Norway needs a rehab

“Mother Russia has two enemies : stupid people and bad roads.” – Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol, 1809-1852. 

My home country is in need of a vitamin injection. From the outside it looks all gone have home and switched off the light. People don’t come to meetings, make slappy appointments, don’t answer the phone and don’t return emails. 

National broadcast doesn’t even try to hide that they are a tool for the government. The Progress Party, as big as the ruling socialdemocrats, is blocked from normal coverage. Political TV ads are banned in full contempt of a European court ruling. 

Prices are ridiculously high. Even with cheap labor, prices do not show any correlation with European norms. 

School discipline and performance are all-time-low. Research is C-grade. State incubator Innovation Norway manages to place most money with projects that are not innovation. 

The protestant church is infiltrated by bishops with a political correct agenda. We demand that professional clerics stay out of politics but defend the christian heritage that remains the backbone reference of our succesful model even for you urban green atheists. 

The government wants more “green” technology. But no matter the amount of hype, windparks are few and CCS technology fails. They’re unable to push through their own agenda in spite of sitting on all chairs around the table. Another story is of course that wind, bio and carbon capture are fatal mistakes on their own merits. Every cloud has a silver lining. 

Oil pumping as usual is disrupted in the sense that normal investment and billing seems to be on hold. No matter the controversy over Arctic drilling, maintenance and upgrade should be scheduled to counter the global downturn. Norway relies on a distributor network in ships and oil that needs a constant order flow. 

The country simply suffers form incompetence, nepotism, overburaucratization and obesity. The Progress Party is the only one that can make a difference. For health reasons alone, Norwegians still standing should vote them in on September 14th. 

Every long generation 45-50 years or so a country needs a wakeup call. Going back in time steps, the traumatic but decisive milestones are:  Oil in the 70s, WW2, independance 1905, industrialisation in 1850s, break with Denmark 1814. Other countries show similar patterns, fex UK and Argentina. 

Fat_Skier_FixedNorwegian ski elite is still intact but health in general seems to be retreating.

Only Fremskrittspartiet will manage to modernise the country.


Steven Chu doesn’t have a clue

Obama’s energy czar Steven Chu, Nobel prize winner for crissake, recently got the thorium question in the Senate. He failed the exam.


Q3. Of the six Gen IV nuclear power technologies proposed by the US in 2000, DOE Idaho National Labs have been pursuing two – (1) high temperature gas-cooled reactors for hydrogen production, and (2) sodium-cooled fast reactors for waste burning. Separately, liquid-fluoride thorium reactor research is ongoing at UC Berkeley, MIT, Redstone Arsenal, and in other countries including France, Japan, and Canada.

As the Department analyzes advanced reactor designs, can you tell me if the liquid-fluoride thorium reactors are under consideration? What are the benefits of liquid-fluoride thorium reactors? What are the drawbacks or downsides of liquid-fluoride thorium reactors? How does power generated from liquid-fluoride thorium reactors compare, on a price per kilowatt hour, with power generated from the current coal generation fleet in the United States? As we confront our nation’s energy and climate challenges, what role might these types of reactors play?

Secretary Chu:

A3: The “liquid-fluoride thorium reactor,” otherwise known as a molten salt reactor (MSR), where molten salts containing fissile material circulate through the reactor core, is not part of the Office of Nuclear Energy’s research program at this time. Some potential features of a MSR include smaller reactor size relative to light water reactors due to the higher heat removal capabilities of the molten salts and the ability to simplify the fuel manufacturing process, since the fuel would be dissolved in the molten salt. One significant drawback of the MSR technology is the corrosive effect of the molten salts on the structural materials used in the reactor vessel and heat exchangers; this issue results in the need to develop advanced orrosion-resistant structural materials and enhanced reactor coolant chemistry control systems. In addition, operational practices would have to address the fact that the liquid salts solidify between temperatures of 300 C to 500 C, thereby requiring the use of special heating systems when the reactor is not operating. From a non-proliferation standpoint, thorium-fueled reactors present a unique set of challenges because they convert thorium-232 into uranium-233 which is nearly as efficient as plutonium-239 as a weapons material. A cost per kilowatt hour estimate has not been developed.

From ORNL/TM-6002 (J. R. Keiser, 1977):

As a result of these studies, we have found that Hastelloy N exposed in salt containing metal tellurides such as Li Te and Cr Te undergoes grain boundary embrittlement like that observed in the MSRE. The embrittlement is a function of the chemical activity of tellurium associated with the telluride. The degree of embrittlement can be reduced by alloying additions to the Hastelloy N. The addition of 1 to 2 % Nb significantly reduces embrittlement, but small additions of titanium or additions of up to 15% Cr do not affect embrittlernent. We have found that if the U(IV)/U(III) ratio in fuel salt is kept below about 60, embrittlement is essentially prevented when CrTel.266 is used as the source of tellurium.

From ORNL/TM-6415 (1979):

The nickel-based alloy Hastelloy N, which was specifically developed for use in molten-salt systems, was used in construction of the MSRE.
The material generally performed very well, but two deficiencies became
apparent: (1) the alloy was embrittled at elevated temperatures by ex-
posure to thermal neutrons and (2) it was subject to intergranular sur-
face cracking when exposed to fuel salt containing fission products.

Recent de7elopment work indicates that solutions are available for both
these problems. Details of this work are given by McCoy; a summary of
the results follows

Irradiation experiments earby in the MSR development program showed
that Hastelloy N was subject to high-temperature embrittlement by thermal
neutrons. The MSRE was designed around this limitation (stresses were
low and strain Li mi t s were not exceeded), but the development of an im-
proved alloy became a prime objective of the materials program. It was
found that a modified Hastellsy N containing 2% titanium had much im-
proved postirradiation ductility, and extensive testing of the new alloy
W ~ S under way at the close sf MSRE operations.

The second problem, intergranular surface cracking, was discovered
at the close sf the MSRE operation when surface cracks were observed
after strain testing of Hastelboy K specimens that had been exposed to
fuel salt. Research since that t i me has shown that this phenomenon is
the result of attack by tellurium, a fission product in irradiated fuel
salt, on the grain boundaries.

As a result of research from 1974 to 1976, two likely solutions to
the problem of tellurium attack have been developed. The first involves
the development of an alloy that is resistant to tellurium attack but
still retains the other required properties. This development has pro-
ceeded sufficiently to show that a modified Hastalloy N containing about 1% niobium has gosd resistance to tellurium attack and adequate resistance to thermal-neutron embrittlernent at temperatures up to 650°C. It was also found that alloys containing titanium, with or without niobium, exhibited superior neutron resistance but were not resistant to tellurium attack.

The secund likely solution involves the chemistry of the fuel salt.
Recent experiments indicate that intergranular attack on BastePloy N
is much less severe when the fuel-salt oxidation potential, as measured
by the ratio of U4+ to U3+, is less than 60, the possibility that the superior titanium-modified Hastelloy N could This discovery opens up be used for MSRs through careful control of the oxidation state of the Fuel salt.

Bath of the above solutions appear promising, but extensive testing
under reactor conditions would be required before either could be used
in the design of a future MSR.

Also from From ORNL/TM-6415 (1979)

Recent reexamination of the MSK concept with special attention to
antiproliferation considerations has led to the identificatio-n Of two
preliminary design concepts for MSKs that appear to have substantially
less proliferation sensitivity without incurring unacceptable perfor-
mance penalties. tor) has been applied to both of these concepts because each would be fueled initially with 235U enriched to no more than 20% and would be
operated throughout its lifetime with denatured uranium. The designation DMSR (for denatured molten-salt reac- tor) has been applied to both of these concepts because each would be fueled initiallyith 235U enriched to no more than 20% and would be operated throughout its lifetime with denatured uranium.

The simpler of these DMSR concepts6 would completely eliminate on-
line chemical processing of the fuel salt for removal of fission products.
(Stripping of gaseous fission products would be retained, and SQIW batch-
wise treatment to control oxide contamination probably would be required.)
This reactor would require rautine additions of denatured 235U fuel, but
would not require replacement or removal of the in-plant inventory except
at the end of the 30-year plant lifetime. Adding an on-line chemical
processing facility to the 30-year9 once-through reactor provides the
second BMSR design concept. With this addition, the conversion ratio
of the reactor would reach 1.0 (:.e., break-even breeding) so that fuel
additions could be eliminated and a given fuel charge could be used in-
definitely by transferring it to a new reactor plant: at the decornission-
ing of the old unit.

The required chemical processing facility for a DMSR, shown as a pre-
liminary conceptual flowsheet in Pig. S.1, would be derived largely from
the MSBR but would contain some significant differences. In particular,
isolation and segregation of protactinium would be avoided, provisions
would be made to retain and use the plutonium produced from 738U9 and a
special step would be added for removal of fission-product zirconium.
Thus, the development of on-line chemical processing for a DNSR would
require essentially all the technology development identified for the
MSBR with additions to accommodate these differences. Howeverf,
since the DMSR offers a no-processing option, a large fraction of the repro-
cessing development, along with its associated materials development,
could be deferred or even eliminated to reduce the COS% (but probably not the time) for developing the first DMSKs. To provide an overall perspective, this development plan includes costs and schedules for developing the reprocessing capability in parallel with the reactor. Such deferral might be expected

For those of you who have read through all of the texts reported here, no further comment is necessary.
Reposted from Charles Barton

Opinions at the tipping point

US surveys now show that global warming rank as concern#20, well below the challenges of the recession.  Next up at the list of national tipping points are Australia and New Zealand that also have anti-alarmist books selling like hot cakes. Nordic countries often behave like them down under. So you’d expect Maggie Thauerskiöld’s and Lars Bern’s book “Chill-out” to initiate the anti-warming tipping point in Sweden.  

Norway’s the toughest nut case. However, signs of cracking are showing. Last week the conservative party announced a possible coalition with the Progressive Party, no matter what the other luddite dwarfs in the center might come up with. Energy minister Erik Solheim thinks that AGW is as obvious as Big Bang. Logically enough, since the Big Bang never happened. He’s showing no restraints on smearing the oppostion with nazi innuendo – in a country where a film on the resistance heroes during WW2 is hitting all time high audiences. Way to go, Erik. 

heaven-and-earth-220x312Australian geologist Ian Plimer’s book “Heaven & Earth” is up next on the must read list.

It makes the case that we should fear nature, geology and ice ages more than a nice warm summer.  

Also, Plimer is optimistic humanity will be able to adapt to whatever may lie ahead.

That, I may add, still will take a big upgrade of scientific competence and engineering insights among political leaders.

Update : Carl I Hagen, grand ol’ man of the Progressive Party, takes no prisoners in the Stortinget.

Incoming Norwegian majority for thorium

We did it ! The conservative party’s Høyre national convention announced this morning they’ll favor a thorium program. Together with the progressive party Fremskrittspartiet chances are good that a majority coalition will form in government, replacing the incumbent redgreen mess of socialdemocrats, far out socialists and farmer’s labour union.

The socialdemocrats Arbeiderpartiet have managed to set modern record for incompetence. They have betrayed their proud heritage. Building the welfare state and the oil economy has succumbed to whimses of green fundamentalist teenagers under the spell of the CO2 fairy tale. The counterreaction is now in momentum going for Arctic oil and more hydropower. Their golden age culminates from nepotism under the dynasties Harlem and Stoltenberg. Gro Harlem Brundtland may still be a figure that collects greetings from the Clintons abroad but just her name mentioned on her own turf is enough to spur contempt in the polls. The current prime minister is the son of the diplomat who contributed to the UN mess of the Balkan wars.  We’ll probably never get rid of the youthful sins of the dreamers in the far out socialists but they’ve taken their share of wear for now. The agrarian luddites however hopefully have their bells tolling for good this September. 

We will now proceed to organise a national thorium program. Norway still has a neutron source for adequate materials’ testing. National research centers have already listed the molten salt reactor as the obvious choice. Sweden has 5000 tons of Spent Nuclear Fuel and a new nuclear programme coming. Finland is a competently managed country with future plans for another 6 reactors. 


The Norwegian Parliament Stortinget is set to back a new government in September going for a thorium energy program.  Link Dagbladet (Norwegian) 

The joy of motorcycling

Summer temperatures set in this week. I had a meeting in Oslo. With swine virus at the airports, trains into Oslo unreliable and the roads clogged – what better to ride all the 500 km from Stockholm on my BMW K1200RS. 

Roads across Sweden are now largely high standard highways. You are welcomed to Norway by the Albanian-style paving. (Sorry to Albania, that might even have been an insult to you. ) Road maintenance has been lagging behind for the last decades.

Riding across Sweden in spring lets you experience the smells of nature and shifting landscapes. You can even feel the cooling from the big lake Vanern in the wind. Amcar enthusiasts take their shining Buicks for a first gasguzzling stroll. 

People should be encouraged to ride bikes, especially in the big cities. Clogging will disappear and gas consumption go down. The special friendship among motorcyclists is a correction to bullying car drivers. 

Yes, there are risks. But take your need for speed to the raceway and keep the distance to cars by riding like a king – and those risk levels are reduced to the unavoidable whimses of life .