Friday, September 14, 2012

Blog #3- Benefits of Thorium as Alternative Nuclear Fuel are ‘overstated’, Tara Rudo 9/14/2012

    Blog 3:
Tara Rudo
1:41 PM

Depletion of natural resources in the world has led to environmental destruction. Mountain-top removal to retrieve coal and drilling for oil in coastal environments are a couple examples of this destruction. When it comes to nuclear energy, many businesses like the cheap energy but rarely consider the cost it has to the environment and the people around those nuclear power plants. The Chernobyl disaster that occurred in 1986 released radioactive contamination into the air which killed off wildlife and caused mutations and illness for humans in that area. Although many countries like having the cheap and clean energy, they worry about the potential risks of the reactors. Recently, the United Kingdom has turned it’s attention to a potential energy resource called, Thorium. It is very abundant element around the world and is only mildly radioactive. Most of it can be found in places like Turkey, India, and Brazil, according to the World Nuclear Association. A government report was prepared for the Department of Energy and Climate Change by the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) stating that Thorium has advantages over uranium. Those include “reducing radio-toxicity and reducing proliferation risk.” Many proponents of Thorium say that the real reason why this element should be used as energy is because it runs much more efficiently and leaves less hazardous waste behind which would have to be disposed of correctly and safely. I mentioned in a previous blog about the Treadmill of Production and how many people are hesitant to change their ways. Many people are scared of change, even if it is for the better. In the UK, hesitance is coming from many of the energy companies who don’t want to invest money and time into Thorium’s development. Finding cleaner energy resources that do not destroy our environment is what we need for a better future.


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