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Thorium poised to meet world's energy needs

thorium's energy potential to reduce the volume and toxicity of waste.

Addressing the environmental benefits of thorium, nuclear engineer Dr. Jeffery Latkowski discussed how thorium fuel cycles produce much less land disruption, chemical and radiological hazards, and chemical toxicity than the conventional uranium fuel cycle. "Thorium offers many potential advantages over traditional uranium/plutonium fuel cycles, including less waste and a much simpler and cleaner fuel cycle," said Latkowski. "DBI hopes to offer power systems that take maximum advantage of thorium's benefits."

The forum also explored the role of thorium in national security. Dr. Andrey Mushakov with Thorium Power Ltd. and DBI physicist Dr. Kenneth Ricci outlined the critical advantages of thorium over uranium. Mushakov discussed Thorium Power's work to develop and deploy nuclear fuel designs developed by Dr. Alvin Radkowsky to stop the production of weapons-suitable plutonium and eliminate existing plutonium stockpiles.

"To help carry out this mission, in 1994 Thorium Power came to Russia to collaborate with nuclear scientists and engineers at the Russian Research Center Kurchatov Institute," Mushakov said. Currently, specialists at the Kurchatov Institute and other entities are working on Thorium Power's project in Russia.

Dr. Ricci pointed to a 2000 report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that examined the benefits of thorium over uranium, including fewer problems disposing of highly radioactive and long-lived waste, and fewer stockpiles of plutonium that could be diverted for weapons proliferation. "DBI Thorium Reactors are designed to maintain the fuel in the core for the life of the reactor," said Ricci, "and together with satellite monitoring of any facility, help prevent the diversion of any material for weapons."

The forum concluded with participants urging the federal government to play a more aggressive role in the development
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30-Nov-2006


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