Posts Tagged Oak Ridge National Laboratory

“Th” Thorium Doc Chapters: “Greens”, “MSRE”

Generally I don’t post updates concerning the thorium documentary “Th” here, as it is still a work in progress and my updates are so incremental they’re really only worthy of short tweets.

But I think a couple of the chapters have reached a quality level that I should try direct people to them.

Thorium Documentary “Th” Chapter 8: Greens vs Nuclear (& Thorium)

Of course not all environmentalists dismiss nuclear. Baroness Bryony Worthington has strong environmentalist/activist credentials. She drove with us towards Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and so her perspective is captured in the greatest detail. Many other environmentalists quoted in this chapter to help explain why they’ve rethought their anti-nuclear positions.

Thorium Documentary “Th” Chapter 9: Alvin Weinberg’s Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment

And here we reach our destination: Oak Ridge National Lab. We tour the Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment (that’s an extremely rare tour!) The MSRE is discussed with researchers who took part.

The Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment demonstrated that nuclear fuel could be dissolved in molten salts… that solid fuel rods and water coolant were not the only game in town when designing a nuclear reactor.

There are a great many advantages to dissolving nuclear fuel and keeping it in a molten state during normal operation. Only a few are touched on here.

But if you’re opposed to nuclear power, I do think these two videos are worth your time.

Anyone who’s opposed to nuclear ought to be opposed for specific reasons… not just fission itself. That’s like being opposed to gravity, thermodynamics or our planet having a molten core. Fission happens. It’s happened naturally on the surface of the Earth. It happens (along with fusion) every day in the sun.

Concerns about nuclear safety, nuclear waste disposal and weapons proliferation deserve serious consideration. Careful researching today’s water-cooled reactors, tomorrow’s water-cooled reactors and molten-salt reactors might lead someone opposed to nuclear power to decide some reactor designs are acceptable, and some are not.

But to dismiss nuclear out-of-hand as dangerous is a mistake. I came to this with no opinion (or interest) in nuclear power, except for my own larger concerns about global warming.

As I learn more and more about nuclear fission, and about the challenges of renewable energy alternatives (such as solar, wind and geothermal), I’ve come to the conclusion that many environmentalists are simply as incurious as I once was about nuclear fission.

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Thorium Remix 2012 – Semi-Raw Footage

Am hard at work on THORIUM REMIX 2012, the working title of my upcoming thorium documentary. One cost came up I hadn’t prepared for, so I launched a new Kickstarter campaign to cover it.

As you can see, yes I will be traveling to Shanghai. I appreciate the continued support. If you’ve never heard of THORIUM REMIX but would like to help support my efforts, please feel free to pitch in some token amount. In return you get immediate access to THORIUM REMIX 2011 as a DRM-free download, and (for $3) receive access to THORIUM REMIX 2012 once an edit exists.

I’ve been sorting through shot footage since the conclusion of Thorium Energy Alliance Conference #4 (TEAC4). Up until recently this has been slow going, as different types of events consist of footage that might be easier or harder to edit.

TEAC4 was particularly difficult to organize. Many volunteers helped collect audio & video that would have otherwise been very difficult/expensive to capture. But sorting through multiple perspectives (including audio-only captures) and placing them on an 8-hour timeline was quite challenging.

In contrast, recording engineers who worked under Alvin Weinberg on the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment, was very straight forward. Editing the footage? Very straight forward.

ORNL MSRE Engineers

Here Dick Engel, Syd Ball & James Crowley discuss their work on molten salt reactors with Kirk Sorensen and Baroness Bryony Worthington.

Kirk Sorensen Pre-Lunch Chroma-Key

Here’s another multi-cam shoot. But all the cameras and audio recorders started & stopped at the same time, so putting footage in sync was not a big deal.

Keeping at it

If you’re keen on seeing thorium developed as an energy resource, please consider backing my current kickstarter project. I am not hurting for funds, but even the smallest amount lets me ping you via Kickstarter, and ultimately helps us illustrate that this is a technology people care about.

I’ll keep you in the loop (certainly more than my rare updates to this blog will), and once an edit is crowdsourceable I do hope to leverage people’s skills. Volunteers were invaluable at TEAC4. Volunteers will again become invaluable as all this semi-raw footage is dropped into a narrative structure.

This process is very similar to the construction of THORIUM REMIX 2011. Lectures and technical exchanges were posted to YouTube for everyone to see. Then the raw footage was remixed into a single larger narrative structure.

If you compare my 2011 assets against 2012 assets, you’ll see I’ve got much greater flexibility to craft a narrative. Kickstarter funds will also help pay for post-production work such as CGI and music.

Update 2012-09-28

The embedded ORNL Th-MSR researcher video was updated to a tighter edit which incorporates dinner conversation (as well as interview footage). The original semi-raw interview footage can still be found here.

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