Our media is not built around effectively and accurately disseminating the facts to the public. Our media is built around putting your eyeballs on their print or their website and keeping them there. And the best way to keep you there is to scare you to death. - Kirk Sorensen
I know this has little to do with gardening, but the benefits we may see from thorium will drastically change the world, and possibly the way we garden. Imagine abundant energy, abundant clean water, and sustainable hydroponics!
Watch this video to learn more!
Thorium has long been rejected as a nuclear fuel - Why? Because uranium produced weapons grade platonium and we knew how to use Uranium. Why experiment - Right?
Why then am I getting excited about thorium? It's because both India and China are committing to building thorium reactors! It's been done before with total success but the Atomic Energy Commission lost interest because it's useless for building bombs. India has finalized their plans and will soon begin construction and plan to have a 300MW prototype in operation by 2016!
With that being said here are some statistics
World Energy Demand 2009
5,000,000,000 tonnes coal
31,000,000,000 barrels oil
5,000,000,000,000 m3 natural gas
65,000 tonnes uranium
1 Kg Thorium = 13,000 barrels oil
2.2% of fossil fuel is used by freight trains . 1 Ton of cargo can be moved 430 miles on a gallon of diesel. Hydrogen is twice as efficient as diesel I'm guessing that means by weight. Guess what - Hydrogen can be a product of a thorium reactor!
A coal plant releases 100 times the amount of radiation as a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy - Scientific America
Amazing isn't it? Nuclear has gotten such a bad rap for so many years.
It's actually a lot safer too. This chart shows natural and man-made sources of radiation
Check this out - Thorium is a very concentrated source of energy.
1 gram = all the energy you use this year!
Thorium is abundant and found with rare earth materials that would further benefit our energy efficient technology. Remove the restrictions over mining thorium in the USA, and we would have a win/win.
We seem to be falling short when it comes the using this technology
It's much less expensive to build molten salt reactors that use thorium than it is to build light water reactors that use uranium. Once a good design is finalized they could be mass produced unlike conventional Uranium U235 technologies which can only be cast in Japan.
And there are other benefits!
Almost no economic penalty to desalinate sea water. There is an abundance of thorium, and it is a waste product of rare earth mines therefore the cost of fuel is very cheap. The cost of Molten Salt Reactors (MSR) is many times less expensive that light water reactors. There is no possibility of a melt down and MSR require very little education to run - in fact they do not even require supervision for months at a time. The process creates insignificant amounts of transuranics (the dangerous stuff). The temperatures are higher which is why there is no need for high pressure water. The turbines are smaller and more efficient creating more power. Thorium does not produce materials that can be used for weapons so it's a low security site.
Other products can be made besides electricity. Hydrogen can be made which in turn can be used to make ammonia for agriculture. Finally sustainable hydroponics!
With a little chemistry synthetic fuels such as methanol for gasoline or dimethyl ether for diesel can also be made
Transuranics (the dangerous stuff)
The thorium cycle generates only 1% of waste in comparison to conventional Uranium U235 technologies which run into other problems.
Thorium provides safety and less problems
It's really sad and deceptive that oil companies claim to be promoting green technology such as Algae bio-fuels, wind, and solar when Thorium reactors are far more efficient, less expensive to build and maintain. Why? Maybe it's because they know these can't compete with oil. These methods are prone to failure.
Thorium can compete and will provide the world with cheap, clean, safe and abundant energy on a smaller foot print while providing clean water and hydrogen as well as other hydrogen products for fuels. We can breakup carbon dioxide, disassociate water to create hydrogen, ammonia, and make fertilizer and desalinate sea water for crops and residential use. All of this at extremely low cost, and very little damage to our environment. Thorium is so abundant that we will not run out of it for thousands of years!
If there was a lot of energy and it was cheap and not harmful to the environment, what would you do that you are not doing now?
Exxon Mobile attempting to improve their image.
Oil companies spread rumors and untrue ideas about nuclear energy. Campaigns like the one below are intended to scare the public. But even Light Water Reactors are safer and less damaging to the environment than coal, gas, or oil. Which have been well know to explode, and spill and coal mining is not only dangerous and unhealthy, it's destroying vast areas of pristine forests.
This report was given to JFK in 1962. The government had the information, and designs to built Thorium Reactors, but the information was suppressed. Who might want this information suppressed? There had already been a reactor working for 4 years in the 1960's. Instead of making progress we abandoned this technology, and now it's being developed and patented by India and China. We still have a chance to set this right but our politicians bow to the demands of big oil.
We live much better lives today because we learned how to use carbon. What about thorium? Thorium has a million times the energy density of a carbon hydrogen bond.
Watch this video to learn more!