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The Almighty Buck Power

Transatomic Power Receives Seed Funding From Founders Fund Science 143

Posted by samzenpus
from the power-up dept.
pmaccabe writes "The company aiming to make a Waste Annihilating Molten Salt Reactor(WAMSR) is now getting $2 million from the venture capital firm Founders Fund. From the article: "The Founders Fund is the firm behind some of the more successful Internet startups out there including Facebook, Yammer and Spotify, but also some science-focused companies such as Climate Corporation, Space-X and satellite startup Planet Labs. The fund, which was created by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and his partners, promotes this manifesto: 'we wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.'”
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Transatomic Power Receives Seed Funding From Founders Fund Science

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  • by houstonbofh (602064) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @10:15PM (#47619455)
    Getting the technology is relatively simple. Getting government permission to build it might be a bit harder...
    • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @11:52PM (#47619929)

      Getting the technology is relatively simple. Getting government permission to build it might be a bit harder...

      Getting permission for an unconventional commercial reactor is hard. Permission to build a small research reactor is much easier.

  • by fractoid (1076465) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @10:19PM (#47619485) Homepage
    The problem here is that decades of bad press for nuclear power have resulted in almost insurmountable political opposition even when it's clearly a technically superior solution to a whole bunch of problems.
    • by sjames (1099)

      They should re-position the reactor as a nuclear waste destruction system that just happens to generate power as a waste product. It wouldn't even be entirely untrue.

      • Net waste gain (Score:3, Informative)

        by Roger W Moore (538166)

        They should re-position the reactor as a nuclear waste destruction system

        I'm not sure that this is really true. The reactor appears to be able to burn already "spent" fuel rods from other reactors but this is not going to result in less radioactive waste but rather more. The dangerous waste is the fission products, not the remaining unburnt Uranium which is practically stable (half lives in billions of years). In this design they will be extracted from the molten salt and will then need to be stored somewhere resulting in an increase in the net waste stored since each fission g

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by geekoid (135745)

          If this is like other designs I've read, it would use that radioactive waste to generate power, the the waste from that would be at BACKGROUND radiation levels in 200-500 years.
          Yes, coming out it's 'more redioactive' but it's less material, and radioactive for a much, MUCH shorter period.
          at 200-500 years would could keep it buried on site.

        • by sjames (1099)

          Currently, the plan is for the spent fuel to be stored underground for thousands of years. After running it through this reactor, the resultant concentrated waste is to be stored not more than 500 years. The great reduction in volume and storage time is a tremendous simplification of the whole problem.

          If we replaced all fossil fuel power plants with these reactors, we could run for over 100 years on nothing but the waste we are currently committed to put somewhere. Meanwhile, holding the spent fuel above gr

      • That's exactly what they are doing. WAMSR = Waste Annialator Molten Salt Reactor. First mission destroy spent nuclear fuel, secondary mission produce electricity offseting the cost of the primary mission and turning a profit.

  • WTF are they going to do with $2 million? They're going to need a fuckton more cash than that to develop anything that has a hope of success.

    • Bridge money.

      Keep on keeping on until it happens.

      Maybe just maybe, six more weeks of payroll and expenses is all you need. How many innovations fell six weeks and a single instance of fortuitous happenstance short of making it. The sinking of the Titanic must've seemed like a miracle to the lobsters in the kitchen.

      • The sinking of the Titanic must've seemed like a miracle to the lobsters in the kitchen.

        probably not cuz the lobsters were on deck 7a and nobody made to off of the galley deck alive. mostly poor people so no surprise there.

    • by aXis100 (690904)

      TFA says they will use it to study suitable materials and the corrosion issues around the molten salt hanling.

  • No, it was Jet Packs. And we got them. The problem was, the real thing wasn't as great as our imaginations of them. In fact, they kinda suck. Pretty much like Giant humanoid robots or mobile suits. The physics of these things just doesn't add up.
  • by geekoid (135745)

    'we wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.'”

    instead? there wasn't some group that said, "well..we have the tech for flying cars.. but lets go with 140 characters."

    To our current understanding of physics and material science, a flying car* is not possible. where as sending text over the internet is possible.

    we wanted clean nuclear fuel, what we got was alarmists twerps that have done far more to hurt the environment then nuclear ever did.

    *a la 5th Element

    • by Animats (122034)

      a flying car* is not possible.

      It's quite possible to build a flying car. It won't be cost-effective to build or operate, because it will need bizjet-sized jet engines for VTOL. Elon Musk once remarked that he'd like to build one "just for fun". I wish someone would, just to shut everybody up. Quadrotors work just fine, after all. Scaled Composites could probably have something flying in a year. Probably not much range, but flying.

      Just because Moller has been failing at this for 40 years doesn't mean it's impossible. That's a problem

    • by Whibla (210729)

      we wanted flying cars ... a flying car* is not possible ... *a la 5th Element

      Will a hoverbike [msn.com]* suffice?

      *Apologies for the link source.

      I'm sure we'll see this become a reality in the next couple of years. Honest! :P

    • 'we wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.'”

      Good.

      A more expensive way to get from A to B that uses dramatically more energy, is inherently more dangerous and doesn't really save any time? No, we don't really need that.

      A system that allows me to receive information from anywhere on the planet, selectively, sorted and filtered? That sounds like something we actually need.

  • my god, they could almost pay to have the first feasibility or environmental impact study planned out.

(1) Never draw what you can copy. (2) Never copy what you can trace. (3) Never trace what you can cut out and paste down.

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