SuperFuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future

SuperFuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future

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By (author) Richard Martin

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  • Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
  • Format: Paperback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 234mm x 19mm | 291g
  • Publication date: 21 August 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Basingstoke
  • ISBN 10: 113727834X
  • ISBN 13: 9781137278340
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 391,347

Product description

At the dawn of the atomic age, uranium and thorium were equally important as the elements of choice in researching nuclear energy - either one could have powered the world's reactors. But it was uranium that won out, and thorium, which is far cleaner, safer, and more abundant than uranium, was relegated to the dustbin of science. With it went the possibility of creating a low-risk nuclear energy source to power our planet. Now, as the world searches for cheap, non-carbon-emitting energy sources, thorium is reemerging as an overlooked solution. As one of the first energy experts to promote the development of thorium, award-winning science writer Richard Martin combines science, new historical research, and a timely business narrative to show how we can wean ourselves off our fossil-fuel addiction and shift to a lower-risk energy source. At once a big think book and a science manifesto, SuperFuel challenges us to look back at what could have been different in history as well as forward to an energy revolution in the making.

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Author information

Richard Martin is an award-winning science writer whose work has appeared in Wired, Time, Fortune, The Atlantic, and The Best Science Writing of 2004. He is the editorial director of Pike Research, a leading clean energy firm. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Review quote

"Besides briefly covering everything technical you need to know about the 90th element on the periodic table, "SuperFuel" provides engaging detail on the history and likely future of using thorium as a comparatively safe and substantially beneficial nuclear fuel . . . [Martin] makes a solid, convincing case for thorium as a superfuel, not simply to replace uranium, but to reduce the use of much dirtier fuels such as coal . . . With readable presentations like "SuperFuel, " the path to a better energy future just got a little easier."--"The Washington Times""Makes the case that thorium, an abundant, safe element that cannot easily be turned into a weapon, should be fuelling our reactors instead of uranium...Martin is at his best when describing the human struggles of the cold-war era that spelled their...convincing."--"New Scientist""Traces the history of nuclear power development. . . Recommended."-"Choice""Richard Martin has done an exemplary job of exploring a technically demanding subject in a gripping narrative form. The implications of this subject could not be more vital -- for oil prices, energy security, the chances of coping with climate change -- and 'Superfuel' clearly and fairly spells out the reasons for both optimism and for caution. If every technical book were written in this clear and engaging a style, we'd all be a lot better informed! I am very glad to have read this book."--James Fallows, The Atlantic, author of "China Airborne""Bringing back to light a long-lost technology that should never have been lost, this fascinating and important biography of thorium also brings us a commodity that's rare in discussions of energy and climate change: hope."-- Chris Anderson, editor in chief of "Wired ""Thorium is the younger sister to uranium, less volatile, slower to self-consume, and as many have contended without success, much better suited as a source of nuclear power than uranium. "Superfuel" by award-winning science writer Richard M

Table of contents

The Lost Book of Thorium Power The Thunder Element The Only Safe Reactor The Shadow Elements The Birth of Nuclear Power The Death of Nuclear Power India and China: A Clash of Civilizations Nuclear's Next Generation The Business Crusade What We Must Do