The mighty thorium-The nearly perfect energy source nobody has heard of
Sunday, March 7, 2010 2:56 AM
BY DOUG CARUSO
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
But even as they hail President Barack Obama’s announcement last month that the government would back $8 billion in loans for new nuclear power plants, some engineers also are urging a new look at an alternative to the uranium fuel those plants will inevitably use.
Thorium, they say, provides all the carbon-free energy of uranium – about 300 times more, actually – with almost none of the guilt.
Thorium plants cooled with molten fluoride salt would leave a fraction of the nuclear waste compared to the uranium-fueled, water-cooled plants in use today. In addition, thorium plants can’t melt down and don’t produce reliable fuel for bombs.
“What’s not to love?” asked Kirk Sorensen, a NASA rocket scientist in Huntsville, Ala., who is earning his doctorate in nuclear engineering…
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