Key Atomic Benefits Office of Mankind -
9 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Aug 2008
Wow, a lot of negitivity on NASA, the people that just did an amazing repair of the Hubble. NASA, the folks that still have two rovers checking out Mars. How many working rovers does the ESA have on Mars ? Or, how many times has anyone one else besides NASA have even successfully landed on Mars? No one. Sure Virgin Galatic/Space Ship One.. neat to get into the very high stratosphere... Big friggin deal, it cant even orbit, and SpaceShipOne could only handle the mass lifting of 2 people.( or one american, as we are a heavy people) and the ship went into a spin. Basically the fact is that NASA has a fairly small budget and it wants ( or is ordered to ) to do a lot of different thing. Probes into the solar system, near Earth experiments, atmospheric testing and research, etc. Oh, and take people into space.
In Germany - 300 MWe THTR (Thorium High Temperature Reactor) reactor - operated between 1983 and 1989
Fort St Vrain reactor was the only commercial thorium-fuelled nuclear plant in the USA 1976-1989.
And some in india, and Russia. Not exatly 1950's tech, but, in general, yes, all prototype reactors, again, for good reason, from a government point of view. 1) in the 1950's and 60's it was assumed that there was gonna be a lot less Uranius hanging around than we eventually fround, so, once there was a lot of Uranium, there was no need of alternative atomic fuel sources, and 2) that whole pesty thing of no Plutonium from a Thorium reactor, bad if your gov't wants nukes !
Thorium based reactors do not create Plutonium, and, to convert a Thorium reactor waste to Plutonium, you would need a Uranium reactor. So, again, as long as they did not have the tech/will/money to make an Uranium reactor, that would be a good solution. Thorium ion reactor even better, because it can use non-processed Thorium, and that kind of reactor design is not usable as a standard Fission reactor in any way. And Thorium is much more plentiful that Uranium. Thorium reactor have been on and off used since the 1950's, so, it is a well proven technology, but, during the cold war, the big 5 wanted Uranium reactors because it gave power to the civilians, and yummy Plutonium to War Departments. Its time to stop using Uranium all together if any government was serious about fission electric power, but had no need of atomic weapons..
Of course, if the reactors are still monitored and providing countries took the waste and kept good measurements, we would know if the site country was lifting from the til anyway...
We use petro in the US because it is less toxic in so far as exhaust. Our refinery system is also not geared to produce large amounts of diesel, so, a sudden switch to diesel fueled engines would cause massive shortages. If one views the US going to war over fuel reserved countries that we actually get fuel from, then we would not bother with the middle east at all, and swing our attention to Mexico and Canada. Having said that, could the 'big 3' car companies make more efficient cars ? Sure. And through pressure, they finally are doing just that. When fuel costs are high in this country, most citizens switch over to small cars, that happened in 1973-4 and is happening now. Having the 3rd largest country in the world, it is pretty big, and, if one has a job that needs long distant driving, people are going to drive larger cars. I know, why not take a train ? Be cause we are not as packed together as the whole of Europe. There are places in the west here that one can drive 100's of kilometers and not see any other car or structure, just corn, or desert. It was and is just not possible to have a mass trans system to cope with the distances needed.
Could we do better, sure. Could EU do better, of course. I wonder how efficient Porche's are, or other speciality italian cars, or higher end BMW's, or Jag's, or Bentley's. What is the mean ave fuel consumption of the Lotus or Austin Martin fleet ?? Most of you all cant afford those. Most of americans can not afford those massive SUV's that were sold here either. Most comments here seem to imply that we are all driving around Hummer's ( oh, now a french owned company... ) , and that is far from the truth. And, btw, my wife and I in total, own 2 cars, a 1997 Accord, still getting about 35 mpg, and a new Honda Civic, so, this is not a defence of US made cars, but, rather an attempt to point out that US's driving needs are somewhat different than most of EU's.
Amazing, all the hate bashing ON BOTH SIDES. All of Europe hates all of the USA, eh? And same back ? Nonsence. And, let us not forget that most countries have had times when their culture and national outlook conflicted with eachothers. I seem to recall a few wars, empire building, imperial ruling, etc that were all sourced straight from Europe, for hundreds of years, right on up to a few decades ago. But now all of Europe is all one happy Ubercountry .... well, not really. The USA is no saint either. But time will continue to change thing. Hey we all like Dr Who, and pizza's and that marvel of inventions like movies and A/C power.
As for NASA.. Shuttle was in planning before Apollo 16 was launched, as was Skylab. NASA had only had 3 more missions planned anyway. Why not go back to that design. Apollo would not have the power to lift all that we will wanna lift, and it was a pain to make, and none of it was reusable. Can Shuttle be extended, sure, if congress gives more $ to NASA to do it.
STOP, as in stop the silly who hates who the most.