A Crib Sheet for Journalists and Students of Thorium

Thorium Periodic Table

Are you a journalist – or a student – looking for the inside on Molten Salt Fission Energy powered by Thorium? Well this page is for you.

We’ve been asked many times for a summary of resources or key people to speak with.

Are we biased? Of course we are. Read on and you’ll know why. You’ll probably want to Join Us too.

A Future Powered by Thorium is our objective. We are leveraging the billions of USD in today’s value and millions of hours invested over 50 years ago in a technology that is demonstrably superior to anything else we have today.

Here’s a summary of that work from Oak Ridge National Laboratories:

The Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment

We have this YouTube and other useful 3rd party links on our website here:

The Thorium Knowledge Base

See this chart of energy density from an Australian government website. Everything else pales into insignificance when compared to MSR (Molten Salt Reactors)

Here’s a recent article from Germany we translated into Japanese. It contains a lot of information on China’s progress also. China is replicating the 1960’s USA program, publicly announcing 2011 investing USD 3,3 billion and 700 engineers for the work. This is not about reinventing the wheel, it’s just remembering what we’ve done before. Remember also China and Australia worked together to create a replacement for the super alloy metal “Hastelloy”. This super metal was created in the 1950’s in the USA for their advanced nuclear programs and is only made today by two companies in the world – one in the USA and Mitsubishi. Now China has an alternative.

The article also includes information on Japan’s molten salt project –  FUJI.

Here’s a list of must-do-interviews for background on Thorium Molten Salt Fission Energy or subjects related, such as radiation safety, the effects of Chernobyl and Linear No Threshold theory.

Professor Geraldine Thomas
Director of the Chernobyl Tissue Bank, the world’s preeminent knowledge base for all things related to the real effects of that industrial accident. Prof. Thomas is became staunchly pro-nuclear due to her directorship. George Monbiot – a former Greenpeace anti-nuc activist, and now no longer in Greenpeace and strongly pro nuclear – after an interview he also had with Prof Thomas he had as a writer for the UK’s Guardian. 

George Monbiot on Wikipedia

Geraldine Thomas on Wikipedia

Chernobyl Tissue Bank

Mr. Daniel Roderick
Former President and CEO of Westinghouse and then Toshiba Energy Systems. Danny steered the sale of  Westinghouse for Toshiba, securing a positive, multi billion USD outcome for Japan. Danny was also the leader of negotiations to secure USD 50 billion in funding for a new nuclear build in Turkey (derailed by the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey). Mitsubishi subsequently submitted (and withdrew)  a nuclear build in Northern Turkey (Sinop). Rosatom (Russia) is now building a nuclear power station in the south of Turkey (Akkuyu).

Dr. Adi Paterson
Dr. Paterson is the former head of ANSTO and an advocate of Molten Salt Technology. During his 9 year tenure at ANSTO, Dr. Paterson steered Australia to membership of the Generation IV forum, kind of the United Nationals for advanced reactor designs. This is no mean feat given Australia’s lack of much to do with nuclear energy. 

Generation IV Forum

Dr. Resat Uzman
Director of nuclear energy systems at Figes AS, of Turkey. Dr. Uzman has more than 40 years experience in all things nuclear, Turkey and rare earths – the materials where Thorium is often found bound with.

Professor Berrin Erbay
Senior lecturer and former dean of mechanical engineering at Osmangazi University, Turkey Prof. Erbay has been liaising with the professors in Japan for several decades. You can see one of her presentations on the status of molten salt technology in Japan here on Youtube: 

4. Nesil Nükleer Reaktör Teknolojileri Toplantısı

Mr. Phumzile Tshelane
Mr. Tshelane is a former CEO of NECSA South Africa, now holds various directorships across a wide range of industrial sectors. His position as head of a state owned nuclear technology development company gives him a particular view point on commercialisation of nuclear energy technologies.

S3E6 Africa4Nuclear: The Story of Thorium

Ms. Rana Önem
President of the Thorium Student Guild. You should hear from someone who is dedicating their life to Thorium Molten Salt and who is just starting out in their career. You can see Rana interviewing Dr. Uzman here. Follow the links at the end of the article to see her role as president of the Guild: 

An important subject to cover is linear no threshold theory – a fraudulent model of radiation management that, unfortunately, has spawned an industry of radiation protection and radiation safety keen on maintaining its own survival. This results in massive, unnecessary overspending on nuclear builds. Professor Edward Calabrese is a leading expert on this subject and you can watch a series of interviews with Ed here: 

The History of the Linear No-Threshold (LNT) Model Episode Guide

Together with Professor Jerry Cuttler, Ed presents clearly, laying out how LNT has demonstrably been proven false. (And consequently those that died at Fukushima died unnecessarily, as a direct result of inappropriately applying that theory).

What would become of nuclear risk if governments changed their regulations to recognize the evidence of radiation’s beneficial health effects for exposures that are below the thresholds for detrimental effects?

Here’s the background on the Turkey Japan University (TJU). Our CEOs meeting with the Japanese Ambassador to Turkey in 2021 confirmed Japanese support for technology development of Molten Salt is easier should such work be included in the curriculum of the TJU.  Early planning stages of the TJU can be seen here below. The vice president of TJU is a senior professor at the Tokyo University responsible for nuclear engineering.

The “only” obstacle to adoption of Molten Salt Fission Energy powered by Thorium is the incumbent energy industries. It’s a significant obstacle, and it would be naive to think otherwise. Operating much like the tobacco industry has done in the past, lobbyists and funding at all levels occurs to stymie any potential competitors.

It is predicted that the 7 Trillion USD per year fossil fuel energy market would shrink to only 1 Trillion per year with a society powered by Thorium. This is an obvious disincentive for incumbents to do anything but to obfuscate and delay.

You can see that obfuscation at work here with both Wired and the Bulletin in 2019 on USA presidential candidate Andrew Yang:

Fact-check: Five claims about thorium made by Andrew Yang – Bulletin

Andrew Yang Wants a Thorium Reactor by 2027. Good Luck, Buddy – Wired

The half truths and lies are difficult, if not impossible, for the layperson to identify. We contacted one of Andrew’s advisory team members and confirmed Andrew supports Thorium Molten Salt, and was committing several billion USD to have USA’s energy footprint 100% on the technology by 2030. Technically very doable. Politically, not.

It is important to recognise the ecological and economic footprint of energy from Thorium (a substance as common as lead) as being much smaller than even Uranium. In the article link above (the Japanese translation one) there are three slides that demonstrate the significant benefits Thorium has over Uranium.  These slides are repeated below.

Thorium and Uranium Compared Slide 1 of 3
Thorium and Uranium Compared Slide 1 of 3
Thorium and Uranium Compared Slide 2 of 3
Thorium and Uranium Compared Slide 2 of 3
Thorium and Uranium Compared Slide 3 of 3
Thorium and Uranium Compared Slide 3 of 3

The IAEA report TE1450 from 2005 is an excellent read. It says Thorium is not an issue and is a good prospect for energy – back in 2005. Once the physics is proven it doesn’t need to be “upgraded” every 6 months like an iPhone.

And yes, Thorium doesn’t explode. “Walk away safe” is a suitable term for Molten Salt Technology.

Here’s the former head of IAEA, Hans Blix, stating that “Thorium shouldn’t be treated like uranium”. 

Thorium Nuclear Power and non Proliferation Hans Blix IAEA ThEC13

See more Hans Blix on Thorium Molten Salt Fission Energy

Attached below is a brief summary of “Why Thorium didn’t take off” by Bruce Hoglund, 5 November 2010. It’s an excellent starting point for data gathering and research – and not “Wikipedia”. Wikipedia was used as partial evidence why the United Kingdom should’t use Thorium for energy. Some 10 years ago in a UK government 1.5m GBP funded “study”, rubbished Thorium and directly contradicted the advice of the IAEA’s TE1450 report.

The information here is but the tip of the iceberg, however it gives an excellent starting point. There are of course, many, many others who can contribute considerably for a balanced and objective article or articles on Thorium for our energy future. And with today’s communications technology, such conversations are only but a few key strokes away.

Burning stuff is old tech. Star Trek technology is where we have to be now. Fission does that, especially Molten Salt Fission Energy powered by Thorium

Links and References

  1. https://thethoriumnetwork.com/join-us/
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyDbq5HRs0o
  3. https://thethoriumnetwork.com/about-thorium/thorium-knowledge-base/
  4. https://www.ansto.gov.au/our-science/nuclear-technologies/reactor-systems/advanced-reactors/evolution-of-molten-salt
  5. https://thethoriumnetwork.com/2022/05/03/%e3%83%91%e3%83%bc%e3%83%95%e3%82%a7%e3%82%af%e3%83%88%e3%83%86%e3%82%af%e3%83%8e%e3%83%ad%e3%82%b8%e3%83%bc-%e3%83%90%e3%82%a4%e3%83%aa%e3%83%b3%e3%82%ac%e3%83%ab%e8%a8%98%e4%ba%8b-%e6%97%a5%e6%9c%ac/
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geraldine_Thomas
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Monbiot
  8. https://www.chernobyltissuebank.com/contact-us
  9. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielroderick/
  10. https://www.linkedin.com/in/adi-paterson/
  11. https://www.gen-4.org/
  12. https://figes.com.tr/en/home
  13. https://www.linkedin.com/in/resat-uzmen-051a824/
  14. https://thethoriumnetwork.com/2022/05/17/interview-3-dr-resat-uzmen-nuclear-technology-director-of-figes-part-of-the-thorium-student-guild-interview-series-leading-to-nuclear/
  15. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEDK_MAWQD0
  16. https://www.linkedin.com/in/l-berrin-erbay-61b04745/
  17. https://www.linkedin.com/in/phumzile-tshelane-3014945a/
  18. https://www.necsa.co.za/
  19. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MsgDx8K-t4
  20. https://www.linkedin.com/in/rana-%C3%B6nem-57a14718b/
  21. https://thethoriumnetwork.com/join-us/student-guild/
  22. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ed-calabrese-697a1119/
  23. https://thethoriumnetwork.com/2022/02/12/the-big-deceit-episode-6-unintended-consequences-chapter-2/
  24. https://hps.org/hpspublications/historylnt/episodeguide.html
  25. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jerry-cuttler-26106763/
  26. https://www.linkedin.com/posts/jerry-cuttler-26106763_what-would-become-of-nuclear-risk-if-governments-activity-6870517584475824128-qr3W
  27. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJSeQIW-X44
  28. https://thebulletin.org/2019/12/fact-check-five-claims-about-thorium-made-by-andrew-yang/
  29. https://www.wired.com/story/andrew-yang-wants-a-thorium-reactor-by-2027-good-luck-buddy/
  30. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4m10Y0rWBY
  31. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=hans+blix+thorium
  32. https://www.linkedin.com/in/bruce-hoglund-52194814/

#Journalist #CribSheet #Thorium #Interviews #MoltenSaltFissionEnergy #Rosatom #Japan #Turkey #China #LNT

Episode 21 – Proliferation? Not on Our Watch – Unintended Consequences – Chapter 8 Part 5

Nuclear Explosion

Taking the Easiest Course of Action

It would be very difficult to make a weapon from LFTR fuels because the gamma rays emitted by the U-232 in the fuel would harm technicians and damage the bomb’s electronics.

Uranium could be stolen during enriching, production of pellets, delivery to the reactor, and for long-term storage, but LFTRs only use external uranium to start the reaction, after which time uranium is produced within the reactor from thorium.

The Most Radioactive Places on Earth

The United Kingdom tried unsuccessfully over a period of 10 years, from the 1950’s to the 1960’s, to produce a weapon from Thorium. They gave up and switched to the uranium path. Still today, 1.5 tonnes of Thorium remain stored from that program. This is enough to power the entire UK for 10 years – Carbon Free.

The USA fired one Thorium driven test in 1955 (MET/Operation Teapot), but the results so poor and complications so high they did no further.

A 1 GW LWR [Light Water Reactor] requires about 1.2 tons of uranium per year, but a 1 GW LFTR only needs a one-time “kick-start” of 500 pounds [225 kg] of U-235 plus 1 ton of Thorium per year during its 60 year lifespan.

The half-life of Thorium 232 is 14 billion years, so it is not hazardous due to its extremely slow decay.

The primary physical advantage of Thorium fuel is that it uniquely makes possible a breeder reactor that runs with slow neutrons, otherwise known as a thermal breeder reactor. These reactors are often considered simpler than the more traditional fast-neutron breeders.

IAEA 2005

[When Thorium 232 takes up a neutron, the subsequent decay takes two paths: mostly U233 and some U232. The U233 provides most of the useful energy production by Fission. U232 provides protection against proliferation as several decay daughters are high energy gamma emitters – meaning they burn out silicon chips. For example the gamma spike coming from Thallium 208 is 2.6 MeV. ]

[Shielding using advanced materials and methods, such as distance (air), lead, and water can reduce radiation energy to levels where dosages are at recommended levels around 10 microSiverts per hour or 100 milliSiverts per year.

Note that there have been many examples of doses much higher than this causing no concern, such as 350 microSiverts per hour received by Albert Stevens for over 20 years.

Radiation shielding is a mass of absorbing material placed between yourself and the source of radiation in order to reduce the radiation to a level that is safer for humans.

This is measured by using a concept called the halving thickness – the thickness of a material required to halve the energy of the radiation passing through it.

Remember also, that Radiation decreases with distance in accordance with the inverse square law.]

Radiation Halving Thickness Chart

Material100 keV200 keV500 keV
Air3555 cm4359 cm6189 cm
Water4.15 cm5.1 cm7.15 cm
Carbon2.07 cm2.53 cm3.54 cm
Aluminium1.59 cm2.14 cm3.05 cm
Iron0.26 cm0.64 cm1.06 cm
Copper0.18 cm0.53 cm0.95 cm
Lead0.012 cm0.068 cm0.42 cm
Radiation Halving Thickness Chart

Quotes by Albert Einstein

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

“Had I known that the Germans would not succeed in producing an atomic bomb, I never would have lifted a finger,” 

“I made one great mistake in my life-when I signed the letter to President Roosevelt recommending that atom bombs be made but there was some justification-the danger that the Germans would make them.”

“The release of atomic power has changed everything except our way of thinking … the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.” – Albert said this in 1945, after the US bombed Japan with nuclear weapons and killed over 200,000 innocent civilians. Approximately 50,000 of them where children, 100,000 where women, and the balance the elderly. There were minor military casualties.

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.”

“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.”

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

“He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilisation should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.”

Albert Einstein, the Grandfather of Fission Energy

Energy production is the only viable way away from militarisation of Fission Energy. In the same way fire is harnessed in a fireplace to warm our homes or make our steels, Invisible Fire, Fission Energy, Energy from the Atom, does the same.

We are blessed by people like Alvin Weinberg who dedicated their lives to the cause after witnessing how their scientific endeavours were employed with such militaristic zeal for death and destruction.

“Weinberg realised that you could use Thorium in an entirely new kind of reactor, one that would have zero risk of meltdown. … his team built a working reactor … and he spent the rest of his 18-year tenure trying to make Thorium the heart of the nation’s atomic power effort. He failed. Uranium reactors had already been established, and Hyman Rickover, defacto head of the US nuclear program, wanted the plutonium from uranium-powered nuclear plants to make bombs. Increasingly shunted aside, Weinberg was finally forced out in 1973.”

Richard Martin, 2009, Wired Magazine

Russia Investigates Thorium for Power Generation

Coming up next week, Episode 22 – The Pros of LFTRs. Why are they So Cool?

Links and References

  1. Next Episode – Episode 22 – The Pros of LFTRs. Why are they So Cool?
  2. Previous Episode – Episode 20 – Got a LFTR? What’s Under the Hood
  3. Launching the Unintended Consequences Series
  4. Dr. George Erickson on LinkedIn
  5. Dr. George Erickson’s Website, Tundracub.com
  6. The full pdf version of Unintended Consequences
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium_fuel_cycle#Uranium-232_contamination
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Stevens
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRL7o2kPqw0
  10. https://modernsurvivalblog.com/nuclear/nuclear-radiation-shielding-protection/
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioactive_contamination
  12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma_ray
  13. https://www.nuclear-power.com/nuclear-engineering/materials-nuclear-engineering/properties-of-water/water-as-gamma-radiation-shielding/
  14. https://www.flickr.com/photos/mitopencourseware/3776104498/in/photostream/
  15. https://www.nuclear-power.com/nuclear-power/reactor-physics/atomic-nuclear-physics/radiation/shielding-of-ionizing-radiation/shielding-gamma-radiation/
  16. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium-232
  17. https://patreon.com/posts/39262802
  18. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein
  19. https://www.vintag.es/2016/04/amazing-black-and-white-photographs.html
  20. https://inktank.fi/five-fascinating-facts-you-didnt-know-about-albert-einstein/
  21. https://www.history.com/news/9-things-you-may-not-know-about-albert-einstein
  22. https://www.neimagazine.com/news/newsrussia-investigates-thorium-4986083/

#UnintendedConsequences #GeorgeErickson #ClimateChange #FissionEnergy #NuclearEnergy #SpentNuclearFuel #MoltenSaltReactor #LFTR #TheThoriumNetwork #Thorium #Fission4All #RadiationIsGood4U #GetYourRadiation2Day #InvisibleFire

All the colours of the rainbow – a fad for Hydrogen

Nuclear Power under the Rainbow

I love all the colours chosen for a gas that has none. There is no smell either. Pink, green, blue, grey, black, yellow, white, maroon… I’m making them up now, but it doesn’t matter. There is an odour coming from this “new hydrogen economy”.  Hydrogen is not an “energy source”. It’s how we can transport energy. From where it’s made to where it’s consumed. The colours are a clever way of identifying the source of the energy before conversion into hydrogen. But be clear, hydrogen is not a “fuel” that replaces “fossil fuels”. Lithium is useless until energised in a Li-Ion battery. Hydrogen is useless until you make it, or rather separate it, from it’s most common bonded atomic partner – Oxygen. Then again I do enjoy a good drink of oxidised hydrogen. The most common form of hydrogen on earth – water – is not useless at all.

Hydrogen on the surface is “better” than hydrocarbons. It has twice the energy density. Fossil fuels, incidentally are stores of energy: you dig them up, or pump them out, and immediately convert them to heat. Remember that our most common need for energy is low cost heat. Hydrogen as a fuel is yet to find that low cost convertibility to a low priced, abundant fuel. It is easier to transport the energy via electrons, than lug around a much heavier proton with a electron attached to it.

For pipes and storage tanks, the metallurgy of hydrogen makes problems because it can embrittle many materials. It’s a very small molecule and creeps into all kinds of places. Hydrogen has a very wide explosive range: 4 to 74%, and will ignite with sunlight. It’s tricky stuff to work with.

I don’t see hydrogen becoming anything other than another energy distraction. Much the same way that ethanol was 20 years ago. But we are not adept at learning from our mistakes. There will be regions that will benefit for reasons other than are written here.

Hydrogen has a very wide explosive range: 4 to 74%, and will ignite with sunlight. It’s tricky stuff to work with.

Thorium Molten Salt Fission Energy technology making electricity is a viable proposition. The technology hurdles where identified and addressed more than 50 years ago.  Yes, hydrogen production using Molten Salt Technology is a very viable option – where it is needed. The Energy Return on Investment (EROI) of energy from Molten Salt Fission Energy Technology is 30 times better than any oil equivalent and 512 times better than wind and solar. (Anyone remember fuel ethanol? The EROI is somewhere between 0.9 and 1.1 – pitiful).

Let those numbers sink in… That’s where you’ll find the real gold at the end of the rainbow.

Jeremiah Josey
Founder, The Thorium Network