What’s the best way forward on nuclear power?
The Wall Street Journal put this question to The Experts, an exclusive group of industry and thought leaders who engage in in-depth online discussions of topics. Only one out of eight experts mention Thorium
Jerry Tailor - Nuclear proponents like to dodge the cost estimates and assert that it is environmental opposition preventing new plant orders. But there's zero evidence for this proposition. We'll only know about environmental opposition once new plants are able to clear the economic hurdle. And so far, they haven't.
Michael Levi - Right now, nuclear power isn't being kept down by safety rules, public opposition or waste problems. It's stalled because it's expensive—a problem exacerbated by cheap natural gas.
Ivan Marten - Nuclear is a key part of the U.S. energy mix. It is a source of base load, low-carbon and largely fixed-cost power for many utilities.
Jeffrey Ball - The way forward on nuclear power is pretty clear: It's in China.
Robert Rapier - Longer term, commercialization of thorium reactors would dramatically reduce (although not totally eliminate) the risk of nuclear-weapon proliferation. Thorium is abundant relative to uranium, and thorium does not have to undergo the enrichment process that uranium requires. Further, thorium reactors have little risk of melting down because climbing temperatures will decrease the power output, eliminating the runaway reaction possibility present in a uranium-fueled reactor. Thus, these reactors would naturally tend toward the fail-safe state. The primary disadvantage is that thorium reactors are still mainly at the experimental stage, and therefore commercial viability has not yet been clearly demonstrated.
Continue reading their arguments The Experts: What's the Best Way Forward on Nuclear Power?
You find the authors at the Journal Report.