Burning fossil fuels, especially coal, in electrical generating plants emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and is consequently the major cause of global warming/climate change. Our need for electricity can be met by generating plants using energy from liquid fluoride thorium reactors (LFTR) aka molten salt reactors (MSR), which emit no CO2. They are safe, economical, efficient, and superior to the light water reactors using uranium that are now being used in nuclear plants. They are more practical than deriving power from wind generators and solar panels. They run without interruption, whereas wind and solar power are intermittent. Also, they can be made in small, modular units located near points of demand for electricity, eliminating the need for long, expensive, power-losing transmission lines from big uranium plants or large solar installations in the Southwest. They can provide an important, partial solution to the environmental crisis. Thorium is actually the greatest source of power available to humans since we learned to use fire! Abundant, inexpensive power from LFTRs can not only energize power plants, but it can also power factories, heat homes and commercial buildings, drive trains and automobiles, and power ships with modular units installed in them.
Enactment of a bill already introduced in the House of Representatives, H.R. 4883 “The National Rare Earth Cooperative Act,” will facilitate mining and use of thorium, a rare earth metal; so readers should ask their representatives in Congress to support this measure, addressing letters to district offices, because mail sent to DC is delayed by security checks.
For more information about thorium, consult Robert Hargraves, “Thorium: energy, cheaper than coal,” (Hanover, NH: R. Hargraves, 2012) and Richard Martin, “Superfuel: thorium, the green energy source for the future” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).