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shinypidgey8 karma

Who had the idea to put the author's name in some of the fake citations in order to make it look like they were citing some of their own work? That's my favorite little touch.

shinypidgey6 karma

I'm working in a physics lab designing a new type of MSR (doesn't use Th though). In my experience, the largest barrier to getting funding for a reactor is not with the reactor technology directly, but with developing economic infrastructure to support the reactor during its lifetime.

For example, a preprocessing plant will have to be built to properly condition fuel salt for the initial reactor start up. This plant will probably have to be built on site because start up fuel concentrations contain a non-zero amount of fissile fuel, making transport somewhat risky. Usually fuel conditioning also has to occur in order to scrub certain byproducts from the fuel, which requires piping and pumping of the fuel. These pumps may require significant maintenance if they can't handle the corrosion from the salts, etc. Also the byproducts coming out of such a reactor are still highly radioactive and must still be sequestered (albeit, for less time than byproducts having larger half-lives). All these things take a lot of time and money to plan out, all for an experimental technology which could potentially fail.

During your research have you gotten the same impression? What types of these 'infrastructure' issues do you see being a large obstacle for a Thorium MSR? Do you think investing in a test reactor becomes uneconomical at a certain point due the risk of the technology not panning out?

On an unrelated note, I think this type of documentary is great. I feel that with proper funding the current nuclear industry can really make some great strides. Unfortunately, a lot of people are scared away of anything with the word 'nuclear' in it...

shinypidgey1 karma

Thanks for the response. Pity that the information is not currently available for you guys.

shinypidgey1 karma

Did you do any investigation of how funds are distributed inside of school districts at the microscopic scale?

My mother is a teacher in a large district which qualifies for Title 1 (according to your table) because there pockets of significant poverty in an otherwise affluent district, so I hear about this a lot. The certain schools with large poverty rates are designated as 'Title 1' and get a significantly higher proportion of the Title 1 funds (I don't know the exact distribution). I get the impression from your story that this misallocated 20% (which actually doesn't seem that large to me) is split up evenly among the entire district, causing a large fraction to go directly to rich schools. From my mom's experience this isn't the case if you look at the substructure of each district. Would like to hear if you could elaborate on this point at all.