ThorEA organised, and the Weinberg Foundation sponsored, a lunchtime “fringe meeting” at the Liberal Democrats’ conference in York on Saturday March 8th.
It was held in the Bootham Room of the Hilton Hotel in York, next to the Barbican centre where the conference was taking place, from 1-2 pm.The nominal capacity was 50, and the room was full.
We had three talks from::
(We will upload a link to David’s talk as soon as we can.)
These were followed by a very lively discussion session. People were interested and generally supportive, with lots of questions about the technology and the politics. The Liberal Democrats have moved, at their last conference, from an anti-nuclear position to one which recognises that some nuclear power may be necessary to keep the lights on while reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and are thus in a good position to offer new ideas to the public..
Further meetings at other party conferences may follow…
A comment piece entitled “Thorium fuel has risks” by Dr Stephen Ashley and colleagues in the 6 December 2012 volume of Nature raises concerns about the proliferation resistance of thorium in some operational contexts.
In London the Science Museum’s Antenna gallery focuses on contemporary issues in science and technology. Until January 2013 it features an exhibition named Can we get electricity from nuclear waste? based upon ThorEA’s work on thorium fuelled Accelerator Driven Subcritical Reactors and their potential for transmuting nuclear waste. There are interviews with Bob Cywinski, Jim Al-Khalili and Sir Patrick Stewart.
2012 sees the turn of Shanghai to host the IThEO Conference, http://www.itheo.org/thorium-energy-conference-2012, which is entirely appropriate, because China is taking the lead in exploring fresh approaches to nuclear fission in its quest for sustainable, environment-responsible energy that can be delivered reliably and in quantity.
The Chinese initiated action to find viable energy sources significant enough to wean the country off its dependence on carbon-based energy. The large amounts of Thorium being produced as a by-product of its rare earth mining operations, is a further incentive. ThEC12 is being partnered by the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP) – a senior academic institution of the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), which has been given specific responsibility for the Thorium Energy utilization programme in China.
The initative in China makes us believe that the Thorium Energy implementation door against which we’ve been pushing, may finally be starting to open.
Next week’s edition of New Scientist (cover date 26 May 2012) includes a feature article by James Mitchell Crow entitled “Waste not, want not” about the management of nuclear waste, accelerator-driven systems and the thorium fuel cycle.
The Biochemical Society hosted a Climate Week debate on the future of nuclear energy last week. You can hear a recording by following the link below:
Science Question Time: The Nuclear Debate
On ‘Costing the Earth’, Julian Rush considers the potential of the thorium cycle to meet the long-term energy needs of the world.
Corinne Burns in the Guardian interviews Huddersfield’s Professor Bob Cywinski about the potential of Thorium ADSRs, and how the recent EMMA accelerator demonstration at Daresbury Laboratory can help.
AREVA, the global nuclear power industry leader and a major player in the renewable energy sector, has signed a collaboration agreement with the Dalton Nuclear Institute.
Sir David King tells the Guardian today that the UK cannot meet its carbon reduction targets without using the UK stockpile of plutonium. In a report published today, Sir David favours the use of mixed-oxide fuel, but notes the potential to use plutonium to seed thorium-cycle reactors of the future.