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Comment Re:uranium runs out (Score 2) 314

Good catch. Thorium can't be used to produce weaponizable plutonium. My recollection is:

P-239 is weapons-grade plutonium.

U-238 is weapons-grade uranium.

P-238 is an alpha emitter, degrading to U-234(5?) (i.e. it skips U-238).

Thorium produces P-238 (and not P-239/U-238), so it is not useful for nuclear fission weapons.

In any case, I recall back in the debate about uranium or thorium reactors, DoD refused to produce Thorium precisely because they cannot be used to produce nuclear weapons.

Comment Re:uranium runs out (Score 1) 314

> Not to mention thorium. My CRC Handbook says that the available energy in the earth's crust from thorium is greater than uranium and all fossil fuels put together; thorium is about as common as lead.

The problem appears to be that you can't make plutonium from thorium.

And plutonium is the military industrial's buy in.

Otherwise it's just relatively inexpensive, safe energy. Clearly nobody actually wants that.

On point, the explosion in question was waste from nuclear weapons production.

Comment Re:Reminds me of a crazy, hot girlfriend (Score 1) 314

> Nuclear energy is the crazy hot girlfriend of energy. She may be nice, kind, and wonderful for days, months, or years - maybe decades. But someday, somehow, she's going to go berserk on you. 100% chance. And cleaning up the mess at that point will leave you with a very long term scar.

Coal is the dysfunctional fat chick that'll take anyone for a ride, but eventually comes knocking on your door pregnant and tagging along a few babies, named Katrina, Sandy, Ike, .... Keep banging coal and whatever life you had before will end up being over.

Submission + - US Government to Pay $2 Million for Automatic Hacking System (softpedia.com)

An anonymous reader writes: At this year's DEF CON security conference, DARPA has organized a CTF match of AI systems that will attempt to hack opposing systems and automatically patch and protect their own network. The competition follows classic infosec CTF (Capture The Flag) game rules, but because we're talking about AI, it requires half the time and ten times more security vulnerabilities to fix/protect.

Three DARPA-funded teams qualified for the final round, and four self-funded teams. Each team that reached the final will receive $750,000, and the winner will receive $2 million. DEF CON organizers have invited the winning team to participate in the official DEF CON CTF the following day, marking the first ever CTF match that pits human hackers against AI systems.

Comment Re:Don't. Just don't. (Score 1) 769

Looking at the 2012 electoral map, flipping Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania results in a win for the GOP. All 4 of these states took a swing right in 2012 - moving further right isn't crazy. Well, ignoring the Trump factor - I think that throws enough unpredictability into the mix that it renders prognostication fruitless until the debates. And as far as I know, Trump has never been trained in formal debate. That might make the debates worth watching.

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