Cadillac’s World Thorium Fuel Concept
: Thanks to +Dirk Reul
(via +Henni Tenhunen
) for bringing this to my attention. While the news on this concept vehicle has gone viral on the news sites, I attempted to look at the science and verifiability behind the news....At first glance, its hard to find supporting papers on scholar or on the LPS site (which is understandably sketchy at best). At best, it looks like a concept LPS is working on. Many challenges exist, including radioactivity, containment and integrating it efficiently with the turbine and generator.
What seems to be a breakthrough is using the Thorium laser for creating heat instead of light or a nuclear reaction, which is harder to damp and control. It does seem plausible (which may be wishful thinking), though last Gizmodo reported it may be ready by year 8000 for commercial production ( http://goo.gl/dhu1F4
Article in Slatesenergy: Some proposed technological innovations seem so far out that they are easy to reject out of hand. But sometimes, a new idea has a kernel of plausibility. Such is the case with a new project to develop a thorium laser power generation system that its creator says could provide electricity for the grid, stand-alone power applications and even cars. Charles Stevens, an inventor and entrepreneur, recently revealed that his Massachusetts-based R&D firm, Laser Power Systems (LPS), is working on a turbine/electric generator system that is powered by “an accelerator-driven thorium-based laser.” The thorium laser does not produce a beam of coherent light like conventional lasers, but instead heats up and gives off energy.
From CNet (edited): According to an article in the Txchnologist, rather than a small-scale thorium-powered nuclear reactor--as floated by the Cadillac concept--the prototype system Steve is designing uses a proprietary high-intensity "MaxFelaser" laser (a design Stevens built in1985) that is fueled by thorium. According to the article, the MaxFelaser laser beam turns water into pressurized steam, spinning a turbine and generating electricity.
Main Article Link: http://www.slatesenergy.com/cadillac_thorium_laser.htm
LPS Website : http://laserpowersystems.com/links/thorium-car/lps-car
Inhabit Link: http://goo.gl/Dguj5N
Wikipedia link on Nuclear Propulsion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_propulsion
LPS news article: http://www.laserpowersystems.com/links/thorium-car
MNN's article quoting Steven Ashley : http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/transportation/blogs/nuclear-cars-theyre-not-science-fiction-anymore
Nuclear powered vehicles (Stanford Link) : http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2012/ph241/durkin1/ #cars #thorium #lasers