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Bill Gates To Help China Build Traveling Wave Nuclear Reactor

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the power-to-a-billion-people dept.

China 467

First time accepted submitter BabaChazz writes "Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates says he is in discussions with China to jointly develop a new kind of nuclear reactor. During a talk at China's Ministry of Science & Technology Wednesday, the billionaire said: 'The idea is to be very low cost, very safe and generate very little waste.' Gates backs Washington-based TerraPower, which is developing a nuclear reactor that can run on depleted uranium."

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Blue Screen of Nuclear Death ? (5, Funny)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38299908)

Just wait, China !

Bill Gate will give you Blue Screen of Nuclear Death !!

The first nuclear reactor... (1, Offtopic)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38299928)

...powered by Microsoft Bob.

Too bad (5, Insightful)

wmbetts (1306001) | more than 2 years ago | (#38299936)

Too bad he's prohibited from doing something like this in the US. If it weren't for ill-rational fears of nuclear power the R&D would be done in the US.

Re:Too bad (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38299962)

Too bad he's prohibited from doing something like this in the US. If it weren't for ill-rational fears of nuclear power the R&D would be done in the US.

Well, the trick is that if another country does it cheaply enough, the rest of the world *has* to follow.

Re:Too bad (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38299990)

It can be done cheaply enough in the U.S. RIGHT NOW. The problem is NIMBY and anti-nuclear activist groups have literally made it impossible.

Re:Too bad (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38300060)

All the more reason I hope Bill can get a couple of these running in China - Show that it can be done and done pretty safely.
 

Re:Too bad (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38300106)

Using windows, nuclear, safe, strike one out...

Re:Too bad (5, Funny)

aztektum (170569) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300150)

nuclear.

i just made windows safe for use.

Re:Too bad (5, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300274)

Except in the US businessmen are cheap and have more interest in cutting costs than following safety rules. Fukashima had the same attitude of costs and could have avoided the meltdown. I would feel better if governments ran them rather than for profit deregulated corporations who have brainwashed the populace that anything else is evil socialism.

Re:Too bad (4, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300318)

Apparently you've never lived in Japan. If you did, then you'd know the anti-nuke hysteria that goes on when a company tries to build a replacement plant for aging tech.

Re:Too bad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38300236)

I bought a 50 Mhz DPO scope from Hongkong for $350. then flashed the firmware to run it at 100 Mhz ( same damn hardware, and just expanded the display ).
We are Screwed. No question. If that scope had a Agilent or Tek badge, I wouldn't give it a second thought of it's origin ( as in USA built ).
I feel sick. Get ready for riots when the money changer tricks finally dry pan and all the idiots with 401Ks watch their investment evaporate.

The feds will strip environmental, safety and working requirements to keep our heads above water.

Just watch. 2020 Is going to be bad.

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38299992)

Plus one!

Re:Too bad (-1, Troll)

dankasak (2393356) | more than 2 years ago | (#38299998)

Ill-rational? Oh dear. Leave science ( and written communication ) to those capable of said tasks. There is nothing irrational about being against the most dangerous, polluting and expensive method of boiling water ever conceived.

Re:Too bad (0)

wmbetts (1306001) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300026)

Forgive my auto correct and it is irrational to be afraid of it.

Re:Too bad (3, Funny)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300116)

Forgive my auto correct

Oh no, it will not be forgiven, he's already decided that little gaff should have you ousted from science and written communication. For shame!

;)

Re:Too bad (2, Insightful)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300188)

Since when does autocorrect create non-existent words?

And the L and - keys are pretty far from R... o.O

Re:Too bad (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300278)

Since when does autocorrect create non-existent words?

And the L and - keys are pretty far from R... o.O

I'm afraid I've had that happen. I was so convinced of my misspelling that I added it to the dictionary!

Re:Too bad (2)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300290)

Adding "ill-rational" to the dictionary is not something you can blame on autocorrect :p

Re:Too bad (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300326)

Adding "ill-rational" to the dictionary is not something you can blame on autocorrect :p

True.

Re:Too bad (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300472)

I didn't add it to the dictionary. No idea why it's there.

Re:Too bad (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300478)

Magic!

Must be an iPhone ;)

Re:Too bad (4, Insightful)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300044)

except when someone develops a safer, cleaner method of boiling water that burns through most of the "pollution" (actually viable fuel) created by the last 3 generations of the technology.

just because it's not the best now, doesn't mean it can't (in fact SHOULD) be made better, if only we were allowed to learn from past mistakes, rather than running those mistakes well beyond their designed lifetimes.

Re:Too bad (2, Insightful)

alci63 (1856480) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300570)

Making several square miles of land unfriendly to human life for several decades (centuries...) in case of problem is not what I would call a cheap method. Having to handle dangerous wastes for thousands of years seems like a dangerous bet... might not be so cheap...

Re:Too bad (3, Informative)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300102)

Ill-rational? Oh dear. Leave science ( and written communication ) to those capable of said tasks.

Substitute 'Irrational' - which you've clearly already resolved anyway - and it's fine.

There is nothing irrational about being against the most dangerous, polluting and expensive method of boiling water ever conceived.

FTFA:
the billionaire said: 'The idea is to be very low cost, very safe and generate very little waste.'

Re:Too bad (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38300140)

Except coal kills more, so its not the most dangerous. And I'm certain people have conceived of more lethal ways, like slaves on treadmills.

Re:Too bad (4, Insightful)

rasmusbr (2186518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300312)

Ill-rational? Oh dear. Leave science ( and written communication ) to those capable of said tasks.

There is nothing irrational about being against the most dangerous, polluting and expensive method of boiling water ever conceived.

Hear, hear.

Coal* mining and burning has to stop. It's deadly and dirty.

The fastest way of displacing coal at present is to build natural gas plants and wind turbines, so that should be our current industrial focus. Solar will play an increasingly important role as solar technology gets cheaper and more effective.

But none of these come close to nuclear in terms of safety and environmental performance. It's hard to beat the inherent power of E = mc^2. Gas emits CO2. Solar and wind rely on the mining of huge amounts of toxic materials, much of which will have to be deposited in underground storages unless we develop ways of recycling it. (Does that sound familiar?) Nuclear is both cleaner and safer because it relies on mining of small amounts of toxic material.

If we could develop a nuclear reactor that could be produced on production lines in factories and shipped out to the customers in shipping containers nuclear could not only be the cleanest and safest alternative, but also the cheapest.

*You meant coal, right?

Re:Too bad (3, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300468)

Solar and wind rely on the mining of huge amounts of toxic materials, much of which will have to be deposited in underground storages unless we develop ways of recycling it.

Sand is that dangerous? Oh I get it - homeopathic toxins where the stuff with the lowest concentration is the most dangerous. I think you've wandered into the wrong place. Engineers lurk here and we're very big on the physical sciences instead of the metaphysical crystal worshipping bullshit.

Nuclear is both cleaner and safer because it relies on mining of small amounts of toxic material.

Are these people growing up in sealed boxes? Haven't you heard of a place called Iran where their concentration of radioactive material is in the news? The way it works is very large amounts of material are mined and then a very difficult and energy intensive process (including in one process such "clean" stuff as Uranium Flourides as a gas - well I suppose that would "clean" you to your bones and then dissolve the bones) which then gives you a small amount of fuel from a large amount of ore.

Re:Too bad (2)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300480)

You don't need to use gloveboxes to concentrate U-235 in any case (it's not radioactive enough). You also don't need to even _enrich_ uranium for some types of reactors.

Re:Too bad (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38300152)

How is it irrational? Ever heard of Fukushima? Go back and follow the timeline of events. At *every* stage of the disaster experts were reassuring the public that according well accepted nuclear community engineering standards--which the plant adhere too--the next event in the timeline wouldn't happen. It became almost comical after awhile. The news about Fukushima continues to get worse to this day.

No. It's very rational to fear nuclear power, just like it's rational to fear driving on a highway. Coal plants might spew out more radiation, but they're an extremely simple, stable, and well-known quantity. You can probably predict with a high degree of accuracy exactly how many people will die of cancer from a coal plant. But nuclear plants very clearly have many unknown and unpredictable characteristics. Nuclear engineers earned a giant *FAIL* on Fukushima.

I'm still very pro-nuclear. But after Fukushima nuclear engineers really should learn some humility, as well as nuclear fan boys.

Re:Too bad (4, Insightful)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300452)

You can probably predict with a high degree of accuracy exactly how many people will die of cancer from a coal plant. But nuclear plants very clearly have many unknown and unpredictable characteristics.

You're doing it wrong. First of all, you can get a pretty damn good estimate of the likelihood of a major nuclear incident by dividing the world-wide number of operating hours of all nuclear plants by the number of major incidents. It isn't predictability that's the problem, it's the scope of the damage that occurs when something does go wrong.

But that isn't even a problem either -- it just sounds a lot scarier. People are irrationally afraid of things that are very rare but when they occur are very bad. It's like movie plot terrorist threats: Hardly anybody is killed by terrorists, but we spend trillions of dollars trying to reduce the amount of terrorism with unnecessary wars and security theater.

Do the math. Something which is fifty times as bad but occurs ten thousand times less often is a Good Thing. (I mean honestly, go visit an abandoned coal mine once. Then tell me the damn Superfund sites they leave behind aren't each individually worse than Chernobyl.)

Re:Too bad (2, Insightful)

msclrhd (1211086) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300506)

Fukushima happened because:
1. it was a 30 year old plant 1 month away from being decommissioned;
2. it was hit by an unprecedented earthquake that damaged the walls of the plant -- immediately after which the plant was shut down (the fuel rods removed);
3. it was then hit by an unprecedented tsunami and is close to the sea -- this knocked out the diesel power generators and flooded the plant.

It was an extremely unlucky sequence of events -- the reactor was designed to withstand something like a magnitude 7 earthquake (and was hit with a magnitude 9 one), and survive a 7 ft tsunami (but was hit by a 10 ft one).

During the incident, the people at the plant worked selflessly and continually to help prevent the incident from escalating further, often putting themselves in danger due to the amount of radiation they were taking.

We can look back on this with hindsight and improve things, but what could they have done better with the reactor they had and the knowledge they had when it was built and even a year before the incident? Yes, there are now better and safer reactor designs, but they were not available 30 years ago.

Re:Too bad (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38300562)

add this:

4. it was then hit by an unprecedented fear of taking responsibility: the plugs the backup generators used did not match the plugs used by the regular generators, so instead of improvising something and keeping the cooling system on they just watched the pressure build up ... feeling safe knowing they did not break any operating rules and it won't be blamed on them, but on the tsunami

Re:Too bad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38300204)

"Ill-rational"?? You dumbfuck.

Actually, this is good news. (4, Insightful)

Ramin_HAL9001 (1677134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38299948)

China is one of the largest CO2 polluters in the world. Traveling wave reactors are known to be incredibly clean and safe. If you give the Chinese abundant safe and clean energy, this is going to really help the global warming problem.

The reason traveling wave reactors were never used, even though the technology has been know for half a century, is that they produce no waste that is useful to making nuclear weapons. That is only reason why all nuclear power nations wanted the more dangerous reactors that ran on uranium and plutonium fission.

But modernizing the safer, non-weaponizable form of nuclear power is a great way to go.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38300004)

Bad news for the Australian Coal industry.
But hey, if we are going to export Uranium to India, why not China too...

Re:Actually, this is good news. (3, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300050)

Bad news for the Australian Coal industry.
But hey, if we are going to export Uranium to India, why not China too...

What, China doesn't need steel anymore?

Re:Actually, this is good news. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300322)

China has more than enough coal for that. Australia's coal will be in trouble once China can build nuke plants cheaply.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300408)

China has more than enough coal for that. Australia's coal will be in trouble once China can build nuke plants cheaply.

Well, maybe... but then again [bloomberg.com] ... maybe not [wikipedia.org] (note that 62% of China's coal imports is on coking coal, the rest of it being for steaming).
Australian iron ore miners will be OK, the uranium miners - maybe better.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300336)

Of course they still need steel, but it is still terrible news for Australias top export, we don't just export coal for use in steel, but on balance this is great news for the world in general.

Number 4 export destination (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300418)

China mine a lot of their own coal and are planning to get more from Mongolia. Most of the Australian coal goes to Japan:
http://www.australiancoal.com.au/the-australian-coal-industry_coal-exports_coal-export-details.aspx [australiancoal.com.au]
Also there are plans to expand a Uranium mine in Australia to make it the largest in the world.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (2)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300066)

we already do... it's hypocrisy that we don't already export to India. they're more concerned with powering their populace than with their tiny nuke arsenal.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38300512)

Ho ho ho ....... yes, and their benevolent neighbors Pakistan also have no interest in building any more nuclear weapons. The pro-nuclear advocates on slashdot always seem to forget that the proliferation of nuclear weapons to unstable countries is NOT a good thing.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (2)

FishTankX (1539069) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300020)

This analogy breaks down when you consider Japan Canada Sweden Germany and the many other countries that have no nuclear weapons programs but operate a large nuclear reactor fleet. This would've particularly helped Japan when the cooling was cut off at daiichi too.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (4, Insightful)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300062)

It's because all the expertise was in enriched uranium reactors, and the same reason why American companies used slightly enriched uranium plants for it: it's cheaper to improve on a current process than to throw it out and start from scratch. Sure, there's diminishing returns, but why bother with something new when in the current situation where the public is afraid of anything nuclear? But when you're in a country where public opinion is less of a problem and you have a large budget surplus, you're freer to mess around.

I'm not sure what analogy there is in GP's comment.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (4, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300042)

China is one of the largest CO2 polluters in the world. Traveling wave reactors are known to be incredibly clean and safe. If you give the Chinese abundant safe and clean energy, this is going to really help the global warming problem.

 

Traveling wave reactors aren't known to be anything. No one has built one.

Don't count your little Godzillas until they've hatched.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (4, Insightful)

alendit (1454311) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300054)

While I agree with everything else, I am not sure, why everyone has always to mention absolute numbers to China's CO2 production. China ist also the most populous county in the world. And the its CO2 emission per capita for 2008 is on par with Sweden or Israel and less than third of the US one (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions_per_capita).

Unless one argues that the Chinese people are less valuable than the US citizens (you can't even tell them from one another!), I don't see, how one can critisise China without being a hypocrite. That goes not only to the US, Germany, France and half of the developed world in worse in that regard.

Of course, if China was to provide an equal living standard to every citizen, the situation would be entirely different. And you can surely use some metric like CO2-emission/GDP, where China would look quite terrible and make a valid argument about their efficiency. But right now, China as a whole is more CO2-free than most of the developed countries.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (5, Insightful)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300086)

wasn't criticism. was a statement that lots of CO2 comes from China, and reducing that is a good thing.

reducing it anywhere is a good thing. it's not a race or culture statement, just a numbers game.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (1)

alendit (1454311) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300196)

Didn't mean to imply YOU were saying such a thing, was a bit polemic from me. It's rather about "China is the biggest polluter" argument as a whole and its implications.

Surely, decreasing CO2 emission is always a good thing.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300144)

The per-capita stats you link to are physically meaningless (they're politically motivated statistics). What counts in terms of environmental impact is the total output, so you should be linking to this [wikipedia.org] instead.

For those who don't want to click the link, China, the US, and EU are the top 3 polluters, unsurprisingly.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (2)

alendit (1454311) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300208)

The absolute numbers for a country are much more politically motivated, since countries are purely political entities. People, on the other hand, are physical entities, too.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (3)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300244)

No, individual people don't have a say in energy policies, countries do. That's why countries are meaningful in this case. To be more exact, regions with common industrial energy policies and closely related plant designs would be what matters, but countries are a good approximation. You'll note I mentioned China, the US and the EU, not the individual countries of Europe. I suppose I should have combined the US and Canada probably due to the close economic dependency between the two countries.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300358)

Not really. We have very different policies. Canada's regard for the environment is much higher than EU's and certainly higher than Americas.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300350)

And that is BS as well, unless you normalize across something. Basically, you have to normalize across land mass or economics. Both are far more related to CO2 and pollution then just the issue of ppl. For example, look at the fact that China's CO2 emissions are screaming upwards faster and faster, and yet, they have a fairly low-growth population.

But, you are right that using per capita as a metric really is worthless and stupid.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (1, Interesting)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300248)

What matters is CO2 emission per land area, not per capita. CO2 emission is almost entirely a function of fossil fuel usage. And CO2 sequestration is almost entirely a function of biomass. Any large country's ability to mitigate CO2 emissions will ultimately be proportional to their land area.

The US and China have nearly the same land area, yet China emits 28% more CO2.

The reason why is immaterial. But let's look at it regardless. Those people didn't just magically appear. China's government got the brilliant idea that overpopulation would be a great economic boon. Surprise, surprise, it wasn't. Taking this into account is like saying a country that purposely over-fishes it's waters should be given more of them. It's retarded, creates the wrong incentives, and will only lead to failure.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (5, Informative)

unkiereamus (1061340) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300302)

China's government got the brilliant idea that overpopulation would be a great economic boon.

I'm sorry, what?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-child_policy [wikipedia.org]

[Citation needed]

Re:Actually, this is good news. (3)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300364)

And that 28% more was in 2008 and with dishonest numbers. When OCO2 comes, their numbers are going to jump massively. Good post, BTW.

We need to kill kyoto and push a tax on ALL goods based on CO2 from where manufactured.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300340)

No, China is NOT that CO2-free. Right now, the Chinese gov. blocks decent and honest measurements. Once OCO2 is flying and able to provide honest information, the world is going to be shocked. China is a nightmare.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (1)

zmooc (33175) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300466)

Everyone always has to mention that so they can display their lack of understanding of the difference between pollution and CO2 production. China is King in the former, not in the latter.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (1)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300560)

China is King in the former, not in the latter.

Don't you mean Emperor ?

Re:Actually, this is good news. (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300056)

no, that only applies to Magnox in the UK and RBMK (the handy reactors at Pripyat) in Russia.

all the rest of them are not weaponizable in the least, unless run grossly out-of-spec, and stopped and refuelled every 3 weeks (the downtime for refuelling is significantly longer than 3 weeks).

Re:Actually, this is good news. (4, Interesting)

atomicstrawberry (955148) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300092)

There's another reason they don't get used. The 'standard' reactors require enriched fuels. The same companies that sell the reactors also supply the fuels, or the enrichment services. It's basically vendor lock-in.

What about Thorium?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38300210)

I Thought Chine was investing in Thorium nuclear reactors, what happen to that?

Re:What about Thorium?? (-1, Flamebait)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300372)

China has billions, if not trillions that they MUST send back to America one way or another. They are currently attempting to buy as much high tech from traitors as possible.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38300412)

It would be awesome if they can convince Iran to adopt this. Of course, that would mean stopping all of the attempts at sabotaging the nation and trying to incite regime change. Of course after what happened to Ghaddaffi, I won't be expecting any other nations to give up on any attempts at trying to play nice and giving up any WOMD. Silly me.

Re:Actually, this is good news. (3, Informative)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300456)

Plutonium production for weapons is better done in a special-purpose reactor than in a power plant. Power plants need to keep fuel in place for long periods for economic reasons, which eventually produces plutonium isotopes that are undesirable for bombs.

In fact, I can't think of a single example of someone building a bomb with plutonium from a power plant.

cheap uggs (-1, Offtopic)

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A Shrewd Businessman (0)

Artea (2527062) | more than 2 years ago | (#38299996)

With the recent nuclear crisis in Japan, perhaps Gates has found another upcoming market to invest in. Nuclear Reactor Vista - Calculating time to transfer power...

Re:A Shrewd Businessman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38300114)

Just as long as noone squirts me with nuclear waste, I'm fine.

Linux servers will not work with energy from them (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38300002)

The Linux servers will not power up with them .... that's not a bug, it's a feature

Nuclear reactor... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38300024)

Hi. Why not build a Thorium reactor. There is no problem with Thorium, it cannot be made to weapons grade anything. reg quintt

Re:Nuclear reactor... (3, Informative)

stooo (2202012) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300286)

>> There is no problem with Thorium

Wrong. There are many, many problems with thorium.
To begin with, this substance is more chemically and radiologically toxic than Pu. So having it molten 24/365 inside corroding tubes is pure suicide for a whole land.

Re:Nuclear reactor... (3, Interesting)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300524)

this substance is more chemically and radiologically toxic than Pu

Do you guys just make this stuff up as you go along? The half life of natural Thorium is 1.405×10^10 years. Radioactivity is the inverse of half life. (By contrast, the half life of Pu-239 is ~24,000 years, and the Iodine-125 they inject you with when you get an MRI has a half life of 59 days.)

How low he has sunk (1, Flamebait)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300034)

From Microsoft megastar to traveling wave salesman.

Just asking.... (1)

abednegoyulo (1797602) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300040)

Will the power plant's system running Linux?

Re:Just asking.... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300382)

The scary thought it that it will likely be Windows.

really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38300052)

"I see you're trying to build a bomb...." hahah

safe? (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300090)

'The idea is to be very low cost, very safe and generate very little waste'

the Chinese have a habit of cutting corners, lots of them. will it really be safe? also, their track record of proper waste disposal is poor. it's a good idea as long as there arent any people involved.

Re:safe? (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300182)

The 14 nuclear power plants currently operating in China haven't exploded yet, so that least they're doing something right.

Older than "clean coal" or Roswell Aliens (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300230)

I'm skeptical of the whole concept-- we've heard about next gen safe clean nuclear forever -- LONGER than we've been hearing about clean coal or Roswell Aliens.

When a Chinese reactor goes bust do you think the people responsible will LIVE or have a nice life afterwards?? In Japan they no longer have the honor they once had in their leadership so the responsible ones do not kill themselves anymore; but there may be some shame. Its worse in the USA.

China may have troubles with quality control and corruption; but they have no trouble dealing out proper punishment which should deter some of the problems.

Besides if these "safe" nukes are feasible the leaks will be no worse than the drinking water, air, and arsenic apples in China...

Re:Older than "clean coal" or Roswell Aliens (4, Insightful)

unkiereamus (1061340) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300338)

In Japan they no longer have the honor they once had in their leadership so the responsible ones do not kill themselves anymore

I call bullshit.

Are you seriously going to sit there and tell me that suicide is the honorable response to a fuck-up?

The fuck it is. The honorable response to a fuck-up is devoting your life to cleaning it up, until either you fix it or you die of natural causes.

Suicide is a coward's way out, it passes the problem to the next guy and somehow through the power of death magically absolves you of your sin.

Re:Older than "clean coal" or Roswell Aliens (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300462)

Super "fuck-ups" only sometimes remove themselves from the gene pool by accident; we have an award for the best ones of those every year...

I will not stop the ones who want to remove themselves from the gene pool who were lucky enough to not be near the disaster they caused.

Note- These "fuck-ups" are usually not incompetent, that is their best/last defense and people accept way too much from people who are incompetent-- its no wonder so many use it as an excuse. These are not people of character, not likely going to do much to remedy it (or make it worse-- like Mr. Burns trying to be good was more evil... well not that extreme its satire after all.)

I prefer suicide to the popular defense mechanisms we have today that lead them to repeat their actions and get well payed.

Shame is really a powerful emotion; I would argue it is not fear but shame that is the principle cause of honor suicide-- unbearable shame.

Re:Older than "clean coal" or Roswell Aliens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38300380)

Congratulations for showing everyone on slashdot the sort of irrational mentality that sees the rest of the western world stuck in the 50's with regards to power generation. Your fear of science would be funny if it wasn't so sad and detrimental to the rest of society. Just remember as you choke down your next lungfull of smog that it was your own ignorance that allowed you to continue to slowly poison yourself and your fellow countrymen.

Re:Older than "clean coal" or Roswell Aliens (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300484)

I'm generally skeptical too but in their defence the "next gen" has been coming for so long because for example there is not yet a completed reactor of the 1980s design of the AP1000. It's probably been planned for longer than many readers here have been alive.
Of course an unbuilt plant is as safe as anyone can pretend it can be. The real answer comes after the first prototype and unexpected factors come into play.

Down with philantropy. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38300122)

How many Bill Gates does it take to make up for the damage done by the Koch brothers?
How is it desirable that lunatics like Bill Gates mess with our education system?
Why should Bill Gates decide whether or not GMO are a good thing for Africa?

Re:Down with philantropy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38300288)

Because he's rich enough to be incorruptable (unlike the representatives of your amazing political and judicial systems), and he's WAY smarter than you.

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Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38300130)

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But ... but Bill Gates is Evil! So is China! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38300232)

But slashdot looooves nuclear power. Does not compute with groupthink! (hive mind explodes)

Danger (0)

stooo (2202012) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300280)

"bill gates" and "nuclear reactor" In the same sentence is really not good.
"bill gates", "cheap nuclear reactor", "china", what can possibly go wrong ?

Seriously, in this kind of monster, only 1/10th of the fuel is supposed to be active at any time. Furthermore, they want to use low enriched U, so they need even more.
I would guess, from a 150ton fuel for a typical GWe device, you will here have like 5000 tons of fuel.
As soon as this becomes instable, all the "dead mass" will become reactive(despite the poisons), and you will have a never seen before 5000 ton U bomb. (as opposed to a few kg in a nuke bomb)...

Makes sense (0)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300294)

He pushes Windows here, but will send American tech over there for a few bucks. I think that he and his family should just move to China.

Re:Makes sense (3, Insightful)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300346)

This sort of tech has been pushed and rejected by most of the western world due to fear mongering and morons that can only think of japan or chernobyl when they hear the phrase nuclear power. Sadly China get a jump to clean and safe energy because the rest of the world panda to the irrational morons in society, on the whole though at least this reduces the worlds Coal burning.

Re:Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38300428)

If only the rest of the world had pandas - they are so adorable!

Are the people who don't want Iran, North Korea etc to have nukes irrational morons too? You are aware of why many countries went to the expense of constructing nuclear power stations, right? Hint: It wasn't driven by a desire to reduce the number of coal fired power plants.

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This energy will be sold in the US . . . (3, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300362)

China will use it to build and charge batteries that will be sold in Wal-Marts in the US, so this is a win-win, right . . . ? An the "traveling nuclear waves" stay in China . . . ? Isn't a traveling nuclear wave called a tsunami, and caused a disaster in Japan . . . ?

Actually the title sounds like fear mongering (Bill/China/Nukes) or a bad joke:

"So, Bill Gates walks into a bar in China with a traveling nuclear wave reactor, and the bartender says . . .

[Insert Your Ask Slashdot Punchline Here]

Can you surf nuclear waves . . . ? Maybe China wants to take over the surfing travel industry . . . ?!

This topic always attracts lots of emotion, with very little substance . . . oh, and I guess I'm an offender, too . . .

flat barren land is best? (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300378)

Hopefully Bill doesn't cut too many corners and stays out of the flood zones. Maybe he can find a good sized city in western China with lots of desert around.

FRIST STOP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38300438)

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Pebble bed reactor? (1)

gagol (583737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38300566)

I read somewhere sometime ago China was researching a nuclear reactor design called Pebble Bed, made to be cheap, reliable and safe. Do someone with more knowledge in that field knows if it is a continuation of this program or a completely new design? Thank you.
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