Friday, December 29, 2006

Thorium to solve world's energy crisis? seems to think so:
According to a news release this past week Professor Egil Lillestol has been trying to convince Norway that a nuclear reactor based on thorium would be a viable solution to the worlds growing energy demands without the environmental impact of coal, or the hazards of traditional nuclear energy. Is he onto something? Read on to see the gory details.

From the article:

  • There is no danger of a melt-down like the Chernobyl reactor
  • It produces minimal radioactive waste
  • It can burn Plutonium waste from traditional nuclear reactors with additional energy output
  • It is not suitable for the production of weapon grade materials
  • The energy contained in one kilogram of Thorium equals that of four thousand tons of coal
  • The global Thorium reserves could cover the world’s energy needs for thousands of years
That sounds pretty fucking sweet. And maybe a little bit too good to be true. What's the catch? Well, I suppose that it's still nuclear power, so the dangers inherent in that are still a factor, but we've gotten a bit better at managing it recently. We haven't had a Chernobyl or a 3-Mile Island in, what, two decades? That's pretty good... I guess.

But how realistic is this plan? And who stands to gain/lose from it?

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1 sick little monkeys said:

Blogger TJ screeched...

Seeing that thorium is actually easier to find and gather than uranium, I don't see a huge negative there. The whole eons of radioactive crap is a troubling point, though. Even if it is less than we are used to producing, is this really the best solution when you compare to things like wind power or solar power? From what I've read we don't /need/ coal, gas, or any form of nuclear power if we actually bother tapping into the other assets we have.

03 January, 2007 15:20  

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