Thorium for nuclear power
This is a response to the editorial of Sept 18, 2023( page 2).
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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.
Greenville, North Carolina