Rod Adams over at NuclearInsights discovered and now advises a new website that seems dedicated to getting some basic nuclear fission information into popular form.  The new site is called with backing from some interested persons without it seems, any major backing from the industry. The caveat to that is one of the advisors is working at Babcock & Wilcox. The site is devoid of advertisers, at least for now, but the great thing is – there is a site – its mission is to get the basic simple information into those bite sized chunks the average person can use to form up opinion or promote personal investigation.  A dream come true.

How far they get, how many people they affect and the quality of the offerings will take a long while to discern.  The site seems more like an experiment in messaging with an assortment of posters up with simple messages.

Uranium vs Carbon Poster from PopAtomic. Click image for the largest view.

The poster the Mr. Adams likes compares carbon fuels with uranium.  A prelude is needed for the more advanced observer which Adams provides over on his site saying, “Using our current, rather primitive technology that essentially obtains nuclear energy from the 0.7% fraction of uranium that is easily fissioned with a single, low energy neutron, uranium contains about 16,000 times as much energy per unit weight as coal.

Point taken, and that’s impressive.  Adams points out that is only a wee part of the whole picture.  “As we improve our technology, and the need for improved utilization increases, we will begin using high energy neutrons with repeated interactions to break (the fission) the far more common U-238 into smaller pieces plus (releasing) energy and we will take advantage of the excellent properties of Thorium-232 to fission after being hit with two low energy neutrons,” Adams says. “When those known techniques reach the commercial stage, the ratio of energy content per unit mass between nuclear fuels and chemical fuels will be closer to 2,000,000 to 1 and even that measure understates the advantage that nuclear reactions have over chemical reactions.”  The concern here is that jumping from 16K to 2,000K multipliers will lose a leave of folks’ behind in understanding.

Thorium the Smart Rock from PopAtomic. Click image for the largest view.

Adams also has the means to attract the thoughtful mass of environmentalist interest.  Adams points out, “ . . . the fact that combustion fuels are not self contained; they will only release their energy when combined with oxygen. If you count the mass of all required reactants, which is often not done since our common atmosphere contains sufficient quantities of oxygen to support combustion, the ratio of energy density between nuclear reactions and chemical reactions is closer to 10,000,000 to one. The implications of very dense fuels for machinery and support equipment design can be incredible if the engineers and accountants can learn how to take full advantage of the physics.”

PopAtomic says clearly, “Please feel free to download and use the images from this campaign since the goal is perpetuate them as much as possible.”  This writer hopes the site is a major career builder as well.  Thus a couple of the posters are on this page.

It seems the site is also looking for presentation ideas.  With a little thought everyone can list his or her idea at the PopAtomic’s comments.  Here’s one:  A glass ceiling over an icon of nuclear power held in place by regulators and built from money with politician drinking and dancing overhead.  Somehow, the barrier of regulation expense needs addressed – that once removed could cut loose a fury of innovation, investment and economic growth.

Or go straight to the motive – graph the fuel cost for year’s home electrical use using the main fuels.

Getting positive spin across the whole of America is an ambitious notion.  Perhaps the PopAtomic folks need a strategic plan.  Getting the majority to over come the irrational fears is one thing – getting public policy remade into something driving to safe and the lowest possible cost for power generation something else entirely.  Then the power production industry will also need a push – and the other fuel providers can be expected to push back the whole time.

Nuclear fission is the developed world’s certain energy source.  The parade of headlines from around the world of countries signing deals to build power plants should be a banner warning streaming across the sky.  Fusion nuclear isn’t going to go away – and the sooner and cheaper a developed economy can drive its industry to produce competitive products in Uranium-238 and Thorium-232 the safer and healthier the whole world’s economy will be.

Photovoltaic, fusion, BlackLight, over unity ideas, and others all are potential – coming perhaps, someday.  But for now fission nuclear is an amazing bird in hand, with certain and known pathways to safe growth for centuries to come.  The innovative ideas up for regulatory review now have immense potential.  Base power and much of peak demand technology is ready and the mini reactors can be installed conveniently where needed, right away.

Pass the posters around and kick in some ideas, please.


10 Comments so far

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