Time to swallow silver bullet on energy

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In response to Robin Cross’s letter (“Pressing nuclear button”, April 5), I don’t think he went far enough with his assertion that nuclear energy is the answer to keeping the lights on.

Thorium, which was discovered when uranium was found, was ignored and put to one side as waste because uranium was able to deliver more destruction when used aggressively by the USA.

Thorium is an abundant material which is found in monazite sands and occurs naturally in granite.

There is three-to-five times more thorium than uranium in the world. One tonne of thorium produces as much energy as 200 tonnes of uranium or 3.5million tonnes of coal. Thorium has non-proliferation benefits as it does not require the expensive enrichment process associated with military use.

Earlier this month, at the 2012 Global New Energy Summit, Kirk Sorensen, CEO of FLIBE Energy, reiterated his continued commitment and determination to thorium energy by the use of liquid fluoride thorium reactors. The use of liquid fluoride means low-pressure reactors, ergo more stability. It can clean up our old spent uranium rods, thereby disposing of the weapons-grade uranium left in spent rods.

The half-life is hundreds of years as opposed to thousands of years for our spent uranium fuel rods buried in concrete bunkers. The other great advantage is that the use of salt water in the cooling process produces desalinated water.

I for years was opposed to nuclear energy because of the waste, instability and destructive power that uranium had over us, and the few unstable politicians that controlled its usage. I firmly believe that thorium is the silver bullet to lift thousands, if not millions, of families out of energy poverty.

I think we should put pressure on our elected representatives and encourage them to look at thorium energy.

James Stewart