Is Thorium a Better Way to Do Nuclear Energy?
For starters, thorium is three times more abundant in nature than currently used uranium.
Nuclear energy is considered a crucial part of fighting climate change with experts such as Bill Gates being big supporters of the technology. But nuclear energy comes with issues such as meltdown accidents and toxic waste.
While some might argue those are small fees to pay for clean energy (when compared to fossil fuels' toll on the environment and humans), others argue there is a better way to do nuclear energy and that is through the use of thorium. For starters, thorium is three times more abundant in nature than currently used uranium.
But that's not thorium's only advantage. It turns out that when T-232 is hit by a neutron, it turns into a fissionable version of thorium called T-233. This new reaction makes its own fuel as it goes along making it also self-sustaining.
The thorium-based reactions also produce a lot less toxic waste than uranium-based ones. This is partially due to the fact that the reaction chain from thorium has a lot more steps than the uranium one resulting in fewer final products.
Finally, thorium lends itself to safer nuclear reactors that are not prone to cooling failures. Impressed yet? Then watch this video to find out in more detail about the many pros of using thorium instead of uranium.