Thorium: An Energy Solution

Ratings: 9.42/10 from 436 users.


Thorium: An Energy Solution

Thorium is readily available and can be turned into energy without generating transuranic wastes. Thorium's capacity as nuclear fuel was discovered during WW II, but ignored because it was unsuitable for making bombs.

A liquid-fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) is the optimal approach for harvesting energy from Thorium, and has the potential to solve today's energy/climate crisis.

LFTR is a type of Thorium Molten Salt Reactor (Th-MSR). This video summarizes over 6 hours worth of thorium talks given by Kirk Sorensen and other thorium technologists.

Thorium is a naturally-occurring mineral that holds large amounts of releasable nuclear energy, similar to uranium. This nuclear energy can be released in a special nuclear reactor designed to use thorium.

Thorium is special because it is easier to extract this energy completely than uranium due to some of the chemical and nuclear properties of thorium.

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Comments and User Reviews

  • humansoul

    sell it to the Chinese !!!!!!!!!!

  • humansoul


  • Fecioru Florin

    Heh, the Fallout 3 cover image, seems appropriate somehow.

  • Mercenarry ForHire

    Amazing work :D

  • Friso Woudstra

    Very intensive to watch due to the amateuristic compilation proces, but still worth your time. There's simply not much information about the subject, though it might be shaping our world in the years to come.

  • steviecomment

    Really enjoyed this, not too hard to get my head round.
    We really need to get the stigma of nuclear power away from fear.

    If we don't, the Chinese will be years ahead. (on western research)

    Our media are slowing us down, by selling fear of nuclear power.

  • CapnCanard

    probably not gonna happen, because those with money, power and control prefer not to permit it. It is an economic issue. Thorium has the disadvantage of being readily available and has the added disadvantage of not being useful for making bombs. IMO, being that Thorium is common means that if thorium were used, then those with wealth and power are likely to lose both wealth and power.

    I would like to see thorium being used, but given the powers that be, I don't expect it to happen until they are gone.

  • Solid State Max

    I dunno. Nuclear is still nuclear and I'm not so optimistically sure that Thorium will be much different.

  • AntiTheist666

    Please justify nuclear waste? Future generations etc?

  • fhade

    lol the Indians and chinese are going to do be way head of US

  • megatron_mcdaniels

    way to sit this dude down in front of the toilettes...

  • Samuel Morrissey

    That sort of waste can be burned as fuel in LFTR reactors. The whole world would produce a few 10s of 1000s of tons unusable waste every year, if LFTRs were the exclusive energy generation device. I remind you of the inverse proportion that radioactivity shares with half life. The longer, the less dangerous.

    Please justify carbon waste. Past present and future generations etc.

    Start with the tonnage per year...

    Not being funny here but this guy has done his research, it's all out there if you want to find it. I came to identical conclusions after doing my own research 5 years ago.

    The only thing I noticed was the idea of bismuth 2xx as a cancer target, this does not seem to tie in with what I know about alpha particles, which are identical to a helium ion with +2 charge (i.e. no electrons) and as such will not pass through a very thin amount of matter (air about 2cm) without reacting chemically. The top layer of your skin stops them as does a single sheet of paper. The problem is with ingestion, as opposed to a neutron which has as much chance of passing straight through you without interaction, there will be a guaranteed reaction. A molecule inside your body, be it part of a cell, epithelium, enzyme, protein, whatever, will be chemically altered by the reaction of the alpha particle. I am personally unsure about how this could be used to target specific cells in the body.


  • AntiTheist666

    Thanks for the link and the info on the doc, I haven’t watched it all yet but I will soon. Where did I label nuclear fuel as bad? Its efficiency is beyond doubt but long term considerations need to be taken into account.

  • AntiTheist666

    Hi Sam

    A very good and highly technical answer. Of course I can’t justify carbon waste either and certainly not by tonnage. Very you were being funny! I liked it anyway, I’ve not watched all the doc yet but I will soon. I will pay special attention thanks to your comment.


    The Crucified One

  • Paul Gloor

    The buzz about thorium is that it is safer, its safety systems are completely passive. It operates at lower pressures and temperatures than existing nuclear tech. It produces far less waste, and after watching this, I imagine that most of it is usable in modern processes. Having a half life of 14 billion years means its gonna be everywhere in the universe.
    Its not nuclear technology we use today, using uranium to boil water is quite primitive IMO. I want to learn more.

  • Christian Tintin Johansson


    12 minutes in and I am dizzy as hell. Did the maker of this "documentary" make it while on acid? Jumping around from place to place, from clip to clip and with all sort of text flying around almost all the time.

    I am absolutely for Thoruim Nuclear Plants, they are efficient and as safe as any large scale power plant can be. But this video does not work for anyone who is only mildly interested in knowing more about this way to produce electric power.

    I was hoping that it was just the loooong intro that was like an awesome acid trip but when it continued I couldn't continue watching.

  • Christian Tintin Johansson

    You know, it's like saying: I know for a fact that jumping from a balcony 50 meters up and landing on concrete will most likely kill me so I am certain the same thing will happen if I jump from 2 meters into a waterfilled swimming pool.

    The way a Thorium reactor works is completely different from a Uranium reactor. You just can't compare them to eachother other that that they both use nuclear fission to produce heated water.

    You can't get a nuclear meltdown simply because it's not enough heat and the Thorium is already in liquid form. And The Thorium will leave such a small amount of radioactive material compared to a Uranium reactor, and with such low amount of radiation that keeping it until it's not radioactive anymore is no problem at all.

  • UnclearFizzyCyst

    Follow the money. Kirk hits the nail right on the head when he targets the commercial reasons.

    Once the Chinese (or others) who so far haven't invested trillions in energy production, transportation and usage start to build LFTR's todays giants will either make the switch or go under.

    Are their bureaucratic obstacles intended to stymie LFTR construction in N. America or are the problems mainly financial? Kirk briefly touches on the financial issues but then moves on to his own area of expertise. How much would a modest, profitable, proof of concept reactor actually cost? I believe he may have mentioned it but it got lost in the all the big numbers.

    A start-up selling the idea of cleaning up all those waste pellets may be the best approach as it would be an easy socio-political sell. Forget the 'too cheap to meter' line and sell the 'clean up the planet' idea instead. Heck, he could even 'reprocess' waste from other countries (for a fee of course).

    Has he considered funding via the internet, bypassing the bankers and going for the little investors instead. I 'retired' 10 years ago so live off disability and my investment fat but would be only too happy to invest a few thousand in a project like this.

  • brixmo

    I like it, did you conntact anybody from CERN or EU research institutions.

  • Bryan

    ask google for money! since there wasting their money for an auto car that no one want..

  • Trevis Robotie

    this definitely brings to mind 'The Kesh Foundation' !I have seen a few videos,but I must confess my ignorance-the claims of this foundation are out of this world for me!just too good to be true!right now I am appealing to qualified physists here (and TDF)to look into this matter.they claim the energy already developped by them surpasses anything seen before(and you don't need Thorium).the beautiful and most incredible thing about this foundation is,they are giving everything away for free!!!all they seek is world peace and harmony.I read somewhere that Obama has already declared KF illegal and a threat to world peace.....I don't see how.again,please guys,check out the Kesh Foundation,tell us your opinions,if only to know whether to take them serious or not.thanx in advance

  • Trevis Robotie

    damn right!saw 20 mins and i was like,ok i gorrit awl !lol

  • wald0

    While i love the idea of LFTRs and freely admit they are very efficient and safe these guys fall into the same trap as everyone else out to promote a singular technology when they try and diminish the role of other renewable technologies- in this case wind, solar, geothermal, etc. The truth is we do have battery storage and back up systems that operate very efficiently at the grid level, they are simply new technologies that have yet to catch on- much like LFTRs. These new technologies will make wind, solar, and geothermal just as reliable and efficient as any other energy source- very soon.

    The truth is that the powers that be will die before they allow individuals the ability to provide their own energy at reasonable costs, which is the true basis for freedom and autonomy in the modern world. Not everyone can set up, run, and maintain a LFTR- ppl will still rely on the state to provide for them in other words. Where as anyone, with even half a brain, can set-up, run, and maintain a simple solar/wind system. Systems like this would allow even remote villages in the middle of no where to have power, communications and all that follows. But hey, that is exactly what THEY do not want- the average person being able to educate and themselves scares the living sh1t out of them.

    Imagine free, open-source solar or wind hardware you download from the internet and print out on your 3d-printer coupled with free, open-source software that turns your pc into a power management system for your home. Imagine how this would empower people, that's exactly why they will never allow it. This potential is why you constantly hear certain people belittling wind and solar technologies while demonizing any politician that supports them. Because these technologies would allow the individual to provide for him or her self at a reasonable cost and no longer have to live at the whim and fancy of the state.

  • wald0

    Wow, this guy has his half-life info. all turned around, at least according to what I was taught and according to what the industry experts have to say. The reason waste is such an issue is because of the long half--life. Saying because its half-life is long it is less radio-active is kind of misleading when we are talking about huge amounts of material. Yes, each atom may be releasing fewer particles per-second, decaying more slowly in effect, but if there are many many atoms together in one place, the effect becomes muted. In other words exposure to huge amounts of waste for a short time will be equal to exposure to smaller amounts for longer periods of time. Also the main concern with waste storage is that if the half-life is really long, say a billion years, then how do we realistically judge what may become of this material before that time. Taking responsibility for waste means controlling it completely until the half-life has expire, longer half-lives mean having to control the material for unrealistic amounts of time. This guy seems to be saying that if the material has a long half-life the waste is effectively harmless, which isn't true at all. In fact the opposite is true, the longer the half-life the more costly the control of said waste. Shorter half-lives are what we look for- we can easily contain even the most radio-active of waste- as long as the period of time we have to do so is reasonable.
    See its stuff like this, coupled with his obvious ignor@nce of newer grid technologies that make me wonder- does this guy simply have an agenda to promote LFTRs no matter what, or is he simply ignor@nt? I am leaning toward him having an agenda, though I have no idea what motivates that agenda. Perhaps he means well and is just overlooking somethings, or perhaps I have been mislead and am just plain wrong. Seems odd though that my professors, online sources, as well as a physicist I know all say the same thing- that longer half-lives complicate waste storage greatly. How did we all get the same misinformation, if that is what it is.

  • Maddestmax

    Stop raining on the parade wald0.

  • SA Kiteman

    Sorry, but he is correct and you are not.
    Given the same amounts of similar materials (actinides in this case) longer half lives are less radioactive.
    Take for instance Th232 and U233, both about the same number of steps to stability, the Thorium with a 14Gy half life is WAY less radioactive than tha Uranium with its 160ky half life. But the Thorium will stay (mildly) radioactive for much longer, basically not doing anything.

  • SA Kiteman

    Lower pressure (thus safer) but HIGHER temperature (thus more efficient, i.e., you need fewer fission to make the same electricity).

  • wald0

    You misunderstand, I admitted they decay slower-my point is that the more of the material you have around the less that will make a difference. Don't get me wrong, i am not saying I am right- I just want to make sure you understand what i am asserting before you say its wrong. If one atom of Th232 decays at a rate of say five particles per second- i have no idea what its real decay rate is mind you, and U233 decays at say ten per second- then it would seem if you had twice as much Th232 as U233 it would be just as dangerous because it produces the same amount of particles per second, even though it takes a bigger sample to do so. Now if the case is that they would never have any need of having this much TH232 in one place at one time then he should state it that way. Saying it isn't dangerous because it decays slower is misleading- in my opinion.
    Besides, isn't it U235 that we split, not U233. Most Uranium is U238 and only about 0.7 percent is naturally occurring, highly fissionable U235, as far as I know.

  • Samuel Morrissey

    Hey Wald0 its cool to be sceptical but go and check it out to make sure you aren't making basic misconceptions - 1 atom of a radioactive element has a 50% chance of decay over its entire half life, when it decays it may release an alpha/beta particle and/or a high energy photon. But once it has decayed it will not be the original element anymore, and is more likely to be more stable (less or not at all radioactive) so 1 particle as you put it will decay once, not several times.

    Thorium although very mildly radioactive is not fissile, like uranium/plutonium. When atoms of fissile elements decay there is a small chance that they will undergo spontaneous fission. Fission can produce all of the aforementioned types of radiation, but crucially it also produces a number of free neutrons, which cause fission in any fissile nucleus they then collide with. Neutron radiation is the kind that will over time cause materials within the flux to become radioactive through neutron activation. To argue your point about more radioactive substance in one place, which is logical and true, very long lived actinides (Million years+) would take an entire lifetime stood next to a ton of it to recieve the same dose as a single CT scan. It is the medium (few hundred or thousand years) actindes which are tricky, and the short lived ones are incredibly dangerous (although mitigated by the very short halflife - a few milli seconds to a few weeks)

    Can you post a link to this new battery technology you mentioned?

    I assume it is what is powering the Mars Curiosity Rover, but I couldn't find any data or info on that.

    And the energy density of renewables is very poor, full stop. I'm not saying we couldn't run individual homes on localised renewable sources (which for a city would require at least as much steel, concrete and maintenance as an equivalent fission reactor) and put up with the intermittent nature, maybe we should, but industry requires base load 24/7/52. No getting away from it.

    Because of this, in Germany the public reaction to the Fukushima Daichi meltdown demanded the abandonment of their nuclear program, put a lot of very skilled people out of work, and tripled their production of coal and gas burning plants to compensate. Again in this doc it is quite clear, that nuclear energy produces about a 10th of the electricity globally that coal/gas does, but creates about 1/100th of the radioactive waste. The added benefit is that this waste is localised, containable and measurable. And this is with the old school dodgy weapons proliferation uranium/plutonium reactors we all run. Thorium based designs would create a lot less waste.

    The point is, this is not new. the proofs of concept have been done. It was shelved in the 60's as it is entirely inappropriate for the production of weapons. The other point is too many people are irrationally scared of radiation - their position is one of faith if you will, they have not researched and do not understand it. This is not helped by the unscientific linear danger policy, and bad management of weapons proliferation facilties like Chernobyl.

    To give a specific example, in Cornwall there is about 8x the normal background radiation in Britain due to radon gas seeping out from the granite. If the linear danger policy was true there would be statistically more radio induced cancers etc. There is not.


  • wald0

    Hey Sam, nice to talk with you as well. You're right, I shouldn't have said one atom decays so many times per second as one atom can only decay one time. I should have said that if two samples of different materials emit the same amount of particles in the same amount of time they are equally dangerous, even if it takes more of one and less of the other. I have a degree in chemistry but not nuclear chemistry, which I have always been afraid of to be honest. That said I just finished refreshing myself on how half-lives are calculated and it is much more complicated than I remembered really.

    First you have to get the decay constant by dividing the decay rate in seconds by the number of nuclei involved, then you divide the decay constant into another mathematical constant, 0.693 to be exact, which gives us the half-life in seconds. Then you just convert that to years by dividing it by 3.15 x 10 to the 7th, or the amount of seconds in one year. My question, and I hope you can help with this, is why 0.693? Where did they derive this mathematical constant from? The example that shows me this is figuring the half-life for U238, is the mathematical constant the same for all radioactive elements?

    As far as being skeptical, I'm really not. I have no problem agreeing that LFTRs are definitely as safe and effective as they say they are. My only issue is that he is incorrect about the potential for solar and wind to be significant contributors in the future. I'll try to find you the links to the research i am referring to, I've posted it on this site several times before. It intersects with the work I have been doing on CO2 break down.

    The breaking of CO2 into carbon and oxygen is an uphill process, meaning it requires energy input to drive the reaction to completion. Combining the two of course is a downhill process that requires only enough energy to reach activation, then it drives itself into a beautifully double bonded, linear, non-polar pain in MY A55 to tear apart molecule. Right now we create more CO2 supplying the needed energy than we would get rid of breaking it down, a net loss in other words. But if we could use solar to break it down, viola- we remove the CO2 while producing a commercially viable supply of both carbon and oxygen- a big net gain for coal fired steam plants and more importantly, the people they serve. Any way, this battery and grid technology is the answer to all my head aches- I'll find the links and post them- its a ted talk I think.

  • Maddestmax

    wald0. Do you think that your increasingly long essays on the nature of atomic decay might put some people off actually watching this very interesting doc? Yes or No will suffice. PS I'm not a nuclear physicist either.

  • Maddestmax

    Dear The Editor, of Editors Picks. The statements made in this documentary have such massive implications for mankind, it would be a shame for it to not get as much exposure as possible. Even though it is not the best produced doc, it is extremely informative.

  • tomregit

    Well since I'm not wald0 I suppose you might allow me more than a one word answer to your question. Speaking for myself only, the answer is........NO, his comments will not prevent me from watching. Can you tell me why you suggest they might?
    You may use more than one word.

  • Maddestmax

    You are not everyone. People get put off by technicalities.

  • wald0

    No, why on earth would it? The main point of this doc is to show the safety, efficiency, and and desperate need for LFTRs. It does that well and I personally hope people do watch it. My only point of contention is when he asserts solar an wind do not have the potential to be real contributors- when they most certainly do. Perhaps I am biased to some degree as I do work in this field as a research chemist for a local college, but I am not alone. Some of the best and brightest we have feel even more passionate than myself about solar, wind, geothermal, etc.
    I also disagree with his assertion that longer half-life equals easier storage of waste- this is generally speaking not the case if you research nuclear waste storage. I think this guy simply has a great product to sell and he gets a bit carried away, doesn't' see the whole picture because he is to invested in a particular outcome- no matter what.
    If we hope to solve the energy crisis, and trust me it is a crisis, we have to be realistic. I see this all the time, people getting so carried away with their particular research that they become blind to all else. The future of energy should be a mix of nuclear, solar, wind, geothermal, renewable fuels such a ethanol, hydrogen, electricity, etc.

  • wald0

    If someone is that put off by technicalities this is not the fight for them, as it is inherently very technical in nature- period. It is the technicalities that separate a good energy source from a bad one, one means of storage from another, etc., etc. Its not my fault that the problems we face are technical, complicated, and subtle by their very nature. After all the whole point of this doc was to explain the technicalities of a LFTR, which are what separate it from a normal thermal reactor. Besides, as always if you don't like something someone has written you don't have to read it- simple as that.

  • wald0

    " I very much doubt we will find oil, coal or gas in these places while elements like Thorium or uranium will be just as common as they are on Earth."

    Very good point, no we wouldn't find fossil fuels as they are the organic remains of biology. So, unless we find another planet with a long history of organic decay- no fossil fuels. Don't sell yourself short either, you seem to have an excellent grasp of radioactivity. I have a degree in chemistry but that does little to teach one about radioactivity- it is only sparsely covered and then you move on. Now if you take nuclear chemistry or physics of course that is a whole other story- they specialize in nuclear reactions, radioactivity, use of radioactive elements in medicine, radioactive imaging, neutron bombardment, etc. Maybe you should check out the field, you seem to be very interested and able. Thanks for the conversation man.

  • Maddestmax

    wald0. I (like many other visitors to this site,I guess), look at the comments in order to get a grasp of weather or not I would enjoy/be informed by or could simply dismiss the documentary, after all it's the people who publish the doc that get to write the (frequently self- promotional) description. So is this realy the best place for an amateur yet intellectual dick-swinging contest, I think not.

  • Samuel Morrissey

    I can confidently tell you, the information presented in this documentary is based upon well documented scientific data, so yes you can be informed by it. Whether or not you will enjoy it is subjective, do you have an interest in nuclear physics, or the global energy crisis? if yes then you will probably enjoy it. If however you take an automatic anti nuclear stance (which many do) then you will probably see this as some kind of clever propaganda, and I would advise you to look up the scientific data for yourself starting with wikipedia, to familiarise yourself with the basic concepts of nuclear energy generation and radiation before you move up to something more specialised I.e specific reactor designs & methodology, fuel processing cycles, decay chains etc. I would also argue that this technology is not mutually exclusive with modern renewables, that both deserve more development than governments will allow, and that both directly compete directly with the fossil fuel industry whose huge monopoly directly affects the decisions of governments through lobbying.

    I don't understand why you feel the need to attack Wald0 on this, maybe you're having a bad day, whatever. Nothing better for a bad mood than spreading it around I guess. I thought you were cracking a joke with your first comment, now I see you just wanted to drag someone else down.

    So are you just trolling or do you have an opinion on this documentary and the information presented within?

    I'd like to hear it if you do.

  • Maddestmax

    Ouch, you obviously havn't read all of my previous comments. I also strongly refute your notion "you just wanted to drag someone else down" . Read my comments again and perhaps you might reconsider. Niel de Grasse Tyson said "If you only see the world through a science lens you are susceptable in public discourse to sounding provincial" and it was that discourse that I was afraid might put people off watching this doc. So who is attacking who here?

  • Samuel Morrissey

    Well apologies if I am off the mark here, I do remember reading one comment from you requesting this doc be promoted to editors picks, but it ran like this :-

    1st comment - attack Wald0 (could be a joke, quite funny)
    2nd comment - attack Wald0 again.
    3rd comment - request promotion.
    4th comment - attack Wald0 again added vulgarity.

    Now Wald0 has made a fair point about the way renewables are dismissed off hand, If you have no counter arguments to his comments why are you replying to him at all? What is it about his comments you disagree with? In fact, forget I asked. Talk to Wald0 when you've chosen a point to debate, I'm sure he will oblige with a rational response.

    I am guessing from your reasoning that you think my comments might put people off as well, which is why I felt compelled to reply, though to be honest I really can't see how. If you are feeling down for whatever reason the last thing I would want would be to exacerbate it.

    So for my part, I am sorry.


  • Maddestmax

    Ouch again. As far as apologies go, delivering one in the form of a "s**t sandwich" makes it unpallatable. You start with an apology, then go on to say I attacked wald0 3 times (against comments policy), I urge you to read the comments yet again as you don,t seem to understand that I have maintained a single arguement, that language can cause obfurscation of a topic (both you and wald0 disagree and that's fine by me). Also, I never engaged wald0 on the subject of renewables (because I totally agree with him) that was you. And you also imply that I am uneducated have mental health / personality issues and am vulgar. Wow. Then you apologize again. Sincerely?

  • John Charles Rennie

    this is nothing more than another sales pitch at dangerous ecological proportions. There is technology out there that your damn government will not let out of the bag. Its main heading is: Nikolai Tesscia a Serbian born genius. Who do we have to thank for AC power. Need I say more. His furtherance in study brought to fruition the idea of free power! he tapped into from the atmosphere. And not having our greedy governments and nuclear people. With a great big church basket collection scenario. We have are fed up with lies from our government. Can you imagine how much richer and cleaner we could be. Without all these pollutants. And now the United States government. Spraying chemical trails on top of us to kill us! you say is this man crazy? No people perish for lack of knowledge. Go do the research. People of the world are complaining all over now. Not about contrails but about chemical trails, spewing out of the back of military jets.

  • John Charles Rennie

    If we found another planetand it was feasible to move their, both financially. And with sound reasoning. We would screw it up anyway. How much material. Even nuclear have we left on the moon? We were told to screw off. I'm talking about the Americans. Alien civilizations don't like it. Can you imagine we have squandered and not being good stewards of this Earth's vital minerals and gases. And turn them into carbon dioxide poisoning ourselves and now; wanting to poison extraterrestrial civilizations.. You make one mistake with This nuclear power stuff and you can bend over and kiss your ass goodbye or for that matter for all of us. Now we send nuclear powered Rangers to other planets. With nuclear reactors in them. Someone's going to retaliate very damn soon.

  • Samuel Morrissey

    You got all that out of my post? I'm impressed at your imagination. Oh well, allow me to retort.

    'So full of artless jealousy is guilt, It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.'
    William Shakespeare

  • Matt Kukowski

    Brilliant how the documentary starts with a 5 minute compressed version... and then if you even remotely get it, you will continue with the details. This is how most of us learn.

  • Chimosabe

    good stuff. Now we need to get the politicians to see it.

  • KsDevil

    I had this sily idea about placing a thorium reactor at Slab City, CA to supply low cost electricity for the use of the hobos, hippies and RV escapees on that free and open land. Great place to set up a functional experiement.

  • Theresa Bowen

    The picture is used from the Fallout video game. Heh.

  • seamus watson

    We will only see this when the oil runs out.

  • seamus watson

    Cool picture though. Great game.

  • Rick Maltese

    Yes but Kirk quit his job to start Flibe. So he must see the odds as better than even.

  • Anthony Jonassen

    It rubs the lotion on it's skin, it does this whenever it's told
    -Wild bill

  • Luyang Han

    That is why I invite people to check some real technical staff. Kirk is of course great advocate which unfortunately makes this doc too biased. One need at least certain neutral information to judge. It is quite lucky that one can find the full session of Thorium energy conference online. There people who is building the reactors were talking about real progress and problems they were facing with molten salt design.

  • stevenbhow

    Sorry, dumb question, but is a fast breeder reactor just an older name for a thorium reactor? Are there any differences or advantages between them?

    Oops, an hour or so into the doc I got my answer.

  • Samuel Morrissey

    Shouldn't that be 'or else it gets the hose again.' ?

    your point is?

  • wald0

    Hey man, sorry it took so long to respond- personal issues. The inventor of the technology I was referring to is Donald Sadoway from MIT. You can check out his Ted Talk entitled Donald Sadoway: The missing link to renewable energy. He is working on a three layered, liquid sodium battery that he says will work for grid level storage so solar and wind systems will be able to supply the grid when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining. Another one you should check out is the new lecture on Keen Talks about personalized energy. This guy has figured out how to break water down into certain molecules, H2 and O2 I would assume, that will store the energy via chemical bonds. Now of course in a way this is nothing new, most of us learn how to break water down via electrolysis in high school. But he has figured out how to do it using nothing but sun light, how to separate the products and store them, and how to then convert them into usable fuel. He gets a little over my head in places to be honest, and he makes some patently false statements about battery technology- false statement you will easily catch if you watch Sadoway's lecture first or have prior knowledge of battery technology on your own. But that is the nature of this business I have found, that each person thinks their invention or technology is the only possible answer and all else should be abandoned. They will even go as far as well, lying about it. Anyway, thanks again for the conversation- oh, and for standing up for me when the natives got restless.

  • Veggamattic

    Love this guy...he reminds me so much of Al Franken.

  • Samuel Morrissey

    Thanks Wald0, no problems I have a life to attend to as well. (believe it or not!)

    I checked up on your suggested articles, it sounds quite neat though as far as I can tell the molten salt electrolyte battery is a decades old and well understood idea. I hope some serious testing of a truly large scale battery is in the works. In the keen talks on personalised energy, they hypothesize using electricity produced by photovoltaic cells to drive the electrolysis, and storing the hydrogen in a fuel cell which would run the house, fuel the car etc. All from existing and well understood technology. Now this is a very good idea, in terms of localisation minimising the loss of heat energy through long cables, and in terms of each household being independent of a grid. The only trouble is the work and cost of adapting our already built homes to accommodate the photovoltaic array, electrolysis unit and fuel cell + the cost of the photovoltaic array, electrolysis unit and fuel cell.

    To my mind, photovoltaic arrays are still very primitive, relatively low efficiency <20% from sunlight into electricity, which currently is only improved by placing the array on a computer controlled motor mount so that it can track the sun across the sky. They are also very delicate and expensive to manufacture and maintain. As yet there is no thought out recycle for arrays that have deteriorated through normal use.

    And again, while this would be great for individual homes, even if we started putting it in all new builds regardless of the old ones (tower blocks of flats would really struggle to be adapted I think) Industry requires a consistent rate of high density energy, including industries that produce the molecular constructs needed in photovoltaic cells.

    So, definitely yes for more renewables in localised systems, but for industry the only current options are nuclear/fossil fuels. If we're talking about uranium reactors whose primary function has always been to produce weapons grade plutonium, then the damage to the environment and legacy may be on a par with fossil fuels (personally I doubt it, as there is no way to quantify the several billion tons of carbon gas compounds being pumped into the atmosphere every year and coal/gas/oil for the same energy produces about 10x the radioactive waste that nuclear does with the added detriment it is not contained), but, it is much more expensive to build reactors and mine uranium than it is to build a coal fired boiler and mine coal. Thorium reactors would still be expensive, but a huge amount of the previous cost is negated by removing the enrichment process required for uranium, when all natural thorium occurs in one isotope which is the one you want to use. The efficiency of a once through thorium cycle is 6-7 times that of the equivalent uranium cycle, therefore because more (the majority as opposed to a small minority) of the fuel is burned there will be significantly less waste for the same output of power. Also these waste elements will generally be lighter than the very difficult to deal with trans-uranic wastes our 6 decade old weapons technology has given and continues to give us.

    Then maybe we can have the industrial might needed to give everyone a solar powered home and vehicle etc.

    Really though? I think we love our weapons too much for that, but then I'm a cynic.


  • glennk

    Cold Fusion anyone. Just more hucksters selling nuclear poison of one variety or another.

  • Kristaps B?rzinš

    More like snake oil traders. Please, science, anyone?

  • Nasilno Pokršten

    2 hours of how nukes are good agitprop, instead of clearly explaining why is torium better?
    and apropo fukushima - is the fact that fukushima, minamisoma are now ghost-towns, and billions property worth and their lives ruined, also "antinukilar" propaganda?

  • Merlin Dewize

    Amazing stuff. I hope China makes it happen and starts producing miniature thorium batteries/power plans for everyone on the planet - much like Bill Gates did with the PC. GO THORIUM! cant wait to see what comes from this amazing stuff!

  • Rocky Racoon

    Well the fella is brilliant to say the least or at has a photographic memory. I enjoyed his presentation even though I don't even know how to spell fissle. We need to encourage our politicians to get into this. We cannot let prejudice against "nuclear" stand in our way. This is what Canada should have been doing with our nuclear program instead Harper sold it according to plans drawn up by Rothschilds Bank. He practically paid some company now being investigated for all sorts of crime I think this is to shut them up as they have dirt on the Gov't. this is my hypothesis.

  • Rocky Racoon

    The reason that even Japan went into so much nuclear was to develop enough material to make weapons grade plutonium that is the a primary reason it wasn't developed. Second the petro-chemical companies-Rockerfeller etc would not want it developed nor would coal. This is actually what Iran should be looking at and if China is doing it they will be soon Then what is going to be our excuse for bombing them into the stone-age? We can't compete so we must destroy.

  • Rocky Racoon

    Well if the human race is going to survive on this planet for more than a few decades those who are standing in the way of progress will have to be pushed aside cast into the dustbin of history. These guys should try to get in touch with guys like Sean Penn, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt who donated eco-housing in re-building New Orleans basically just through architechural design. I mean that would be a big saving for everyone over the course of a lifetime. People can build eco freindly homes using hay as insulation and window design to have a constant tempurature of 70degrees winter spring summer or fall.
    Anywy those guys have the money, the ability to popularize it and also some political pull. They need to get Robert Redford and the like on their side. I was surprised at how ignorant Liz May from Canada was about Thorium as part of the nuclear equation. She is the single green party candidate in our federal gov. Does a good job on most things. Her base would turn on here MAYBE as so much politics is about personality rather than platform.

  • Rocky Racoon

    There really is none to speak of as it is all burned up

  • Rocky Racoon

    Thorium is better because you can't make bombs out it-it is plentiful and the process is turning it into energy is less complicated and safer-it's waste products have other uses that are very rare and needed for everything from cancer treatment to space exploration. That is what I heard watching this.

  • Wajahat Hussain

    why don't you people go through crowd funding to build LFTR?

  • Wajahat Hussain

    it doesn't stop being science just because you didn't get it; maybe watch it again

  • Ezko

    Because it's a pretty hard thing to obtain hundreds of millions of funding through crowd funding

  • William Wilgus

    Who's going to give you a license? The NRC has no rules or licensing program for anything but LW plants.

  • William Wilgus

    You can't start one without Plutonium, and there isn't very much of that.

  • William Wilgus

    It's probably too cheap. The light water reactors they're building now are running 10--14 Billion US

  • Max Milligan

    Documentary: wonderful!
    The way they produced it: Excellent and entertaining!
    The information presented: Salvation to energy concerns!
    The need I feel we need to apply what has been shared in it: Crucial for the human race!
    And this is coming from a tree-hugging hippie who about two hours ago thought nuclear power was the worst idea ever. Thank you!

  • DigiWongaDude

    Spot on has exactly that affect on most people I think. Very valuable viewing. More on TedTalks ;-)

  • Matthew Sobke

    Lol. Are cars safe? (insert picture of a Ford Pinto). BUT: anyone likely to recognize the car as a Pinto in the briefest of flashes would know that the car pictured is a 1979/80 Hatchback model, not the 1971 Wagon model which, in rare cases, could puncture the gas tank in a rear-end collision, giving the car it's much exaggerated reputation as a 'rolling bomb'.

    Big fan of this research, and an entertaining doc, but don't get me started on how in Leo DiCaprio's Great Gatsby he was driving a 1933 Deusey in 1927...

  • Kai Salovaara

    Well laugh at this. The chinese are building a reactor for Thorium. Sometimes a scientist need to talk at a level of the common man(politicians) to get his message through.

  • Kai Salovaara

    There are too big financial interest in oil and nuclear power to stop this happening. Why do you think we drive around in cars using petrol or why the public transportation sucks in most parts of the US?

  • Kai Salovaara

    Excactly. The program requires a basic level of intelligence to be understood.

  • Kai Salovaara

    Do you think they will understand it?

  • Kai Salovaara

    Why do I only get your comment about this genious from Serbia when I google his name. If so famous, surely there would be more than your comment?

  • Kai Salovaara

    We hardly got out of our own solar system so I don't think the retaliation will come anytime soon;)

  • Kai Salovaara

    Don't need to get other people's opinion before you watch a documentary. If you truly are interested in the subject, just watch.

  • Kai Salovaara

    Should we look at it through a religious lens instead?

  • Keit

    Nikolai Tesla is the correct name!

  • rik

    Where are the "green" people on this one? I understand why the status quo people aren't saying anything but nothing from alternative fuels people, ecologists, hell economists even.
    I wonder if it can be shrunk down to fit a car size vehicle? Now that would make for an electric car that doesn't need to "fill up" for 100 years; sweet.

  • gwhosubex

    a documentary that doesn't speak at a snail's pace and pause for no reason. Kickass content, too. just amazing. My favorite documentary style.

  • gwhosubex

    because green people don't really think.

  • Camilo

    Biased and lacking raw data.

  • Dr.Dushe

    Its about the buck...Tesla rocked it for all for free...the dude not the band...but the band had a few good tunes too

  • Marcus Andersson

    Well if a simple videogame idea with little proof of concept or clear plans for the end product can raise 46,018,188 USD, and yes they keep getting more, even though their initiall goal was merely 500,000 USD, I personally think crowdfunding is a very viable and worthwhile solution to LFTRs. If you do not belive that a videogame is actually getting this much monetary backing, simply check "List of highest funded crowdfunding projects" on your friendly Wikipedia.

  • jim

    i love the tesla the band reference, classic


  • james

    i love how the cover for this is the cover art from fallout 3

  • jillzzzz

    Thank you! It is documentaries like this that help me understand the complexities of Humanity. When Knowledge is used, to further our survival on this beautiful planet for all generations now and those to come. Your knowledge has connected the dots for me. If I had the money and power you'd be building tomorrow! We must stop using coal!

  • lapitup

    edison saw the value of lots of little power plants $$$$$

    but tesla won ;)

    look into the floride salts corrsiveness they last 5 years

    and also the issues with heat sheildings ;)

  • ThomasXxs

    And according to a PBS NOVA episode there is a populated location in northern Iran, along the Caspian coast, where the natural background radiation is even higher than in Cornwall, and may be the highest in the world.

    However, the cancer rates for those people permanently living in this Iranian location are reported to be even lower than average! One theory is that this level of background radiation may induce some sort of protective, anti-cancer response in the human body.

  • ThomasXxs

    The battle between Edison and Tesla was a contest of Direct Current (DC) vs Alternating Current (AC) in the design of large scale electrical grids - and it has no real similarity at all to the debate between Thorium-based LFTR nuclear reactors and the more common but highly-inefficient light-water reactors that dominate the current industry. Edison favored lots of little power plants because his favored DC power could not be transmitted very far, unlike Tesla's AC. With DC, Edison had no choice about having many smaller power plants, since long-distance electrical power transmission is simply not an option with DC, as it is with AC.

    Regarding fluoride salts supposedly being corrosive, Kirk Sorenson has stated the following:

    "First of all, fluoride salt is NOT highly corrosive if it’s put in the right container material. The high-nickel-alloy Hastelloy-N was proven by Oak Ridge scientists and engineers to be compatible with fluoride salt at the elevated temperatures at which LFTR would operate. Discovering Hastelloy-N and proving it would work was one of their great accomplishments."

  • Al Harken

    Using art from fallout 3, seems legit.

  • dineaudio

    I do agree with you on topic, but "much like Bill Gates did with the PC"... what?! PC would be a PC today with or without Billy, I can guarantee you that. It would possibly be even better off without Billy because computer and Internet revolution was inevitable anyway. It's just that you would be using Linux instead of Windows and Linux would be even better than it is today because even more people would work on it.

  • dineaudio

    All they understand is a full pocket of money.

  • awful_truth

    A great documentary, with great solutions. Aside from China, (and now India) who else is looking at the potential of this; if nobody is, then why aren't they? Perhaps it is because cheap efficient energy is not profitable! So, until we alter the global pyramid scheme paradigm, there will be no effort to pursue that which is in the best interests of everyone! any Questions?
    P.S: For confirmation, this gentleman should go on Dragon's den, or shark tank, and when Kevin O'Leary shoots him down because he can't make fast, easy money off it, then everyone will see the truth for what it is.

  • tedd

    Shills are on you ,i remember this argument in the UK independent and when the shills like below got caught out the pages were removed.

    When they got on to the subject of lead reactors heat shields alloys of fourth gen reactors ...!

    5th gen made them pop rof

    Its cheaper to ship from one store house than have lots of little shops ,if not why is amazon ect able to undercut other suppliers.

  • kelsonad

    What is the name of the main speaker in this documentary? Also, you mentioned in the documentary that there are PDFs online that go over the schematics of building a LFTR, could you post that as a hyperlink? Thanks and your documentary was fantastic. I wish everyone could see this, including lobbyists in Washington.

  • Roger Andout

    I wonder why this "lecture" was delivered from what seems to be a basement. Definitely a case of shoot the messanger. If G/peace wasts to save the planet, why are they against fossil fuel (jobs) AND a viable alternative?

  • corrosiveacids

    Old tech that failed then as it does up to the present day!
    Look into this a little deeper you will find massive holes to the viability of this topic.

  • blame the amish

    there actually building one of these power plants in india now.

  • hashtag

    Someone should respond to this...

  • kelsonad

    Yes they are. There are two main nuclear power companies in India, one of which manages more than 200bn dollars... they are going to make so much money off this, not to mention the expensive nepotonium-237 bi-product that makes a nice buck.

  • zena.dyete

    Kirk Sorensen (see mark 1:49:35)

  • zena.dyete

    For all of us who wanted to know the name of the guy in the doc, it's Kirk Sorensen (see mark 1:49:35)

  • nipntuck

    I see the bi-products is whats really wanted then ,pity the poor of india will have to suffer more turmoil from the oligarchs in search of ill gotten gains

  • nipntuck

    Snake oil still sells well i see .

  • Sammy Ri

    If the people leaving comments here were half as smart as they believe they are we would live in a fantastic world.

  • Letem Dangle

    Great intelligence does not equate a fantastic world, but the desires of those who have it.

  • Sammy Ri


  • Jeffrey

    yes, but they do not make use of the molten salt reactor. It uses a pressurised heavy water reactor, which isn't as efficient.

  • noboundryman

    I am a "radical environmentalist" and damned proud of it. "No" that doesn't mean I commit crimes, blow up bull dozers, wear sandals, dreadlocks or live in a commune. It means that being an environmentalist is something every single educated person, and those who live off the bounty of the planet should be, because the environment is critical to human life support. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either unbelievably ignorant, probably brainwashed, an idiot, or insane. So when I here some arrogant person make the statement,
    ("sort of an environmentalist") about decent sincere people, who just don't happen to be nuclear physicists, it really pisses me off. That speaks directly to his arrogance, and probably to the viability of his proposals as well.

    Consider the (political criminal syndicate mess) that is America's energy supply system. This documentary while thought provoking, and worth considering, is far to fast paced, and trite for such a serious subject matter. It is both arrogant, and unrealistic to assume that everyone is going to understand the complexities of (nuclear reactants), and reactor construction when explained so quickly. Someone who wasn't so arrogant, and full of himself such as Richard Feynman would have explained in a way that a layman could understand. Thorium may well be a great plan to fill in the gap in the future, but the critical answers about reactor construction are far from answered, as are the questions about limited investment dollars. He is wildly, and inaccurately dismissive of the potential for Wind, and particularly solar, as well as hydrogen production, use, and containment technology. The human race had better start thinking "outside the damned box" and "real fast" because the criminal syndicate "fascists", are in it for the quick buck, and they are screwing us blind right now. We need "all" alternatives to fossil fuels to be escalated, modified and updated to the needs of the 21st century "at war time speed", or your children's lives are going to be a living hell. That's the truth!

  • spixleatedlifeform

    All advocates of any type of energy production (or any large scale anything for that matter) must constantly be reminded of the one unmitigable, unavoidable fact of existence known as "Murphy's Law" -- Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
    Just because someone claims something is "safe" does not mean it IS safe.
    Why do these people continue to deny reality?