[ExI] Could Thorium solve our energy problem?

John Clark jonkc at bellsouth.net
Sat Jul 10 05:10:02 UTC 2010

On Jul 10, 2010, at 12:25 AM, Brent Neal wrote:

> I think you are wildly optimistic and haven't done either the research or the math on how much energy is released in U-233 fission.

Optimism has nothing to do with it, I maintain that it is a FACT that one kilogram of thorium contains at a minimum 200 times as much usable energy as a kilogram of Uranium as used in todays slow neutron reactors. This is true for 2 reasons:

1) A Thorium reactor uses up 100% of the Thorium while the pressurized light water reactors we use today only make use of .7% of the Uranium, the U235 part. And I'm being very generous, most of the time you have to remove the fuel rods long before they've used up all their fuel because neutron bombardment has caused cracks in the solid making further use of them dangerous; a problem a liquid fueled reactor like a Thorium reactor does not have. 

2) A Thorium reactor works at much higher temperatures so has a thermal efficiency of about 50%, while cooler Uranium reactors only get about 30%.

That combined with the fact that Thorium is over 4 times as abundant as Uranium means it could provide at least 800 times as much energy, probably closer to 1200 times.

  John K Clark   

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