22 thoughts on “Public Radio International MARKETPLACE”

  1. The article is nice, and then the final paragraph goes:
    “And sure, they’re electrics, but if the power comes from coal-burning power plants, or Jack’s generator, how green is that? And there was that memorable powerpoint slide from one of the presentations: ‘The top five reasons our cars catch on fire.’ And that was before the news of the Volt. If electrics are really going to go anywhere, someone will have to make a better battery.”

  2. Journalists are usually unfamiliar with the things they report on. This one in particular doesn’t seem to realize the batteries in the Volt are not the same as the ones being used in the cars he’s reporting on.

    LiFePO4 cells don’t catch fire unless you do something really stupid to them, and even then the fire is nothing like what we see from the various lithium oxide cells. Something I learned long before discovering EVTV simply browsing around on YouTube.

    As for the “coal-burning power plants,” he should probably have watched EVTV’s very first video before even mentioning such a thing. Pound for pound, even coal-fired power plant electricity used in an EV is MUCH cleaner than burning gasoline, and that’s before considering the amount of pollution generated just getting the gasoline from the Arab well to your gas tank.

    Personally, I think we need a Manhattan Project style effort in bringing Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTR) online in a commercial capacity. A single mine in Idaho has enough Thorium available to solve the U.S. energy needs for a thousand years. The design is inherently safe produces little waste, most of the waste it does produce can be turned into useful products (neodymium anyone?), and the rest has a much shorter half-life than the waste from Light Water Reactors. It can actually use and eliminate the existing stockpiles of waste. And best of all… IT CAN’T MELTDOWN.

    But I digress… I just have a real beef with the media’s need to sensationalize and FUD everything they report on. Especially when they clearly don’t have all the facts.

  3. I don’t think you will ever convince anyone to go nuclear. It has a bad rap and nobody wants to even hear about it.

    As far as the Volt fires, I believe I heard that it was the coolant that was being circulated around the batteries that was catching fire. Only GM could make a car with flammable coolant.

  4. Actually, the liquid fluoride thorium reactors are extremely koool. I tried to get the main proponent of this, Greg *????” to speak at EVCCON last fall. He has a fascinating presentation on this.

    When you say Nuclear has a bad rap and nobody wants to even hear about it, I’m assuming you are referring to the millions of mindless morons on the planet, and not to the brilliant yours truly who actually can’t get enough of hearing about it.

    I have heard this coolant story as well. It is highly unlikely.

    Jack Rickard

  5. No not the coolant catching fire but the coolant leaking in and around and on the batteries and then crystalizing and causing them to short out across the crystals of dried coolant. Im not buying that one either.

    “The coolant did not catch fire, but crystallized and created an electrical
    short that apparently sparked the fires, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the findings are not final.”

    I have always been a Nuke guy and the liquid fluoride thorium reactors are long overdue.

  6. Thank you for mentioning LFTR. I was always anti-U235 reactors even in the days when green was a colour and “environment” was a posh way of saying “surroundings”.

    My concern was that the very long half lives of the fission products made it impossible to protect our distant descendants from accidental contamination. It looks like LFTR solves that problem, in which case I need to change a long-held view.

  7. The Gov’ts had no interest in thorium reactors because they do not make atomic bombs, depleted uranium for balance weights and munitions (1.6x heavier than lead) and other high value by-products used for medical and engineering.

    Britain’s first nuclear pile produced so much heat and the public were so very much against them, they went with the propaganda sideline of producing electricity. It was a simple Carnot cycle heated air pump producing a whopping 60KW.

    A good point about Dr. Righteous.
    The media shows incredible naivety with the real world but when they are used to program the minds of people they almost have the power of God! That is why the duped believe “Hydrogen is the power source of the future” and “what’s the payback time of your ev?”. DUH!!


  8. I watched the video. Sorry, but I had to laugh when I saw the name “Electro Willys” on Mike Picard’s Jeep. In this part of the world people might get the wrong idea…

    Journalists can get it very wrong. I’m not sure which ones I am more afraid of, the plain ignorant ones, or the lying kind.


  9. I love it when people actually do the 30 minutes worth of research on LFTR. I love it when they find out just how long the concept has been around. I love how angry it makes people that LWRs became the standard instead of LFTR, and the reasons for it.

    I personally find it inexcusable, and find it ridiculous that we still use any other means of generating electricity. AND I think the more people learn about LFTR, the more people will demand it.


  10. Well whatever GMs problem with the Volt is, I hope they fix it fast. It is causing serious problems with the argument that electric cars don’t work. People like my dad go on and on about how bad they are and how they don’t work yada yada yada. Not being in a position to buy an electric car, even building my own is not possible at this point, so arguing about it is just wasting time at this point.
    As far as the LFTR reactors go, I too think they are fascinating, but as you stated earlier the millions of idiots running around don’t hear anything except what the mainstream media tells them. I even read that in the end of the article about how kit cars when in an accident are like wearing a potato chip, which really irked me. I know that kit cars are designed with overbuilt frames and can be just as safe as an OEM car. That kind of nonsense coming from media where they don’t know what they are talking about needs to stop.

  11. Like all technologies, liquid floride thorium reactions have their own set of challenges. The conspiracy theorists kind of overlook the challenges in this. But it does look promising and it appears we did not pursue this because it didn’t quite fit the weapons program bias in our system.

    I would like to see some investment in this. And it is the sort of thing where a government investment would PROBABLY be a better route to go than for me to go into the garage and “see what I can do” with liquid florida thorium.

    But right now its kind of an uphill battle – not too uncommon. MOst of the participants in all debates are ill qualified to participate. It’s kind of hard to tell the players again so we do it in a kind of bubbling American cauldron of chaos and confusion that I tend to celebrate. It can be perniciously difficult to shut down, regulate, or otherwise control just because it IS such a mess.

    The media reflects more than it controls. This is an effort to “twist” the media by doing video and text “my way” which will be a little different than “your way” but it’s kind of neat that these disruptive technologies not only allow it, but in a way, this Cloud and video give us a reach Public Radio International and National Public Radio just don’t have. It’s not so much they cannot have, eventually they will. But they will follow not lead.

    There is an interesting web site on Dick Estelle and his show where he READS to you from a book. Been on NPR for decades. It shows the tape recorders and so forth that he used to use. It’s a sad slow march through technology badly and belatedly done. Kind of the trickle down theory of modern communications – the LATE adopter phase diagrammed.

    I could spend my life on all the wart heads that don’t get it and don’t understand and are doing it all wrong. What’s that about? Picking on retards and Dans worldwide?

    There are a LOT of brilliant people in the world with great talents in vision and innovation – clever people of good will and strong of heart.

    I would like them to read my blog and view my videos and join in common cause to enable a hugely effective shift in energy usage for personal mobility. That some idiots have odd comments to make about it along the way is not terribly discouraging. We have them with us always. But they shape little and effect little.

    Jack Rickard

  12. I’m happy I could share something so well received on here. Like EVs, LFTR is one of those things I like to scream about from the rooftops. One of those things I hope the right person will hear about, look into and subsequently develop.

    Yes, there are issues with LFTR, but those issues are mostly engineering and a little politics. With enough people screaming from the rooftops, the political issues can be solved and the engineers can take over.

    I truly believe the country that perfects LFTR first will be the first to prosper from it and be the model for the rest of the world. No offense to the international audience, but I’d prefer it were the U.S., mostly because of the trickle effect of the U.S. economy to the rest of the world (but also because hey, I live here, lol).

    I mean think about the effect clean, cheap, abundant energy would have. Imagine being charged by the MWh instead of the KWh. There are things we simply don’t recycle because it would take too much energy to do so. Problem solved. All those neat “city of the future” ideas from way back when could suddenly spring into existence (high speed mag-lev trains anyone?).

    …not to mention all the energy our beloved EVs could ask for. Even the holy grail of inductive charging on the highways… -swoon-

    Yeah, I know, I’ve been watching too many Jacques Fresco documentaries. But a geek can dream, right?

  13. Jack – Remembering the disaster with the Metric Mind box, you might want to insert a thin sheet of plastic between each of those A123 cells to electrically isolate them. As I recall, the pouches used in that design had some current flowing through the pouch, which caused arching and damage to the cells. Something like a sheet of shower curtain woven between each cell should do the trick without taking up much room.

  14. Hi Dr.
    If cooling or heating is wanted, how about threading windscreen washer tubing between the sealed edges of the pouch under the plate for the contacts. For water cooling/heating. I wouldn’t do it though.

    I think J said these don’t seem to suffer conductive edges like Kokams do.

    Talking about Kokams. Their website has gone?

  15. Got the link with a google search.

    It works. I never post a link that does not work. I always go there first to be sure it is a good link.


    If the pasted link comes up looking like this when you paste it in then just type in from the forward slash index.php. The link should look like this: http://www.dowkokam.com/index.php in the browser to work. WWW. works just fine too. Not sure why when you cut and paste it mucks up the address.

    Sorry but you must have a PC. 🙁

    Pete 🙂

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