HMC Physics Colloquium

Tuesdays at 16:30 in Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning, Room B460

A. J. Shaka (’80)

University of California at Irvine

Deep Green: Long-Term Zero-Carbon Power for the 21st Century

Oct. 25, 2011

It is becoming more and more obvious that continued burning of fossil fuels, with the large influx of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, could prove to be an enormous and expensive future problem. Furthermore, even if such changes could be weathered, the fossil fuels themselves will be exhausted, become expensive, and require more and more destructive methods to extract. For both these reasons, various “Green” solutions have been proposed: solar and wind energy, biofuels, biomass, geothermal, tides and waves, and so on. Looking at these, they turn out to be “Green Lite” as they are either too small in scale, too expensive, too unreliable, or too intrusive in other ways. We need "Deep Green," that is, power generation that spares the climate and keeps the wheels spinning. Electricity is different. We have to keep the lights on. I’ll show you how through the use of liquid fluoride thorium reactors.