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Posts Tagged ‘Uranium-fuel reactors’

CHINA, ALREADY BUILDING 20 URANIUM REACTORS, LOOKS AHEAD TO THORIUM AS WELL

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

February 3, 2011
Nuclear Townhall

The Chinese are going whole hog on nuclear technology. Not only do they have 20 uranium-fuel reactors under construction with 30 more in the planning stage, they are now diving into thorium research as well.
 
Many nuclear scientists have argued that thorium is really the way to go with civilian power. One story is that Enrico Fermi pushed thorium in the early days, but the military’s demand for plutonium from uranium reactors became the determining factor.
 
This report in Wired worries openly that America is going to get left behind in nuclear technology. “If the reactor works as planned, China may fulfill a long-delayed dream of clean nuclear energy,” says reporter Richard Martin. “The United States could conceivably become dependent on China for next-generation nuclear technology. At the least, the United States could fall dramatically behind in developing green energy.”  Wired is one of the few popular magazines in the country that understands nuclear technology and takes it seriously.
 
India, Norway and France are all exploring thorium technology. India is particularly interested because of its abundant thorium resources. The U.S. once had a thorium program but – like just about everything else in nuclear – it was eventually abandoned.
 
“According to thorium advocates, the United States could find itself 20 years from now importing technology originally developed nearly four decades ago at one of America’s premier national R&D facilities,” concludes the Wired report. “The alarmist version of China’s next-gen nuclear strategy come down to this: If you like foreign-oil dependency, you’re going to love foreign-nuclear dependency.”

Read more about it at Wired