March 29, 2010

A Great Historical Tragedy

One of the great historical tragedies of human history is that nuclear power was discovered during a time of war.  A very interesting article by Kirk Sorensen on the mistake the USA is getting ready to make and how we should look forward.

We should stop the Department of Energy's effort to destroy the one tonne of uranium-233 that we already have. They don't think that that uranium-233 has any value to their mission and are going to spend $500M to mix it with uranium-238 and throw it away in the desert. That's a bad idea. We're going to need that one tonne and a whole lot more.

The next step is to get going on the research and development of the liquid-fluoride thorium reactor. This is the machine that can burn thorium as a fuel and only needs about a tonne of U-233 or other fissile material to start it up. The US hasn't invested any money to develop LFTR since 1974, the year I was born. Other countries are making investments. We need to get going before we get completely left behind on something that we invented.

We are preparing to destroy a very rare ton of U-233 -- a huge source of safe, clean energy.   We're going to chemically destroy it and bury it in the desert.

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