Posts Tagged TEDxYYC

TEDxYYC Video – Kirk Sorensen on Thorium

On April 1st, Kirk Sorensen spoke to a Calgary TEDxYYC audience about the potential of Thorium as an energy source. Kirk’s TEDxYYC video is now available.

0:50 0:50 10 years working at NASA, designing sustainable lunar colonies.
1:38 1:38 Almost all nuclear power on Earth uses water as a coolant. Some use water at 150 atmospheres of pressure, as needed to generate electricity effectively.
2:24 2:24 Liquid water at 300 degrees Celsius will flash into steam (taking up 1000x more volume) if a leak occurs. This is why today’s nuclear plants need large, expensive concrete containment structures.
3:04 3:04 Today’s reactors extract less than 1% of the energy stored in their uranium oxide fuel, and must be constructed next to large bodies of water.
3:54 3:54 Why not use molten salt instead of water? Liquid fuel instead of solid fuel?
5:11 5:11 Molten salt reactor feature: The freeze plug. Would have been handy in Japan.
6:01 6:01 And then Kirk heard about thorium, and things got even more interesting…
7:34 7:34 LFTR vs conventional nuclear power. 200x more efficient. Enough power to pull CO2 from atmosphere and create new “fossil fuels” from it.
8:18 8:18 Do we have enough thorium? Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Holy crap, yes.

If you find the LFTR concept to be as exciting as I do, then there is something you can do right now, to help accelerate investigation and implementation of this technology. You can help promote this video.

You see, this isn’t just any old YouTube video. It is a TEDx video. That it was shot at Calgary’s TEDxYYC event, and uploaded to the TEDxTalks YouTube channel means it has the potential be a TED Talk video. If this YouTube video you see before you has good viewing stats, then it may one day be seen by everyone who visits

So please consider doing any of the following:

  • LIKE the video on YouTube.
  • Add the video to your FAVORITES on YouTube.
  • Tweet about the video. Suggested URL:
  • Share the video on Facebook.
  • Blog about it, with the video embedded.
  • Email the video. Consider people outside your circle of family and friends. (Federal representative?)

And if you’ve never done so, be sure to check out, where other folks from all walks of life interested in this technology can learn more, monitor it’s progress, and see how they can help out.

2011-10-21 Update:

THORIUM REMIX 2011 is finally complete. This is my recommended video resource for learning about the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (a type of Thorium Molten Salt Reactor). It begins with a brief summary comparing LFTR to Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR).

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Kirk Sorensen in Calgary to speak about Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTR)

Kirk Sorensen is coming to Calgary to speak about Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors, on March 31st 2011 at Protospace and April 1st at TEDxYYC!

In a nutshell, I believe of all Canadian provinces, Alberta has the most to gain by investigating this technology: In the future our oil exports will be less attractive as carbon trading markets mature, and currently we burn (waste) natural gas as a source of heat used in oil sands extraction. The faster we can improve oil sands extraction efficiency, the faster we stop haemorrhaging carbon credits.

Bill Dickie (Alberta Minister of Mines and Minerals 1971-1975) has observed the Stelmach government polled 1024 Albertans and found only 25% object to new nuclear projects.

The Stelmach government opened the door Monday to nuclear power in Alberta — rejecting a moratorium and saying it will consider the controversial energy option on a case-by-case basis — but vowed no public dollars will be invested in any project.
The province announced its nuclear power policy the same day Energy Minister Mel Knight rolled out the results of the province’s public consultation on the issue. A telephone survey of 1,024 Albertans, which incorporated input from stakeholder groups, found about one-quarter of people want the government to refuse projects. Two in 10 said the province should encourage proposals and 45 per cent of people polled want nuclear power plants considered on a case-by-case basis.
With those numbers in hand, Knight said Monday that Alberta is open for business on nuclear power. But he stressed the province won’t cough up a penny and hinted the lack of subsidies might dissuade companies from proceeding in Alberta. “We’re not putting a moratorium on nuclear,” Knight told reporters. “We are not proponents of nuclear energy,” he added. “We need power and proponents that want to build (nuclear) in the system in Alberta are welcome to do so.”

Of course without the United State’s (wartime) government spending, there’s no telling how long it would have taken for nuclear power to be adopted as a power source. Then again, without the wartime priority for bomb-making material it could have been LFTR which dominated the nuclear power industry, rather than relatively inefficient light water reactors.

As everyone following LFTR technology knows, China is taking the lead on this. I wonder why the Chinese aren’t not leaving such an initiative to the private sector?

Calgary tally of Kirk Sorensen events

TEDxYYC April 1, which is sold-out, but an after-party is open to everyone, at Velvet Lounge 6:30pm. The TEDxYYC speakers will all be live-streamed on the TEDxYYC website.

MRU (Mount Royal University) will host a talk by Kirk at 3:30pm March 31 in Lincoln Park Room (J-301).

2011-03-12 UPDATE

Japan! Nuclear power plants! This…

…Kirk may just touch on these events, and I’ll be asking him how LFTR would have behaved under similar circumstances.

2011-04-16 UPDATE

He came. He spoke. It was awesome.

His TEDx video is in the hands of TEDxYYC, I’ll certainly be sharing it here once it is available to the public.

Kirk also spoke at Protospace and MRU, both lectures also recorded. So that’s 3 very different talks, plus random banter driving between locations and waiting for a flight at the airport.

Something very good will come of this footage.

2011-10-21 Update:

THORIUM REMIX 2011 is now complete. This is my recommended video resource for learning about the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (a type of Thorium Molten Salt Reactor). It begins with a brief summary comparing LFTR to Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR).

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TEDx Talks pertaining to Calgary’s 2010 Election

TEDx, is the license used for independently organized TED Talks. Already in 2010, Calgary has experienced TEDxYYC followed by TEDxCalgary. I shot & edited the videos found on their respected YouTube playlists, so when I recently saw footage of Naheed Nenshi being interviewed by CBC, I kept wondering to myself… where have I seen that guy?

I’d edited his TEDxCalgary talk of course.

This got me thinking about the range of TEDx Talks given in Calgary. Some were extremely pertinent to civic issues, so here’s a brief summary for Calgarians.

Naheed Nenshi – Calgary 3.0

Journalist & mayoral candidate Naheed Nenshi (with the help of dataminer Natalie O’Toole) reviews Calgary’s growth patterns, and proposes that we are approaching decision time: What kind of City does Calgary want to become? Los Angeles and Curitiba (Brazil) are offered as potential futures, depending on choices Calgarians make today.

Grant Neufeld – Communicating for Change

Community activist & computer programmer Grant Neufeld shares his learning experiences on how to effect change. Since this blog entry is specifically for matters pertaining to Calgary’s 2010 election I’m skipping ahead in his video (you can of course rewind) to his discussion of, his tool to assist Calgarians with Calgary’s 2010 municipal election by consolidating candidate information.

“Isn’t that something local papers like Calgary Herald and Calgary Sun do?” you may ask. All I know is that during the last civic election, I waited until election day to do research before voting. It was hard to find detailed consolidated information online (to the point I was not satisfied with my own knowledge about the candidates as I voted). Maybe bigger news organizations will provide easier to find, more detailed information for 2010… But I would suggest bookmarking just in case. It is exactly what I was looking for in 2007, and never found.

Jennifer Martin – Innovative Spaces

Fostering innovation in youth isn’t normally thought of as a civic issue (with education being managed provincially). But Jennifer Martin argues that innovation can be encouraged by providing civic spaces for experimentation (her example being Telus Word of Science).

What Telus World of Science does for kids and teenagers, Calgary Protospace provides for young & young-at-heart-but-in-reality-old adults: A space for experimentation and shared learning. These spaces aren’t something I’d specifically expect a mayoral candidate to support in their campaign, but I would expect candidates to share ideas on how they would “foster innovation” in Calgary.

Chris Turner – Great Leap Sideways

Climate change is not an issue I normally associate with municipal elections… carbon taxes, cap-&-trade and fuel economy standards for automobiles are legislated federally & provincially, not municipally. And while a typical Calgarian’s carbon footprint exceeds the Canadian average by 30%, our municipal government is actively pursuing energy efficiency in its operations.

“They’re on it.” In fact (around the world) municipalities are taking action on climate change more aggressively than any other level of government.

However the significant per-captia carbon footprint of Calgary citizens is something which can be addressed by properly managing urban development. Here, author and journalist Chris Turner shares efficiency success stories which Calgary is free to emulate. “It can’t be done” is trumped by “it’s been done”. Calgary’s next mayor won’t be taxing carbon, but he/she still has many opportunities to help Calgarians lower their CO2 footprint.

Again, I’m skipping ahead in Chris’s video (past the argument that climate change is a problem) to his examples of success in improving energy efficiency.

That’s all the TEDx wisdom I can impart regarding Calgary’s 2010 municipal election. Beyond that?

#yycvote is the hash tag for Calgary elections, and it can be easily applied as a twitter search filter.

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TEDxYYC – Calgary’s TEDx Videos

I’ve finished editing all the TEDxYYC videos, but they’re not yet indexed on the official TEDxYYC website. Until they do, the 2010 TEDxYYC videos can either be found at YouTube’s TEDxYYC Playlist, or right here (in chronological order)…

Rick Castiglione – Storytelling

John Manzo – Third Wave Coffeehouses

Chris Turner – Great Leap Sideways

Decidedly Jazz Danceworks – Wise Apple

Jennifer Martin – Innovative Spaces

Garnette Sutherland – Imaging, Robotics and Surgery

Eden Full – Changemaking & Solar Panels

Lorrie Matheson – Creative Process

Ben Cameron – Live Performing Arts in the 21st Century

Ruben Nelson – What Calgary Must Become

Dan Lui of provided me access to additional coverage (footage swap!), and access to BNetTV’s mixing board audio. And thanks to Sarah Blue for letting me capture the event.

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