A Forgotten War Tech Could Safely Power Earth for Millions of Years
Date: Saturday, March 04, 2017 @ 14:34:59 EST
Topic: Devices


But here's why we're not using it. 

DAVE MOSHER, BUSINESS INSIDER/ 1 MAR 2017 (www.sciencealert.com)

...Today's cheap, bountiful supplies make it hard to see humanity's looming energy crisis, but it's possibly coming within our lifetimes...

...The good news is that a proven solution is at hand - if we want it badly enough...

..."It's reliable, it's clean, it basically does everything fossil fuel does today," Kirk Sorensen, the chief technology officer of nuclear-energy startup Flibe Energy, told Business Insider...

[The Molten Salt Reactor Experiment in 1964. Image: Oak Ridge National Laboratory]

The lifeblood of modern civilisation is affordable, free-flowing energy. It gives us the power to heat our homes. Grow and refrigerate food. Purify water. Manufacture products. Perform organ transplants. Drive a car. Go to work. Or procrastinate from work by reading a story about the future of energy.

Today's cheap, bountiful supplies make it hard to see humanity's looming energy crisis, but it's possibly coming within our lifetimes.

Our numbers will grow from 7.36 billion people today to 9 billion in 2040, an increase of 22 percent. Rapidly developing nations, however, will supercharge global energy consumption at more than twice that rate.

Fossil fuels could quench the planet's deep thirst for energy, but they'd be a temporary fix at best. Known reserves may dry up within a century or two.

And burning up that carbon-based fuel would accelerate climate change, which is already on track to disrupt and jeopardise countless lives.

Meanwhile, renewable energy sources like wind and solar, though key parts of a solution, are not silver bullets - especially if the world is to meet a 2050 deadline set by the Paris Agreement.

Energy from fusion is promising, but it's not yet proved to work, let alone on a commercial and competitive scale.

Nuclear reactors, on the other hand, fit the bill: they're dense, reliable, emit no carbon, and - contrary to bitter popular sentiment - are among the safest energy sources on Earth.

Today, they supply about 20 percent of America's energy, though by the 2040s, this share may drop to 10 percent as companies shut down decades-old reactors, according to a July 2016 report released by Idaho National Laboratory (INL)...

Full article: http://www.sciencealert.com/a-forgotten-war-technology-could-make-nuclear-power-safer-and-more-powerful







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