Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future
Author: Richard Martin
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
A riveting look at how an alternative source of energy is revoluntionising nuclear power, promising a safe and clean future for millions, and why thorium was sidelined at the height of the Cold War In this groundbreaking account of an energy revolution in the making, award-winning science writer Richard Martin introduces us to thorium, a radioactive element and alternative nuclear fuel that is far safer, cleaner, and more abundant than uranium. At the dawn of the Atomic Age, thorium and uranium seemed to be in close competition as the fuel of the future. Uranium, with its ability to undergo fission and produce explosive material for atomic weapons, won out over its more pacific sister element, relegating thorium to the dustbin of science. Now, as we grapple with the perils of nuclear energy and rogue atomic weapons, and mankind confronts the specter of global climate change, thorium is re-emerging as the overlooked energy source as a small group of activists and outsiders is working, with the help of Silicon Valley investors, to build a thorium-power industry. In the first book mainstream book to tackle these issues, Superfuel is a story of rediscovery of a long lost technology that has the power to transform the world's future, and the story of the pacifists, who were sidelined in favour of atomic weapon hawks, but who can wean us off our fossil-fuel addiction and avert the risk of nuclear meltdown for ever.
Political, Economic, and Social Feasibility
Author: Christopher A. Simon
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Alternative Energy systematically approaches various alternative sources of energy, discussing in layperson's terms the current state of public policy, energy technology and the political, economic, and social feasibility of the alternative energy paradigm. The goal is to help the less technically-minded become active participants in choosing the energy future for their community.
Energy, Cheaper Than Than Coal
Author: Robert Hargraves
Publisher: Createspace Independent Pub
Thorium energy can help check CO2 and global warming, cut deadly air pollution, provide inexhaustible energy, and increase human prosperity. Our world is beset by global warming, pollution, resource conflicts, and energy poverty. Millions die from coal plant emissions. We war over mideast oil. Food supplies from sea and land are threatened. Developing nations' growth exacerbates the crises. Few nations will adopt carbon taxes or energy policies against their economic self-interests to reduce global CO2 emissions. Energy cheaper than coal will dissuade all nations from burning coal. Innovative thorium energy uses economic persuasion to end the pollution, to provide energy and prosperity to developing nations, and to create energy security for all people for all time. "This book presents a lucid explanation of the workings of thorium-based reactors. It is must reading for anyone interested in our energy future." Leon Cooper, Brown University physicist and 1972 Nobel laureate for superconductivity "As our energy future is essential I can strongly recommend the book for everybody interested in this most significant topic." George Olah, 1994 Nobel laureate for carbon chemistry
The Truth About Nuclear Energy
Author: Gwyneth Cravens
Category: Technology & Engineering
An informed look at the myths and fears surrounding nuclear energy, and a practical, politically realistic solution to global warming and our energy needs. Faced by the world's oil shortages and curious about alternative energy sources, Gwyneth Cravens skeptically sets out to find the truth about nuclear energy. Her conclusion: it is a totally viable and practical solution to global warming. In the end, we see that if we are to care for subsequent generations, embracing nuclear energy is an ethical imperative.
The Myths of ""Green"" Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future
Author: Robert Bryce
Category: Technology & Engineering
The promise of "green jobs" and a "clean energy future" has roused the masses. But as Robert Bryce makes clear in this provocative book, that vision needs a major re-vision. We cannot--and will not--quit using carbon-based fuels at any time in the near future for a simple reason: they provide the horsepower that we crave. The hard reality is that oil, coal, and natural gas are here to stay. Fueling our society requires that we make good decisions and smart investments based on facts. In Power Hungry, Bryce crushes a phalanx of energy myths, showing why renewables are not green, carbon capture and sequestration won't work, and even--surprise!--that the U.S. is leading the world in energy efficiency. Power Hungry delivers a clear-eyed view of what's needed to transform the gargantuan global energy sector.
The Future of Energy and the Fate of the Planet
Author: Richard Martin
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Since the late 18th century, when it emerged as a source of heating and, later, steam power, coal has brought untold benefits to mankind. Even today, coal generates almost 45 percent of the world's power. Our modern technological society would be inconceivable without coal and the energy it provides. Unfortunately, that society will not survive unless we wean ourselves off coal. The largest single source of greenhouse gases, coal is responsible for 43 percent of the world's carbon emissions. Richard Martin, author of SuperFuel, argues that to limit catastrophic climate change, we must find a way to power our world with less polluting energy sources, and we must do it in the next couple of decades—or else it is "game over." It won't be easy: as coal plants shut down across the United States, and much of Europe turns to natural gas, coal use is growing in the booming economies of Asia— particularly China and India. Even in Germany, where nuclear power stations are being phased out in the wake of the Fukushima accident, coal use is growing. Led by the Sierra Club and its ambitious "Beyond Coal" campaign, environmentalists hope to drastically reduce our dependence on coal in the next decade. But doing so will require an unprecedented contraction of an established, lucrative, and politically influential worldwide industry. Big Coal will not go gently. And its decline will dramatically change lives everywhere—from Appalachian coal miners and coal company executives to activists in China's nascent environmental movement. Based on a series of journeys into the heart of coal land, from Wyoming to West Virginia to China's remote Shanxi Province, hundreds of interviews with people involved in, or affected by, the effort to shrink the industry, and deep research into the science, technology, and economics of the coal industry, Coal Wars chronicles the dramatic stories behind coal's big shutdown—and the industry's desperate attempts to remain a global behemoth. A tour de force of literary journalism, Coal Wars will be a milestone in the climate change battle.
What Everyone Needs to Know®
Author: Charles D. Ferguson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Political Science
Originally perceived as a cheap and plentiful source of power, the commercial use of nuclear energy has been controversial for decades. Worries about the dangers that nuclear plants and their radioactive waste posed to nearby communities grew over time, and plant construction in the United States virtually died after the early 1980s. The 1986 disaster at Chernobyl only reinforced nuclear power's negative image. Yet in the decade prior to the Japanese nuclear crisis of 2011, sentiment about nuclear power underwent a marked change. The alarming acceleration of global warming due to the burning of fossil fuels and concern about dependence on foreign fuel has led policymakers, climate scientists, and energy experts to look once again at nuclear power as a source of energy. In this accessible overview, Charles D. Ferguson provides an authoritative account of the key facts about nuclear energy. What is the origin of nuclear energy? What countries use commercial nuclear power, and how much electricity do they obtain from it? How can future nuclear power plants be made safer? What can countries do to protect their nuclear facilities from military attacks? How hazardous is radioactive waste? Is nuclear energy a renewable energy source? Featuring a discussion of the recent nuclear crisis in Japan and its ramifications, Ferguson addresses these questions and more in Nuclear Energy: What Everyone Needs to Know®, a book that is essential for anyone looking to learn more about this important issue. What Everyone Needs to Know® is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.
Principles and Applications
Author: Yebo Li,Samir Kumar Khanal
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
The search for altenative, renewable sources of fuel and energy from plants, algae, and waste materials has catalyzed in recent years. With the growing interest in bioenergy development and production there has been increasing demand for a broad ranging introductory text in the field. Bioenergy: Principles and Practices provides an invaluable introduction to the fundamentals of bioenergy feedstocks, processing, and industry. Bioenergy provides readers with an understanding of foundational information on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation biofuels. Coverage spans from feedstock production of key energy sources such as grasses, canes, and woody plants through chemical conversion processes and industrial application. Each chapter provides a thorough description of fundamental concepts, definitions of key terms, case studies and practical examples and exercises. Bioenergy: Principles and Practices will be an essential resource for students, bioengineers, chemists, and industry personnel tying key concepts of bioenergy science to valuable real world application.
How Nuclear Energy Will Lead the Green Revolution and End America's Energy Odyssey
Author: William Tucker
FIRST TIME IN PAPERBACK.This is quite possibly the most important book about energy in a generation. For over thirty years Americans have been fed a steady diet of half-truths, misinformation, urban legends and outright fabrications about energy. The small amount of accurate information that does reach us is often obscured by scientific terminology or one-sided political posturing.When faced with a dramatic increase in energy demand, uncertain supplies and the potentially harmful effects of carbon emissions how are we to make informed choices? Veteran journalist William Tucker has relied on years of research and investigation to help us make sense of America s energy predicament without the burdens of political pressures or predetermined outcomes.It seems odd that nuclear energy has to be reintroduced to America. After all, today, thirty years after we began construction of our last new nuclear reactor, it still supplies nearly 20 percent of our electrical energy needs. And surprisingly, all this output is from plants that were once considered relics, but are now being run with an efficiency and safety record that was hard to envision a decade ago.Perhaps the misgivings have always been with us. Since dawn of the Atomic era, nuclear power has been inextricably associated with nuclear weapons--each reactor a bomb waiting to go off. The accident at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania and its amazing convergence of timing with the film, The China Syndrome reinforced the idea that a nuclear meltdown is a real, terrifying possibility that could kill thousands of people. The later, catastrophic disaster at Chernobyl in the Ukraine heightened these fears.And so the use of atomic energy became controversial. Yet as Tucker makes absolutely clear, nuclear is the same process that heats the center of the earth to 7,000oF, hotter than the surface of the sun.The concentration of power in the nucleus of the atom is incredible. The disintegration of a single uranium atom produces 2 million times more energy than the breaking of a carbon-hydrogen atom in coal, oil, or natural gas, all with zero carbon emissions and zero greenhouse gases.In Terrestrial Energy, Tucker is not content to merely give an argument about why nuclear is the best choice for our energy future. Instead he meticulously surveys entire the energy scene that has frustrated Americans for the past 30 years. Is there such a thing as clean coal? Can we expect that onservation will ever reduce our energy consumption? And what about the renewable energy sources (wind, solar energy, hydropower, and biofuels) and their promise of clean, plentiful power? Each has its place in America s energy mix but each of these sources also has serious problems. The limiting factor of all these technologies will not be the amount of energy radiating from the sun but the amount of land that will be required to capture and store it.And what are the real dangers of an increase in the use of nuclear power? We have learned to become fearful of radiation at any dose, when in reality, we are regularly exposed to its effects, it is naturally occurring, often benign and in some cases even beneficial. Then there is the waste that supposedly makes nuclear technology unmanageable. It is much less alarming when you consider that the reason America has a nuclear waste problem is because we fail to recycle our spent fuel rods.At the same time that world energy demand steadily increases, Americans are also being asked to be better stewards of the environment. Now is the perfect moment to renew our commitment to use the greatest scientific discovery of the 20th century as the forward-thinking solution. Terrestrial energy is without doubt, the only realistic, practical answer to our energy dilemma.
Superbatteries, Electric Cars, and the New Lithium Economy
Author: Seth Fletcher
Publisher: Hill and Wang
The sleek electronic tools that have become so ubiquitous—laptops, iPods, eReaders, and smart phones—are all powered by lithium batteries. Chances are you've got some lithium on your person right now. But aside from powering a mobile twenty first-century lifestyle, the third element on the periodic table may also hold the key to an environmentally sustainable, oil-independent future. From electric cars to a "smart" power grid that can actually store electricity, letting us harness the powers of the sun and the wind and use them when we need them, lithium—a metal half as dense as water, created in the first minutes after the Big Bang and found primarily in some of the most uninhabitable places on earth—is the key to setting us on a path toward a low-carbon energy future. It's also shifting the geopolitical chessboard in profound ways. In Bottled Lightning, the science reporter Seth Fletcher takes us on a fascinating journey, from the salt flats of Bolivia to the labs of MIT and Stanford, from the turmoil at GM to cutting-edge lithium-ion battery start-ups, introducing us to the key players and ideas in an industry with the power to reshape the world. Lithium is the thread that ties together many key stories of our time: the environmental movement; the American auto industry, staking its revival on the electrification of cars and trucks; the struggle between first-world countries in need of natural resources and the impoverished countries where those resources are found; and the overwhelming popularity of the portable, Internet-connected gadgets that are changing the way we communicate. With nearly limitless possibilities, the promise of lithium offers new hope to a foundering American economy desperately searching for a green-tech boom to revive it.
Author: Thomas James Dolan
Publisher: Woodhead Publishing
Category: Technology & Engineering
Molten Salt Reactors is a comprehensive reference on the status of molten salt reactor (MSR) research and thorium fuel utilization. There is growing awareness that nuclear energy is needed to complement intermittent energy sources and to avoid pollution from fossil fuels. Light water reactors are complex, expensive, and vulnerable to core melt, steam explosions, and hydrogen explosions, so better technology is needed. MSRs could operate safely at nearly atmospheric pressure and high temperature, yielding efficient electrical power generation, desalination, actinide incineration, hydrogen production, and other industrial heat applications. Coverage includes: Motivation -- why are we interested? Technical issues – reactor physics, thermal hydraulics, materials, environment, ... Generic designs -- thermal, fast, solid fuel, liquid fuel, ... Specific designs – aimed at electrical power, actinide incineration, thorium utilization, ... Worldwide activities in 23 countries Conclusions This book is a collaboration of 58 authors from 23 countries, written in cooperation with the International Thorium Molten Salt Forum. It can serve as a reference for engineers and scientists, and it can be used as a textbook for graduate students and advanced undergrads. Molten Salt Reactors is the only complete review of the technology currently available, making this an essential text for anyone reviewing the use of MSRs and thorium fuel, including students, nuclear researchers, industrial engineers, and policy makers. Written in cooperation with the International Thorium Molten-Salt Forum Covers MSR-specific issues, various reactor designs, and discusses issues such as the environmental impact, non-proliferation, and licensing Includes case studies and examples from experts across the globe
Thorium Energy Cheaper Than from Coal Solves More Than Just Global Warming
Author: Robert Hargraves
Aim High proposes using thorium energy to address environmental problems. Mankind's fossil fuel burning releases CO2 into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming and deadly air pollution. Natural resources are rapidly being depleted by world population growth. Safe, inexpensive energy from the liquid fluoride thorium reactor can stop much global warming and raise prosperity of humanity to adopt US and OECD lifestyles, which include lower, sustainable birth rates.Thorium fuel is transformed to uranium-233 which fissions, producing heat and electric power at a cost less than that from coal power plants--the only way to dissuade developing nations from burning coal. Thorium produces less than 1% of the long-lived radioactive waste of today's nuclear power plants. Existing nuclear power plant waste can be consumed. One ton of plentiful thorium costing $100,000 provides 1 GW-year of electric energy, enough for a city.A 5-year NASA-style shoot-the-moon project can complete technology development of this inexpensive, safe, clean power.
The Periodic Table Personified
Author: Bunpei Yorifuji
Publisher: No Starch Press
Category: Comics & Graphic Novels
From the brilliant mind of Japanese artist Bunpei Yorifuji comes Wonderful Life with the Elements, an illustrated guide to the periodic table that gives chemistry a friendly face. In this super periodic table, every element is a unique character whose properties are represented visually: heavy elements are fat, man-made elements are robots, and noble gases sport impressive afros. Every detail is significant, from the length of an element's beard to the clothes on its back. You'll also learn about each element's discovery, its common uses, and other vital stats like whether it floats—or explodes—in water. Why bother trudging through a traditional periodic table? In this periodic paradise, the elements are people too. And once you've met them, you'll never forget them.
A Hopeful View of the Human Future
Author: Gerard K. O'Neil
Category: Social Science
Reviews previous attempts to predict the future, describes five present-day developments critical to the course of the next hundred years, and offers views of life--and of social and political institutions--one hundred years from today
A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome
Author: Nessa Carey
Publisher: Icon Books
From the author of the acclaimed The Epigenetics Revolution (‘A book that would have had Darwin swooning’ – Guardian) comes another thrilling exploration of the cutting edge of human science. For decades after the structure of DNA was identified, scientists focused purely on genes, the regions of the genome that contain codes for the production of proteins. Other regions – 98% of the human genome – were dismissed as ‘junk’. But in recent years researchers have discovered that variations in this ‘junk’ DNA underlie many previously intractable diseases, and they can now generate new approaches to tackling them. Nessa Carey explores, for the first time for a general audience, the incredible story behind a controversy that has generated unusually vituperative public exchanges between scientists. She shows how junk DNA plays an important role in areas as diverse as genetic diseases, viral infections, sex determination in mammals, human biological complexity, disease treatments, even evolution itself – and reveals how we are only now truly unlocking its secrets, more than half a century after Crick and Watson won their Nobel prize for the discovery of the structure of DNA in 1962.
The Story of the Integral Fast Reactor, the Complex History of a Simple Reactor Technoloogy, with Emphasis on Its Scientific Basis for Non-specialists
Author: Charles E. Till,Yoon Il Chang
Category: Technology & Engineering
The Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) is a fast reactor system developed at Argonne National Laboratory in the decade 1984 to 1994. The IFR project developed the technology for a complete system; the reactor, the entire fuel cycle and the waste management technologies were all included in the development program. The reactor concept had important features and characteristics that were completely new and fuel cycle and waste management technologies that were entirely new developments. The reactor is a “fast” reactor – that is, the chain reaction is maintained by “fast” neutrons with high energy – which produces its own fuel. The IFR reactor and associated fuel cycle is a closed system. Electrical power is generated, new fissile fuel is produced to replace the fuel burned, its used fuel is processed for recycling by pyroprocessing – a new development – and waste is put in final form for disposal. All this is done on one self-sufficient site.The scale and duration of the project and its funding made it the largest nuclear energy R and D program of its day. Its purpose was the development of a long term massive new energy source, capable of meeting the nation's electrical energy needs in any amount, and for as long as it is needed, forever, if necessary. Safety, non-proliferation and waste toxicity properties were improved as well, these three the characteristics most commonly cited in opposition to nuclear power.Development proceeded from success to success. Most of the development had been done when the program was abruptly cancelled by the newly elected Clinton Administration. In his 1994 State of the Union address the president stated that “unnecessary programs in advanced reactor development will be terminated.” The IFR was that program.This book gives the real story of the IFR, written by the two nuclear scientists who were most deeply involved in its conception, the development of its R and D program, and its management.Between the scientific and engineering papers and reports, and books on the IFR, and the non-technical and often impassioned dialogue that continues to this day on fast reactor technology, we felt there is room for a volume that, while accurate technically, is written in a manner accessible to the non-specialist and even to the non-technical reader who simply wants to know what this technology is.
Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA, Enlarged Edition
Author: Diane Vaughan
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Category: Technology & Engineering
When the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded on January 28, 1986, millions of Americans became bound together in a single, historic moment. Many still vividly remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard about the tragedy. Diane Vaughan recreates the steps leading up to that fateful decision, contradicting conventional interpretations to prove that what occurred at NASA was not skullduggery or misconduct but a disastrous mistake. Why did NASA managers, who not only had all the information prior to the launch but also were warned against it, decide to proceed? In retelling how the decision unfolded through the eyes of the managers and the engineers, Vaughan uncovers an incremental descent into poor judgment, supported by a culture of high-risk technology. She reveals how and why NASA insiders, when repeatedly faced with evidence that something was wrong, normalized the deviance so that it became acceptable to them. In a new preface, Vaughan reveals the ramifications for this book and for her when a similar decision-making process brought down NASA's Space Shuttle Columbia in 2003.
Lessons from the Fifteen Worst Environmental Disasters around the World
Author: Robert Emmet Hernan
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Over the last century mankind has irrevocably damaged the environment through the unscrupulous greed of big business and our own willful ignorance. Here are the strikingly poignant accounts of disasters whose names live in infamy: Chernobyl, Bhopal, Exxon Valdez, Three Mile Island, Love Canal, Minamata and others. And with these, the extraordinary and inspirational stories of the countless men and women who fought bravely to protect the communities and environments at risk.
How Dominant Theories Monopolize Research and Stifle the Search for Truth
Author: Henry H. Bauer
Category: Health & Fitness
"This study examines how conflicts of interest have become pervasive, and explores the troubling state of research funding and flaws of the peer-review process. It looks in depth at the dominance of several specific theories, including the Big Bang cosmology, human-caused global warming, HIV as a cause of AIDS, and the efficacy of anti-depressant drugs"--