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Comment: Now it'll get research (Score 2) 239 239

Uranium reactors were originally developed over Thorium at least partially BECAUSE you could make bombs with the technology. The nuclear arms race is 'over' in the west but I'm interested to see if this revelation makes Thorium reactor research suddenly interesting to world powers.

Comment: Re:On the oil/steam separator... (Score 2) 144 144

If you use a small amount of oil to flash a relatively large amount of water you would get better efficiency, but you'd need to heat the oil to higher temperatures which brings its own problems. Also separating oil and water is easy, seeing as they don't actually mix.

Comment: Re:Why bother with the oil? (Score 1) 144 144

It's the flash heating of the water into steam in the cylinder which creates the pressure to drive the piston. Using oil as the heat carrier is simply how they've chosen to concentrate as much heat as possible into a small volume with high surface area as a liquid. The only other way to achieve this would be to heat the edges of the cylinder to much higher temperatures (as they're solid and have low surface area so they don't transfer heat as well) which would likely damage them and reduce efficiency.

Comment: Re:Done right, fracking is harmless (Score 1) 208 208

Even if fracking IS harmless, and fossil fuel extraction has a history of going wrong, it still isn't any sort of "golden chance for energy independence". The need for energy is increasing exponentially and fracking will in the end be a blip on the radar in terms of energy supply. It is merely prolonging the time spent burning carbon and will only be harmful in the long run as it puts off real long term (the definition of sustainable, as so many people seem to forget) solutions.

Comment: Re:Good news for the enviornment! (Score 2) 70 70

If waste treatment plants are privately owned then they're already being run for profit and are having 'margins' trimmed to the extent they can inside the law. If waste treatment plants are publicly owned then you don't suddenly need to privatize them if they start making energy and they won't be run for profit. It's just one more part of existing infrastructure, I don't see how it could suddenly lead to waste leaking everywhere.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

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