Monday, August 2, 2010
Technology Summary for cheap electricity
LFTR is a research project. There are projects with funding that are also very promising for cheap safe nuclear energy. The ones I like are: (1) accelerator based nuclear power which generates neutrons externally (with a linear accelerator) and so doesn't need refined and bomb-useful nuclear fuel; and (2) fusion using a self-organizing tight plasma beam (like gamma ray bursts come from a chaotic situation leading to a self-organized beam). But existing nuclear power is cheap enough to do the job, and we should get on with that ASAP (and obviously lots of people are trying to make that happen and a different lot are resisting). Even if we have cheap electricity all our infrastructure is wrong for that, though with cheap enough energy you can make liquid fuel. We're in for a nasty decade at the best, however most expenditure in Western countries is postponeable, and the trick is to leverage that without causing mass unemployment.