Superfuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future

Superfuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future

Hardback Macsci

By (author) Richard Martin

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  • Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
  • Format: Hardback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 236mm x 26mm | 440g
  • Publication date: 14 June 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Basingstoke
  • ISBN 10: 0230116477
  • ISBN 13: 9780230116474
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations
  • Sales rank: 255,234

Product description

In this groundbreaking account of an energy revolution in the making, award-winning science writer Richard Martin introduces us to thorium, a radioactive element and alternative nuclear fuel that is far safer, cleaner, and more abundant than uranium. At the dawn of the Atomic Age, thorium and uranium seemed to be in close competition as the fuel of the future. Uranium, with its ability to undergo fission and produce explosive material for atomic weapons, won out over its more pacific sister element, relegating thorium to the dustbin of science. Now, as we grapple with the perils of nuclear energy and rogue atomic weapons, and mankind confronts the specter of global climate change, thorium isreemerging as the overlooked energy source that can wean us off our fossil-fuel addiction and avert the risk of nuclear meltdown. The Untold Story of Thorium: *Thorium-powered reactors produce zero nuclear waste and can produce electricity that's much cheaper and cleaner than burning coal. *Thorium can't be used in nuclear weapons. *Thorium power was developed in the U.S. during the Cold War, and we even ran a thorium-fueled reactor for five years. *France, Norway, Canada, Brazil, Russia, and, most importantly, India and China, are building thoriumbased reactors. India plans to produce the bulk of its power from thorium reactors by 2030, while China is attempting to build a domestic industry that will license thorium technology to other nations. *A small group of activists and outsiders is working, with the help of Silicon Valley investors, to build a thorium-power industry in the United States.

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Author information

Richard Martin is an energy expert and award-winning journalist. His work has appeared in Time, Fortune, Wired, The Atlantic, The Asian Wall Street Journal, and The Best Science Writing of 2004. Martin is a senior research analyst for Pike Research (www.pikeresearch.com), a leading clean-energy research firm based 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