Nuclear Physicist EXPLAINS - What are Thorium Reactors? -

Nuclear Physicist EXPLAINS – What are Thorium Reactors?

Elina Charatsidou
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Nuclear Physicist EXPLAINS – What are Thorium Reactors?

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Read more about the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment at ORNL: ‘s%20Molten,during%20its%20four%2Dyear%20run

In this video, I explain Thorium Reactors from the perspective of a nuclear physicist. I go through Thorium Reactors and what they are and compare them to current uranium fuelled nuclear reactors.

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  1. Don't currently existing CANDU reactors allow the use of Thorium as alternate fuel cycle?

  2. I am confused about why the technology is not in use. It has over 50 years of experience with the technology yet no commercial use.

  3. Elina congrats. You have won a free guided kayak trip down weekie watchee springs florida. Spring fed river and fishing

  4. Smart lady, subtitles please…lol…?

  5. What about Copenhagen atomics ? They seem to have solve different issues you are covering in this presentation: molten salt corosion, proliferation and waste. They claim they can build one thorium reactor per day.

  6. 100% pointless tech as it still uses a finite fuel like all the rest… its a waste of time investing in this. its also hard to transport etc.. and dangerous SO NOT a viable solution to our current problems.. why bother wasting our time with crap like this to try and convince us. the only ones your fooling are yourselves.. Putting these things in place of what we have now would take ages and only be able to supply us power for a few decades if that before we will be right back here looking to more RELIABLE power sources that don't involve the SAME PROCESS WE ARE USING TODAY.. WHICH IS GREED MONEY COMES FIRST. rather than looking or investing in a solution that will last unlike all current power sources.. you might as well come up with a way to turn waste in to COAL and keep the fking coal plants going.. cos thats all this idea is.. greed and laziness

  7. Thorium fuel is no more liquid than Uranium. At room temperature, it's a solid and at high temperature needed for fission, it's melts into a liquid.

  8. So thorium spent fuel is more toxic AND harder to store because its liquid. If the fuel is allowed to cool won't the salt compond solidify? And the U233 is very effective to make nuclear bombs. So , as usually, its not so 'green' as the claim goes.

  9. I was always told that U-233 is contaminated in a way that makes it impractical for the production of bombs. Even though such bombs would have a high yield.

    I however think that we should concentrate mostly on molten salt burner reactors at first. After that I think we should switch to molten chloride fast reactors. We will need them because at that point because we will have enough so called nuclear waste to power everything for a very long time. Just imagine how much depleted uranium there will be.
    Long before these centuries are over we should also develop the thorium cycle and eventually fusion. The combination has the potential to power everything for nearly limitless time.

  10. Great Vid…I was under several misconceptions it would seem, especially with regards to molten salt waste and the reactors ability to make weapons grade nuclear materials, thank you very much for correcting me.🧐🤔

  11. It's so interesting to read all the comments, pros, cons. Positiv mindsets (a cheap, solution with solvable challenges) and the not so positiv, always worrying ones.
    Debate is great and it's necessary but let's not forget what is happening in the time we debate:
    Germany shut down all nuclear powerplants (which were safely running decades long) and fired up many old coal powerstations. All over the country forest are destroyed to create huge concrete foundations for giant wind turbines which work for ten years and after that they are unrecyclable waste. Leaving the concrete in the earth.
    Big patches of valuable farmland is used for solar panels creating a lot of environmental problems including recycling.
    All in the name of "green" energy. At the same time the need for energy increases all the time due to heat pumps and electric cars.
    So yeah, we can debate for hundreds of years and spend some more money on the research for igniting the sun on earth but there will be no earth left to live on if we not find usable and environment friendly ways to generate energy. (Which I think this type of reactor is).
    If someone would invent the car today, we would still ride horses…

  12. Hi Eliana, I'm curious to know more about the thorium fuel production. My understanding is that it would require pyroprocessing which is extremely costly and unreliable. Can you share and/or explain in more details this challenging aspect of Thorium reactors?

  13. Yes, it's a good idea to have someone who actually knows what they are speaking about actually tell the public in a calm and dispassionate way our options and why we chose one over another.

  14. You have given a very good explanation and good of the reactors. Thanks

  15. Elina, good investment are always based on BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY and don't follow rats flows. Thats mean thorium molten clean energy.

    My former profesor said buy cheap stock and you're fully understand what they doing in business, include management reputation. I know you're PhD student who work at campus nuke labs. You know material, fusion fission workflow even suppy chain. You are have deep and strong understanding on this game.

    I just can't tell how you fluently in Russian? And why you dont get rid that silly towel from background?

  16. First, I think physicist are like gods, so I immediately stopped to watch your video. I am very curious about Thorium, because I know little about it and there seems to be a lot of hype. For these reasons, this has been, for me, an extremely informative 23 minutes. Also, thank you for your measured opinion about its viability.

  17. Unfortunately; the crucial pivot point of Thorium reactors was in the 1970's, with the Nixon Administration opting for nuclear war and the deeply layered, and well-entrenched fossil fuels industry benefiting from 'The War Machine'. Fossil fuels is the most widely distributed, deeply entrenched wealth system since industrialization. And now that increasingly cascading catastrophes, as a result of failing to graduate clean/safe nuclear baseload energy, are further destabilizing economies of scale; it's no longer economically feasible form the massive build out to mass produce Thorium Reactors, or even Small Modular Reactors, fast, slow, or otherwise.

    As a matter of fact; it would be wiser to further evolve fossil fuels and their CEO's genetic lineage, so when they can safely re-emerge from their luxury bunkers, they can have all the necessary tools to propagate the species, once again. The only Thorium Reactors should be for fossil fuels bunkers.

  18. I think for most people watching this, it's a complex subject with a lot of new information. I think – just in words per minute – this is spoken way too fast for me to take it in. I slowed it down to play speed 0.75x, and it sounds like normal speed speech to me.

  19. I tried to follow what you were saying but unfortunately talking too fast with a thick accent makes it extremely difficult (for me) to understand what you are saying, aside from that thank you so much for expaining how this process works in more lamens terms,keep up the great work!

  20. You sure that thorium isn't that common under the seas? Many places in the western US have black sand which is usually a mix of thorium and iron.

  21. Many thanks for sharing. Could I make a small request for one of your excellent watch and comment videos on the recent Coppenhagen Thorium reactor company video. It certainly looks very exciting and it would be wonderful to hear your thoughts on their product.The company is Coppenhagen Atomic.

  22. A great rundown on a subject that's not simple to convey. I found the run down very informative and liked how you touch on as much of the overall picture as possible (positive points, negative points, corrosion issues, waste storage etc.) Just thought I'd better provide a link to that video I suggested for one of your great watch and comment videos you like to undertake for your great education channel. Here is the company (Coppenhagen Atomics) who believes they have solved a nice gamut of the problems outlined in this video and it would be wonderful to hear your comments:

  23. Would love to see you on the lex Friedman podcast

  24. Amazing, I love it ! Thank you for the perfect sum of MSR and Thorium explanation. Will look for new episodes

  25. The mixture of real facts and damned lies that surround this subject is amazing.

    It is time to admit that energy from ionizing radiation is a bad idea on any basis. Mixing it with materials like fluorine just make the whole thing much worse. This whole debate is about greed and who profits, not benefiting the human race.

  26. Unglaublich, wen habt IHR da als Sprecherin genommen? Spricht viel zu schnell und undeutlich!

  27. "The biggest, let's say, disadvantage that we currently have with thorium reactor types is the fact that we have little to no experience, so how to operate them, what problems are, or what might happen and how one would approach it, because we never built a commercial reactor that used thorium as a fuel." – sums it up quite nicely. And that "we don't really have a way to store waste that comes out of a molten salt reactor" doesn't improve my confidence in this reactor type. Sounds a bit like fusion reactors, that are nearly here and will only need some more years to become viable (since the 1960s or so). In short: Fantasy.

  28. The advantage of Thorium based on supply is also because Uranium has to be enriched to usable. Meaning there's far less of it that can be used as fuel compared to the total amount of Uranium. Unless I'm wrong and regular Uranium will transform into a fissile product the same way Thorium does in Molten Salt Reactors.

  29. Thank you, this was most illuminating. Personally I have long been a fan of nuclear energy which in my view can be managed responsibly with fresh innovations coming almost daily in how to use it and as well as how to process waste. We would be nuts to not use it here in Australia….Oh, wait….

  30. Can we build a multi-stage reactor, thorium to protactinium in one, then U-233 to its own reactor? It could easily make it real hard to steal by reacting the U-233 into its own reactor as it's made..

  31. this feels plaigarised. I don't believe you understand the subjectmatter.

  32. amazing video, really appreciate the plain language explanation

  33. The molten salt is only molten at around 600 degrees C so the waste is NOT liquid.

  34. Love the video a presentation well done the safety aspects of not having a meltdown are great having a self terminating material is a very desirable trait however the spent fuel being a liquid very corrosive and hard to contain also easier to escape into water supplies make it a terrible trade off. If somehow the spent fuel waste could be kept frozen and remain in a solid form could be a solution. Thank you Elina as said before a very good presentation many good points viewed in one go.

  35. This was a very clear explanation, however, I am a qualified nuclear reactor operator, so that gives me a head start.

    The process of turning Thorium into Uranium is similar to Commercial Reactors, where Uranium is converted into Plutonium. In both the reaction produces a more fissile fuel. If I remember correctly, it is called Resonance Absorbtion (or Adsorbtion, I never remember the difference). This process extends the life of a Uranium Fuel Cell.

    Over the course of 40 years or so the fuel cells will be taken out, stored, and reinstalled in a different location in the core. Resonance Absorbtion typically needs fast neutrons as opposed to slow neutrons and so the production of Plutonium is reasonably financial arrangement. The fuel does not need to be processed to use the Plutonium.

    But if the salt is sodium, that is a very bad thing. As you mentioned, Sodium and Water don't get along very well. So, since you need to transfer the heat from the Salt to the Water in a heat exchanger there is the possibility of a leak in the heat exchanger. In a commercial Reactor the leak would be detected by electronic means, a detector. A leak from a Salt reactor would be much different.

    I am not sure you are for or against. Personally, I think creating trash that is radioactive for any length of time is a mistake.

    Perhaps I am wrong about Thorium; it has been a while since I got to play with a reactor. Feel free to let me know, be nice though.

  36. I once read that the store of reactors the US has is simply because the military wanted fissile forms of uranium? Is that accurate?

  37. I like your last comment lets find ways to use up the waste from the uranium based plants before creating more problems

  38. Thanks for providing such an excellent presentation.

  39. Can these reactors be implemented into electric vehicles on a small scale? to deliver sustainable power for a long period of time?

  40. Very clear explanation – thank you. Appreciate the balanced arguments, previously I've only heard the positive Thorium proposition. Clearly technical and risk issues need to be resolved to a greater level of certainty before preceeding with wide scale adoption.

  41. This is the most advanced video I’ve made so far, I tried my best to explain it as simple as I could.
    Let me know what you think!

    Are you guys team thorium or team uranium?☢️👩🏽‍🔬

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