Archive for the ‘Science’ category

Thorium – I didn’t know that!

January 2, 2010

I came across a fascinating article yesterday.

Regardless of your political affiliation or belief/disbelief in the climate change debate, I think we all like the idea of being better stewards of the Earth as well as being less dependent upon foreign sources for our energy.

I have always been a proponent of nuclear energy as a replacement for other, dirtier sources of energy. However, there are the nagging problems of storing the waste from the nuclear plants which is certainly non-trivial. While I don’t care about the weaponizing of the byproduct plutonium for us, it does concern me regarding some of the whacko’s out there now and who knows who’ll come to power in some areas that aren’t a concern at this point.

In this article in Wired magazine, I found out about Thorium. In a nutshell, Thorium was looked at as a method of nuclear power from the very beginning but lost out to Uranium even though Thorium is more plentiful, produces more energy, is much safer, produces much less waste, and the waste that is produced needs to be stored for a fraction of the time of Uranium!

Why did Thorium lose out to Uranium? For one reason and one reason only – Uranium produces plutonium as a byproduct, and Plutonium can be enriched and used in weapons. Thorium doesn’t have that advantage.

Read this article and others, and I think you may be as excited about the future of Thorium as I am!

Here is the link to the original article I saw in Wired Magazine:
Uranium Is So Last Century — Enter Thorium, the New Green Nuke

Here are a couple more links to sites I’m becoming addicted to with additional information if you want to do further research.

Thorium Energy Blog

Energy From Thorium Website