Could Thorium Replace Uranium-Based Nuclear Power?

Now that TerraPower, the Bill Gates-founded nuclear startup which is developing a spent uranium traveling wave reactor, has announced that it's exploring thorium power, maybe it's a good time to meet Thorium's most dogged devotee.

Kirk Sorensen explains at a TedTalk why he thinks the liquid fuel thorium reactor is safer, cleaner and more efficient than current nuclear power. As a matter of fact, he's already envisioned how thorium reactors could completely refashion the modern world.

Kirk Sorensen stumbled across thorium while doing research on how to power a lunar community when he was working as an aerospace engineer at NASA. In 2010, he left NASA to work as the chief nuclear technologist at Teledyne Brown Engineering. In 2011, he founded Flibe, a company focused on developing modular thorium reactors.

Could thorium find a niche along with small modular reactors?

Photo: Kirk Sorenson, Filbe Energy