Nuclear disasters like Fukushima (2011), Chernobyl (1986), and Three Mile Island (1979), have made the possibility of safe nuclear energy difficult to consider. The truth is, there is a type of nuclear energy generation that is not only clean, abundant, and efficient, it also makes impossible a nuclear meltdown – Thorium.
If we had been using Thorium to generate our nuclear power using Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTR), nuclear disasters at Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island would not have happened.
Thorium (Th), element 90 on the periodic table, is around four times as abundant as uranium and about as common as lead. If you grab a handful of dirt, it contains about 12 parts per million of thorium. As Thorium activist Kirk Sorensen has said, “It’s so energy-dense that you can hold a lifetime supply of thorium in the palm of your hand.”
Sorensen wrote in his debut blog post for Energy From Thorium in 2006: “Despite the fact that our world is desperately searching for new sources of energy, the value of thorium is not well-understood, even in the ‘nuclear engineering’ community.” He asked, and answered, the question, “How much thorium would it take to power the whole world?”
|World Energy Supply (2007)||Thorium|
Benefits Thorium Nuclear Power Generation?
Producing energy with thorium is so efficient that the thorium is almost completely burnt up, and the waste generated is 100’s of times less than uranium, and 1,000,000’s of times less than fossil fuels. And the small amount of waste that is produced from the thorium cycle is less hazardous.
Because the Thorium reactor is inherently stable and the liquid fuel can be readily drained from the reactor core, a meltdown is physically impossible. If you lose power to the lifter, it shuts itself down without human intervention. A staggeringly impressive level of safety, even if there is damage to the reactor.
According to the Nuclear Energy Agency, The United States has about 440,000 tons of thorium reserves, and the world’s largest reserves of thorium are in Australia, at about 539,000 tons.
We could use thorium about 200x more efficiently than we’re using uranium right now. Thorium is a more energy dense and efficient source of energy than uranium or plutonium.
5. Less Expensive and Smaller
Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors could be built far smaller and less expensively than conventional light-water reactors.
Why Aren’t We Using Thorium to Produce our Energy?
Nuclear power using uranium first began commercially 1954 in Russia. The primitive energy generation process used then, is the exact same process as we use today. Kirt Sorensen said in an interview, “In every other field of technology development we’re happy to see an improvement in technology. Nobody wants 1950’s computers, nobody wants 1950’s cars, why are we satisfied with 1950’s reactors?”
The reason why uranium was chosen as the fuel for the production of nuclear energy, and not thorium, was because the energy industrialists’ subservience to the military. The military wanted uranium because it could easily be turned into weapons, and using uranium for energy production was a way to ensure low costs of this rare element. Other designs slowly vanished, and the light water reactor soon became the only method used or even thought about.
It’s impossible to make a bomb from thorium, and drastically more difficult to make a bomb from uranium bred in thorium reactors than from natural uranium.
Written by Richard Martin in his book Superfuel, “Thorium could transform not only the nuclear power industry but our entire energy economy, liberating us from dwindling oil supplies and poison-spewing coal plants. It could fuel the energy revolution the world desperately needs.” Indeed it can, and indeed it will.
Recently several countries, including the superpowers India and China, have announced or confirmed plans to build thorium power reactors, and research programs for thorium have sprung up at universities across Europe, Asia, and North America. Even U.S. policy makers have started to promote thorium power: several bills have been introduced to fund thorium R&D programs at the Department of Energy, and even NASA scientist James Hansen, has spoken out in favor of thorium power.
Learn more with this Documentary about ThoriumSource: http://www.endalldisease.com/thorium-clean-safe-abundant-energy-source/