Thorium Reactor – Liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR)

How it works:

  1. Thorium and uranium-233 are dissolved in molten lithium fluoride salt in the reactor. As fission (radioactive decay) occurs, heat is released and free neutrons start changing more thorium into uranium-233.
  2. Heat from the reactor is transferred to another loop of molten salt not containing nuclear materials.
  3.  Heat is transferred to helium gas turning turbines to power a generator.
  4. As an emergency measure, if the system gets too hot a plug designed to melt at a specific temperature will melt and release the reactor’s components into dump tanks.
  5. Liquid salt waste can be removed while the reactor is still working.

5 changes required to make it commercially viable:

–          Nuclear waste

Although thorium produces far less waste than uranium, the problem is that it still produces waste.  For example uranium-233 is a resultant of using thorium, but can be separated into another reactor to generate electricity.

–          Renewability

There are high amounts of thorium 1,781,000 tonnes (estimated) but it will not last for ever, it is necessary to find a reliable source. There are plans to extract thorium from space, such as from the moon and mars.

–          A working reactor

People are skeptical about nuclear energy due to disasters such as the one in Fukushima Japan. If a thorium reactor is built and proves itself being effective and without problems, other countries will start building them too.

–          Dangers

Thorium breaks down into uranium-233 which can be used to make bombs. As a result, thorium reactors will need to be protected from groups such as terrorists.

–          Awareness

People must be aware that other ways of generating electricity such as wind or burning coal is not effective or is actually worse than nuclear power plants. Wind power requires too many resources to build and land to build on to be considered as efficient. While coal is adding to global warming (which is an issue that cannot be over looked) and actually carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant. Therefore, thorium is actually a good choice for generating electricity.

5 companies/groups leading in advancing thorium reactors:

–          Lightbridge Corporation

Lightbridge is a leading provider of nuclear energy consulting services to commercial and governmental entities worldwide, and is developing next generation nuclear fuel technology that will significantly reduce nuclear waste and proliferation.

–          India

India has a quarter of the world’s known thorium reserves and plans to meet 30% of its electricity demand through thorium-based reactors by 2050.

–          China

China’s aim is to break free of the old pressurized-water reactors fueled by uranium and move on to thorium which produces far less waste and is less dangerous.

–          International Thorium Energy Organization

IThEO is an organisation that campaigns internationally to make Thorium Energy a reality.

–          Thorium Power Canada Inc.

Thorium Power Canada Inc. offers a clean, green, safe and cost effective solution to the growing global energy requirements through a partnership with DBI Century Fuels Inc. taking advantage of abundant and widely available thorium deposits.

5 impacts:

–          Social

Cheaper electricity means cheaper products and services, which can mean the overall quality of life will become better. Having this new source of energy may completely change the way we live, such as the idea of space elevators or even colonizing other planets.

–          Political

Thorium reactors actually existed back in the 1960’s but nuclear power plants are currently used due to the result of the Manhattan Project. Their goal back then was to make the atomic bomb and not energy which is why thorium reactors just died off. Thorium is located in some countries more than others. When the world switches to using thorium reactors as a main source of energy, countries will have to depend on each other for resources resulting in better relationships with one another.

–          Economic

Thorium reactors can produce more money by creating more electricity at a lower price; it will also create job opportunities.

–          Environmental

By replacing uranium and burning coal, the amount of waste and pollution will decrease. Global warming will slow down dramatically if coal stops getting burned for electricity.

–          Health

Uranium-233: a resultant of thorium can treat cancer. The goal of radiotherapy is to kill cancer cells without killing healthy cells and bismuth-213 (a decay product from uranium-233) can do just that.

 

 

Bibliography:

McDonald, Norris. “Nuclear Fuels Reprocessing Coalition.” Blogger. N.p., 1 Aug. 2012. Web. 22 Feb. 2013. <http://nfrcoalition.blogspot.ca/2012/08/thorium-reactors.html&gt;.

“Nuclei.” A Review of the Universe – Structures, Evolutions, Observations, and Theories. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. <http://universe-review.ca/F14-nucleus.htm&gt;.

Hvistendahl, Mara. “Coal Ash Is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste: Scientific American.” Scientific American. N.p., 13 Dec. 2007. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. <http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste&gt;.

Katusa, Marin. “The Thing About Thorium: Why The Better Nuclear Fuel May Not Get A Chance.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 16 Feb. 2012. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/energysource/2012/02/16/the-thing-about-thorium-why-the-better-nuclear-fuel-may-not-get-a-chance/&gt;.

Siegel, RP. “Liquid Fluoride Thorium Power: Pros and Cons.” Triple Pundit. N.p., 23 Apr. 2012. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. <http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/04/liquid-fluoride-thorium-power-pros-cons/&gt;.

Forsberg, C. W., and L. C. Lewis. Uses For Uranium-233: What Should Be Kept for Future Needs? Rep. N.p., 24 Sept. 1999. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. <http://moltensalt.org/references/static/downloads/pdf/ORNL-6952.pdf&gt;.

“Nuclear Energy For the 21st Century.” Lightbridge. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. <http://ltbridge.com/&gt;.

Pritchard, Ambrose Evans. “China Blazes Trail for ‘clean’ Nuclear Power from Thorium.” The Telegraph. N.p., 6 Jan. 2013. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/9784044/China-blazes-trail-for-clean-nuclear-power-from-thorium.html&gt;.

“IThEO.” IThEO.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. <http://www.itheo.org/itheo&gt;.

“Company & Leadership.” Thorium Power Canada Inc. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. <http://www.thoriumpowercanada.com/&gt;.

Pathways And Careers Design Brief

Architectural Glass & Metal Technician

Mechanic carrying car window, view through glass

10 Daily Activities:

  • Performing layout, fabricating, assembling and installing frames, hardware, storefronts, wall facings, manual sliding doors, window sashes, manual door closers, automatic door operators and certain walls
  • Laying out, fabricating, assembling and installing suspended glass fronts, stuck glass fronts, auto glass, art glass and other special products
  • Cutting, fitting and installing glass in wood and metal frames for windows, skylights, store fronts and display cases, or on building fronts, interior walls, ceilings, tables and other similar surfaces
  • Reading and interpreting design drawings, manufacturer’s instructions and installation diagrams to determine type and thickness of glass, frame, installation procedure and materials required
  • Operating hoists and cranes to position glass in place
  • Communicating effectively with co-workers, other contractors and supervisors
  • Measure and mark glass and cut glass using glass cutters or computerized cutters
  • Assemble, erect and dismantle scaffolds, rigging and hoisting equipment
  • Replace glass in furniture and other products
  • Repair and service residential windows, commercial aluminum doors and other glass supporting structures, and replace damaged glass or faulty sealant

Pathways:

  • Some recommended courses to take in high school are mathematics, science, business & management, entrepreneurship, construction technology, and technical design
  • The minimum entry for apprenticeship is Grade 10; however, it is recommended you complete Grade 12 with credits in Math, English, Science and Technological courses such as drafting or blueprint reading and other shop courses
  • Completion of a 4 year apprenticeship program at 2,000 hours per year
  • If you have completed 8,000 hours of on the job experience/training, but have not completed the apprenticeship program you may be eligible to challenge the Certificate of Qualification

2.

Ontario Industrial & Finishing Skills Centre is one Canadian institute which grants qualifications. Some of these qualifications include: Diploma of Apprenticeship, a Certificate of Qualification, and in some cases, an Interprovincial Red Seal, all signifying journeyperson status.

3.

The Ontario Council of Painters of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trade is a union that Architectural Glass & Metal Technicians can join. This union does not require any qualifications; a membership can be acquired simply by signing up. There are benefits such as health plans and health care benefits, job security, and also better and secure wages.

 

Bibliography

“What Does an Architectural Glass & Metal Technician (Glazier/ Metal Mechanic) Do?” Architectural Glass and Metal Technician (424A). N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2013. <http://www.apprenticesearch.com/AboutTrades/GetTradeDetails?tradeId=15&gt;.

“Glazier and Metal Mechanic.” Glazier and Metal Mechanic. N.p., Aug. 2011. Web. 12 Feb. 2013. <http://tradeability.ca/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=3356&gt;.

“What Is Apprenticeship?” Government of Canada, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2013.

 

Energy Auditor

energy auditor

10 Daily Activities:

  • Examine buildings to learn about their heating systems, insulation, and related details
  • Use equipment and run tests to find air leaks and measure electricity usage with devices such as data loggers, universal data recorders, light meters, sling psychrometers, psychrometric charts, flue gas analyzers, amp-probes, watt meters, volt meters, thermometers, or utility meters
  • Ask building owners about their energy use, basic details of the building such as the building’s age and size, and examine utility bills to gather historical energy usage data
  • Calculate potential for energy savings and make suggestions on ways to save energy
  • Educate customers on energy efficiency and prepare reports and answer owners’ questions
  • Interview the owner on information such as how many people are living in the building or how often some appliances like the dishwasher are used
  •  Quantify energy consumption to establish baselines for energy use or need
  • Determine patterns of building use to show annual or monthly needs for heating, cooling, lighting, or other energy needs
  • Oversee installation of equipment such as water heater wraps, pipe insulation, weatherstripping, door sweeps, or low flow showerheads to improve energy efficiency
  • Inspect or evaluate building envelopes, mechanical systems, electrical systems, or process systems to determine the energy consumption of each system

Pathways:

1.

  • Some recommended courses to take in high school are mathematics, chemistry, physics, construction, and technical design
  • Energy auditors must have related post-secondary education, work or both
  • Bachelor’s degree or diploma in a field such as energy management, energy systems technology, engineering, or architecture
  • Work experience in a related field, such as home inspection, construction, or heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration technology
  • CEA (Certified Energy Auditor) certification

2.

  • Mohawk College provides an Energy Systems Engineering Technology – Clean and Renewable Energy course, a Ontario College Advanced Diploma can be acquired
  • CIET (Canadian Institution for Energy Training) provides the CEA (Certified Energy Auditor) certification which grants to qualification of being an energy auditor

3.

  • Association of Energy Engineers provides many certifications related to energy such as Certified Energy Auditor, Building Energy & Sustainability Technician, to Renewable Energy Professional certifications. Qualifications require to become a Certified Energy Auditor are:
  • A four-year degree from an accredited university or college in engineering or architecture, or be a registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) or Registered Architect (R.A.). In addition, the applicant must have at least three years of verifiable experience in energy auditing, energy management, facility management, or experience related to energy management;

– OR –

  • A four-year non-engineering degree with at least four years of verifiable experience in energy auditing, energy management, facility management, or experience related to energy management;

– OR –

  • A two-year technical degree with at least five years of verifiable experience in energy auditing, energy management, facility management, or experience related to energy management;

– OR –

  • Ten years of verifiable experience in energy auditing, energy management, facility management, or experience related to energy management;

– OR –

  • The current status of Certified Energy Manager (CEM ®).

 

Bibliography

“Energy Auditor.” Career Cruising. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2013.

“Energy Auditors Job and Career Information.” My Majors. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2013. <http://www.mymajors.com/careers-and-jobs/Energy-Auditors&gt;.

“CEA – Certified Energy Auditor.” – Association of Energy Engineers. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2013. <http://www.aeecenter.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3365&gt;.

“Certified Energy Auditor.” CIET – Canadian Institute for Energy Training. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2013. <https://www.cietcanada.com/training-and-certification/cea/cea-toronto-april12/&gt;.

 

Architect

 architect

10 Daily Activities:

  • Design and sketch building plans as well as the necessary mechanical, electrical, and structural specifications for clients
  • Write instructions for contractors and builders to follow
  • Coordinate the activities of people involved in the construction such as construction managers, electricians, plumbers, landscapers, and interior designers
  • Ensure the building is finished on time and within budget
  • Handle paperwork, such as contracts and bills
  • Work closely with the client since the architect’s design must be as close as possible to the client’s needs and wishes
  • Ensure buildings are safe and conform to local by-laws, failing in either of these areas can result being sued
  • Negotiating with contractors and other professionals and attending regular meetings with clients, contractors and other specialists
  • Use problem solving skills to deal with problems that might come up during building
  • Briefing and monitoring of projects for clients, authorities, and partners

Pathways:

1.

  • Some recommended courses to take in high school include: calculus, physics, visual arts, computer tech, and technical design
  • Complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree in architecture
  • Earn a license to practice in your province or territory through 3 years of work experience with a licensed architect and passing and a professional exam

2.

At University of Waterloo, you can get either an undergraduate degree or a master’s degree in architecture. After getting these degrees, you can take the license course in order to start working

3.

OAA (Ontario Association of Architects) is a self-organized association which strives to represent, regulate, support and promote the profession of architecture in the interest of all Ontarians, and to lead the design and delivery of built form in the Province of Ontario. It provides Certificate of Practice which is divided into three categories: Corporation, Partnership, and Sole Proprietor. A holder of a Certificate of Practice in Ontario is permitted to offer and/or provide a service that is part of the practice of architecture to a member of the public. Qualifications required for this certificate is sufficient education meaning an undergraduate or a master’s degree in architecture.

Bibliography

“Architect.” Career Cruising. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2013.

“The Ontario Association of Architects Represents, Regulates, Supports and Promotes the Profession of Architecture in the Interest of All Ontarians, and Leads the Design and Delivery of Built Form in the Province of Ontario.” Ontario Association of Architects. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2013. <http://www.oaa.on.ca/&gt;.