THE ELECTRIC HIGHWAY ©By James Hahn
There is no such thing as a hybrid automobile powered by gasoline and electricity.
There are only gas powered cars and coal powered cars.
We must stop pretending that we haven’t been duped by a clever oligarchy of pseudo”progressive” lackeys.
Electric cars are a great idea. But they run on electricity that is generated by burning carbon based fuels such as coal or natural gas, and with some exceptions, nuclear. So what is the advantage? It can only be political when pandered to a constituency of willing fools.
If we want electric cars, we will first need to build electric highways and service roads. They will have to deliver their electric power to the cars and other vehicles by induction systems.
The power to the induction system must come from abundant and cost effective supplies of electricity.
The electricity must be provided by a plethora of nuclear power generators.
The nuclear generators must be powered by an alternate, much safer, more abundant and cost effective nuclear material than Uranium or Plutonium. It’s called Thorium 232. It is #90 on the Periodic Table of Elements. It is several times more ubiquitous in nature than other potential fissile fuels. You’ve probably never heard of it. Look it up. Or click the links at the bottom of the page.
The bottom line is this: BUILD THE FULLY AUTOMATED ELECTRIC HIGHWAY POWERED BY THORIUM REACTORS FIRST, AND THEY WILL COME, BRINGING THEIR FULLY AUTOMATED ELECTRIC CARS.
Note: Some are now saying that we have enough carbon based fuels to last 100 years. This begs the question, WHAT THEN??
Rumblings are beginning to sound about our crumbling infrastructure, particularly our highways and bridges. Many are now 50 to 70 years old. To any one who travels by car or truck and pays any attention the flaws in existing structures and pavements are ever more evident. Unfortunately the remedies being touted so far seem to be confined to patching the system using essentially old and expensive (20th century) technology and will not mitigate ongoing and costly maintenance problems serving only to temporarily extend the life of an outdated and obsolete infrastructure. This is the 21st Century and the technology for a dramatic paradigm shift in rebuilding our dilapidated highway and transportation system is now on the shelf within immediate reach. These technologies portend an ultra modern interstate and ultimately urban and suburban way of getting ourselves not just across country at very high speeds but around town and to the grocery store as well. And ultimately at much less cost per mile if we can just keep the hands of the corrupt (read unions and their bosses) from perverting the mission.
To illustrate let me throw out some of the possibilities and ideas pertaining to such a task and the goals to be achieved, but not in any particular order.
Suppose, for example, you wanted to travel between two major metropolitan areas. On the day of your departure you and your family with a few pieces of luggage step into your garage. Upon approach to your vehicle, one powered by a sophisticated electric drive system supplemented by an efficient internal combustion engine using LPG, NG or gasoline for a fuel source, you simply speak to your “car”. On your command, the doors open as well as the luggage compartment. Upon stowing your travel bags and boarding the vehicle you instruct the computer as to your destination(s) and give the command to execute. The garage door rises and you begin to move onto the street and head automatically to the nearest elevated automatic electric causeway. (In the countryside elevation allows for unobstructed migration of land bound species and support for high load power distribution as well as several other amenities.)
As you draw near the causeway the on board computer informs you of your approach and that it is synchronizing your vehicle with the line of traffic already moving on the causeway. An instant latter you are accelerated up a controlled on ramp and as your speed synchronizes with the flow of traffic you are automatically inserted between vehicles and match their speed, about 150mph. So far, you have not touched the controls. Voice command has been your only tool of navigation since you entered the vehicle. The control system from the garage to high speed travel on the causeway has been entirely automatic and under the control of your on board computers and those of the causeway system. The systems and sensors involved are multiply redundant and are in constant communication and millisecond update with each other. Your only duty is to respond to queries, alerts or notices keyed by their programing.
If you have a health problem you may be wearing a small wireless monitor that communicates with this system and should a health emergency be detected en-route the system would immediately respond and begin to query the wearer. If an emergency is declared by the wearer or by the diagnostic system the nearest emergency response system is alerted and your vehicle is automatically shunted to the nearest appropriate facility. Other than that the system will simply query as to your comfort and needs or desires as refreshment facilities or destinations are approached. Otherwise the occupants have at their immediate disposal WIFY communication for work projects, entertainment, class assignments for young students on board, print articles or oral/visual renditions of other materials etc. and so-on. These services are built into the causeway system and are uninterrupted.
There is no need to stop for gas or to recharge your vehicle’s batteries. They they are powered and recharged constantly while you remain under way on the causeway. Batteries would be fully charged when leaving the causeway. On-board computers with a metering system automatically charge your account for the energy consumed from the induction system that powers your vehicle. The induction system is imbedded in the ceramic panels that make up the driving surface of the causeway. You may also be charged a toll for use of the causeway itself thus making the system self funding.
Power for this technological paradigm of high speed Eco-friendly systems is derived from something called Stage IV nuclear reactors. A dedicated series of MSTRs (MoltenSaltThoriumReactors, sometimes called LFTRs or LiquidFlorideThoriumReactors) would be positioned along the causeways as the constant and redundant power source. The basis of this technology is the same that powers the core of the earth itself. You are standing on it many miles below your feet. Slowly decaying Thorium is responsible for generating at least half of the heat rising from the Earth’s core. This type of reactor (considered a stage IV generation reactor) is simpler, more efficient and walk-away safe should it begin to overheat or fail for any cause. Its fissionable fuel (Thorium232) would be a useless target for those with nefarious intent and impossible to access without detection.
The MoltenSaltThoriumReactor concept and model was first invented by scientists in this country back in the 1950’s and 1960’s. It ran for several years and then was shut down and abandon for lack of interest and funding. So what was the problem? It produced abundant energy, was far more efficient, had the potential to not only burn its own fuel to completion, but also nuclear waste along with it. It was so safe it was sometimes referred to as a “walk-away” reactor, i.e. it was meltdown proof, needing no “containment” vessel, left no nuclear waste, was much cheaper than uranium and more efficient, etc. and so on. It had just one major problem. Remember what President Eisenhower warned about the “military-industrial complex”? The fatal flaw was that the Thorium reactor did not lend itself, and could not be used, to produce weapons grade nuclear material for use in atomic bombs. And therefor would not be funded. Another problem was the Nixon administration wanted all further nuclear reactor research and funding moved from Oak Ridge to California.
I would like to add to Eisenhower’s admonition: Beware of the military-industrial-POLITICAL complex.
Also, since the interstate causeways would mostly run coast to coast East to West the South side would constantly face the sun. High efficiency solar panels could be mounted at every opportunity along the entire length.(Granted, this may prove impractical and completely unnecessary. ) Power for this system and for many other purposes would then be abundant, ubiquitous and cheap. Transmission lines would be carried beneath the causeways and highly efficient due to greater proximity to the modular reactors. Shielding by metal conduits would help prevent damage from the environment, lightning strikes, natural or man-made EMP events, and so-on thus enhancing strategic value. Reduced transmission loss and low maintenance requirements in the induction system, along with multi-use applications would result in increased cost effectiveness. Indeed, enclosed transmission lines would lend themselves to cooling and increased transmission efficiency if the proper materials were used in their manufacture.
The problems of ice and snow removal would be dealt with using microwave emitters just below the ceramic pavement to raise the temperature enough to melt any accumulation of snow or ice forming on it. This is controlled automatically as needed by sensors imbedded in the causeway. The need for mechanical removal and the use of potentially harmful chemicals are eliminated.
The causeways themselves would be elevated and constructed of reinforced waterproof cement. (invented by by the Romans in the 1st Century A.D.) Maintenance requirements are reduced to a minimum and the systems designed to last with minimum attendance for hundreds of years. Pavement panels designed and constructed of ceramic material so as to be used twice during their life cycle simply by being flipped over and reset. Detectable flaws are removed or panels replaced as needed by automated machines dedicated to the function. Such machines would straddle the width and above the lane and ride on the elevated lane guard rails dedicated for the purpose. Dedicated emergency vehicles with EMT and life support systems and vehicle removal capability make this mechanism dual purpose.
This is just an outline of what is a possible potential paradigm shift in the way we transport ourselves through the 21st Century. There are plenty of naysayers who would raise a cacophony of objection to such a project claiming there is enough natural gas and other fuels to see us through to the end of this Century. But what then? These fuels too will eventually be used up. If we want to be truly energy independent and maintain and even elevate the social and economic standards of the nation (and the rest of the planet) what are our choices?
The coin of every modern technological society is abundant but inexpensive energy. It is time we moved away from coal and other carbon based fuels and develop an efficient and plentiful fuel that is right under our feet, if indeed not under our nose.
There may be enough Thorium beneath our feet to power every civilization on the planet for thousands or years. But there is no time to waste on the build out of a comprehensive new system of transportation and the power to bring it into reality. But before we squander assets on energy systems that are of limited value and are not cost effective and before we build fleets of coal powered vehicles let us make haste to develop this long neglected power source and get down the road to a potentially very abundant future.
Granted, the challenge may seem insurmountable. But the interstate highway system cost over $1,000,000 per mile starting back in the 1950’s. The system we are talking about here will eventually cost many times that. But it can be started with pilot programs linking two major metropolitan areas together. Two on the West coast and two on the East coast. Once proof of concept has been established and the system refined and perfected build out can proceed across the entire nation. We may just have time enough to accomplish the major portions and connect all major population areas by the end of the century. Just before the next carbon fuel depletion crisis comes to bear ONCE AGAIN and leaves us no affordable options.
MUCH OF THE TECHNOLOGY FOR SUCH A SYSTEM IS ALREADY ON THE SHELF OR NEAR AT HAND. OTHER COUNTRIES, SUCH AS SOUTH KOREA, SWEDEN AND EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, RUSSIA , INDIA, AND CHINA ARE AWARE OF THESE TECHNOLOGIES AND ARE MOVING TO DEVELOP THEM AS YOU READ THIS.
NOTE: Additional applications of abundant Thorium sourced energy and ubiquitous power distribution of point of need applications in proximity to the causeways: agricultural equipment, desalinization of remote water sources, low cost irrigation, waste reprocessing and recycling, year around illumination of particular crops and increased food production, very low cost heating and cooling, lower manufacturing costs, and whatever else you can think of.
It is time for the American people to stop thinking with every organ in their body except the one that was designed for the purpose. If we are to survive as a democratic republic we need to develop solutions now, and not be led into this century by others whose interests may not be our own.
Thorium: What is it? THORIUM: THE GOOD REACTOR
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