If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.


Nuclear Power

Reactions: Thorium for nuclear power

December 3, 2023 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 101, Issue 40


Letters to the editor

Thorium for nuclear power

This is a response to the editorial of Sept 18, 2023( page 2).

ACS 2022 IRS Form 990 available

The American Chemical Society’s 2022 IRS Form 990 is now available on the ACS website. To access the information, go to Please scroll toward the bottom of the page to access the 2022 form and related Guide to Schedule J for explanatory information regarding ACS executive compensation. If you have any access problems, please contact

I agree 100% with the premise that nuclear power can serve our energy needs for the future. However, the use of thorium is a better choice for the smaller modular reactors. Thorium should be strongly considered for nuclear reactors for the US and world energy needs to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Thorium is more abundant and more safely mined than uranium. Thorium power cannot develop a runaway, uncontrolled reaction like uranium reactors. Thorium reactors are less costly, and permitting should be considerably less of a challenge. Thorium reactor by-products cannot make nuclear bombs since the wrong isotopes are produced. They produce less radioactive waste, and these by-products are safe after about 100 years, versus 24,000 years for uranium reactors. The safe storage of thorium nuclear waste is much less complex. Thorium alleviates the concerns that people have about nuclear reactor safety.

CANDU (Canada deuterium uranium) thorium reactors have already been built. The US has built 1, 3, and 5 MW prototypes and evaluated them, indicating that development work has been significant. Grid connection is not an issue since the electricity is constant. Many nations could be provided safe and reliable electricity using thorium nuclear power.

Now is the time for thorium to be in the energy discussion. Thorium nuclear energy should be an important component for power generation and is safer than uranium for this use. The US and the world need it.

Lawrence Ingram
Greenville, North Carolina



This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.