Could thorium be the faltering nuclear industry’s salvation -- or is it a mirage? Is the U.S. missing an immense energy opportunity?
“We should be trying our best to develop the use of thorium,” former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix recently told BBC News. “I am told that thorium will be safer in reactors - and it is almost impossible to make a bomb out of thorium.”
While the ongoing debate over the future of fossil fuels and renewables is unlikely to diminish any time soon, engineering research into an energy source named after a Norse God may soon provide a much-needed alternative. And although it may have been discovered nearly 200 years ago, there are a growing band of scientists, engineers and government officials who believe that the time has come to for Thorium to take its place in the discussion.
Even before I ever attempted to raise funds via Kickstarter to help make a thorium documentary (optimistically called "Thorium Remix 2012") I was wondering how to crowdsource funding the reactor itself. A very expensive proposition.
NEW DELHI: The government should allow private sector in mining of Monazite, which is the primary source of radio-active thorium, and ease rules and regulations to increase its production, an industry body of mining engineers today said.
Thorium, a strategic metal, is an integral part of India's three-stage nuclear power programme.
ThEC13 was originally going to close-out with a 10 person panel discussion, to recap and debate the points raised during all the previous technical lectures. They changed the format so there was no panel sitting in the chairs, and rather the audience raised points of contention as the summary progressed.
The reason this petition is important is because today we are excessively burning fossil fuels and this is leading to climate change. Fossil fuels are also responsible for major conflicts in the Middle East.
By turning away from fossil fuels and embracing thorium, we will be paving a future where the USA can not only become energy independent, but a carbon neutral nation. We have enough thorium in the United States to safely produce nuclear energy for thousands of years. LFTR plants have many, many benefits.
Coal ash piles contain more radioactive material than released by any operating nuclear power plant. Pollution from coal kills hundreds of thousands of people every year. Yet Germany and Japan are building additional coal plants to replace nuclear power plants. This has a short-term cost in lives (due to air pollution) and very serious implications for global warming.
The News Guardian letters of October 25 and 31 concerning the use of new ‘fracking’, and the equally doubtful process of underground/undersea coal gasification, needed a bit of study, due to the diverse views stated, (the nuclear argument is clearer to me).
There is an ideal view, versus the practical.
As someone who worked for many years in energy, at a low level, I was innocently involved in producing a lot of pollution, the carbon dioxide issue being relatively only recent.