – 20 years before we see it in cars though.

  18. Plutonium is less radioactive than uranium, but I wouldn’t care to inhale nanodust of either one.
    Maybe you should learn more about thorium before putting it in a vehicle where it could easily wind up on the road, literally.

  19. Eric,
    The near future looks like it will be powered by LENR, aka cold fusion. The technology has been well proven now and Industrial Heat LLC currently have a 1 MW thermal LENR plant running at a customer’s site, that is reported to be working well with a COP of 20 – 80.

    The technology is based on the E-Cat invented by Andrea Rossi and comes in two forms. The original low temperature version being used the 1 MW plant and a new high temperature version that runs at over 1000C. The 1 MW plant is running a one year trial and the results will be published at the end of 2015.

    LENR provides very cheap, safe, pollution free energy, with no radiation. Contrary to what you read in the press even Fleischmann and Pon’s original 1989 experiment has been replicated. Group-think conventional science and the DOE tried to commit infanticide of the field and should be held accountable.

    See http://www.lenrproof.com for a basic introduction.
    http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/BeaudetteCexcessheat.pdf Gives a few pages from the book (scroll down)
    http://andrea-rossi.com/1mw-plant/ Photo (in the middle) of the 1 MW plant under construction.
    The special section in Current Science here http://www.currentscience.ac.in/php/feat.php?feature=Special%20Section:%20Low%20Energy%20Nuclear%20Reactions&featid=10094

  20. Eric
    Your articles are normally insightful and useful. But, regarding the thorium powered vehicle, you may have been duped. Do a search on “laser power systems hoax” and see what you find.

    • I think it’s pretty clear that a thorium powered car is a conceptual shell of a thing at the moment. And that’s what I found by looking into it as you suggested. It’s exactly as it appeared to me from Eric’s article some pie-in-the-sky-conceptual shell of an idea. However, it works with the point Eric is trying to make. Government forces all sorts of pie-in-the-sky technologies even those promoted by obvious hucksters with our money but only the ones that promote centralization and crony interests. Never ones that promote independence from government and the greater system.

      The monorail episode of the Simpsons is classic because it shows how government pours money into centralizing schemes of hucksters.

      • The hucksters come up with the fleecing ideas then present it to pols and their bureaucrats to determine how much they need for themselves to make it work. Once the pols are paid it’s a done deal. I’m sure Elon could point you to the right people……for a price.

  21. Another great article !

    Reacting to your first paragraph:

    “Why is it that alternative technologies that clearly do not work.. continue to receive seemingly endless financial and political support … while technologies that actually might work better than current internal combustion engine technology can’t seem to get any traction at all ?”

    The answer is that anything that “does not work”, but cannot be avoided for whatever reason, CAUSES MORE MONEY TO CHANGE HANDS, more often than systems that do work. The missing link in understanding this is the all pervasive influence, via Fascism, of the banksters. Their sycophantic minions inhabit nearly all of the nooks and crannies of the control centers of modern society. What we get are products intentionally defective in their implementation. The list is endless. If the status of the Edison light bulb, and its reduction in service life is not known, go look it up !

    Lucre Uber Alles is the mantra of the financial boys. Once thrown out of their temples, they are hard at work to limit our system’s functionality, for their enrichment and control over of us.

    Go try to buy a French Deux Chevaux, and see what happens.

    PS: My 2005 Passat TDI passed inspection with the DRLs disabled….

  22. Hate to burst your bubble, but thorium is only “mildly” radiactive until you use it to create a fission reaction. Same goes for uranium. You can hold uranium in your hand. There is even pottery out there with uranium in it, and some people have used it to print photographs in lieu of silver salts. But as soon as you concentrate enough of either fuel into a critical mass, you get enough neutrons to kill you in the blink of an eye. And those neutrons also transmute other materials, such as the metal parts of the reactor, making them dangerously radioactive even after you stop the fission reaction. That’s why the inside of the Chernobyl building is still dangerous, even though no fission has occurred there since 1986. Not just because of the uranium fuel, but because fission creates other isotopes. Thorium fission works the same way: it produces large amounts of neutrons. A thorium reactor in your car may be built so it never melts down, but if you crack it open, say in an accident or by a careless mechanic, you have exposed yourself and everything around you to some nasty stuff.

  23. In the 1980s, my father converted their RV to propane/gasoline dual use for his and my mother’s numerous trips all around the country and they absolutely loved it.

    In the 1990s, I saw articles on-line about how Honda had made little nuclear reactors that they planned to market for home energy generation–I seriously hoped to buy one. Then suddenly that disappeared. People are so afraid of nuclear energy, but don’t we have something nuclear in our home smoke detectors? Funny how that doesn’t scare people.

    One of the most powerful negative features of the PTB’s “1984”-ish hopes for the future (Agenda 21) is that the prole class won’t need to be going ANYWHERE, they’ll (we’ll) all be rounded up and imprisoned in packed solid inner cities whereas the “elites” will then have the run of all the pristine wilderness regions for their own recreation. I guess this idea is their version of “CAFO human farming”, so what would we need cars for? I don’t remember how Winston got around, just walked, I guess, as did Thorne and Sol in “Soylent Green”, or else maybe rode from office to apartment in elevated rail transport like they did in “Fahrenheit 451”. Despite all those who seem to hate her (I’m not one of them), Ayn Rand seemed to get the PTB’s “dream” right in “Anthem”, wherein all technological development had been forgotten, at least for the “collective” that served the masters.

    It’s really a “dream” of stagnation, but surely that would lead to death of all, including the “elites”. What good is billions of dollars in the bank when the vast majority of people live in squalor and despair? Nothing produced, no innovation, just rust. Doesn’t a viable and vibrant economy require FLOW? I don’t think wealth is money hidden under a mattress, but something that circulates, or am I wrong?

    • The problem with the “get back to nature” movement is that no one really understands what they’re giving up. They go camping for a weekend or keep a small garden and think that’s the way it will be forever. One of the reasons commune life came to a screeching halt in the 1970s is because they figured out that it’s HARD WORK.

      I see it with the prepper movement too. They actually believe they’ll survive hunting and fishing for meat. Maybe for a season or two, if there’s a lot of rabbits and squirrels around, but there’s a reason why the government manages the hunting licenses. A free for all would quickly deplete most of the big game.

      It’s kind of like gambling in a casino, everyone ignores the reality and thinks they’ll be the exception. Once you realize they didn’t build these giant ornate buildings by cutting a lot of checks, you win.

      Like Tyson said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

      • Good points, Eric G. I had a friend who was taking an anthropology class at a local junior college and one day when I was visiting him, he suggested that I sit in with him in the class that hour. The day’s topic, interestingly, was about the communes movement (I guess that could be an anthropological study!) and WHY most of them called it quits like they did, and just like you said, it had everything to do with how you can’t really go backward technologically, at least, not voluntarily. That means LOTS of hard work. The professor also explained that there were gender issues, that the men expected that the women were to do without home appliances (baking bread by hand, cooking on wood-burning stoves, that sort of thing), but the men didn’t expect that to apply to them, they didn’t want to give up their power tools–what, no chain saws, power wood-splitting machines and so on? Being off the grid, which many of these communes were, makes extensive use of power tools a problem.

        So those who want a “revolution” in our society have a lot of practical thinking to do.

        • There are two ways the powers that be win. One everyone is dependent to the point where they cannot survive without the collective they run. Two the division of labor is so broken people are spending too much time grinding their own grain and tanning their own leather and so forth to resist the powers that be. Either way they win the way they see things.

        • Actually, going backward technologically does not mean lots of hard work, not by itself. It only takes that if there are separate and additional burdens. Mediaeval peasants had to work hard to provide food for others as well as themselves, and early American colonists had the added pioneering work of clearing land, building houses, making roads, and so on. But when someone has land already cleared, buildings in place, and no rents and taxes to cover with added production, the average work week typically comes out at around twenty hours (with seasonal peaks, e.g. at harvests). If that hadn’t been the case there never could have been aristocracies etc. before modern times – and there wouldn’t have been any surplus to use in modernising.

          • Hi PM,

            The shame of it is that – now, today – many of us could live lives of relative ease and comfort, were it not for the endless (and rapacious) taxes. If there were no taxes on real estate, for example – and no insurance at gunpoint – one could (assuming one’s home was paid for and one had a little acreage) pretty much live self-sufficiently, without need to generate more than a few hundred bucks a month for necessaries. A part-time job would suffice. Or small next egg of savings. But when you have to pay thousands of dollars every year in perpetuity on a house long-ago paid for and hundreds of dollars a month to the health insurance mafia, you are effectively forced to maintain full-time employment all your life, or at least until you are too old to work any longer and not far from taking that long dirt nap.

            • Dear Eric,

              You got that right.

              Those of us who are honest are like Boxer, the horse in “Animal Farm” who is eventually worked to death.

            • Eric you’ve summed up the problem right there in that comment. Nobody sees Obamacare for what it really is. It’s slavery. It’s chains to the corporate system. Perpetual rent to the government in real estate taxes. And of course the war on savings. No interest. No safe investments. They are herding everyone into risk investments and then they’ll pull the plug.

              But so few people see the chains. It’s amazing. The student loans too now. Company town chains. Slavery without whips, without chains unless of course one bucks the system.

              • Morning Brent!

                Yup… unfortunately.

                My hope is there’ll be pushback as people come to realize just how expensive “free” health care really is.

                • eric, as an involuntary Obamacaree, what I said to begin with, that is was merely another subsidy for banking via insurance, the other arm or at least, one other arm. Not that sitting back and watching the Mockingbirds is really my thing, although it is a pleasure at time, I’m now more aware than ever that 12-16 hr days are the price I’ll have to pay for more govt. subsidy to bankers.

                  As an aside, a friend recently researched wind gen subsidy vs. oil company subsidy and found it was one tenth of what big oil gets. Don’t mention that too loud though, my friends who own XOM stock simply go bananas when you point out they get subsidy. Oh hell no they say, govt. doesn’t give the oil companies anything. Well, when you get a bye on taxes and other govt. costs, I have to disagree……and I build stations for unloading oil, storing it, transferring it and all those other things and there is such a glut right now trucks and drivers are in steep demand to simply keep up with hauling the stuff. No matter what time something needs to be done at one of the transfer stations, there are lines of trucks on each station(3-4 off-loading stations at each facility).

                  • Big oil is a government protected cartel more or less. Protected through regulation. It also has government secure supplies, contracts, etc for it. Government sells big oil the natural resources on so-called ‘public land’ for pennies on the dollar.

                    However, the gasoline and oil business would go on just fine without those things.

                    • BrentP, I think you somewhat miss the in’s and out’s of the patch. I’m sure public land has something to do with big oil’s profits(and let’s don’t forget all the non-big oil people, the wildcatters who used to always be in the forefront of discovery) big oil would eventually copy and take over. Now it’s balls to the walls and whoever can find out and who can extract it change every day to some extent.

                      But the real subsidy, besides the subsidy of not having to pay taxes and fees, is the US military that’s shoveled at least a trillion dollars each year in this endeavor.

                      TR told the world leaders at the gathering in Tehran(during the war) in terms non could misinterpret that the US was committed to do everything it could to ensure it had middle east oilfields. He banished the Russians from the northern part of Iran they had commandeered, and they folded and left since most of their materiel during the war had come from the US and the US was still militarily dominant in all aspects except ground warfare(and still stringing them along and supply “some” of the things necessary to build nukes, but not all of them and not all of the correct type).

                      And that’s the way it’s been ever since, all over the world including 20 years of Vietnam.

                      When all you have is a hammer……….

                      Nothing has changed since then. No matter how much countries freedom fighters have bucked that system, it continues today. It was the impetus of the war on the American people or as the bureaucrats, pols and MSM say, Homeland Security.

                      Not really sure who’s secure except for TPTB and their paid lackeys.

                    • In general the natural resources on so-called public land have mis-managed and given away to cronies since the 19th century. I believe that had the resources been properly managed along with the wealth generated by them at this point we’d be living tax free if we weren’t ruled by parasites and control freaks with an ever growing government.

                    • The problem w/public lands is that they ARE public. “Everyone” owns them, so no one has the incentive to steward them. “Public lands” actually means gunvermin lands. And we know how well the gunvermin works ‘for the good of the people’ in any situation.

                • They’ll never figure it out because they won’t bother. They don’t even bother to understand the history of which Obamacare is the most recent big step. It’s too much work. They’ll ‘feel’ what the next solution should be and go with that never examining history or finding root cause.

          • That’s a good point, P.M. Lawrence, and beyond the reduced work-week if one could swing it, I think maybe whatever actual work there is might be healthier for the body and soothing for the mind and soul…no more brain-rot from the endless paper-pushing and legal compliance that I have to deal with “to earn a living” now.

    • RE: ” People are so afraid of nuclear energy, but don’t we have something nuclear in our home smoke detectors? ”

      A few years ago, I was involved in bidding the demolition of a small house for a state highway project. The bid documents noted the presence of a smoke detector which would have to be disposed of at a facility licensed to handle radioactive materials and paperwork on the disposal submitted by the contractor.

      • The irony is that, even though the radioactivity risk from smoke detectors is small per head (not just from having them or from their being improperly disposed of, but also from everything involved in making them), the risk of death from fires caused by not having them is even smaller. That means that the Australian mandate to have them isn’t just costing money, it’s costing lives – not many, but enough to wipe out the justification for forcing them on people entirely, even if you ever did accept the “for their own good” rationale.

        • P.M. Lawrence, A decade ago I lived in a cramped studio apartment and apparently the only function of that required smoke alarm was to alert all the neighbors if I ever attempted to cook something in my oven.

          When I actually DID have a real FIRE (a space heater that I plugged into a power strip instead of directly into the wall had started a fire in the middle of the night), the brightness of the flames woke me up even before the smoke alarm began screaming.

          I think this “not really worth it” disfunctionality between risk and cost is true with so many of these mandatory safety devices. To contrast with that, when we work with our disaster and recovery plans for the company where I work (which is a private school), we understand the concept of balancing risk/magnitude/cost. For example, we have to compare things like fire, earthquake, pandemic, and school shooters, among other disasters. The magnitude to life, reputation, and facilities probably goes in this order: 1. school shooters, 2. earthquake, 3. pandemic, 4. fire. However, the risk or likelihood of occurrence goes: 1. fire, 2. earthquake, 3. school shooters, 4. pandemic. The order of protection costs (highest to least) probably goes: 1. earthquake, 2. fire, 3. school shooters, 4. pandemic. The point is that if the government is mandating safety measures, they don’t care about this balance since they certainly aren’t paying the bill or even balancing the risk. They only care about the political impact, so that given the chance, they would go to the furthest extreme, thus their reaction to school shooters (which, despite all the publicity, has actually a low risk of occurrence) is attempt to ban all firearms in America.

      • Keen Holland–I have so far avoided having to buy those curly-cue lightbulbs, but then a couple of years ago, the Department of Water and Power came out to the apartment building where I live and “semi-forceably” replaced all our incandescent lightbulbs with them and left the boxes the curlie-cue bulbs came in, which I kept for easy disposal when the time came. Well, now two of them have burned out and whereas I would simply throw them into the trash, I remembered reading that they were toxic (due to mercury), so looked on one of the boxes and read that they have to disposed of at a certain facility. So now you can’t throw away your burnt-out lightbulbs!

        Here’s a funny story–after our parents died, my brother and I were cleaning up their house and getting it ready to be sold. Our mother had had multiple sclerosis and for the latter half of her life needed an electric scooter so that she could get around. Our father kept virtually any and everything that could possibly be of some use someday (and to his credit, with his various engineering licenses, he was really quite clever at putting things to alternative uses) and as my mother ran through piles of batteries on that scooter (they were like the ones in your car that ultimately have to be replaced), he had piles of those old dead scooter batteries that we decided to take to the dump along with tons of other stuff.

        The “gatekeeper” at the dump opened up the back of the U-Haul, saw all those dead batteries, and asked us for our Hazmat license. “Hazmat license, what Hazmat license?” “You know, the one you are required to have in order to ‘deal’ with these batteries.” Apparently we had broken some law by even taking those batteries out onto the public highway. However, once we explained the situation, the guy said the solution was for us to fill out an affidavit (that he was able to furnish us,) certifying that we were not “dealers” and were merely involved in a one-time disposal operation. So now, really, be careful of those old car batteries!

        • For car batteries the local Autozones were taking them and giving $5 gift cards. That’s how I got rid of the car batteries my grandfather left behind and one of my own. These days the local recyclers are offering $10 cash for lead-acid car batteries.

        • It would have been simpler to bring them to me….no questions asked. I collect them and have plenty old ones. Seems like that lead in batteries is nigh onto perfect for casting bullets….and fishing weights. Country boys can survive.

  24. B. Bruce-Briggs made the goal perfectly clear nearly 40 years ago in his book The War Against the Automobile. And that is, the bureaucrats and powers that be don’t want cleaned-up cars: they want no cars. At least not in private hands. Bruce-Briggs said something along the lines that government bureaucrats would rather be able to have (for themselves) a Chevrolet in a world in which the proletariat ride bicycles than a Cadillac in a world of Chevrolets.

    When every regulation and proposal that adds cost to new cars or makes it harder or costlier to own or drive a car is viewed in this light, suddenly it all makes sense. The nannies want you in mass transit, meaning on a bus or train, not in your own car. Proposals to monitor where and how many miles you drive are convenient for the powers that be to watch you, but these are simply a stopgap for working toward the real agenda: to make cars so much of a hassle to own and drive that most people will give them up.

    Note that the mantra in the 1960s–1980s was pollution. And admittedly unregulated cars did spew loads of true pollution in the 1960s and did add to smog problems: consider unburned hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen, and carbon monoxide as real problems. But by the early 1980s new cars were 96% clean because of catalytic converters and the beginnings of electronic engine controls and sensors. In actual tests, most cars achieve 99.9+% cleanliness because modern engines and pollution controls are so efficent. It’s revealing, then, that the environmentalist mantra fairly quickly shifted to carbon dioxide (CO2) as a horrible pollutant—though carbon dioxide and water vapor are the desired results of clean combustion of hydrocarbons. The CO2 issue is the reason for ever tightening fuel economy regulations.

    Now we see the nannies in France attacking diesel-powered private cars. One politician there called their widespread introduction and use because of tax advantages on diesel fuel a “mistake”. The mayor of Paris wants to eliminate their use in that city over the next several years. The stated rationale is the supposed hazard of particulate matter, though it is rare to see or smell a newer diesel-powered car emitting clouds of soot. But the call to end use of diesel cars makes sense when Bruce-Briggs’ argument comes to mind.

    That leads us to the thorium issue. You should be able to understand now the real reason the government won’t ever allow private vehicles with such power sources. You don’t have to worry about American citizens’ ignorance about radioactivity and its real risks so much as you do the sheer unwillingness of those in power to allow the technology on the street in the first place. Nor should you be surprised.

    • I spent some time taking a close look at modern bicycling and transit politics. Both have been taken over by people who are anti-car. They really don’t care about transit or bicycling they are just useful idiots who want to destroy the notion of the private automobile for anyone who isn’t wealthy. I watched as the way they judged proposals was by how negatively they impacted driving.

      As folks here know I am a bicyclist and I loathe bicycle lanes. To me they are second class ghettos. Any way these advocates of bicycling want to narrow every arterial road for these things. I argue they make the road slower and less bikeable for skilled and fast bicyclist. They say but they are for beginners to encourage them to bike. I say arterial roads are no place for beginners and the problems with bike lanes can lure them to their death. (which happened to someone when she turned left out of a bike lane mid block and was hit by a motorcyclist.) I propose that in Chicago’s grid system side streets can become an entire bicycling network nearly free of automotive travel and be very safe for beginners. This is unworkable to them. Why? No real impact to driving.

      I prefer not using arterial roads and I know how to use them with a bicycle. If we really want to encourage bicycling parallel bike routes largely absent of motor vehicles would do it far better. Arterial roads are not fun rides but a block over the residential street is tree lined, beautiful, calm, and enjoyable.

      They also want to interfere with private property rights to eliminate off street parking yet at the same time say that if a developer wants to build without parking that’s just fine. They are for and against private property rights at the same time because their hatred for private automobiles guides their position.

      I can go on and on with what I learned. These groups attract foundation funding as do many of the projects they support such as Chicago’s Ashland BRT. They are destroying Ashland ave’s traffic carrying capacity for bus lanes. This is a major N-S route through the city which is why they want to wreck it.

      • Dear Brent,

        “I spent some time taking a close look at modern bicycling and transit politics. Both have been taken over by people who are anti-car. They really don’t care about transit or bicycling they are just useful idiots who want to destroy the notion of the private automobile for anyone who isn’t wealthy. ”

        True. It’s a shame.

        Because absent this politicized agenda, bicycles are actually an excellent form of short range transportation, that not only gets you there, but also keeps you healthy.

        F**king clovers!

  25. The car business is just another symptom of a much bigger problem. There are things like this in almost every part of life now. The politics of “everything and everywhere” is tightening around “everything and everyone” in places you never thought they could reach. Education, employment, business, religion, even hobbies just to name a few, think everything. There are examples in all of these. Just think of all those things that never were problems in the past that are now.

    The reality is a very small elite minority that run the world (not just in America) want to live very, very, very, well insulated from reality. Multiple mansions in “world” (NYC, London etc) cities, a place out in the “country”, limos, private jet planes, golf courses, month long vacations. They don’t want to do anything useful either.

    They want you to feel guilty you have a speed or fishing boat you use a few weekends a year. They want you to feel guilty your toilet uses five gallons of water instead of one. That it is wasteful and harmful to the greater good they say. You have to give up the perfectly good 45 cent light bulbs for ten dollar cfl bulbs that flicker, hum and give your home the ambience of a bus station. Well, get used to bus stations, the few times you can move about, you will be crowded into a bus. Yeah, you little people can’t have your own cars. Yeah, we took your V-8’s already, we will be back for those little turbo charged four bangers next.

    You don’t like that? So you move out to a rural area and home school your children? Well, your wood burning stove creates too much pollution (don’t worry we are regulating them away), and we will persecute you for trying to educate your, no wait, societies children.

    That is what is happening. 1984 the book is coming to reality. Technology may mess (person cars, personal computers) with the elites plan for the world, but you can count on them using it to watch your every move.

    They will be served by a impoverished majority*. In many ways that is already in place. That impoverished group will be allowed almost nothing, not even the trappings of the middle class. Forget about personal cars, a single family house, vacations, a real education. Be able to push buttons or say “yes ma’am” well and you will get your pittance.

    They will guilt you into thinking your serving “society”. You will only be serving them.

    *the worst of that elite don’t even want you just in poverty, they want you in a grave. Just ask an “environmentalist” what they think of an average person. Many want the population reduced to almost nothing. It would be one thing if they wanted to subtract themselves. But it ain’t them they want to subtract. They are the scariest of that bunch. Don’t think that could happen? Explain Hilter, Pol Pot and Stalin to name a few.

    • Environmentalists have been some of the most dishonest people in their misguided attempts to “save the planet”. Our earth is much more resilient than they would have you believe. Environmentalists see humans as a “pestilence”. They would like to see the human population reduced (by any means necessary) by around 90%. The survivors would be walled-off in soviet-style high-rise apartments, riding bicycles, taking trains and buses while the wilderness areas would be available only to the “anointed” environmentalists.
      I, for one, have no use for these limp-wristed, birkenstock-wearing, prius-driving, tofu-eating poor excuses for human beings. I would suggest that environmentalists take their own advice and eliminate themselves first.
      Environmentalists are like watermelons–green on the outside and red (communist) on the inside. It’s always been about control.
      I CHEER when I hear a of a “greenpeace” ship getting blown out of the water. . .

      • I laugh at these goof balls who want to reduce the population on one hand and apparently are in no hurry to become one of the “reduced”. They are truly the most dangerous and yet will smile to your face about something so evil.

      • Re: ” I would suggest that environmentalists take their own advice and eliminate themselves first.”

        They can’t do that, they are the priesthood anointed to tell us to get off the planet. It’s like Gore Vidal (a cousin of Al Gore) wrote in his novel Messiah. In that story, a California funeral director founds a death cult that spreads around the world and the sacrifice that the priesthood makes is not to commit suicide, just preach suicide to everyone else.

  26. Then again, I could see some politicians JUMP on the chance to have thorium powered cars replace all other vehicles.
    It’s not the efficiency, lack of “fossil fuel use”, or any other such ‘noble’ ambitions. It could mean they have THE case for per-mile taxation.
    “Because we can no longer collect a fuel tax, with these run forever cars, we need to track every mile of every slav… citizen so we can tax them appropriately. You don’t expect us to just stop taxing people, do you? MUH ROADS!!!”

    • They don’t want to risk the technology going too far. They can have their tax by the mile thing with what they are doing already.

  27. If this guy makes a Th power source that’s small enough to mount in an existing electric car, maybe it can trickle charge the battery while it’s parked?

    That seems like a no-brainer.

    • To explain what I mean in more detail:

      If no auto manufacturers are willing to buy the concept, perhaps the EVs and plug-in hybrids can be powered through their existing charge ports by a unit like this installed by oneself or a 3rd-party installer.

      That would provide an end-run around uncle.

  28. The problem with dual fuel, iirc, is that the switchable carb is not as efficient as if optomized for one fuel or the other. But given the cost of CNG that may be wash.

    • PtB, mullti-fuel furnaces have been around a long time with few problems. I’ve seen those that can burn practically any volatile liquid or gas. They can change to various injectors for each “fuel”. They’re great for waste oil.

      • Burners that need the fuel to be volatile are unnecessarily restrictive. Bunker oil as burned to drive steam engines on ships is only one grade up from tar and barely even flows, let alone vaporises. The burners for that are fed the oil by lift pumps that practically shovel lumps of it around, and then the oil is dumped on the top surfaces of thin, sloping plates with serrated lower edges. The underside of the plates is heated with steam or hot air that blasts downwards and past the serrated edges, where it tears loose the oil that has softened and started to flow slightly more from the heat. All that is then directed into the burner zones along with an air supply, where it burns almost like solid fuel, i.e. with carbon dioxide, steam, hydrogen and carbon monoxide cycling between the fuel and the oxygen in the air to break them both down and bring them together catalytically.

        • I have never seen bunker oil so I’ll take your word for it. The only ones who use that type of multi-fuel furnace hve scads of used oil, liquid fuels of different sorts and liquified gases except for those who own their own natural gas and can tap it for heat….and cooling.

      • 8, now that you mention it, my exposure dates back to the days of carburetors, Guess I am getting old.

        • Fuel injection can’t be faulted functionally, but it’s so got-damned boring. Anyone who has felt – and heard – the secondaries of a big four barrel opening wide, the engine sucking air like a demon banshee, will gnoe what I am sayin’

          • eric, I commonly drive an ’05 Chevy pickup with a 6 liter(I guess, it doesn’t say but it’s not the 5.3L) It has almost that same sound. Waaaaahhhhhh, sucking a serious amount of air. I get in those conga lines on 2 lanes with 3 vac trucks slowing down miles of traffic and all these new Ford pickups must have 4 cylinders cause they won’t get around those trucks or their drivers must be idiots. I just went through this again so when there’s a mile of no oncoming, I nail the old Chevy and pass Mr. Fancy and the 3 vac trucks and leave all the traffic behind for the next umpteen miles. There was a Super Duty behind Mr. Fancy with his spewing exhaust so I finally see a pickup back there a couple miles come around the whole mess. Well, thinks me, Super Duty finally got a chance and is now doing his thing. Then I notice this guys is just reeling me in, must be doing 20 more than me. Next thing I know he blows past, a big GMC grill in front of a Duramax. He was a good front door into the depths of sheriff’s dept. Sterling county continuous radar during rush hours in “work zones”……always in work zones(double fines), forget the workers are long gone if they were ever there that day.

            BTW, I see more guys every day with Escort Max’s and 9500’s. They are tied together in a network for your cellphone. When the detector gets hit it automatically connects with your smart phone and marks it in real time. There is an optional GPS unit that does the whole thing detector to detector. These guys get to haul ass with very little exposure due to the instant locator.

            I bought a big external speaker for my CB and have some tinted plastic to go over the front and rear of the speaker housing with my detector inside. It’s a powered speaker so I have a wire to run power to the detector. When the DOT stops me I just turn off the CB even though the Escort is invisible to detector detectors. I don’t need it going off with that asshat clown giving me the third degree…..or as in the last case, the fourteenth degree. I gotta move up to the Max.

  29. Eric,
    I wanted for a long time to ask you to speak more towards what futuristic cars could be! I want a nuclear powered car damnit!

    I’d love to see articles just pontificating on what kind of cars anarcho nuclear engineers will produce when we finally figure out a way to escape from the “others”.

    What kind of “tinkering” can be done to get “moar power!” from the steam that this nuclear generator produces? What’s the nuclear equivalent of turbo-charging the nuclear auto?

    It’s a gold mine of fun articles!

    • Hi Nathan,

      Happy to oblige!

      My take: If crony/cartel capitalism could be done away with, if people were free to tinker (and sell what they come up with) in a free market I am certain we’d have a wealth of choices available to us. Just as we have a near-limitless menu of food choices – because there’s less in the way of legal roadblocks/impediments in this area. But the car biz is among the most tightly controlled industries extant. Very hard for an upstart to get in – and the established players very much like it this way.

  30. Back in the mid ’90s I did a thorium wastesite investigation. According to our initial training, thorium emits low levels of beta radiation comparable to brazil nuts or bananas. Not very dangerous stuff. The thorium was used by coleman to make lantern mantles (they have since swithced to another material).
    We had to install vertical pipes to a depth of abpout 30-35′ on a 10 meter grid so they could survey for radiation. If there was a detection (we had 1 or 2) then we had to step off/redrill on a 5 meter grid so they could re survey. Afterwards, the entire site was excavated to a depth of 30′ and every ounce of material surveyed for radioactivity, seperated/containerized and sent to another site for disposal. Total overkill since the original plan was to haul in an additional 30′ of clean fill and convert the place into a driving range…..

  31. Nice article. The biggest problem with all these “unreliables” (as blogger Atomic Rod Adams calls them), is that we’re in the process of taking our mostly reliable, always available power grid and transforming it into a variable availability, rate variable mess. Tesla introduced their “home battery” in anticipation of the day when you’ll need to schedule when you use electricity because peak time will cost you peak dollars. If you can afford to store electricity locally (in an extremely expensive and somewhat dangerous battery bank -I wonder what the homeowners’ policy says about a 10KWh battery backup sitting in the garage?), you can use electricity whenever you want. Can’t afford it? Well, the banksters will be happy to finance it for you. Bad credit? Well, we can’t have everyone living well, now can we?

    Why are we putting ourselves through this? Because of the hair-shirt that is the modern ecology movement. We’re all guilty! Guilty of destroying mother Earth with our modern lifestyle! Who cares that burning wood and dung is far less efficient than burning natural gas -never mind nuclear reactors. Who cares that there are more trees in the world now than at any time in recorded history? “Yea, but still…”

    If global warming is a problem (and I think there’s some credence to it, but not the alarmist rhetoric), then why is the most energy dense fuel (uranium) off the table? Because we can detect minute levels of the stuff, and the insane theory that says any amount of exposure is catastrophic. This, even though the Earth itself is spewing out radiation from a natural thorium reactor -it’s what runs the electro-magnetic shield that protects us from the damaging particles of the Sun. We can detect minute levels of benzine too, but that’s not stopping us from drilling for gas and oil, even when it feeds into the Colorado River (http://www.denverpost.com/ci_23689092/parachute-creek-benzene-levels-double-again).

    20 years from now, when we’ve squandered all that money on wind, solar, batteries, “smart” meters, and still end up paying far more for electricity than we should be, I wonder if the grandkids will realize what they don’t have? Hazlitt called it the lost opportunity cost. They’ll call it criminal.

    https://www.masterresource.org/american-wind-energy-association/wind-hazlitt-2/

    • Nor will you see anything in the lamestream press re the benzene residue in most soybean products.p

    • It’s about power and control. They are tightening their fist. CO2 global warming is an outright fraud used as an excuse to do so. I’ve even run NASA’s data personally to verify what I’ve read that they are altering it to show warming and they most certainly are. Everything is being centralized. The electric car centralizes power more than any other present option. Gasoline relies on a huge cartel network but that network has too many free market limits. If it gets too expensive people just install CNG, ethanol, methanol, propane, bio-diesel, and other such conversions. There’s a limit to far the squeeze can be. Electric cars don’t let you get far and need high voltage and high current charging. That’s not happening from solar or your typical consumer generator. Sure maybe you can trickle charge it if your patient, but the goal is achieved when you’re driving once a week.

      The powers that be always favor what increases their power. Anything that decreases and decentralizes their power is disfavored.

      Atomic cars that never need refueling… you might as well as expect Nikola Tesla style devices to pull energy from the ether. And that’s why I loathe that Musk named his crony capitalist company after Tesla. Tesla wanted decentralized free energy for people. If he achieved it or not remains myths and stories but there is no debate he worked towards those ends.

    • Eric,
      You presume the grandkids will ever have the chance to know…

      Every company does this. They make a product, pander to the “early adopters,” make it sound like “the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread,” destroy the competition (by fair means or foul), and milk that cash cow for as long as they can.

      ADP and Mirosoft are two known examples. I worked at one; the other is so vile it’s public knowledge due to court documents.
      It’s not libel if you can back it up… I can name projects and managers, so it won’t be an issue – and Eric has my email addresses, including work.

      On the one hand, why change the cash cow if it’s still producing? (I agree with this approach, on condition you’re not destroying what’s better. If you find out something could be better, buy the tech, develop it, make a new cash cow. Sell off the old division just before you announce the revolutionary project, and make multiple profits. Assuming it’s all legal. Sell the Gas and Coal division, say, to a competitor – with contractual deals to provide the Thorium system to your clients, such contracts to be executed / binding even post-sale. You retain the clients who want the new tech, might lose a few… But the ones you lose will rapidly become marginalized and come back to get the thorium system, anyway. + + + +
      Which changes the question to, how to get Boobus American’tus onboard, to make early adopters? Since films like “The China syndrome” – which, BTW, SHOWED THE PROBLEMS OF CRONY CAPITALISM, not the problems of nuclear power… Since the Godzilla films, “Them,” the nuclear test films, etc, etc, etc.: Most people first off don’t know, and second off, don’t WANT to know, anything that will rock the boat. r/K again explains it nicely, the rabbits are allowed to flourish because we punish those who think. I suggest everyone take a quick look at “Progtopia”, see Amazon site: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OV6JV68 – key line is this, out of context:
      In the year 2172, the Giving Class runs the world while the Recipient Class lives to serve them, but is forbidden from marrying, reproducing, or even mingling with the opposite sex.

      Guess who is the “Giving Class”? [I state this without having read the book. I can sense who will “give” and who will “receive,” and I’m guessing the givers still won’t use lube…])

      So, the media will gladly hide the truth, as it benefits them…
      The “Giving Class” (Dark Triad trait “Governators”) will continue to “assist” those who wish to create something.
      The future generations won’t know what Thorium is, but they’ll know it’s radioactive, and “Radiation is BAD, mmmKay?”
      They won’t be able to cook, not that there’ll be much food left anyway – save Soylent Green.
      They’ll be working off a life-debt, debt assigned to them to pay off during their life, for the privilege of being born..,
      And i’m not sure they’ll actually be mobile, I see a real desire of the Parasite class, I mean Giving class, to enslave them Physically into a Matrix. Use robots to produce, but keep the earth un-despoiled, while the “average” serf is busy shuffling papers/ electrons, never actually getting anywhere, or using their body, or the precious resources of Mother Earth… Until even the machines aren’t needed, and the human herd is culled down to the bare minimum needed to allow the Giving Class to be wealthy autocrats some minds to play with and rule over….
      Just as we’re “downsizing” and “rightsizing” in Corporate USA, while the actual WORK is exported, and the C*Os stay here… As do the lawyers… And the product and work are exported…. then the products are imported back here to be consumed….

      Making the products virtual? Even better! Charge the same, have the “program” wear out (that’s all it really is…) and there are no resources needed….

      Pure profits, while Mother Nature recovers the planet from the evil hoo-mans.

      I think we’d be better off scrapping the NAP overall, just to make progress. Wolves do not concern themselves with the opinion of sheep; maybe we should follow that example. The wolves know there will be lean times, sometimes. They can’t “bank” sheep for those lean times, so why bother? You survive…

      I know that won’t make me friends here, but waiting for a sheep to mutate into a wolf is a waste, and weakens the pack. Time to get off the Hopium – and the sheep won’t give it up without a fight anyway, in fact, they’ll break their own laws to inflict violence on us…. Because we’re scary, evil, monsters. Just for wanting to be left alone – but that want requires that we have access to scary evil things, like knowledge and guns… Sheep don’t want that. They want a shepherd. they want grass to eat (and they’ll eat it to the roots and strip the land bare, and kill the grass in so doing.)

      Meantime, all the problems we’re seeing will only be magnified by the “shepherds,” while the solutions (that would work) are marginalized and buried, and the “too big to fails” get rich(er)…. And ensure our future generations are ever-more enstupidated, edu-doctrinated into compliance, medicated into compliance, and made infertile, unwhole, diseased, to ensure they never topple that sacred (cash) cow. [Any sacred cash cow.]

      We need to drop the NAP, or understand that the violence doesn’t have to be literal, immediate, and bloody.
      Finding that your neighbor looked up the gas line on your home should be enough to give you pause, as to his intents.
      But to go over and pound on his door? That’s aggressive, per the NAP. (And still doesn’t address the possibility of him being less than honest….)

      We have CloverSheeple using third-party mercenaries to destroy everything important about our culture and country, and yet somehow – THAT isn’t violence?

      Destroying the culture isn’t violence?
      Degrading our children isn’t violence?
      Etc.

      Or is it just that there are so many, doing so much, all at once – that there’s no “head” to cut off?
      I get that – but unless and until we ensure “two rabbits in every pot,” we’ll see this played out over and over and over again – it’s just human nature. and sooner or later, the “elites” WILL find a way to keep us all “in our place.”
      The other option is anathema to most: decentralized power systems (so there’s no easy way to control the world), and it will involve some bloodshed, EVERY TIME.

      The wolf / sheep / Democracy example still holds true; we just haven’t been upholding our end of the bargain (disputing the dinner vote.)
      Because WE IS DINNER, now and always. Unless we deal out some retribution to the CloverSheeple who sold their votes, to ensure WE were the ones on the dinner menu….

      Anyway, this wasn’t supposed to be a rant…

      • Funny you mention Hollywood films for helping create anti-nuke hysteria. I was once mostly indifferent toward nuclear power and somewhat pro-solar/wind. Then I happened to watch a movie called “Trinity and Beyond” which was basically a lot of declassified bomb test footage and interviews with people like Edwin Teller. It opens up with a shot of the obelisk built at the Trinity site. I realize I live only one state away from there, and started planning a trip. Along the way I found out about the National Nuclear museum (at that time called the Atomic museum), and started learning.

        If you study the facts of nuclear power, you see very quickly that something is very wrong with the argument against it. The level of misinformation is Orwellian. But because of the left’s obsession with abundance guilt we’re going to regress to a time far more dangerous and expensive to live.

      • “Education” can only go so far. There comes a point when you have to stop and realize that what we have around us are some of the most educated slaves in history. And they don’t seem to mind!

        What I do is listen to or pay close attention to the vocabulary of the media propagandists. It’s telling in its own right. Words like “slippery slope”, “potential for”, and a raft of other soft squishy marshmallow verbage to pad the knowledge that we are but slaves. I’m not willing to be one and maybe that’s why I don’t fit into modern Amerika.

        maybe that’s why I’ve said for a long time that our leaders suffer from a mineral deficiency…. They don’t eat enough lead!

        It’s unfortunate that it would have to come to that but history hasn’t been kind.

        • To gauge the coming sh!tstorms, I check the headlines of CNN every day.

          Two of their latest themes are “Human Trafficking and Revenge Porn.”

          There is no end to the imagined crimes they create. Perhaps we are all hatemongers and violence instigators. How are we to prove we are not?

          Every law they pass make ordinary human interaction that much more impossible. How does a father prove he isn’t trafficking his children. What would that even mean. A huge part of the internet is racy photos and such. What kind of useful idiots would even imagine a system could be setup to remedy such things.

          It is the mindset of slaves, that there could ever be some expert stranger who should have any say in their lives for any reason.

          Americans have as a group, all become far too heavy. The sad truth is none of them is my brother, I shall pass them all by as they languish in the ditch, unless they should each prove to me they are otherwise. I want a divorce from all of them.

          Many only want to return to a group system that makes more sense. I no longer believe in such a naive construct. There is never a good way to put a stranger in charge of anything in your life. It always fails you and makes things worse.

          Any man who thinks we need only improve the ruling class and make things less bad, is in reality, my sworn enemy. I wish him nothing but many more servings of his well-earned despair and powerless misery.

          There are no rules of decorum any more. It’s every man for himself, and let the devil take the weakest hindmosts as he always will. Let Peter clawback from Paul whatever he can on his own merits. Be as nice as you choose, but realize you owe nobody anything. More likely than not, the man to your left and right is part of the problem. When all the evils continue, and nothing works to abate them, realize the social organism is collapsing about you, and it is up to you alone to find somewhere else to continue to live.

          There are no rules of commerce, except that those that honestly generate wealth make their own rules, but only for themselves and for those who choose to deal with them.

          I hope someone does build a thorium car. But as to the a**holes who wish to interfere with others who make or maintain vehicles in anyway. Or who do nothing and don’t even see what’s being done. F ’em and feed ’em all fish heads.

    • Eric G, for the deniers of global warming I must ask “Has every thermometer in the world gone agly?” I don’t believe there are people giving false reports, esp. since so many places are monitored remotely. As for “man” being the source of the warming, well, those people are reaching for something that can’t be proved to align with their own agenda of however they “determine” the earth is being destroyed. What so many seem to either not know or just don’t want to admit is the science has been available for 50 years to determine CO2 content to some extent and the temperature of the planet by sampling ice cores and even trees.

      The temp of the earth has never been stable, varying greatly through all known times. I hate to see rain forests destroyed but bet the damned mesquite tree that’s taken over most of Texas and some other states more than makes up for it.

      I spent all day yesterday doing hotshot loads everywhere from areas of huge mesquites(the wetter part of west Tx.)to scub mesquite(the semi-desert and desert) but with the exception of plowed ground, the entirety of west Tx. is now covered. Over the hundreds of years it has changed the flora and fauna that exist. While there are disadvantages involved, wildlife has flourished more than anyone could believe in just my lifetime alone.

      Growing up we had quail, dove, some turkeys, and deer in some areas. Now we’re covered in deer, hogs, quail, turkey, dove of all sorts and now all sorts of exotic African animals that have escaped high fence areas and reproduce quite well everywhere as far as I can tell. I no longer even try to identify the creatures I see, just another African animal of some sort I tell myself.

      I had been taught red wolves are extinct. So why did I see my first in 1980. Now I frequently see them and a mix of red wolves and coyotes(never say never), large, beautiful animals or I’m still hallucinating from the 60’s and 70’s.

      My point is the earth is constantly changing in too many ways to keep track of. I consider the over-fishing of the ocean as one of the few ways the change can be attributed to man. And one volcanic event can produce more CO2 than mankind can in terms of maybe his entire existence. I don’t doubt CO2 level have risen since I have seen the stats for this. Man-made gases have risen in the last 50 years also but they’re still a negligible amount. What I would tell the Algoreans who don’t want to hear the unencumbered truth is that the Ring of Fire is no active enough to created enough CO2 to change the entire earth’s ecological system. I wonder how they plan to control mother nature?

      • George Carlin (RIP) had a good rant about this:
        http://youtu.be/EjmtSkl53h4
        By the way, I think Al Gore’s primary concern is his own well-being, not Mother Earth. I understand he is heavily invested in companies that are involved in carbon trading and other green scams.

        • I also have heard that Algore owns property in San Fran that will be underwater if his sea level predictions come true.

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