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Is the safe future of Nuclear power generation Thorium?
Hi All,
I know this is also in the main forum, but I think it is worth repeating here.

(09-19-2010, 10:53 PM)Sunsettommy Wrote: World Nuclear Association



Thorium continues to be a tanatalising possibility for use in nuclear power reactors, though for many years India has been the only sponsor of major research efforts to use it. Other endeavours include the development of the Radkowsky Thorium Reactor concept being carried out by US company Thorium Power (now Lightbridge Corporation) with Russian collaboration.

In mid-2009, AECL signed agreements with three Chinese entities to develop and demonstrate the use of thorium fuel in the Candu reactors at Qinshan in China. Another mid-2009 agreement, between Areva and Lightbridge Corporation, was for assessing the use of thorium fuel in Areva's EPR, drawing upon earlier research. Thorium can also be used in Generation IV and other advanced nuclear fuel cycle systems.
Nature and sources of thorium

Thorium is a naturally-occurring, slightly radioactive metal discovered in 1828 by the Swedish chemist Jons Jakob Berzelius, who named it after Thor, the Norse god of thunder. It is found in small amounts in most rocks and soils, where it is about three times more abundant than uranium. Soil commonly contains an average of around 6 parts per million (ppm) of thorium.

Thorium-232 (Th-232) decays very slowly (its half-life is about three times the age of the Earth) but other thorium isotopes occur in its and in uranium's decay chains. Most of these are short-lived and hence much more radioactive than Th-232, though on a mass basis they are negligible.


(09-20-2010, 06:15 AM)Sunsettommy Wrote: Here is another website to look over:



A link to an excellent video on and explaining the subject area can be also be found in the main forum thread at,
(03-12-2011, 05:44 PM)Sunsettommy Wrote:

Where I also posted,
Errr, I was not aware of this at all.
So, after a quick search I found this,
China bets on thorium
Brand new nuclear programme within 20 years
By Andrew Orlowski • Get more from this author
Posted in Physics, 1st February 2011 14:43 GMT

" There's a good 15-minute introduction to LFTR, here.
WARNING: contains technical terms and scientific concepts.
Renewable energy supporters may wish to meditate before and after viewing.
I have added size to the excerpt.

The video mentioned in the above excerpt is,
the one SST has posted...

I came across the below site which maybe useful / interesting / informative.
Thorium and the Molten Salt Reactor and how they perform so well together

I also found this discussion of the subject at the Oil Drum.
The Liquid Fluoride Thorium Paradigm
The Oil Drum - Discussions about energy and our future.
Posted by Gail the Actuary on January 20, 2009 - 10:05am

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed
(and hence clamorous to be led to safety)
by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H. L. Mencken.  

The hobgoblins have to be imaginary so that
"they" can offer their solutions, not THE solutions.
Thanks for the reminder to the thorium link Derek. From there I eventually ended up at The Oil Drum reading The Liquid Fluoride Thorium Paradigm. The following quote made me sit up and pay attention.

Quote:For example, large-scale recovery of thorium from granite rocks is economically feasible with a very favorable EROEI. Significant recoverable amounts of thorium are present in mine tailings. These include the tailings of ancient tin mines, rare earth mine tailings, phosphate mine tailings and uranium mine tailings. In addition to the thorium present in mine tailings and in surface monazite sands, burning coal at the average 1000 MWe power plant produces about 13 tons of thorium per year. That thorium is recoverable from the power plant’s waste ash pile.

One ton of thorium will produce nearly 1 GW of electricity for a year in an efficient thorium cycle reactor. Thus current coal energy technology throws away over 10 times the energy it produces as electricity.

My bolding. So where are these LFTRs? Apparently research was dropped because you couldn't make bombs with this stuff!!! Sheeeesh!!!
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
The Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor: What Fusion Wanted To Be
55 minute video.

Google Tech Talks
November 18, 2008


Electrical power is, and will increasingly become, the desired form of energy for its convenience, safety, flexibility and applicability. Even future transportation embraces electric cars, trains, and chemical fuel production (jet fuel, hydrogen, etc.) based upon an abundant electrical supply. Although existing energy sources can and should be expanded where practical, no one source has shown to be practical to rapidly fulfill the world's energy requirements effectively. Presently there is an existing source of energy ideally suited to electrical energy production that is not being exploited anywhere in the world today, although its existence and practicality has been know since the earliest days of nuclear science. Thorium is the third source of fission energy and the LFTR is the idealized mechanism to turn this resource into electrical energy. Enough safe, clean energy, globally sustainable for 1000's of years at US standards.

This talk is aimed at explaining this thorium energy resource from fundamental physics to today's practical applications. The presentation is sufficient for the non-scientist to grasp the whole subject, but will be intriguing to even classically trained nuclear engineers. By providing the historical context in which the technology was discovered and later developed into a power reactor, the story of thorium's disappearance as an energy source is revealed. But times have changed, and today, thorium energy can be safely exploited in a completely new form of nuclear reactor.

The LFTR is unique, having a hot liquid core thus eliminating fuel fabrication costs and the need for a large reactor. It cannot have a nuclear meltdown and is so safe that typical control rods are not required at all. This design topples all the conventional arguments against conventional energy sources in such areas as:

* Waste Production
* Safety
* Proliferation
* Capital Costs and Location
* Environmental Impact
* Social Acceptance
* Flexibility
* Grid Infrastructure
* Efficiency

Should America take this step toward a New Era in Nuclear Energy Production? Hear the case for "The Electricity Rock" and then decide.

Speaker: Dr. Joe Bonometti
Dr. Bonometti has extensive engineering experience in the government, within industry, and in academia over a 25-year career. Recently completing an assignment as the NASA Chair Professor at the Naval Post graduate School, he supported a ship design study that utilized advanced nuclear power derived from thorium. Working at NASA for ten years as a technology manager, lead systems engineer, nuclear specialist, and propulsion researcher, he lead several NASA tiger teams in evaluating the Nuclear System Initiatives fission demonstration vehicle and missions. He managed the Emerging Propulsion Technology Area for in-space systems, the Marshall Air Launch team, as well as a variety of other power and propulsion assignments and is now the Lead Systems Engineer for the Ares I-Y flight. After earning a Doctorate degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Alabama in Huntsville, he spent several years as a Research Scientist & Senior Research Engineer at the UAH Propulsion Research Center where he served as a Principal Investigator and manager for the Solar Thermal Laboratory. He has worked as a Senior Mechanical Designer at Pratt & Whitney supporting aircraft engine manufacturing and at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory within the laser fusion program. A graduate from the United States Military Academy, at West Point, where he studied nuclear physics and engineering, Dr. Bonometti served as an officer in the United States Army Corps of Engineers; both in combat and district engineering management assignments. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Virginia, and has authored numerous aerospace technical publications, particularly propulsion and space systems technologies. His technical expertise includes nuclear engineering, specialized mechanical & materials research, space plasmas & propulsion, thermodynamics, heat transfer, and space systems engineering.

This Google Tech Talk was hosted by Boris Debic.
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed
(and hence clamorous to be led to safety)
by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H. L. Mencken.  

The hobgoblins have to be imaginary so that
"they" can offer their solutions, not THE solutions.
A shorter 4 minutes video,
Thorium Energy Future

an even shorter video,

or, how about a Thorium powered car.
Thorium Fuel Concept Car - WTF Cadillac

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