It’s become increasingly clear that our modern day propulsion systems aren’t really needed anymore. New technologies are waiting to be unleashed, technologies that are much more efficient and harmonious with the planet. When it comes to efficiency, thorium seems to be one at the top of the list.
As far as fuelling a car goes, it could run for 100 years on just 8 grams of fuel. A company called Laser Power Systems has been working on creating an emissions free turbine/electric generator powered by nuclear thorium lasers. Charles Stevens, CEO and chairman of the Connecticut-based company claims that one gram of thorium yields the energy of 7,500 gallons of gasoline. The energy is harnessed by heating the thorium with an external source, which then becomes so dense that its molecules emit heat.
Multiple countries and military agencies have experimented with Thorium as a fuel source for a number of years. (1)
If your car was powered by thorium, you would never need to refuel it. The vehicle would burn out long before the chemical did. The fuel would in fact out live you.
Thorium is a naturally occurring radioactive chemical element, and is most popular for its potential to replace current nuclear energy generation by implementing reactors powered by thorium, which would be an alternative to uranium. It’s definitely a much safer fuel for civilian power plants than uranium.
“If a thorium, molten-salt reactor can be successfully developed, it will remove all fears about nuclear energy,” says Fang Jinqing, a retired nuclear researcher at the China Institute of Atomic Energy. “The technology works in theory, and it may have the potential to reshape the nuclear power landscape, but there are a lot of technical challenges.”(2)
This idea has been around for quite some time now:
“What China is attempting is to turn the nuclear clock back to the mid-1960s, when Oak Ridge successfully operated a reactor with fuel derived from thorium and cooled with molten salts. The lab also produced detailed plans for a commercial-scale power plant.Despite considerable promise, the thorium test reactor was shut down in 1969 after about five years of operation. Research was effectively shelved when the Nixon Administration decided in the 1970s that the U.S nuclear industry would concentrate on a new generation of uranium-fueled, fast-breeder reactors. For a range of technical and political reasons, not least the public’s fear of nuclear plants, these new uranium reactors have yet to come into widespread commercial use.” (source)
One thing is clear, modern day nuclear reactors are not needed anytime. A time for change has arrived, and one big part of that is the way in which we generate energy.
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