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Comment Re:Finally! (Score 1) 327

LordA, that's just insane. DFHs didn't cause GE, Westinghouse, and other giant corporations to use old reactor designs and not new ones. Yes, TMI stopped the construction of new ones in the US, but they were only going to keep building the trashy old ones. That's where the money is.

Each uranium reactor needs custom fuel rods, built by the reactor manufacturer. So that's what they peddle, like HP printers and their ink, where they make their money on refueling, not just (if at all) up front. Thorium MSBRs don't work that way. No long-term revenue. Imagine where Gillette would be if their razor blades stayed sharp forever. Wear and tear is the heart of the business model.

Comment Uranium would be in short supply (Score 3, Informative) 327

The market now may not be tight, but the world's total supply of U-235 is very small. Plus it takes vast amounts of energy to refine it out of the ore, since over 99% of the uranium is U-238. And if I understand the process correctly, it's refined by making it into UF6, which is spun in a chain of centrifuges. Now how do you make UF6? With FOOF! Look that one up... fluorine dioxide. Nasty.

If we really tried to power the world's electric supply with U-235, we'd soon run low. (Or die from meltdowns.) But there's a virtually infinite supply of thorium. It's not just cheap; it's practically free, since it's a waste product of rare earth mining, and we need to refine tons of neodymium in order to have good magnets for motors and generators. Yes, the MSBR needs a seed of U-233, but enough of those reactors do exist.

Comment Re:Finally! (Score 4, Informative) 327

Thorium doesn't use fuel rods, so it doesn't need the zirconium, etc. The thorium is simply dissolved in the molten sodium fluoride.
The main reason it was abandoned in the US is that it was single-use, civilian power only, not dual-use military-civilian. You can't power a submarine with a thorium reactor and you can't build bombs from its waste products. It produces very little waste, a small fraction of what uranium-cycle reactors produce.

Comment Re:Price Adjustment (Score 2) 330

But it might as well be completely different.

With Linux, a developer can compile to an target platform and make it available. And since sources are often available, someone else's program can be ported to a different target CPU.

With Windows RT, programs can only be installed from the Microsoft Store. So whether or not they're compatible is irrelevant. Both the original developer and Microsoft have to agree that it should be made available for RT before it can run there. So having commonality with Win8 is merely a convenience for developers.

Submission + - Melbourne Restauranteur Promotes Addition of 'Th' Key (

beaverdownunder writes: Melbourne restauranteur Paul Mathis has developed a one-character replacement for the word 'The' – effectively an upper-case "T" and a lower-case "h" bunched together so they share the upright stem – and an app that puts it in everyone's hand by allowing users to download an entirely new keyboard complete not just with his "Th" symbol, but also a row of keys containing the 10 or 15 (depending on the version) most frequently typed words in English.

Mathis has already copped criticism on Twitter (one correspondent called him "a crazy arsehole") from people who claim he is attempting to trademark a symbol that is part of the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet (pronounced "tshe", the letter represents the "ch" sound found in the word "chew").

Submission + - Why are Japanese men refusing to leave their rooms?

fantomas writes: The BBC reports on the Japanese phenomenon of Hikikomori: young people, mainly men, who are holed up in rooms in their parents' houses, refusing to go out and engage with society. Why is this happening? and is it a global phenomenon or something purely due to Japanese culture? (we're all familiar with the standing slashdot joke of the geek in their mom's basement for example)

Submission + - New Study Fails to Show that Violent Video Games Diminishes Prosocial Behaviour (

trawg writes: A new Australian study on the effect of violent video games on Australia has just been published, failing to find any evidence that playing video games affects prosocial behaviour. The study compared groups who played different types of games, including notably violent titles like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, as well as non-violent titles like Portal, comparing their behavioral response through a simple pen-drop experiment. In a follow-up interview, the researcher noted his perspective on how violence might affect people has changed since he started the research:

I’ve played video games for most of my life and got into this research because I couldn’t believe that violent video games could make me do something I didn’t want to do, that is, be aggressive. My attitude has changed somewhat. These days I find it totally plausible that violent video games could influence people’s behavior, but the real question is whether their influence is harmful, and I’m not yet convinced of that.

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