Ideas for Green Living

Thorium Fueled Power

Hershey Julien

We have previously called your attention to the grave threat to the earth posed by global warming and consequent climate change.  Fortunately, something can be done about it.  The principal cause of global warming is carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels to generate electricity.  These emissions can be significantly reduced by replacing coal- and gas-fired power plants with thorium fueled power plants.  Such plants will produce an abundant supply of electricity to power factories, to heat commercial buildings and homes, and to drive cars, thus further reducing emissions of CO2. 
      Therefore, we urge you to become informed about this safe, economical way to generate electricity.  Go to www.thoriumenergyalliance.com.  On the upper left of the home page click, in turn, on T.E.A. Website, T.E.A. Portal, T.E.A. Objectives, Resources, Energy News.  These sources give much information; absorb it over several days or weeks.  We will follow with future messages about what to do with the information you gain.

Making some kitchen sink water work twice

Jeb Eddy

We do many different things with water in our kitchen sinks.  (And in this geographic area we are fortunate to be able to turn on a tap and have cool, clear, clean water come out. This is not the case in many parts of the world.)

An easy way to enjoy re-using "light gray" water is to keep a modest container near the sink.

You can find, buy or make a wide-mouthed, 1-2 quart shallow container, probably of plastic.  Then, when rinsing vegetables, for example, it is easy to put this container under the flowing water, to be put on your indoor or outdoor plants later.  After eating, when washing your cooking and serving bowls, cooking utensils, dishes and silverware, after the heavy food removal and soap stage, capture the rinse water in this same container.  Including a little soapy water is perfectly ok, especially if you are using biodegradable soap (most of us do that, don't we?)

When the container is full-ish, give some plants a drink.  The water you gather is Hetch Hetchy snowmelt water that will be conserved.  This little act shows appreciation for the wonder of water:  our fragile earth is the only place we know of where it exists in liquid form.

More on Thorium Fueled Power

Hershey Julien

We hope that members and friends of UUCPA have informed themselves about the environmental advantages of using liquid fluoride thorium reactors (LFTR, also called Molten Salt Reactors) as an energy source in electrical generating plants.  If not so informed, go to www.thoriumenergyalliance.com for essential information.  Next step is political action to clear the way for building thorium powered generating plants.  To act in this matter, send the following letter to your representative in Congress:

      Analysis of the disaster at Fukushima shows that that nuclear energy wasn’t the problem. The problem was with both utility management and the type of reactor used to produce power.  If the reactors at Fukushima had been Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs), Japan would not have a had nuclear disaster caused by the tsunami.
          LFTRs run on thorium, a slightly radioactive material more common than tin and found all over the world.  America has already mined enough thorium to power the country for 400 years. It’s abundantly found in the tailings of our abandoned Rare Earth Element mines. Although thorium is slightly radioactive, ammonia, chlorine, cobalt, lead, mercury, chromium, and a host of other industrial and household chemicals are far more toxic than thorium.         
          Liquid fuel is the key to safety in molten salt technology. While the LFTR is operating, its fuel is continuously cleaned of the contaminants that spoil the solid fuel rods in uranium reactors. This unique feature enables LFTRs to consume fuel so completely that they can even burn the spent fuel from the standard light water reactors. Nuclear “waste” is wasted fuel; we should be using it instead of burying it.  Furthermore, explosions and  meltdowns cannot occur in LFTRs in an emergency such as from an earthquake or sabotage.   On Thorium see  www.thoriumenergyalliance.com
      A prototype molten salt reactor operated for several years in the 1960s in Tennessee, proving the design.  Unfortunately LFTR plants are not being built now because the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has erroneously classified thorium as dangerous, entailing possible liability for those using it. This obstacle can be overcome by Congress passing a draft bill now in the hands of Rep. John Shimkus, R. IL, “To provide for the establishment of the Thorium Centralized Rare Earth Refinery Cooperative.”  I urge you to co-sponsor this bill.  


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