Information Literacy Assignment Thorium Reactors

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Not to mention nuclear reactors are incredibly expensive and are currently reserved for more developed nations. All of these shortcomings of traditional uranium reactors are solved through the use of new thorium salt reactors. Thorium salt reactors have impeccable safety, a more abundant fuel source than uranium, and are economically better than traditional nuclear reactors. Thorium reactors are the next logical step as we move to a more advanced sustainable energy sources in the future.

The safety of thorium based nuclear reactors greatly surpasses the safety of traditional uranium reactors. Normal uranium reactors run at very high temperatures that are susceptible to a meltdown in the event of a disaster such as an earthquake. Unlike uranium reactors, thorium reactors run at a much lower temperature and the reactors would be designed with a failsafe to shut down the reactor with no meltdown [1] [4]. This in turn makes thorium based reactors much safer for areas with tendencies to have many natural disasters such as coastal areas near earthquake zones.

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If the reactor in Japan had been a thorium based reactor then there would not have been a partial meltdown of the reactor. Not only are thorium reactors early impossible to meltdown but the waste produced from them is safer. Thorium reactors produce less nuclear waste with a much shorter half-life that is overall less radioactive than waste produced from uranium based reactors This means that the waste from thorium based reactors is much safer than the waste being produced from uranium reactors which some have a half-life of thousands of years.

All this uranium waste has to be stored and protected somewhere as it can possibly be used in nuclear weapons unlike thorium nuclear waste. A fear shared in the international community and the world is the usability of nuclear weapons falling into the wrong hands such as terrorists or dictators. While many nations would like to aid third world regions ruled by dictators such as North Korea by giving them access to more sustainable energy this would also give more advanced nuclear weapon knowledge to the bad guys.

Thorium reactors solve this problem as the waste and fuel used in them cannot be used in nuclear weapons [1]. Since thorium reactors cannot be used for nuclear weapons then the knowledge of thorium reactors could be passed along to third world countries with dictators such as North Korea for humanitarian efforts without giving nuclear weapon capabilities to them. Not only is that but if terrorists were to obtain the nuclear waste there no way for them to somehow convert the waste into a bomb. So why don’t we have thorium based reactors today?

It is a belief that uranium reactors were chosen by the U. S. And Soviet Union during the cold war over thorium reactors due to the ability of happening uranium, and are here to stay because so much money was put into them [3]. If thorium could be weapons then it likely it would have been chosen over uranium as it is much more abundant in the Earth’s surface. It s a shame that the thorium reactor was put on the back burner for greater military power as the economic benefits of thorium reactors greatly outweigh uranium reactors.

Thorium based reactors not only have a great economic benefit over traditional nuclear based reactors but also have the ability to sustain worldwide consumption much longer than uranium reactors. Thorium is a slightly radioactive metal that is three times more abundant in the Earth’s surface than the uranium used in today’s reactors This abundance of thorium not only makes the metal more affordable but also gives long term sustainability or reactors in the future years to come.

At some point in the near future the uranium stockpiles will run dry at our current rate of consumption while there would still be a plentiful supply of thorium for centuries to come. Not only is thorium as a fuel source more abundant but also does not require the tedious process of refinement. While normal uranium goes through a refinement process in order to be used in a nuclear reactor thorium does not require such refinement Since thorium does not require refinement the entire cost of building refinement plants and staffing them are skipped.

Therefore, a thorium reactor requires less initial capital investment and has overall lower running costs than normal uranium reactors. As mentioned before thorium is also three times more abundant in Earth than uranium. This would mean the cost of mining and finding thorium would be lower than uranium as it is easier to find. Also, due to the lower costs associated with thorium reactors the feasibility of poorer nations affording such a reactor are higher. This would mean the possibility of providing power to the less fortunate and improving living conditions would be greater.

Also mentioned before was the fact that a thorium based reactor produces less nuclear waste than traditional uranium based reactor. Thus the costs of taking care of nuclear waste of a thorium based reactor would be considerably less as there is overall less nuclear waste being produced. Overall, the economic benefits of a thorium based nuclear reactor are significant to the adoption of thorium reactors that could in turn bring nuclear power to more places on the globe. In conclusion, there is a clear indication that a nuclear reactor based on thorium is a very viable source of energy for the future.

A thorium based nuclear reactor is not only safer than a standard uranium reactor because it is nearly impossible for a meltdown to occur, but also cannot be weapons for the military or possible terrorism. Thorium is also three times more abundant in the Earth than uranium and would not require refinement unlike uranium fuel rods. Nuclear reactors based on thorium also do not require fabrication resulting in lower economic costs with a greater payout. Due to the lower costs associated with thorium reactors the likelihood of providing sustainable energy to more places in the world is greater.

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Information Literacy Assignment Thorium Reactors. (2018, Jun 17). Retrieved from

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