Bill Gates is influential. He is the world’s second-richest man and surely the premier American technologist of the era. “Energy Miracle” was coined by Bill Gates at the TED conference 2012, where he presented “Innovating to zero!” as we have reported on before. Today it seems like everyone is referring to “Energy Miracles”. Now The New York Times uses it when reporting on Thorium Energy amongst other nuclear options.
In his NYT article Mr. Gillis states that “Among the new nuclear approaches, fission reactors based on thorium are especially intriguing, offering potentially huge safety advantages. The basic concepts were proved in research by the American nuclear establishment in the 1960s, but the idea was ultimately abandoned by the Nixon administration in favor of a riskier approach called breeder reactors, which turned into an $8 billion black hole.”
“But it will surprise no one to hear that China is ahead of the United States on this, with hundreds of engineers working on thorium reactors.” Much of the Chinese efforts were revealed at the Thorium Energy Conference – ThEC12 in Shanghai – which we organized in cooperation with the Chinese leaders. Many of the presentations can be seen here – ThEC12 in Shanghai.
Mr. Gillis reflects on the changing times “In effect, our national policy now is to sit on our hands hoping for energy miracles, without doing much to call them forth. While we dawdle, maybe the Chinese will develop a nice business selling us thorium reactors based on our old designs. For communists, they do have an entrepreneurial bent.“
“But surely we would all feel better about the future if the full creative power of American capitalism were unleashed on the climate problem.”
Head over to The New York Times to read In Search of Energy Miracles