Doing Mankind a Favor – Part 1/2

Recently, I learned something new from a comment left by Xiaohu Liu for a post called China’s Goals for going Green.

Liu wrote, “More likely China will go more nuclear before it goes green … (there are) two types of nuclear technology that could revolutionized the world as much as the steam power or petrol power did in the 19th and 20th century.”

Until Liu left that comment, I was unaware of the types of nuclear power China is developing.

The (UK) Telegraph says, “Safe nuclear does exist, and China is leading the way with thorium.”

I discovered the Chinese are investing millions in research into reactors powered by thorium, a metal, supporters say, that is as common as lead (which means it would be cheap and easy to find), and one, which, despite some concerns, would lead to power plants with fewer safety issues as well as other benefits.

“Thorium-based reactors certainly have advantages,” says Wang Kan, leader of the Tsinghua University Thorium Research Team. “The energy release from Thorium is greater than from Uranium, the by-products from using Thorium are less toxic than from Uranium, and it’s much harder to make weapons from those by-products.”

However, China was not the first nation to research the use of Thorium. In the late 1940s, US physicists were exploring the use of thorium as fuel to generate power but dangerous and dirty uranium won since the US and the USSR were fighting the Cold War and building thousands of nuclear weapons.

Continued on August 24, 2011 in Doing Mankind a Favor – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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3 Responses to Doing Mankind a Favor – Part 1/2

  1. Ed Love says:

    Do you think US coal and natural gas companies will allow the US government to fund thorium research?

    • Unless the US coal and natural gas industry owns the results of the thorium research, so in the end they profit from it, I don’t think so. I’ve read that the oil industry is investing heavily in alternative energy so when the time comes to switch they will be in a good position to profit from that too. They probably want to squeeze every drop of oil they can out of the earth first.

  2. Xiaohu Liu says:

    Thanks for the shout out!

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