Future of Nuclear Energy- Thorium
According to the United Nations, we are expecting the world population to reach approximately nine billion in 2050. Because of this rapid increase in world population, humans have been looking for cheap, safe, and environmentally friendly energy sources to satisfy the population’s necessities. For the past few decades, the human population has been using coal, oil, and gas as our energy source, but we quickly found out that was not enough. One of the other popular energy sources is nuclear energy, as it is a non-carbon emitting and very efficient source of energy. However, catastrophic events such as the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine, Three Mile Island Accident in Pennsylvania, and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan, forced global leaders to re-evaluate the safety and future of uranium based nuclear energy. Is there an alternative nuclear reactor that is not only cheap but non-carbon emitting, and, most importantly, safe? Although many would argue there is no such thing, I believe nuclear reactors based on the radioactive element thorium promise the world a superior nuclear energy source, and a safe future for humanity. One of the biggest advantages of thorium is that it cannot be used to produce nuclear weapons. While uranium could also be used to produce electricity, it is also used to produce nuclear weapons. While uranium is easily expandable, thorium, on the other hand, is extremely proliferation resistant. This huge feature will not only decrease poverty but also war. It will give global leaders the motivation to invest more wealth in their country, and seek resolutions with other countries through peace, not war. Having nuclear weapons may give a country more power, but in the long run, it will only create more hatred and potentially, more wars. Preventing wars will save countries from huge economic, social, and population losses in the future. If these countries invested more money into building thorium...
Cited: Cooper, Nicolas, Daisuke Minakata, Miroslav Begovic, and John Crittenden. "Should We Consider Using Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors for Power Generation?" Environmental Science & Technology 45.15 (2011): 6237-238. Web.
"Thorium." Thorium. World Nuclear Association, Sept. 2014. Web. 11 Oct. 2014. <http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Current-and-Future-Generation/Thorium/>.
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