The Japanese government has begun a series of formal public forums ostensibly to gain consensus on three proposed medium-term energy scenarios. The first two meetings were held last weekend and have led to public outrage over alleged astroturfing propaganda, called yarase (pronounced yah-rah-say if you’re American) in Japanese.
Two forums held in Sendai and Nagoya included high level power industry employees that were supposedly chosen at random from the public to speak out on the energy scenarios in the public forum. The forums are supposed to be fair and represent general public opinion.
At the Sendai forum one of the panel members announced his employer’s outlook on nuclear power – his employer is Tohohoku Electric Power. Another panel member was from a nuclear power association. The revelations lead to understandably extreme outrage from the members of the audience and the discussion had to be cut short.
Thorium bred Uranium-233 can be used to make atomic bombs, despite what proponents may claim.
You don’t have to trust me on this, see what the experts at various institutions have to say below:
UPDATE (2012/05/02): Added IEER’s Some Characteristics of Uranium and Thorium
UPDATE (2012/04/29): Added the UK NNL report! Thanks DARyan!
There is a rash of misinformation on the net about the supposed merits of the ‘new’ nuclear energy source on the block, thorium. I am sure that in a perfect world where nobody lies, thorium would be the perfect answer to the world’s energy needs as is claimed. This is unfortunately not the case.
Apparently, every time there is a new nuclear catastrophe, the thorium ‘miracle’ is promoted again as the ‘savior’ for the world. The Fukushima nuclear radiation catastrophe was not unique and the thorium misinformation artists have come out in droves. It’s the nuclear industry’s defense mechanism – create a new ‘safety myth’ that regular people can latch onto.
In reality, the thorium nuclear fuel cycle has been under development since the very early days of the nuclear industry. India, for example, has spent decades trying to commercialize it, and has failed. The US, Russia, Germany, and many others tried and failed as well. At best, thorium based nuclear power generation may be commercialized in a few decades.
I doubt it.
Fortunately, there are a number of independent trustworthy and expert sources of information on the internet regarding thorium nuclear. Here they are: