doppelsonnenuhr wrote:I notice that no-one mentioned thorium as a potential nuclear fuel. I'm quite pro-nuclear, but I have an extremely strong bias towards systems that are safe by design. I should also point out that I'm a programmer and that I came here to learn. Does anyone have any knowledge of reaction systems which don't employ the physics of critical mass?
Please be careful how you phrase your question. Your use of the term "critical mass" suggests you think in terms of bombs and the minimum mass (critical mass) for an explosion. Nothing could be further from the truth with nuclear power plants.
And taking your lead from your Thorium remark, I have determined that we have at least 500 million years worth of "accessible" Thorium here on earth. Any increase in the efficiency of extracting Th from granite would increase that by about 25%. Any new technology that would allow deeper mining could increase it a LOT.