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THORIUM. Is it really that safe and great alternative to Nuclear? Is it the Other Miracle that Bill Gates is looking for?

I've been against Nuclear all my thinking life.. so from about age 20 and am now 54. Japan has not helped me become a lover of Nuclear. One thing that I heard briefly in a news report, was the word Thorium. It is apparently a rare earth mineral that is found with Uranium and dug at the same time.
I read the following.. and are yet to check the facts...
* It is a very efficient source of power generating material.
* It has already been dug up and is sitting in piles
* If there is a problem, you just simply turn it off like a light
* The waste can not be used to make a bomb
* Current Nuclear plants can be converted to use it
* It's actually cheaper than Uranium
* It doesn't require those big exclusion zones

Personally, I don't know enough about it, but from what I've read in an article titled "A report on Thorium: The newest of the technology metals . by Jack Lifton" which certainly seemed comprehensive and informed, I'm starting to wonder why this conversation hasn't been had before.

Interestingly, I don't see any reference to Thorium on the Terrapower website even though Stewart Brand referenced it in his Debate FOR Nuclear Power at about the 7 minute mark in the debate. I do note that a search for Thorium on the Terrapower website gives no hits at all.. Refer 13:20 into the Bill Gates speech as well. Not sure why.

What do YOU think?


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    Mar 19 2011: I think Thorium is an excellent fuel but unlike what you heard that waste could be used to make bomb is not true. Waste could be used to refuel the reactor.

    Extensive research on this field have being going on in India.

    India has the world's second largest thorium reserves, and thorium can be used to build "breeder" reactors (which produce more fuel than they consume) and lead to self-sufficient power generation.

    I hope you found this useful!

    Good day!
    • Jul 9 2011: It's great that India is working on Thorium reactors, but its NOT great that they plan to use it in plants similiar to the existing LWR solid fulel types, which have all these problems that the LFTR doesn't. Really, India already is known toave nuclear bombs, they really don't need any more; and what other reason is there to build "breeder" reactors? "Producing more fuel than they burn" is really a Faustian bargain, and an unnecessary one: Thorium in the US is so cheap, it is considered a waste product..

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