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Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008

Use Thorium instead of more radioactive Uranium

Wayne Stroessner, WICEC Past President

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To the Editor:

An alternative to the archaic method of producing nuclear energy from Uranium/Plutonium is to use Thorium. (Nukes in Wisconsin Not Likely - Shepherd Express - August 14, 2008) 

Because Thorium is not a fissile material: There is no danger of a melt-down or nuclear proliferation because it is not suitable for the production of weapon grade materials in fact we should be able to share information with our “enemies.”

Thorium reactors: Produce minimal radioactive waste; Can burn Plutonium waste from traditional nuclear reactors with additional energy output; Do not require reprocessing of the fuel; Fuel can remain in the reactor during the reactor's life of 30-40 years - after that the core could be transferred into a new reactor; Can reduce waste by 80 to 90 %; Waste is not dangerous after 50 years whereas present nuclear waste is dangerous for thousands of years.     

Thorium facts: The energy contained in one kilogram of Thorium equals that of four thousand tons of coal; Since Thorium is not a fissile material, it must be "bombarded" with neutrons which can be supplies by cyclotrons or - better yet - by waste from spent fuel from our present nuclear plants; The global Thorium reserves could cover the world’s energy needs for thousands of years; The USA has an estimated 160,000 tons of Thorium - mostly in Idaho; Based on today’s $115 per barrel of crude, the USA has the equivalent of $393 trillion in Thorium energy.

Wayne Stroessner, WICEC Past President