Learn how the China water crisis will have significant impact on the balance of the world if not reversed, and how you can help, in this WaterFilters.NET post.
Duane Tilden‘s insight:
>The New York Times reports:
Beijing has placed its faith in monumental feats of engineering to slake the north’s growing thirst. The South-North Water Transfer eventually aims to pipe 45 cubic kilometers of water annually northward along three routes in eastern, central and western China. All three pose enormous technical challenges: The eastern and central routes will be channeled under the Yellow River, while the western route entails pumping water over part of the Himalayan mountain range.
The estimated cost of $65 billion is almost certainly too low, and doesn’t include social and ecological impacts. Construction has already displaced hundreds of thousands, and issues the like possible increases in transmission of water-borne diseases have not been properly studied. But Beijing’s calculus is political: It is easier to increase the quantity of water resources, at whatever cost, rather than allocate a limited supply between competing interests. […]
A recent article by The Economist states:
“The Chinese government would do better to focus on demand, reducing consumption of water in order to make better use of limited supplies. Water is too cheap in most cities, usually costing a tenth of prices in Europe. Such mispricing results in extravagance. Industry recycles too little water; agriculture wastes too much. Higher water prices would raise costs for farms and factories, but that would be better than spending billions on shipping water round the country.”
Economically supporting Chinese regions and corporations that commit to better water usage and sustainability practices may help to change the mindset of many within this nation’s government or industries. In turn, this could lead them towards exploring more realistic initiatives experiencing success in other parts of the world.<
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Canada lost an appeal at the World Trade Organization on Monday in a ruling on incentives offered to local companies, a case that has already led to legal challenges over suspicions…
Duane Tilden‘s insight:
>Ontario will have to bring its rules into line with the WTO rules or risk a claim for trade sanctions against Canada.<
>Canada’s defeat may spur more WTO disputes by countries which are desperate for economic growth and suspect their firms are being illegally locked out of infrastructure projects abroad.<
Thorium is cheaper than uranium and would allow the USA to manufacture neodymium magnets within the US and brake [sic] China’s grip on the neodymium magnet and ele…
Duane Tilden‘s insight:
Wind and Neodymium
Jack Lifton’s research on mineral resources make him an important figure in projecting the future of energy. Lifton spotted the Lemhi Pass thorium reserve discoveries early on, Lifton has recently focused on world rare earth production, and as Lifton has pointed out, rare earths will play important roles in the future of energy. Lifton pointed out the importance of the rare earth element neodymium for the wind generation industry.
There’s another rare earth metal that’s critically important to our society—neodymium. In 1984, General Motors and Sumitomo developed the neodymium iron boron alloy for permanent magnets, which is the basis of all modern electric motors because it allows you to make a very small electric motor with the highest possible power density. Neodymium total world production is less than 20,000 tons. That may sound like a lot to you, but it’s tiny. And the fact is it’s recently been projected that a single wind turbine electric generator producing 1 megawatt of electricity requires one ton of neodymium.
The liquid fluoride thorium reactor (acronym LFTR; spoken as lifter) is a thermal breeder reactor that uses the thorium fuel cycle in a fluoride-based molten (liquid) salt fuel to achieve high operating temperatures at atmospheric pressure.
The LFTR is a type of thorium molten salt reactor (TMSR). […]
In a LFTR, thorium and uranium-233 are dissolved in carrier salts, forming a liquid fuel. Typical operation sees the liquid fuel salt being pumped between a critical core and an external heat exchanger, where the heat is transferred to a nonradioactive secondary salt, that then transfers its heat again to a steam turbine or closed-cycle gas turbine.
This technology was first investigated at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment in the 1960s. It has recently been the subject of a renewed interest worldwide. Japan, China, the UK, as well as private US, Czech and Australian companies have expressed intent to develop and commercialize the technology.