One ton of thorium can produce as much energy as 200 tons of uranium and 3.5 million tons of coal, according to the former director of CERN.Full story here.
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...
After a three-decade lull, nuclear power is enjoying a slow renaissance in the U.S. The 2005 energy bill included $2 billion for six new nuclear power plants, and this past February, Obama announced $8.3 billion in loan guarantees for new nuclear plants.
But nuclear plants need fuel, which means building controversial uranium mines. Thorium, on the other hand, is so abundant that it's almost an annoyance. It's considered a waste product when mining for rare-earth metals.
Thorium also solves the non-proliferation problem. Nuclear non-proliferation treaties (NPT) prohibit processes that can yield atomic bomb ingredients, making it difficult to refine highly radioactive isotopes. But thorium-based accelerator-driven plants only produce a small amount of plutonium, which could allow the U.S. and other nations to skirt NPT.
Update, 9/8/13: Last night at Best Buy there was a Greenpeace guy with a petition outside. I considered asking if he knew who Patrick Moore was, and what his personal take on nuclear-generated electricity was, but instead I just went to my car. Wasn't in a pugilistic mood.