Is Thorium the fuel of the future to revitalize nuclear?

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Nuclear energy produces carbon-free electricity, and the United States has used nuclear energy for decades to generate baseline power.

Nuclear energy, however, carries a dreaded stigma. After disasters such as Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and Fukishima, the public is acutely aware of the potential, though misguided, dangers of nuclear energy. The cost of nuclear generation is on the rise–a stark contrast to the decreasing costs of alternative energy forms such as solar and wind, which have gained an immense amount of popularity recently.

This trend could continue until market forces make nuclear technology obsolete. Into this dynamic comes a resurgence in nuclear technology: liquid fluoride thorium reactors, or LFTRs (“lifters”). A LFTR is a type of molten salt reactor, significantly safer than a typical nuclear reactor. LFTRs use a combination of thorium (a common element widely found in the earth) and fluoride salts to power a reactor.

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Energy abundance : The future of nuclear

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Yes, I want nuclear energy *in my back yard*!

Extraordinary new innovations are giving us failsafe nuclear fission and the potential to achieve our age-old dream of fusion.

This year, Bill Gates commented: “Nuclear is ideal for dealing with climate change, because it is the only carbon-free, scalable energy source that’s available 24 hours a day. The problems with today’s reactors, such as the risk of accidents, can be solved through innovation.”

This blog is about convincing you to re-consider nuclear as a viable and critical idea. The upside of success is extraordinary, which is why, for the first time, we’re beginning to see venture capital make massive investments in the field.

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Japan will eliminate nuclear power by the 2030’s

The new energy policy calls for a wider use of renewable energy sources.

 The Japanese government’s just-released energy policy calls for the complete phase-out of nuclear power. However, the timeline is somewhat longer than many expected, with the policy saying that nuclear generation will be eliminated by the end of the 2030s, instead of at the beginning of that decade. The 20-page policy paper also lacks specific details about how the government will achieve its target.

 

 

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Google Earth Maps Shows Population Size and Danger Threshold Surrounding Nuclear Power Plants

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Google Earth map that shows the different population sizes surrounding nuclear power plants.

Nature News along with Columbia University, has created a Google Earth map that shows the different population sizes surrounding nuclear power plants. They are trying to demonstrate the danger threshold of other nuclear plants worldwide, compared to the ongoing nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan.

 

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Google Map of the World’s Nuclear Power Plants

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Where are all the nuclear power plants?

At Nature blogs, Declan Butler has put together a really info-dense mapping of the world’s nuclear power plants, using Google Earth. Nifty stuff for anybody whose interest in nuclear power has gone up significantly in recent weeks…

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Nuclear Waste for Sale

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You know you have a problem when you have to start selling off your nuclear assets to pay the cleanup costs for your nuclear assets, all while acquiring new nuclear assets.

It may seem odd, but that’s just what the British government is doing. Thursday night, assets from Britain’s nuclear power stations were made available to the private sector in an effort to raise £72 billion ($144 billion) for nuclear waste cleanup costs.

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