China Announces Thorium Nuclear Reactor Program

If we could have clean, safe nuclear power, I think many would be in favor of it. Thorium sounds like it may be it, if initial reports bare out.

It seems that as uranium has been traditionally cheaper than thorium, and the military can benefit by getting inexpensive weapon`s grade material as a biproduct, the dirty reactors we have around the world have been lauded and built. Fukushima, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island have highlighted the dangers however.

News Story follows:

President Obama in his recent SOTU address said that “this is our generation’s sputnik moment” referring to the need to use science and technology to develop cheaper clean energy (among other things). It seems the Chinese were listening because last week they announced a focused effort to achieve technological leadership in thorium molten salt reactors.

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  1. Richard said,

    April 20, 2012 at 4:26 am

    You should research current existing fossil fuel reserves. I surmise in ten years time people won’t care if it’s thorium urnaium or whatever or care two hoots about any perceived dangers. Living is dangerous. A concept all greenies should absorb. When the lights go out mind sets will become a lot lot more focused. Bottomline. We have two choices. THorium/nuclear or mass extinction and a trip back to the stone age. No form of energy however will totally replace hydrocarbon fuel for two simple reasons. It’s an extremely portable potent energy source (i.e transport, egineering mining etc.) and it’s by-products are just as crucial for survival eg. fertiliser, medicines etc. Even in a world of abundant throium reactors there will still need be a massive population reduction and I’m talking in Billions now. There will also need to be a complete re-think of our survival model. A paradigm shift from the greed based capiitalist comsume everything in sight for a buck model to more sustainable village based communities with a lot more manual labor and self sufficiency. It can still be a good world with us in it but a lot of us will die between now and then. Electricity supply only solves half the problem. The other half can only be solved by reducing our population levels. It’s really that simple.

  2. kintaro63 said,

    April 28, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    A friend of mine in Kanagawa just got solar power for his very large home. This would be an average size house in North America (to give you some idea). Here is his electric bill and how much he will be paid. Yes you read that correctly – how much he will be paid by TEPCO for producing electricity:

    “Consumed: 149 kWh @ Y4,454
    Generated: 234 kWh @ Y9,828
    Tepco will be paying me Y5,374 this month! Whoo-hoo!”

    That was for one month in March or April. What if everyone in Japan had solar power on their rooves?

    Before the tsunami and nuclear disaster, nuclear power supplied just 30% of our needs. Could we not replace that and more, with solar, wind, wave and other alternative forms of power?

    Plus with an aging population, virtually no immigration to speak of, – a declining population- projected to drop to 60 million or so over the coming century, our power needs will be going down not up.

    Moreover, more and more factory jobs are being shipped to China, Malaysia, Singapore and other Asian nations to take advantage of cheaper labour their. Our need for power to run our factories is decreasing as well. More and more Japanese production is being produced outside of Japan.

    Many Japanese young people will be working abroad in the coming decades according to some futurists – Brazil, China, India, Russia and other nations. Young Japanese won`t have the options for advancement within Japan, that they can have abroad.

    The whole country is experiencing a very quiet revolution. So I think we don`t need nuclear power in Japan.

    If Thorium reactors can be very, very safe, then let`s develop them. If not, let`s make the alternative power sources (the green energies) as effective as possible.

    Kevin R Burns

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