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Thursday, December 10, 2015

More on thorium

Lars Jorgensen gives a presentation on how thorium technology company ThorCon sees the future of nuclear power and its inevitable battle with coal. How anyone came up with the name ThorCon I can't imagine but the video explains what their project is all about. While remembering that the presentation is a sales pitch, here are a few bullet points.

The ThorCon system is a modular off the shelf system which can be built by existing shipyards using automated ship-building technology.

The system uses thorium and uranium and is designed to be  “walk-away safe”. If it goes wrong the liquid fuel falls harmlessly into a containment vessel. Nobody needs to shut it down, the laws of physics take care of things.

The system is designed to be cheaper than coal.

Indonesia is already interested, but as ever we'll have to wait and see if ThorCon sinks or swims. There is no way we can usefully guess what new technologies will emerge over the next few decades but thorium seems promising. When will the world run out of thorium? These things are as much guesswork as anything, but 1000 years may be conservative.

Meanwhile here in high tech Britain we build windmills and convert power stations to burn wood. Presumably dried dung is our next big energy idea.


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Sackerson said...

I have read that Western governments don't like the idea because it doesn't produce material for nuclear weapons.

A K Haart said...

Sackers - yes, this has been suggested as the reason why thorium research petered out in the sixties after some promising development work.

Paddington said...

How much Thorium is available?

Sackerson said...