This is a nice juxtaposition and it shows how badly our priorities are skewed. The first piece was written in 2007 and talked about the virtues of thorium. The legislation that would allow us to go back to using thorium has languished the last five years and apparently is still not out of the senate.
If you believe in energy independence and even if you believe in “global warming” this is unacceptable.
Denninger’s piece outlines the price we are paying by simultaneously refusing to use oil, refusing to use thorium and trying to tilt at windmills, literally by using wind as an energy source, and figuratively by trying to “sequester” carbon. A sort of “none of the above” energy policy.
If you look in my thorim category you will see a double handful of articles which show that thorium should be front burner once again and not back burner as it has been since the thorium reactors in the US were shuttered.
Meanwhile, India and China are all aboard and I believe Japan is seeing the light. Why can’t we lead anymore?
UPDATE: A quick call to the US Senate confirmed a few things. 1) The bill to allow thorium reactors to be built is still in the senate. 2) Politics remain awful.
The need is obvious, the support for the idea is (or was) bipartisan, and the time is ripe. But the backers are waiting for an energy bill on which to piggyback the thorium rider and “strategizing” about the best way to get it passed. And there is no energy bill currently in the hopper. Yuck.
For convenience here is a piece from last January regarding the thorium bill at issue.
The problem is that we once had at least one thorium reactor in the US and it performed brilliantly. It was decommissioned and the geniuses then made it illegal to use thorium for reactors. Thorium has to be reinstated as a fuel source to be used.
The real problem appears to be geopolitics. Since thorium has no military uses whatever, the world’s military industrial complexes are opposed. Why? One can only use a thorium plant for peaceful purposes, while one can maintain a dual purpose conventional nuclear power plant and still pretend to be using it only for innocent and peaceful purposes. Detestable as the Iranian regime is they are only following the lead of all nuclear powers by trying to build a nuclear plant that can produce fissionable weapons grade materials while protesting their peaceful intent. Thorium blows the lid off of that charade which is why we should be actively forcing the Iranians to use thorium while using it ourselves.