Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cleaner Nuclear Power?

Even though it comes up at the Thursday evening soirées, we've had only one post that mentioned thorium.
Time to double the SEO potential.

From MIT's Technology Review:

Congress pushes for another look at thorium fuel, saying it could reduce the amount of high-level nuclear waste produced by reactors.

Senators representing several Western states, including Utah's Orrin Hatch and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, of Nevada, are working on legislation to promote thorium. They say it's a cleaner-burning fuel for nuclear-power plants, with the potential to cut high-level nuclear-waste volumes in half.

"They're concerned about the spent fuel from nuclear reactors ending up in their states," says Seth Grae, president of thorium-fuel technology developer Thorium Power, based in McLean, VA.

Nuclear watchdogs say that Thorium Power's technology has real potential. Moreover, they say that the legislation is needed. It would force the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which regulates the nuclear industry, to create new offices at the agencies to study thorium-fuel options and promote their use abroad.

"It makes a lot of sense in my view," says Thomas Cochran, director of the nuclear program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, in Washington. He says that congressional action is needed to overcome resistance within the DOE to exploring thorium.

Using thorium in existing reactors means rethinking the "once through" nuclear fuel cycle employed today in most countries, including the United States....MORE