Thorium Power – Possibly the Next Best Thing to the Flying Car

A while back a friend from college sent me a link to this video discussing the possibility of using Thorium as a fuel in nuclear reactors.   Wired also has an article covering Thorium as a potential reactor fuel as well.   I don't think this is a magic bullet by any means, it seems to me that outside of the original formal research many of the numbers seem off the cuff, a lot of research still needs to be done, and the long term costs of maintenance are unknown at this point.  It's an interesting idea with some potential and I hope it gets off the ground some time soon.

Seeing the passion many of the Thorium advocates have does make me wish more people had that kind of optimism when it comes to nuclear power, or just science in general.  I had grandparents that seriously believed that one day they would be able to have things like personal nuclear reactors the size of an air conditioning unit that they could just plug into their house for power.   It's kinda disappointing that our pie-in-the-sky aspirations for technology we'll see in our life time are limited to electric cars and better cell phones with more advanced social networking applications and maybe a stem cell breakthrough that will give us the ability to thwart death when our severely abused stock organ systems begin to fail.  I can't help but wonder if our aspirations of limitless clean nuclear energy, moon bases, flying cars and personal jet packs have faded with time because no one delivered on a practical solution (or wanted to foot the bill for development).  Well, maybe the jet pack thing is still a common aspiration.

PS:  If someone knows how they made that kid fly in the last segment, let me know.