Kirk Sorensen, NASA-trained engineer, is a man on a mission to open minds to the tremendous promise that thorium, a near-valueless element in today's marketplace, may offer in meeting future world energy demand.
Compared to Uranium-238-based nuclear reactors currently in use today, a liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LTFR) would be:
Much safer - No risk of environmental radiation contamination or plant explosion (e.g., Chernobyl, Fukushima, Three Mile Island)
Much more efficient at producing energy - Over 90% of the input fuel would be tapped for energy, vs. <1% in today's reactors
Less waste-generating - Most of the radioactive by-products would take days/weeks to degrade to safe levels, .decades/centuries
Much cheaper - Reactor footprints and infrastructure would be much smaller and could be constructed in modular fashion
More plentiful - LFTR reactors do not need to be located next to large water supplies, as current plants do
Less controversial - The byproducts of the thorium reaction are pretty useless for weaponization
Longer-lived - Thorium is much more plentiful than uranium and is treated as valueless today. There is virtually no danger of running out of it given LFTR plant efficiency
Most of the know-how and technology to build and maintain LFTR reactors exists today. If made a priority, the US could have its first fully-operational LFTR plant running at commercial scale in under a decade.
But no such LFTR plants are in development. In fact, the US shut down its work on thorium-based energy production decades ago and has not invested materially in related research since then.