The Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor: What Fusion Wanted To Be

Google Tech Talks November 18, 2008 ABSTRACT Electrical power is, and will increasingly become, the desired form of energy for its convenience, safety, flexibility and applicability. Even future transportation embraces electric cars, trains, and chemical fuel production (jet fuel, hydrogen, etc.) based upon an abundant electrical supply. Although existing energy sources can and should be expanded where practical, no one source has shown to be practical to rapidly fulfill the world’s energy requirements effectively. Presently there is an existing source of energy ideally suited to electrical energy production that is not being exploited anywhere in the world today, although its existence and practicality has been know since the earliest days of nuclear science. Thorium is the third source of fission energy and the LFTR is the idealized mechanism to turn this resource into electrical energy. Enough safe, clean energy, globally sustainable for 1000’s of years at US standards. This talk is aimed at explaining this thorium energy resource from fundamental physics to today’s practical applications. The presentation is sufficient for the non-scientist to grasp the whole subject, but will be intriguing to even classically trained nuclear engineers. By providing the historical context in which the technology was discovered and later developed into a power reactor, the story of thorium’s disappearance as an energy source is revealed. But times have changed, and today, thorium

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