Thorium is a plentiful alternative to Uranium-235 (the Uranium isotope used as fuel today). When thorium is consumed in a Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR), far more energy can be harnessed for less waste.
I’ve constructed a video called THORIUM REMIX 2011 to help communicate why this is. It starts with a fast-paced 5 minute summary.
In brief, solar and wind farms are steadily increasing their efficiency. However, they are still intermittent power sources. They can never fully replace fossil fuels, only reduce their consumption while the wind is blowing or sun is shining.
The Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (also known as the Molten Salt Reactor: MSR) fills this gap. And after initial development costs are covered, can easily compete with coal on price. Mining is cheaper (if needed at all, plenty of the-abundant-thorium sits in Heavy Rare Earth mine tailing lakes). Operation produces more power (because it runs hotter than today’s Pressurized Water Reactors). Waste stream contains barely any transuranics (the “bad stuff”), plenty of extremely valuable isotopes and is easily partitioned.
This means a far cleaner/greener source of energy than any fossil fuel can actually be deployed without need for subsidy. “Cheaper than coal” is the only way to kill coal. Otherwise “clean energy” deployment may stall due to the political winds of the day.
My current efforts can be tracked at ThoriumRemix.com, where I’m working on a new thorium documentary called simply “Th”. It is broken into chapters. Here is one such chapter…