Thursday, September 05, 2013

Tiny Thorium Reactors and Global Energy Independence?

I'm a bit skeptical of the need/urgency as far as financial resource allocation goes... but if only for the purposes of weaning the waning power that the despots in middle east have, maybe it'd be worth it. According to PopSci - "Development of tiny thorium reactors could wean the world off oil in just five years" (PopularScience):

An abundant metal with vast energy potential could quickly wean the world off oil, if only Western political leaders would muster the will to do it, a UK newspaper says today. The Telegraph makes the case for thorium reactors as the key to a fossil-fuel-free world within five years, and puts the ball firmly in President Barack Obama's court.

Thorium, named for the Norse god of thunder, is much more abundant than uranium and has 200 times that metal's energy potential. Thorium is also a more efficient fuel source -- unlike natural uranium, which must be highly refined before it can be used in nuclear reactors, all thorium is potentially usable as fuel.

The Telegraph says thorium could be used as an energy amplifier in next-generation nuclear power plants, an idea conceived by Nobel laureate Carlo Rubbia, former director of CERN.

No comments: