A Better Source of Nuclear Power?

Source: American Thinker.com | Mac McDowell | November 27, 2017

Two disturbing scientific reports have surfaced recently from Europe. The first is that a plume of radioactive particles has been detected drifting across northern Europe with a suspected source from within Russia. The second report is a post-mortem concerning the Chernobyl Nuclear Facility meltdown, in that report, it was concluded that the very first explosion at the nuclear facility was the result of a supercritical, rapid, and uncontrolled nuclear fission chain reaction, or as the popular press calls it, a nuclear explosion. These reports derive their conclusions from the detection of an isotope of Xenon gas which can only be produced by nuclear fission.

There are currently over 400 Uranium-based nuclear reactors operating all over the industrialized world. Since the introduction of nuclear power plants, four have had serious malfunctions. The first of these was in 1959 in Simi Valley, California when a liquid sodium cooled reactor suffered a partial meltdown. The next accident occurred in 1979 at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania when another partial meltdown occurred. Following that accident was the Chernobyl disaster, which was then followed by the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan which suffered a meltdown.

Uranium-based reactors have numerous safety features built into their designs, yet catastrophic failures have occurred.

Considering the alternative is fraught with difficulties. The long shadows of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima have made the debate over nuclear power a minefield for politicians and policymakers alike. All the incidents from 1959 to present have a common thread and that is that they were all designed on the principle of using solid fuel Uranium rods. The lesson to be learned from these incidents is that it does not matter how many safety precautions are in place; eventually Murphy’s Law will prevail, and an unanticipated scenario will occur and cause a problem. This is because conventional solid fuel reactors cannot be designed to failsafe, no matter how hard we try.

But there is a solution to this problem: Generation IV reactors based upon Thorium instead of Uranium.

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