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SuperFuel; Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future

SuperFuel; Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future

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A new solution to our global energy crisis may lie in a simple element few know –thorium At the dawn of the atomic age, uranium and thorium were equally important as the element of choice in researching nuclear energy. Either one could have powered the world’s reactors. But it was uranium that won out, and thorium, which is far cleaner, safer, and more abundant than uranium, was relegated to the dustbin of science. With it went the possibility of creating a low risk nuclear energy source to power our planet.  What might have happened had our scientists and our government, and the nuclear power industry invested the resources to develop this little known yet abundant element? Would we face a global energy crisis and the prospect of catastrophic climate change today? Why are countries around the world, including rising economic superpowers India and China, rushing to develop electricity from thorium while the United States, which studied thorium reactors extensively in the 1960s, plays catch up?  Now, as the world searches for cheap, non-carbon-emitting energy sources, thorium is reemerging as an overlooked solution. As one of the first energy experts to promote the development of thorium, award-winning science writer Richard Martin combines science, new historical research, and a gripping business narrative to tell the untold story of thorium power – and show how we can wean ourselves off our fossil-fuel addiction, deliver a safe energy source for a millennia, and avert the risk of nuclear meltdown. At once a big think book and a science manifesto, SuperFuel challenges us to look back at what could have been different in history and forward to an energy revolution in the making. The most important science and technology book of the year, SuperFuel will change the discussion of our energy future.
A new solution to our global energy crisis may lie in a simple element few know –thorium At the dawn of the atomic age, uranium and thorium were equally important as the element of choice in researching nuclear energy. Either one could have powered the world’s reactors. But it was uranium that won out, and thorium, which is far cleaner, safer, and more abundant than uranium, was relegated to the dustbin of science. With it went the possibility of creating a low risk nuclear energy source to power our planet.  What might have happened had our scientists and our government, and the nuclear power industry invested the resources to develop this little known yet abundant element? Would we face a global energy crisis and the prospect of catastrophic climate change today? Why are countries around the world, including rising economic superpowers India and China, rushing to develop electricity from thorium while the United States, which studied thorium reactors extensively in the 1960s, plays catch up?  Now, as the world searches for cheap, non-carbon-emitting energy sources, thorium is reemerging as an overlooked solution. As one of the first energy experts to promote the development of thorium, award-winning science writer Richard Martin combines science, new historical research, and a gripping business narrative to tell the untold story of thorium power – and show how we can wean ourselves off our fossil-fuel addiction, deliver a safe energy source for a millennia, and avert the risk of nuclear meltdown. At once a big think book and a science manifesto, SuperFuel challenges us to look back at what could have been different in history and forward to an energy revolution in the making. The most important science and technology book of the year, SuperFuel will change the discussion of our energy future.

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Publish date: May 8, 2012
Added to Scribd: Apr 27, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/12/2013

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superfuel
Copyright © Richard Martin, 2012. All rights reserved.First published in 2012 by PALGRAVE MACMILLAN® in the United States—adivision o St. Martin’s Press LLC, 175 Fith Avenue, New York, NY 10010. Where this book is distributed in the UK, Europe and the rest o the world, thisis by Palgrave Macmillan, a division o Macmillan Publishers Limited, registeredin England, company number 785998, o Houndmills, Basingstoke, HampshireRG21 6XS.Palgrave Macmillan is the global academic imprint o the above companies andhas companies and representatives throughout the world.Palgrave® and Macmillan® are registered trademarks in the United States, theUnited Kingdom, Europe and other countries.ISBN 978-0-230-11647-4Library o Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataMartin, Richard, 1958–SuperFuel : thorium, the green energy source or the uture / Richard Martin.pages cmIncludes index.ISBN 978-0-230-11647-4 (hardback)1. Thorium. 2. Thorium—Separation. I. Title.TP245.T6M37 2012669'.2922—dc232011047557 A catalogue record o the book is available rom the British Library.Design by Letra Libre, Inc.First edition: May 201210 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1Printed in the United States o America.
 
Contents
 
Introduction 1
1
The Lost Book o Thorium Power 9
2
The Thunder Element 33
3
The Only Sae Reactor 55
4
Rickover and Weinberg 81
5
The Birth o Nuclear Power 101
6
The End o Nuclear Power 121
7
The Asian Nuclear Power Race 143
8
Nuclear’s Next Generation 167
9
The Business Crusade 193
10
 What We Must Do 215
 Acknowledgment
241
Notes 
243
Index 
257

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