Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Meet the Man Who Could End Global Warming. Meet the Technology that can do it!

"....The man who is going to save the world is an ordinary-looking man. He's average in height, with an average face. He has blue eyes and sandy hair. He wears eyeglasses. He's forty-eight years old....a classic all-American Homo suburbanus, but in fact he is a former officer of the United States Navy with a Ph.D. in a fiendishly complicated type of engineering. 

He is low-key and unassuming, with a quiet midwestern sense of humor....The man who is going to save the world is also a damn good father, a tendency that is at the heart of this world-saving business...."

Read more: Nuclear Waste Disposal - Eric Loewen's Disposal of Nuclear Waste - Esquire 

The next thing you should know is that Loewen's miracle technology is not some airy concept. It cost billions of dollars to develop. Some of the biggest companies in America spent ten years refining it under the close supervision of the U. S. government — before the program was shuttered and abandoned in a hasty political decision that makes Who Killed the Electric Car? look like a promotional film for General Motors.

"...."So what is nuclear waste? It's still uranium! Right? It's 95 percent uranium. It's still usable. But we've got these evil things called transuranics, which is 1 percent of the total and 99 percent of the headache..."

"...."...And that is my fuel. The problem becomes the solution."...."

"....Transuranics are highly radioactive elements like plutonium, typically regarded not as sources of energy but for their capacity to vaporize cities.

"But if I build a different kind of reactor that uses liquid sodium instead of water to slow things down, I can have a higher neutron speed and that stuff becomes a fuel. You just mix it in the crucible, put in the transuranics, put in some uranium, put in some zirconium, and you cast it into thin rods. That technology's been developed, it's easy to do, and you do it in a room about this size [a conference room]...."

...."So [GE] sat down and said, You know what, we're pretty good at making washing machines and jet engines in a factory and replicating them. Why don't we make a sodium-cooled reactor that's factory-built, modular, with passive safety and replicate that, instead of trying to scale up?"

Passive safety meant that it would shut itself off automatically instead of melting down. 

Replicability meant the reactor vessel couldn't be more than twenty feet in diameter, because that's the biggest you can ship down a rail line. So they would gang reactor modules together to power a single turbine. They named it the Power Reactor, Innovative Small Module, or PRISM.....

....much of the environmental movement continues to hate nuclear power as an article of faith, and armchair scientists point to the difficulties of the fast nuclear plants in Russia and Japan, and the infinite armies of inertia simply avert their eyes....

The point is, PRISM isn't half as complicated.... "That's how I answer the naysayers who say we can't build this till 2040," he says...."

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