“The amount of time we need to watch over nuclear waste is longer than the longest-lived human civilization - including China.”
In his article Dr. Neches highlights the urgency for technological education funding in the US:
“Anyone who seriously believes that the United States should build more new nuclear power plants should start with revitalizing nuclear engineering at our colleges and universities. The best way to have more nuclear power plants is to go back to school.”
Dr. Neches makes a very valid point. We must re-evaluate our knowledge, understanding and teaching of nuclear energy. And we should expect that students new to nuclear energy will be learning keenly about thorium energy.
Another story clearly illustrating the necessity for us to re-evaluate our understanding of nuclear power, is the Olkiluoto 3 reactor in Finland. The first license application for this plant was made in December 2000, with power production scheduled to begin in May 2009. But the plant is over three years behind schedule and more than 50 percent over-budget. This is not an encouraging story for governments around the world who are looking for energy solutions.
However, there is great hope amongst those who are in the know. IThEO believes concerted international efforts on developing ablueprint thorium reactor, which would then be mass produced, could be achieved within ten years, less time than has already been spent on the Finish reactor. This speed of delivery is made possible by the fact that a thorium reactor is much smaller and fundamentally easier to manage.
Back to School on Nuclear Power, The Huffington Post
Dr. Philip Neches, The Huffington Post
Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant, Wikipedia
In Finland, Nuclear Renaissance Runs Into Trouble, The New York Times