There are many lingering questions about thorium, including sourcing the fuel, regulations, industrial inertia and persistent fears about radiation. While the disaster at Fukushima raised the specter of atomic destruction and pushed countries like Germany and Switzerland to announce an end to their nuclear programs, it’s also proved to be another teachable moment about how and why technologies come to be, and how to improve them.
There’s much to take for granted in the evolution of technology, or at least in the way that technology appears to us today – refined, perfected, ever cutting-edge. In the case of energy, where innovation has never been more sorely wanted, what we take for granted are a set of circumstances that are both entrenched and terrible. Coal and oil and natural gas seem like the only sure-fire ways of providing base-load energy, if your only criteria is cheap electricity. Globally, if they don’t look paltry, our energy and resource supplies are becoming increasingly costly to extract and use. Demand has never been higher; ditto levels of CO2 and other terrible greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Nuclear energy is powerful, but it’s even worse than the others, given persistent waste storage issues (these really need to end) and the threat of proliferation.
A film by Alex Pasternack
|CC available:||JA, ES|
Ø Rating: 4.25
|Category:|| Education & Learning
Science & Research
Technology & Innovation