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Originally posted by onehuman
I have to say I have a feeling this thread may take off... I also have to say, can I think on that and get back to you?!
.... This thorium fuel cycle carries with it a number of important natural properties some of which contrast sharply with the uranium fuel cycle:
-At no point in the thorium cycle – from mining to waste – can fuel or waste products be used as bomb material in any way;
-The thorium fuel cycle is inherently incapable of causing a meltdown according to the laws of physics; in nuclear reactor parlance, the fuel is said to contain passive safety features;
-Thorium-based fuels do not require conversion or enrichment – two essential phases of the uranium fuel cycle that are exceedingly expensive, and create proliferation risk;
-Thorium fuel cycle waste material consists mostly of 233-uranium, which can be recycled as fuel (with minor actinide content decreased 90-100%, and with plutonium content eliminated entirely);
-Thorium-based fuels are significantly energy efficient;
-Thorium fuel cycle waste material is radiotoxic for tens of years, as opposed to the thousands of years with today’s standard radioactive waste;
-Thorium fuel designs exist today that can be used in all existing nuclear reactors;
-Thorium exists in greater abundance and higher concentrations than uranium making it much less expensive and environmentally-unobtrusive to mine;
These facts have many serious implications for the efficiency and security of energy delivery in the United States, and the world. SOURCE