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Comments Effecting Canadian Events – Ken McGregor

Thorium Nuclear Power – A Real Alternative Energy

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Below is an interesting post (comment) by Texas . Tony on Thorium Nuclear Power.

OILPRICE.COM -“The world currently has 435 commercial nuclear power plants, all of which run off uranium, but thorium is gathering support to replace uranium as a nuclear fuel, for several reasons. Thorium is much safer than uranium, being less likely to suffer a meltdown; it is a far more abundant element meaning that it should be cheaper to produce than uranium; the leftover waste decays at a far faster rate than uranium, meaning that it becomes safe far quicker; and it is much more difficult to create a nuclear weapon out of thorium waste”.

With all the talk of Oil and the Keystone , East West and Gateway pipelines Albertans should be aware that there is an alternative energy that could be ready for commercial use in 5-10 years that could be a game changer. Presently its has just begun tests in Norway in a paper mill for the next 5 year to see if it is cost effective for public use. If Alberta is going to establish markets for its oil it had better be quickly before the opportunely is lost.

Also, wonder if the Elizabeth May of the Green Party or Iran might be interested?

Postby Texas.Tony » Thu May 09, 2013 5:23 am

In response to the true costs of Thorium Nuclear Power and batteries I can only guesstimate BUT… the next paragraphs are indisputable facts, as are the graphs, maps,.
Thorium is 30 times more plentiful and half the cost of uranium. It yields 200 times more energy than uranium per ounce (according to Dupont research of 1959) It also has one-tenth the waste problem of uranium. Better still, as you can see from the above chart, there is enough Thorium deposits in America’s Southwest to power North America for the next 14 million years. No this is not a typo. 14 million years is the half life of the Thorium 232 isotope which is used to power these batteries. So neither you nor I nor our children’s chidrn will ever have to worry about the disposal problem – which as I said will be one-tenth the headache that uranium gives us. In the chart below you will see that there is enough Thorium in the world to power the world over the next millennium – or rather, 14 million years.
So really this disruptive technology is a game-changer since people will own and use a car battery for life and just keep transferring it to every new car they buy and when they get home at night, plug the battery into an interface in their garage that would power their house as well. We could also say goodbye to the power grid and electric bills forever. This is the reason why the industry leaders like J.P. Morgan abandoned Tesla in favor of Marconi when he said “If we cannot measure and sell the electricity, why would anyone invest in it?” Unlike the relatively “cheap” energy that Thorium would provide (there will always be a one-time purchase/profit), current metered electricity is extremely profitable with residual income that is perpetual. Thorium does not provide that incentive to those more interested in a long term renewable profit .
Lastly, to preempt those that will scream and worry about the “radiation danger” of Thorium, the amount needed to power an automobile (the size of a golf ball) gives off the same radiation as most cell phones and television sets. You can handle it daily for 320 years before accumulating enough radiation that constitutes a health hazard. In fact the CDC admitted that common coal dust is 30 times more dangerous to human beings than Thorium (unless it is ingested in a powder form or drunk in liquid form). When used in batteries it would most likely be used in wafer form. See the below radiation chart to put this into proper perspective. So , there is little reasons why cars, trucks, trains, boats, and ships are not using Thorium batteries today:
There is one last point to consider – It is being tested by China, Norway, and India to verify that Thorium can also be used cost-effectively to power conventional nuclear power plants (with 200 more times the energy output) with zero chance of meltdown or catastrophic failure. Current uranium-based operations time bombs can all be eliminated simply by switching over to Thorium with relatively minor conversions. Also Thorium cannot be used to make nuclear weapons. Are world leaders deliberately stuck on uranium only to justify weapon development?
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  1. I like Thorium as a possible way for Alberta, and Canada to reasonably wean itself off carbon energy. Sadly Canada does not seem to have huge amounts of Thorium until we realize that Thorium is more power dense than Uranium (and much less toxically dense). As for the Thorium car battery, why not just a regular battery? That part of the above piece needs expansion, or editing.

    Randy Kennedy

    December 2, 2015 at 7:58 pm

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