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"Thorium." -the documentary was completed in late 2016. Please watch at your leisure, and share deep-links to your favorite moments.
"Thorium." -the documentary was completed in late 2016. Please watch at your leisure, and share deep-links to your favorite moments.
677 backers pledged $32,339 to help bring this project to life.

Th p07, Jim Kennedy, John Kutsch, Cavan Stone

Posted by Gordon McDowell (Creator)

p07 looks first at fission products, then nuclear waste. I'm not embedding this chapter, rather head to where I'm using a robust embed code (not supported by Kickstarter).


Th p07 v404 is what's public right now. Feedback I've already received is...

  • Pyroprocessing doesn't split out individual fission products, there's better alternatives we'd want to use.
  • We can't use MSR to consume ALL spent fuel. Need fast neutrons for some TRU.
  • Mike Conley suggested change ending "we hate nuclear waste too but what we really hate is wasting it because nuclear waste is wasted fuel." to "we hate nuclear waste too but what we really hate is wasting it." I agree and have already made the change you'll see in future iterations.
  • Flow is disjointed.

...there's really a lot I can do with the topics of nuclear-waste, spent-fuel, wasted-fuel... I did create a video long ago "LFTR vs Nuclear Waste" and there is stuff in there I'm ignoring. I'm trying to force myself to do a fresh edit on it to see how it turns out.

Just like p06 when I left Kirk hanging in front of a chroma-key, this is me trying to quickly release chapters good enough for public feedback, and my own tracking of viewer behavior.

Jim Kennedy @ TEAC5

...there's a great summary of the "Thorium Problem" at the very end, in response to audience question about it.

John Kutsch @ TEAC5

...talking about the "Thorium Bank" as an over-engineered solution to convince people thorium is being stored safely. Not to be confused with trailers full of the stuff buried in the Nevada dessert

Cavan Stone @ TEAC5

...using Actinium-225 to build Thorium Bridges.

What Works, What Doesn't

Stuff that's not working...

YouTube Playlists don't seem to be very well supported. Can't embed chapters on most social networks (including Kickstarter) that survive deprecation. Apple TV has ZERO support for Playlists, you need to initiate playback with an iOS device and direct playback to Apple TV. Sheesh.

Existing Th content extremely unpopular compared to just about any other thorium videos I've created. Wish I could start building up popularity today, as I think there's already some good content spread across p01-p07.

Stuff that is working...

Editing going much smoother since Adobe Premiere Pro CC released. No more waiting for audio pre-renders means no dis-incentive to dig thru indexed content looking for shots. Used to be a strong incentive to recycle pre-rendered MP4 instead. For example, stealing from a 720p render of TR2011 instead of looking for (already indexed in PP) raw footage for same moment.

PC hardware holding up great. No longer bleeding memory into Premiere Pro CS6. Should be able to complete "Th" with current editing setup, no prob.

KiloWatts (Jamie Watts) is looking at non-p02 chapters to create more "Th" music. Ideally the whole of "Th" would have a rough-edit for this, but I'd rather get the music ball rolling again as I think it will inspire a feedback loop for my editing style... my editing is too tight, and music would encourage me to spread out delivery.

Exposing non-Th advocates to "Th" is possible with YouTube annotation links from non-Th content. I do have one popular non-tech video that is viewed by 64% female. Great sample audience. Need time to build up stats (since less than 2% of viewers click thru) but far more useful to know how non-Th advocates behave watching "Th" then people who are already immersed.

Iterating chapters (& p05 & p06), iOS app, TEAC5, U vs Th in USA

Posted by Gordon McDowell (Creator)

Rather than do any more embedding of "Th" chapters here on Kickstarter (of which I've made many small iterations to since last update), I'm hoping people following "Th" will check out where I'm able to embed HTML with more freedom.

All chapters except p02 have iterated. Some changes are very slight. I've noted in each YouTube description what the latest vXXX brings. And there's p05 & p06.

Thorium App

Thorium (iOS app) 1.0.2 uses new HTML embed for "Th". Old one suddenly stopped showing thumbnail in the video embed. The [share] feature also uses the new URL structure for YouTube playlist. No other change.

Katie Hudek @ TEAC5

Improving Public Knowledge & Awareness of Thorium & Molten Salt Reactors:

Joe Sestak @ TEAC5

Joe Sestak - Governing, Logistics, Rare Earth Minerals & Thorium:

Ralph Hart @ TEAC5

Prismatic 100 megawatts thermal LEADIR-PS100:

Uranium vs Thorium concentrations in USA

In my last post I complained maps which could be used to compare Uranium to Thorium ppM in United States are not color scaled the same.

I first tried to address this with Photoshop. I suck a Photoshop.

This was done using color correcting effects in Premiere Pro CC. I'm pretty sure that's a dumb way to do it, but it works.

Care to Embed "Th" on Your Website?

Most social networks aren't yet fully supporting playlist embeds. I'm not sure what to do about that, except just keep plugging away on the doc, hoping more options will appear as it nears completion.

I'd like to get some non-Thorium, non-MSR advocates checking out "Th" so I can inspect viewing habits. Even just 10/day could build a nice data set over time. If it is just YOU folk watching, that's not normal viewing data... you might soldier on to the end where a normal viewer will stop watching as soon as their bored.

If you can look at and see how I've embedded that first chapter... that's the embed code I'm hoping people will use. It won't break every time I deprecate p01, and it will also keep playing thru all the chapters.

I didn't need to make any changes to that page even after iterating almost every chapter... the page knows to show the latest chapters because it is referencing the playlist ID only... never any video ID.

Thanks for any help on that.

Th p04 John Kutsch on Stalled Thorium Research v385

Posted by Gordon McDowell (Creator)

YouTube Playlists Even More Messed Up

YouTube changed their API. Bunch of different ways to embed Playlist chapters stopped working on mobile devices, including YouTube's default share mechanisms. Hoping Google will take care of this fast, but don't be surprised if an iPhone shows the swirling circle indefinitely when trying to play an embedded Th chapter.

Some TEAC5 Interviews | Thorium iOS App | p03 Iteration

Posted by Gordon McDowell (Creator)

Thanks for helping fund The Good Reactor! Best of luck to Frankie Fenton & Des Kelleher.

Thorium iOS App

I created an iPhone / iPad app with future viral-video challenges in mind. A YouTube Playlist is a difficult thing to propagate.

Thorium app is going to (hopefully) be my means of monetizing the doc. I know KS backers are more concerned with me getting Th edited and DVDs in your hands. But right now I've got the sense that my YouTube videos are not being particularly effective.

Thorium Remix 2011 views (of my own copy, not remixes) finally hit 400k.

That's a bit of a milestone (yay), but it has taken far longer than I'd have anticipated. Views have fallen to ~100/day. (Right now they're at 500/day but the long-term trend has been downward from 1000/day.)

So if any Th chapters communicate effectively (p01? p02? p03?), I'd like to have them put to use now.

I think Thorium app is particularly useful, if you're discussing energy with anyone who's holding an iPhone. Instead of saying "you should check out video XYZ" and hoping they'll remember, they could instead install the app right in front of you. "Install this right now, and watch later."

Thorium app is free.

Future monetization will be based on either me putting a price on it (so get it while it's free!) or an in-app purchase allowing off-line viewing of videos. I'd really like to enable off-line viewing (like in a plane), and will certainly need a monetized app (or monetized feature) for that.

Right now, the only options for off-line viewing are purchasing a DRM-free MP4 of Thorium Remix 2011, or buying Thorium Remix 2011 off iTunes. Neither of these mechanisms has been popular. I know (personally) buying an MP4 and pushing it through iTunes onto an iPhone is a pain-in-the-ass. And I simply can not iterate iTunes content! I need a platform I can continually update... both the app code and the video content. Hopefully this will do the trick.

One thing I WILL NOT EVER DO is in-app advertising (iAd). The app won't suddenly get crappy on you (or anyone you ask to install it).

Any honest reviews on iTunes would be most welcome. I know the app is extremely simple, but if you like the video content you could focus on that. It really is a handy way to quickly route Thorium videos to HDTV via Apple TV.

Th p02 "Deaths/Watt" music by KiloWatts v374

Very minor tweaks, except for me removing screener burn-in. I know many people find the graphs too complex. I'll have to get back to that at a later date.

Th p03 Kirk Sorensen v376

I've been tuning the Xerox Parc analogy, and also how liquid fuel is promoted.

Obviously liquid fuel is also applicable to Uranium, not just Thorium. But for now I'm stating liquid fuel is a prerequisite for efficient Thorium consumption, and NOT yet clarifying single-fluid or dual-fluid reactors. That's a bit of a harsh simplification, but I'm confident we can address each of these topics in their own self-contained chapter.

Semi-raw footage - Jim Kennedy & Alex Cannara

Semi-raw footage - Bruce Hoglund

Semi-raw footage - Mike Conley

Semi-raw footage - ANL & Bus

...note that most of ANL video is bus footage. The tour was mostly in 1 room, and the highlights (for me) were discussion around breeder reactors. There's probably other useful moments captured in raw footage, but I'll only be digging for that as needed.

YouTube Comments

Feel free to comment on any semi-raw footage YouTube video noting useful timecodes. I'll relay a few of my own notes into video descriptions.

Try watch the YouTube content at 480p or better. I didn't put too much effort into cleaning up A/V, and often it is only the left-or-right audio channel that carries dialog. Listening to a mono stream means the background noise is about 2x as annoying. I can certainly put more love into editing as these interviews are used in Th (same with anyone looking to recycle... download 1080P and be picky about L/R audio channels).

Th p03 Rethink & The Good Reactor Campaign

Posted by Gordon McDowell (Creator)

Here is p03, it is PUBLIC and shareable. Ideally, via a link like this...

Got a lot to say, but quickly let me mention The Good Reactor campaign. Frankie Fenton & Des Kelleher are working on their own thorium doc. I’d very much like them to succeed. We’re pursuing different audiences via different distribution mechanisms, and it is quite likely both their doc and my doc can be improved by sharing footage.

At the moment I’m writing this they’re about 80% towards their goal, and their deadline is approaching very fast. Please consider giving them a hand.

p03 Rethink

Before heading to TEAC5, I had some ideas of what I wanted to accomplish in p03 & p04 BEFORE Kirk Sorensen was introduced in p05. This is because, to introduce Kirk, I also would introduce myself, and I didn’t want to delay our “payload” of information with what I assumed would be a lengthy segment... I imagined a discussion about Kickstarter (which we captured in 2011) and me stating why the doc exists at all.

What I wanted to communicate BEFORE that, was a framing device so the viewer already had a context for seeing how an energy solution can be overlooked for so long. My attempts (as you’ve seen if you reviewed early p03 & p04 edits) involved me talking to the camera a lot. It was boring and painful.

I stuck to this idea until... 2 days ago... when I finally processed some TEAC5 footage I’d shot in an attempt to turn my stilted narration into somebody else’s. The footage didn’t work. And so I gave up. “Screw it, let’s open p03 with Kirk”. And it turns out that works (IMHO) pretty well.

The lengthy, boring, information-payload-delaying introduction of both Kirk Sorensen and the doc itself turned out to be pretty quick and dynamic. Not boring, at least.

And a framing device, one that I’d never considered when trying to WRITE one (repeatedly, painfully) just sort of popped up thru the organic process of editing Kirk, one moment after the other.

So I’ll restate below how p01, p02 & p03 are looking (feedback I’ve gotten and my own observations). And I’m going to try create a new p04 without writing or thinking about it in advance. p03 ends. What single piece of footage comes next? That sort of approach.

p01 Thorium Summary v360

You can see a bit of John Kutsch from TEAC5 has been added. Overall I think this is a bit more confusing than TR2011’s “LFTR in 5 Minutes” pre-credit sequence, because there’s a host of people talking instead of just Kirk. But it allows a bit of additional framing and right now I’m happy with that trade off.

p02 Deaths per Watt v352

I’ve gotten quite a bit of feedback that the graphs are confusing. I’ll take another look at this in the future.

p03 Kirk on Liquid vs Solid Nuclear Fuel v370

Probably the best example of why Frankie’s Good Reactor project and my project can never be too similar. YouTube facilitates recycling of footage which a documentary distributor does not. I was certainly mindful of this when creating TR2011, and am now focused strictly on creating the sequences we need.

Stephen Boyd at TEAC5

Stephen discusses the challenges of working with Silicon Carbide implications for Molten Salt Compatibility.

If you already watched the ORNL Tour video, you'll appreciate this could be a big deal for not just MSR, but TRISO fueled reactors as well.

I made a priority of editing Boyd's talk, as we had some good interview footage I'll be leveraging in the doc as well.

Bret Walters Thorium Music Video

...a new approach to thorium/MSR propagation. Thanks Bret!