gordon mcdowell

Video Editor, yoctoPlay
Calgary, Canada

About gordon

Languages

English

An idea worth spreading

Want a healthy debate between anti-nuke position and NEW nuclear technology researchers. If there's a debate, when there's a debate, it is about technology which is already in-use or already fallen out of favor. What about tomorrow's fission and fusion technology?

I edited TEDxYYC Kirk Sorensen talk on Thorium. Want to continue to produce educational videos on this subject. Want to see the TEDxTalk elevated to TED Talk status and exposure.

I'm passionate about

Clean energy. Efficiency. Democracy. Non First Past The Post voting mechanisms.

Talk to me about

Promoting LFTR technology, and Thorium as an energy source.

Comments & conversations

111301
gordon mcdowell
Posted over 2 years ago
Kirk Sorensen: Thorium, an alternative nuclear fuel
Petition launched (today) asking US Gov to re-think THORIUM regulation. USA Gov THORIUM PETITION: http://wh.gov/5OX Video explaining THORIUM, REE situation and petition: http://youtu.be/QIkqbxYdadg Petition copy: American Energy Independence: Retake the lead in Thorium and Molten Salts, let High-Tech Manufacturing thrive in USA. End Energy Imports with THORIUM China’s "Advanced Nuclear Cooperation" with the US excludes ALL Thorium related R&D. China's expressed intent is to capture all Molten Salt related IP, working from Oak Ridge’s now public R&D paid for by US taxpayers. Compared to today's solid-fuel technologies, Molten Salt Tech cleanly consumes abundant Thorium, rarer Uranium & unwanted Plutonium with FAR greater efficiency. Enable Thorium & Molten Salt Technology: Grant the US both Energy and High-Tech Independence. Our Thorium regulations severely restrict Thorium and Rare Earth development. Until we enable Thorium in the US, High-Tech Manufacturing dependent on Rare Earths will remain impossible here. Reform Th/REE Regs: Let our Energy and High-Tech Manufacturing THRIVE. ...the Rare Earths aspect to THORIUM is critical. It illustrates how thorium regulation is stifling far more than energy independence. Thorium is not dangerous, being BARELY radioactive (compare a lump of it to a banana). It can't be metabolized. Yet thorium regulation has allowed China to dominate high-tech manufacturing. Yesterday Obama announced WTO action against China's REE monopoly abuses. How about producing REE at home? USA alread has plenty REE in waste streams waiting to be harvested. But no one wants to touch those (heavy) REEs, because then they have to deal with the thorium content! Commentary on Obama's announcement: http://youtu.be/MauEg9vqh9k
111301
gordon mcdowell
Posted over 2 years ago
Kirk Sorensen: Thorium, an alternative nuclear fuel
If anyone would like to assist with a Creative Commons effort to make a doc about the science behind LFTR, I've successfully raised $20k via KickStarter and am looking to crowdsource 3D CGI and translation efforts. Right now I've been getting a great deal of help translating THORIUM REMIX 2011, and anyone who'd like to see it covered in their native language, here's the Git repository.... https://github.com/gordonmcdowell/Thorium-Remix ...that does NOT include this TEDx talk, TED has their own infrastructure to help facilitate Closed Captioning translations. (But I'd love to see multilingual folks advance that too.) If you'd like to see this tech propagated, I'd also recommend attending TEAC4... http://thoriumenergyalliance.com/ ...if you are in an environment where lots of people might want to attend (a university?) and are willing to share DVDs with people, I can send you a shwack of TEAC3 DVDs which include an invite to TEAC4. Contact me via: gordonmcdowell@gmail.com
111301
gordon mcdowell
Posted over 2 years ago
Kirk Sorensen: Thorium, an alternative nuclear fuel
Crowdfunding with equity is not legally feasible. Finances aren't my field, but my understanding is that you need to either be an employee or sophisticated investor to invest in something not on a stock exchange. KickStarter works because there is NO equity. There are rewards, but they aren't tied to future growth. The Obama administration mentioned loosening up investment regulations and specifically cited crowdfunding as a means to spur economic growth. But there's no telling when any legislation making equity/investment crowdfunding possible. If/when it is possible, I'd be interested for sure. Maybe thorium supporters could keep also try: - Enabling crowdfunding with equity. - Rethinking thorium regulation. - Rethinking nuclear power plant certification process. ...as topics of interest when speaking to politicians.
111301
gordon mcdowell
Posted over 2 years ago
Kirk Sorensen: Thorium, an alternative nuclear fuel
Same video posted as Kirk, but I'm narrowing in to the 10m 42s mark... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbyr7jZOllI&t=10m42s ...which is where USA breeder R&D spend are listed. Note Thorium Molten Salt technology (now called LFTR) did not receive significant investment. And there WAS a commercial breeder reactor in France... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superph%C3%A9nix ...yes it shut down. But then that's not the reactor (LFTR) thorium advocates are talking about. I'm just pointing this out. When you say "why does thorium need so much help, yet produce so little result?" It doesn't need operational help. It needs R&D to become commercial... again, the core concept having been successfully demonstrated. “We’re putting 90 percent of the subsidies in deployment—this is true in Europe and the United States—not in R&D. And so unfortunately you get technologies that, no matter how much of them you buy, there’s no path to being economical. You need fundamental breakthroughs, which come more out of basic research.“ - Bill Gates
111301
gordon mcdowell
Posted over 2 years ago
Kirk Sorensen: Thorium, an alternative nuclear fuel
dsadsa sdadas, I've heard Kevin Meyerson claim that too! And I heard he got kicked off Quora for trolling! Since we're talking about what we've heard, and not what we know. So Kevin keeps posting to Twitter that people are paid to talk about thorium, he's repeatedly asked for evidence, he responds by claiming it again! Seriously, Kevin, Mr. Sdadas, whatever. I have no idea WHY you keep making false claims, but for everyone else reading this, I AM NOT PAID TO PROMOTE THORIUM. And from my personal exchanges with others in the thorium community, it seems pretty clear they aren't either. It is important. Some people do things because they need doing. Just like I'm sure you feel the world NEEDS to hear thorium is not a source of energy worthy of further research. I can't imagine anyone paying you to post nonsense on Twitter all day, every day.
111301
gordon mcdowell
Posted over 2 years ago
Kirk Sorensen: Thorium, an alternative nuclear fuel
Thorium isn't evenly distributed around the globe, so there's definitely some nations that would be exporting it. But it does EXIST everywhere. If you HAD you, you could mine for it in any old country, it just would be more efficient to have an international market for it. You don't need much to run a reactor... USA's power demands could be easily met not by mining for thorium itself, but simply extracting thorium from the tailings of a heavy rare earth mine. Here's a video about the connection between heavy rare earths and Thorium... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkC8kItzdZI ...so the have-thorium have-not-thorium scenario you're concerned about is SORT-OF happening right now with Heavy Rare Earths, but it is NOT because the resource isn't widely available (heavy rare earths are NOT that rare), just that China has managed to capture the supply chain and USA has been slow to respond to hi-tech manufacturing demand for heavy rare earths. As countries respond to China's HRE near-monopoly, you'll see the availability of thorium also addressed.
111301
gordon mcdowell
Posted over 2 years ago
Kirk Sorensen: Thorium, an alternative nuclear fuel
I can see by your exclamation marks you feel quite strongly about this. I've got friends who live off-grid, with photovoltaic and thermal. They use far less energy than our family does, and I don't see that meeting my needs. Like electric cars, I'm sure you can meet a lot of people's needs with such a solution. But I don't think you'll meet most people's needs. Look at that fellow's propane tanks. You are willing to have that in your back yard, yes? His solution is good enough that you've adopted it yourself? Solar is an interment source of energy. A of today, we don't have an energy storage solution that works on an energy-grid scale... batteries simply cost too much. Take this guy's solution and either imagine those tanks by every person's house, or the very, very large storage solution then moved to the solar farm you'd build for the city. I do expect solar to continue to improve its efficiency (and lower deployment cost). And batteries will get better and cheaper. But today, realistically, all solar can do is slightly reduce our consumption of baseload energy supplies. It is not yet a solution in-and-of itself.