Thorium The Future of Coal
Three Part Meeting • Part one explains explains from the Thorium perspective the enormous potential of a coal and Thorium Synergy • Part two explains the basic history of LFTR (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor) and its importance by 2050 • Part Three is discussion on how to move the ball forward for both Thorium and Coal
Ulterior Motives Goals we are hoping to accomplish from this meeting
• Inform of Thorium LFTR technology • Form a working relationship and bridge to the coal industry • Eventual endorsement, support, and advocacy
Part one Coal and Thorium Synergy
coal Coal is the punching bag for all other technologies
• Natural Gas beats on coal….pollution • Nuclear Industry beats on coal…..pollution • Wind and Solar owe their existence to demonizing coal….pollution • Coal has gotten a lot cleaner and like Rodney Dangerfield: gets no respect….. for great technology achievements
Change the dynamic • The only way to change public perception is to change the dynamic. Coal has been so thoroughly demonized in the media that slick advertising campaigns will not help coal’s image. • Change the dynamic and solve many other problems that the public perceives and you can reshape your image in the consciousness of Americana
Energy Density • Fossil fuels have remarkably high energy densities compared to the very best storage batteries • Gasoline has and energy density of 46 MJ/Kg • Lithium Batteries have an energy density of 1.8 MJ/Kg • And Nickel Metal Hydride batteries have the energy density of .288 MJ/Kg
The truth about co2 • Only a very small part of the "Man-made carbon dioxide pie" is attributable to transportation • The largest portion of the "Man-made carbon dioxide pie” is from commercial, industrial, and residential electricity and heat
Meeting demand â€˘ We can satiate demand for electricity and heat very easily with domestic resources â€˘ But we are held prisoner to foreign nations for transportation fuels â€˘ What happens when we change that dynamic?
Technology limits • We have not invented a nuclear reactor small enough and economically feasible enough to power our cars • Battery powered cars mean higher priced cars for less performance and possibly worse environmental problems due to low energy density • Battery powered cars are destined to be novelty cars the average American cannot afford like a Ferrari.
What if? â€˘ If we transition industrial, commercial, and residential electricity and heat to safe thorium based liquid core nuclear reactors? â€˘ That opens the potential to free up energy dense fossil fuels for conversion into higher value and potentially higher profit transportation fuels.
Remember â€˘ An electric car is essentially a fossil fueled car because the battery is either charged by a gasoline internal combustion engine or by a coal or gas fired power plant. â€˘ It would make much more sense to just power the car directly with fossil fuels so there is no performance lag on speed or mileage range with an electric car.
Die hard green • If people want to buy a plug in car that is fine! • They can supplement that plugin with solar or wind….at their own expense...if they can afford it. • We need to think of cars such as the Chevy volt as Ferrari's......most Americans cannot afford Ferrari's and this technology will never take off unless energy rates skyrocket and it makes sense to buy a Ferrari.
The hard truth â€˘ We want all energy to be cheaper.....not more expensive.
Transitioning Coal • A transition can be made from utilizing our fossil fuels for electricity and heat • To utilizing them more efficiently as high value transportation fuels that would allow America true energy independence and energy security • Energy Independence and Energy Security are two thing that are giant issues with the public.
Commonsense • Since we do not yet have the technology to make a nuclear car economically or safely • We should utilize the most power dense energy source for transportation that we have ......and those are fossil fuels • Coal can be made into an ultra clean transportation fuel……even from waste coal (brown or dirty coal)… this makes more types of coal more valuable…..
More commonsense â€˘ We do have the technology to use very power dense fuels such as Thorium, Uranium, and Plutonium to make industrial, commercial, and residential electricity and heat safely and affordably with minimal environmental impact and safety concerns by using a diverse fleet of reactors that rely heavily on LFTR
Not just energy security and Independence â€˘ With our forward looking plan we smash all the Carbon Dioxide reduction goals that renewables attempted to solve with no government rules and regulation â€˘ Thorium derived energy is a market driven solution that can be developed by the private sector....we just need government regulators to get out of the way.
Too much Energy • The shoe is now on the other foot • And with our plan America will potentially have so much energy it can act as a net exporter of energy! • Say bye bye to OPEC and Middle Eastern and South American headaches • We make the world much less dangerous by turning off our fuel dollars to ruthless dictators
Rapid Deployment • Because the Thorium Reactor (LFTR) is small and can be rapidly deployed from an assembly line • And can conservatively produce electricity at half the market price of coal • This makes a wide range of technologies that previously were not economically feasible because of electricity costs..... Now….economically feasible.
Old tech new twist â€˘ Plasma Gasification is one such energy (electric) intensive process that is well proven and robust....it just needs a very cheap source of power to be economically feasible
Plasma Gasification • All organic feed stocks such as MSW (Municipal Solid Waste), sewage, kerogen (oil shale), fly-ash and coal are converted into synthesis gas through plasma gasification • This syngas can then be ran through the Fischer Tropsch process with varying catalysts to produce methanol, gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, synthetic natural gas, fertilizer, ammonia, and a multitude of olefins. • Or syngas could be refined up to synthetic natural gas and burned at a Natural Gas plant or it can be used “as is” in a modified natural gas power plant.
There is more! • But wait! • It does not stop there! • The slag from plasma gasified coal and plasma gasified coal ash (fly ash) slag! • Becomes a valuable resource
More more more! • Besides the abundance of Aluminum, Iron ore, Titanium, and vanadium that exists in this slag it also has significant amounts of Uranium and Thorium • It is estimated on average there is 2.5 times more Thorium than uranium contained within the coal slag • In fact, there is easily much more potential energy within the slag than the energy originally released from the combustion of the coal.
Think of this! • Think of it this way • A 40 year old ash pile could very likely have 50 to 80 years worth of energy in it • Along with a host of other valuable products
Thorium is key â€˘ We believe to make the entire process profitable that thorium needs to become a liquid nuclear fuel â€˘ We believe that the future of the coal industry will be much more diverse and profitable â€˘ Selling nuclear fuels, transportation fuels, fertilizers, olefins, and various raw material used to make metals and alloys......as well as getting into the trash disposal business and producing electricity locally for large municipalities and counties.
Future of Coal â€˘ We fully believe the future of the coal industry is dependent upon the development of the Thorium Reactor (LFTR) â€˘ Helping develop this technology will provide a domestic supply of fissionable and fertile nuclear materials for the nuclear industry from coal
Coal is the hero • Helping develop this technology will allow the means of transforming nuclear waste into usable nuclear fuel...(a derivative of the LFTR)… which makes Nuclear energy cheaper • Now will the nuclear industry talk bad about coal????...not while the coal industry is consuming their waste which is supplying the fuel to transform coal to liquid transportation fuels.
Natural Gas • The same Fischer Tropsch process used with coal and coal ash (fly ash) generated syngas can use natural gas mixed with syngas to produce methanol, gasoline, and diesel fuel • This gives added value to the Natural Gas market by transforming NG into higher value liquid transportation fuels • Nuclear, Natural Gas, Coal, and oil all working together. United we stand, Divided we fall!
Oil shale (Kerogen) • Kerogen (oil shale) can be plasma gasified as well and some has similar slag properties as coal • If the coal industry develops the power source and infrastructure of plasma gasification • You may find shale oil producers buying Thorium reactors and Thorium fuel from you or buying processing services.
Renewables and clean energy • As far as wind and solar goes • .......we just made them obsolete......... • You want to stop global warming........we just had a magnitude of impact many orders greater than that of the impact of renewables.
Part two The History and Importance of LFTR
Why thorium and a liquid reactor? • LFTR is a combination of largely proven technologies from the Nuclear Airplane Experiment (NAE) and the resulting MSR’s developed from that experiment • The NAE Experiment was put on hold with the development of the ICBM • Dr. Alvin Weinberg recognized the potential of thorium as an inherently safe reactor and fuel that was proliferation resistant • Weinberg built an operating reactor that proved the technology and proved to be robust and un-problematic
Why are we not doing this now! • It was the Cold War, the economy was bad, we could not afford to develop two technologies...and Uranium won the development race because it can make material for bombs • More than a $billion taxpayer dollars was used to develop and prove thorium technology of the molten salt liquid cored reactor. • The cold war is over and private industry wants to take this technology off the shelf and run with it and improve upon it. Government stands in the way.
Doesn’t make sense • Even though an MSR is an old reactor type • That was built, operated for four years and is a proven technology • We still have to go through major costly regulatory hurdles for a new type reactor license just to re-demonstrate the old technology by recreating the same experiment that was at ORNL. • Doing this will allow us to test, observe, measure, and experiment with newer materials and technologies that would be applicable to a LFTR. • After safety concerns have been addressed and materials and technology proven with the MSR....then we want to build an actual pilot commercial LFTR for testing and to derive standards for mass production.
Things to know about Thorium • Thorium is common and much more abundant than Uranium. Thorium is as common as lead and Uranium is a rare as gold. • Thorium does not need to be enriched for use in a fission reaction • Thorium is fertile and not fissile by itself and the reaction needs to be jump started with fissile material • Thorium is found with Rare Earth Minerals and with coal and sometimes with Kerogen.
Things to know about LFTR • A LFTR is melt-down proof….the core is liquid and already molten. • A LFTR is walk away safe. Human intervention or redundant safety mechanisms are not needed • A LFTR is so proliferation resistant you could call it proliferation proof. • Mutates thorium into Uranium 233 which is an almost perfect reactor fuel • Liquid core does not stop fissioning because of transuranics contamination like solid fuel
Things to know about LFTR • A derivative of the LFTR can consume 99% of nuclear waste as fuel • Electricity price is half that of coal. • Can be placed nearly anywhere and does not need water as a coolant • LFTR has a low thermodynamic coefficient and LFTR has load following capabilities reducing the need for inefficient fast ramp technology peaker plants.
Things to know about LFTR • Because A LFTR fleet is more disbursed… it puts energy generators closer to energy users and reduces line loss and fortifies the grid against attack and natural disasters • Though the technology scales up well we do not envision making a unit profitably less than a 250 MW size • A bank of 4 could potentially run a typical American county • Heat applications are tremendous as LFTR heat can melt Iron. • Medicinal and medical diagnostic isotopes are an important part of the business model (Mo99, Actinium 225, and Bismuth 213)
Things to know about LFTR • Ideally we would like to see a bank of LFTR's co-located with a plasma gasification system at every county landfill in the country. • Turning trash, sewage, and other landfill waste into versatile syngas, reclaiming valuable metals and minerals to be used in the economy and consuming coal or flyash to create its own fuel. • LFTR has versatility in producing many income streams beside energy.....