Thorium reactors would be far too slowly developed to have any real impact on climate change

“……..Timescale Claim: Thorium and the LFTR offer a solution to current and medium-term energy supply deficits. Response: The thorium fuel cycle is immature. Estimates from the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (see 4.2 below) suggest that 10-15 years of research will be needed before thorium fuels are ready to be deployed in existing reactor designs. Production LFTRs will not be deployable on any significant scale for 40-70 years. 4. Thorium / LFTR prospects
4.1 Timescales for thorium fuel The thorium fuel cycle is immature and unready for production-scale deployment. Although thorium fuels have been used in approximately 30 reactors, their nuclear dynamics and operational performance remain poorly characterised. India is already deploying thorium in its reactors as a component of mixed oxide (MOX) fuels comprising plutonium / uranium, and plans more of the same in its forthcoming Advanced Heavy Water Reactors. However, Norway’s Thor Energy and the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) both believe that considerable research, development and testing lies ahead before thorium fuels will be ready for operational use.
As the NNL states, “Thorium reprocessing and waste management are poorly understood. The thorium fuel cycle cannot be considered to be mature in any area.” It estimates that 10-15 years work is required before thorium fuels will be ready for use in current reactor designs, and that their use in new types of reactor is at least 40 years away. [The Thorium Fuel Cycle – An independent assessment, NNL, August 2010] 4.2 LFTR lead time: half a century
 The assessment of the Chinese Academy of Sciences as it embarks on its LFTR programme is that a production LFTR is 20-30 years in the future – rather shorter than the NNL’s estimate of 40 years (see 4.1). Given the hazards, such as the potential failure of reactor materials under intense neutron irradiation and chemical corrosion, risk-averse utilities and investors would want to observe the performance of any such full-scale LFTR for at least a decade and probably more, before embarking on any substantial LFTR programme.
The lead time for nuclear construction is of the order of a decade, so this could add a further 20-30 years before production LFTRs were deployed at full scale. The total lead time for LFTRs would therefore be a minimum of 40 years on the shortest estimates, or 70 years based on more conservative figures. …….

Costs of high-temperature coolants kill the economics of thorium reactors

January 16, 2015,  Jortiz3
Contrary to popular belief, the reason light-enriched-uranium reactors are used, and not thorium or breeder reactors, is due to simple economics. To run breeder reactors and thorium reactors, the neutron density and heat density must be so great that high-temperature coolants must be used throughout the core.

The systems used to manage these coolants are as exotic as the coolants are. This leads to increased costs, on the order of 20%. This 20% is enough that utilities simply choose light-enriched-uranium so that the reactor core can be cool enough that cooling with water is possible and savings can offset the cost of mining the ridiculous quantities of natural uranium required.

Do Australian tax-payers know that they are funding China’s dodgy Thorium Nuclear Power experiment?

Isn’t this just dandy?  The Australian government can’t afford to fund services to the needy in health, education,  and is doing its darndest to kill clean energy, but is quietly promoting nuclear energy. And not conventional nuclear energy, which is bad enough, but the untested, hugely costly thorium experiment – the same one that was tried and found unviable 50 years ago

 ANSTO-SINAP Joint Research Centre, 16 Jan 15  In December 2012, ANSTO signed a memorandum of understanding with the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP) for cooperation in the area of materials research and development.

 Within the same week, the Institute of Materials Engineering (IME) was awarded a major grant from the Australia-China Science and Research Fund to conduct collaborative research with SINAP on advance Thorium Molten Salt Reactors (TMSR). The newly formed Joint Research Centre (JRC) covers a range of scientific disciplines in order to cover the challenges of next generation TMSRS.
The contributions of IME within the framework of the JRC are to provide materials performance assessment and to conduct independent research on the behaviour of nuclear materials exposed to corrosive molten salts at high temperature and in high radiation fields.  ……….
This Project is supported by the Commonwealth of Australia under the Australian-China Science and Research Fund :

Thorium Nuclear Reactors – quite a bad idea really

Thorium – a good idea? WISE, Jan 15  (translation by Noel Wauchope) “………….Now with the fear of further nuclear weapons proliferation  increasing, the nuclear industry looks to another cycle, based on thorium instead of uranium. But with a thorium reactor one can also make nuclear weapons material. The Thorium reactor is not quite there yet. The technique is not yet out-developed, let alone tried. All serious scientists think it will still take several decades before there reactors are available for commercial use.
And so does the whole “climate” argument; if you want to do something about climate change (replace coal plants Thorium power plants) it will have to be done very quickly, not over 20 years. Moreover the many tens of billions of dollars to build a thorium cycle and infrastructure could be better spent on truly clean and endless sources. Moreover, the thorium cycle has serious drawbacks……..
Because plutonium is a chemically very different ftrom  uranium, it is quite easy to identify  from spent fuel rods. Uranium-235 or other isotopes * (U-232 and U-233)are  much more difficult, because they are  chemically indistinguishable from the rest of the uranium………
 Thorium is often mentioned. It is an ore which can be recovered like uranium in large mines. Although thorium itself is not very radioactive, many decay products of thorium are. It expires in stages to include the noble gas 220Rn presenting the risk of contamination. The biggest health threat of thorium is if ingested or inhaled. The alpha radiation can not penetrate the skin, but if ingested accumulates in the liver, spleen, lymph nodes and bones. The “biological half-life ‘of thorium is about 22 years, which in practice means that the alpha radiation damages during the rest of life, and thereby increases the risk of liver cancer and leukemia. This makes mining of thorium a tricky business.
It is not self-fissile but neutron radiation in a nuclear reactor converts it to it fissionable U-233 and U-232 waste product. This is material that can be used for the production of nuclear weapons. So there is indeed in a thorium reactor, not plutonium,  but other proliferation-sensitive material.
Thorium reactors are – according to the proponents of this technique – so also much safer than current reactors. For example, in a liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) the fuel is not processed as a solid but is dissolved in a molten fluoride salt. This molten salt is also used as a refrigerant and as fuel. It remains stable at high temperatures and controllable. The advocates claim that ‘the runaway of the reactor in a thorium-central’ is impossible. The neutrons released during the reactions can be immediately absorbed by the thorium atoms in the mixture, causing the atoms to be in turn suitable for fission. It is also possible to use materials other than thorium, plutonium, for example, to add to the mixture. Advocates say so; it is a way to get rid of our plutonium; we use it just as a fuel in the thorium plant.
But it is questionable whether the thorium cycle is really a better guarantee against the danger of proliferation. Although no plutonium is produced  there is a method to extract the nuclear material U-233 quite easily and efficiently from irradiated thorium reactor rods. Thorium ie first becomes protactinium (PA-233), which decays with a half-life of 27 days to U-233.  To select from the reactor fuel rods after about a month to, it is possible to separate the PA-233 from the thorium. This can also be in a small lab, there is no need for large or complex factory. Then you just have to wait a few months until all the protactinium is spontaneously transformed into highly pure uranium-233. Eight pounds of this material is already enough to make an atomic bomb.
Hence the thorium cycle can be diverted to the production of atomic bombs. This removes a major advantage claimed. Proponents say of thorium; “There are easier ways to get nuclear material, so terrorists or countries that seek nuclear weapons do not really want to use thorium reactors.” But that’s a rather strange reasoning; it is also easier to commit a murder with a gun than with a knife. Why do not you go do not advocate the possession of a knife?
Nuclear waste
A thorium plant, compared to uranium plants,  produces  little long-lived radioactive waste.  But not even this type of plant is still producing waste that remains dangerous for 240,000 years and people and the environment must be stored and fully protected. The problem of high-level nuclear waste is not so much the volume (quantity) but the toxicity and radiation intensity. Whether you need to find a solution for 100 or 500 pounds is not as relevant, the point is that there is still no definitive accepted method existing to store this hazardous waste safely for thousands of years.
The nuclear industry has a problem; it now fully recognizes that the problems with the current (Uranium) cycle are too large.  So it now looks to a whole new cycle based on thorium The owners of the now hundreds of operating nuclear power plants, the builders of the uranium-based power plants, the thousands of people who earn their living from extracting uranium will not go welcome the call for a Thorium industry. This has resulted in the odd dichotomy between  the people who believe in the Thorium Cycle and the people who believe in the Uranium Cycle. Meanwhile there are the scientists who want to explore new fields of research especially those who advocate Thorium power plants; they want to be assured that they can can certainly do some decades (fundamental) research.
Too late, too expensive
Do not forget; the thorium reactor is not quite there yet, all serious scientists think it will still take several decades before there reactors are available for commercial use. And so does the whole “climate” argument; if you want to do something about climate change (replace coal plants Thorium power plants) that will have to be done very quickly, not waiting over 20 years to begin. Moreover, it will cost many tens of billions of dollars to build a thorium cycle and infrastructure. That   money can be spent  better ongenuinely clean and endless sources.

Lobbyists’ Campaign for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors is met with scepticism

nuClear News, UK, Jan 2015 “…….Nuclear lobbyists have continued to try to build a head of steam behind Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) in the UK.
In NuClear News No.68 November 2014  we reported that Jim Green of FoE Australia had described this pro-SMR campaign as an implicit admission that existing reactors aren’t up to the job. SMRs are a new occupant in the graveyard of the nuclear renaissance – but the problem is no-one wants to buy one.
……… August NuClear News No.65 reported that the Union of Concerned Scientists in the US point out that the economies of scale dictate that, all other things being equal, larger reactors will generate cheaper power. Even if SMRs could eventually be more cost-effective than larger reactors due to mass production, this advantage will only come into play when many SMRs are in operation. But
utilities are unlikely to invest in SMRs until they can produce competitively.
 The Washington-based Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER) says SMRs will
probably require tens of billions of dollars in federal subsidies or government purchase orders
and create serious concerns in relation to both safety and proliferation. By spreading SMRs
around the globe we will increase the proliferation risk because safeguarded spent fuel and
numerous small reactors would be a much more complex task than safeguarding fewer large
Speaking at the Nuclear New Build conference yesterday, shadow energy minister Tom Greatrex
warned the government that “no one, including the Chancellor as he drafts his Autumn Statement,
should be fooled into thinking that small nuclear reactors are somehow the answer to all our

The spurious claims of the thorium nuclear lobby

If Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs) s are used to ‘burn up’ waste from conventional reactors, their fuel now comprises 238U, 235U, 239Pu, 240Pu and other actinides.

Operated in this way, what is now a mixed-fuel molten salt reactor will breed plutonium (from 238U) and other long lived actinides, perpetuating the plutonium cycle.

How Much Safer Would Thorium Based Nuclear Power Be? January 4, 2015 | By News Junkie Uploaded by Alchemist-hp via Free Art License 1.3 (FAL 1.3)

According to Oliver Tickell, not much:

Numerous advantages for thorium as a nuclear fuel and for the LFTR design over conventional solid fuel reactors have been claimed. In this section we consider each of these claims in turn.
3.1 Abundance of thorium relative to uranium
Claim: Thorium is several times more abundant in the Earth’s crust than uranium.
Response: Thorium (232Th) is indeed more abundant than uranium, by a factor of three to four. But whereas 0.7% of uranium occurs as fissile 235U, none of the thorium is fissile. The world already possesses an estimated 1.2 million tonnes of depleted uranium (mainly 238U), like thorium a fertile but non-fissile material. So the greater abundance of thorium than uranium confers no advantage, other than a very marginal advantage in energy security to those countries in which it is abundant.
3.2 Relative utility of thorium and uranium as fuel
Claim: 100% of the thorium is usable as fuel, in contrast to the low (~0.7%) proportion of fissile 235U in natural uranium.
Response: Thorium must be subjected to neutron irradiation to be transformed into a fissile material suitable for nuclear fuel (uranium, 233U). The same applies to the 238U that makes up depleted uranium, which as already observed, is plentiful. In theory, 100% of either metal could be bred into nuclear fuel. However, uranium has a strong head start, as 0.7% of it is fissile (235U) in its naturally-occurring form.
3.3 Nuclear weapons proliferation
Claim: thorium reactors do not produce plutonium, and so create little or no proliferation hazard.
Response: thorium reactors do not produce plutonium. But an LFTR could (by including 238U in the fuel) be adapted to produce plutonium of a high purity well above normal weapons-grade, presenting a major proliferation hazard. Beyond that, the main proliferation hazards arise from:
the need for fissile material (plutonium or uranium) to initiate the thorium fuel cycle, which could be diverted, and
the production of fissile uranium 233U.Claim: the fissile uranium (233U) produced by thorium reactors is not “weaponisable” owing to the presence of highly radiotoxic 232U as a contaminant. Response: 233U was successfully used in a 1955 bomb test in the Nevada Desert under the USA’s Operation Teapot and so is clearly weaponisable notwithstanding

any 232U present. Moreover, the continuous pyro-processing / electro-refining technologies intrinsic to MSRs / LFTRs could generate streams of 233U very low in 232U at a purity well above weapons grade as currently defined.
3.4 Safety
Claim: LFTRs are intrinsically safe, because the reactor operates at low pressure and is and incapable of melting down.
Response: the design of molten salt reactors does indeed mitigate against reactor meltdown and explosion. However, in an LFTR the main danger has been shifted from the reactor to the on-sitecontinuous fuel reprocessing operation – a high temperature process involving highly hazardous, explosive and intensely radioactive materials. A further serious hazard lies in the potential failure of the materials used for reactor and fuel containment in a highly corrosive chemical environment, under intense neutron and other radiation.
3.5 State of technology
Claim: the technology is already proven.
Response: important elements of the LFTR technology were proven during the 1970s Molten SaltBreeder Reactor (MSBR) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. However, this was a small research reactor rated at just 7MW and there are huge technical and engineering challenges in scaling up this experimental design to make a ‘production’ reactor. Specific challenges include:
developing materials that can both resist corrosion by liquid fluoride salts including diverse fission products, and withstand decades of intense neutron radiation;
scaling up fuel reprocessing techniques to deal safely and reliably with large volumes of highly radioactive material at very high temperature;
keeping radioactive releases from the reprocessing operation to an acceptably low level;
achieving a full understanding of the thorium fuel cycle.
3.6 Nuclear waste
Claim: LFTRs produce far less nuclear waste than conventional solid fuel reactors.
Response: LFTRs are theoretically capable of a high fuel burn-up rate, but while this may indeed reduce the volume of waste, the waste is more radioactive due to the higher volume of radioactive fission products. The continuous fuel reprocessing that is characteristic of LFTRs will also produce hazardous chemical and radioactive waste streams, and releases to the environment will be unavoidable.
Claim: Liquid fluoride thorium reactors generate no high-level waste material.
Response: This claim, although made in the report from the House of Lords, has no basis in fact. High-level waste is an unavoidable product of nuclear fission. Spent fuel from any LFTR will be intensely radioactive and constitute high level waste. The reactor itself, at the end of its lifetime, will constitute high level waste.

Claim: the waste from LFTRs contains very few long-lived isotopes, in particular transuranic actinides such as plutonium. 

Response: the thorium fuel cycle does indeed produce very low volumes of plutonium and other long-lived actinides so long as only thorium and 233U are used as fuel. However, the waste contains many radioactive fission products and will remain dangerous for many hundreds of years. A particular hazard is the production of 232U, with its highly radio-toxic decay chain.

Claim: LFTRs can ‘burn up’ high level waste from conventional nuclear reactors, and stockpiles of plutonium.
Response: if LFTRs are used to ‘burn up’ waste from conventional reactors, their fuel now comprises 238U, 235U, 239Pu, 240Pu and other actinides. Operated in this way, what is now a mixed-fuel molten salt reactor will breed plutonium (from 238U) and other long lived actinides, perpetuating the plutonium cycle.
3.7 Cost of electricity
Claim: the design of LFTRs tends towards low construction cost and very cheap electricity.
Response: while some elements of LFTR design may cut costs compared to conventional reactors, other elements will add cost, notably the continuous fuel reprocessing using high-temperature ‘pyro-processing’ technologies. Moreover, a costly experimental phase of ~20-40 years duration will be required before any ‘production’ LFTR reactors can be built.
It is very hard to predict the cost of the technology that finally emerges, but the economics of nuclear fuel reprocessing to date suggests that the nuclear fuel produced from breeder reactors is about 50 times more expensive than ‘virgin’ fuel. It therefore appears probable that any electricity produced from LFTRs will be expensive.
We must also consider the prospect that relatively novel or immature energy sources, such as photovoltaic electricity and photo-evolved hydrogen, will have become well established as low-cost technologies long before LFTRs are in the market.
3.8 Timescale
Claim: Thorium and the LFTR offer a solution to current and medium-term energy supply deficits.
Response: The thorium fuel cycle is immature. Estimates from the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (see 4.2 below) suggest that 10-15 years of research will be needed before thorium fuels are ready to be deployed in existing reactor designs. Production LFTRs will not be deployable on any significant scale for 40-70 years.

Read between the #thorium hype lines – future for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors is very dubious

“…… will likely be later than the estimated 2022 before TVA has an SMR online. And, the decision on whether one actually gets built will rest with the TVA board.

In April, B&W announced it was restructuring its mPower program. Instead of around $60 million a year, it would only spend $15 million per year.

The company also laid off about 200 people in Virginia and in Tennessee involved with the project. The company said in a statement that it was having trouble lining up investors.

Also on Nov. 5, B&W announced plans to spin off its nuclear operations, including the mPower program, into a separate company called BWX Technologies……”  TVA shifts focus on Oak Ridge nuclear reactor, Knoxville News Sentinel 4 Dec 14 


Excerpted from: Thorium Fuel: No Panacea for Nuclear Power, By Arjun Makhijani and Michele Boyd.
A Fact Sheet Produced by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research and Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Thorium may be abundant and possess certain technical advantages, but it does not mean that it is economical. Compared to uranium, thorium fuel cycle is likely to be even more costly. In a once‐through mode, it will need both uranium enrichment (or plutonium separation) and thorium target rod production. In a breeder configuration, it will need reprocessing, which is costly. In addition, inhalation of thorium‐232 produces a higher dose than the same amount of uranium‐238 (either by radioactivity or by weight). Reprocessed thorium creates even more risks due to the highly radioactive U‐232 created in the reactor. This makes worker protection more difficult and expensive for a given level of annual dose. Finally, the use of thorium also creates waste at the front end of the fuel cycle. The radioactivity associated with these is expected to be considerably less than that associated with a comparable amount of uranium milling. However, mine wastes will pose long‐term hazards, as in the case of uranium mining. There are also often hazardous non‐radioactive metals in both thorium and uranium mill tailings.

1. There is no “thorium reactor.” There is a proposal to use thorium as a fuel in various reactor designs including light-water reactors – the most prevalent in the United States – as well as fast breeder reactors.
2. You still need uranium – or even plutonium – in a reactor using thorium.
3. Using plutonium sets up proliferation risks.
4. Uranium-233 is also excellent weapons-grade material.
5. Proliferation risks are not negated by thorium mixed with U-238.
6. Thorium would trigger a resumption of reprocessing in the US.
7. Using thorium does not eliminate the problem of long-lived radioactive waste.
8. Attempts to develop “thorium reactors” have failed for decades.
9. Fabricating “thorium fuel” is dangerous to health.
10. Fabricating “thorium fuel” is expensive.

Naming 66 scientists sucked in today by Barry Brook’s pro nuclear propaganda

Just today, (15/12/14) Australia’s leading thorium nuclear promoter, Barry Brook released “An Open Letter to Environmentalists on Nuclear Energy”   No surprises here – the usual con job that nuclear energy can be the leading nethod of dealing with climate change.

What was a surprise to me, was the number of scientists willing to sign this piece of pro nuclear propaganda. Here they are:

1. Professor Andrew J. Beattie, Emeritus, Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Australia.

2. Assistant Professor David P. Bickford, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

3. Professor Tim M. Blackburn, Professor of Invasion Biology, Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, University College London, United Kingdom.

4. Professor Daniel T. Blumstein, Chair, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California Los Angeles, USA.

5. Professor Luigi Boitani, Dipartimento di Biologia, e Biotecnologie Charles Darwin, Sapienza Università di Roma, Italy.

6. Professor Mark S. Boyce, Professor and Alberta Conservation Association Chair in Fisheries and Wildlife, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta,Canada.

7. Professor David M.J.S. Bowman, Professor of Environmental Change Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Tasmania, Australia.

8. Associate Professor Phillip Cassey, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Australia.

9. Professor F. Stuart Chapin III, Professor Emeritus of Ecology, Department of Biology and Wildlife, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA.

10. Professor David Choquenot, Director, Institute for Applied Ecology, University of Canberra, Australia.

11. Professor Richard T. Corlett, Director, Centre for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.

12. Dr Franck Courchamp, Laboratoire Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution – UMR CNRS, Université Paris-Sud, France.

13. Professor Chris B. Daniels, Director, Barbara Hardy Institute, University of South Australia, Australia.

14. Professor Chris Dickman, Professor of Ecology, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Sydney, Australia.

15. Associate Professor Don Driscoll, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, The Australian National University, Australia.

16. Professor David Dudgeon, Chair Professor of Ecology and Biodiversity, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.

17. Associate Professor Erle C. Ellis, Geography and Environmental Systems, University of Maryland, USA.

18. Dr Damien A. Fordham, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Australia.

19. Dr Eddie Game, Senior Scientist, The Nature Conservancy Worldwide Office,Australia.

20. Professor Kevin J. Gaston, Professor of Biodiversity and Conservation, Director, Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, United Kingdom.

21. Professor Dr Jaboury Ghazoul, Professor of Ecosystem Management, ETH Zürich, Institute for Terrestrial Ecosystems, Switzerland.

22. Professor Robert G. Harcourt, Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Australia.

23. Professor Susan P. Harrison, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California Davis, USA.

24. Professor Fangliang He, Canada Research Chair in Biodiversity and Landscape Modelling, Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Canada and State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol and School of Life Sciences, Sun-yat Sen University, Guangzhou, China.

25. Professor Mark A. Hindell, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia.

26. Professor Richard J. Hobbs, School of Plant Biology, The University of Western Australia, Australia.

27. Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Professor and Director, Global Change Institute, The University of Queensland, Australia.

28. Professor Marcel Holyoak, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California, Davis, USA.

29. Professor Lesley Hughes, Distinguished Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Australia.

30. Professor Christopher N. Johnson, Department of Zoology, University of Tasmania,Australia.

31. Dr Julia P.G. Jones, Senior Lecturer in Conservation Biology, School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography, Bangor University, United Kingdom.

32. Professor Kate E. Jones, Biodiversity Modelling Research Group, University College London, United Kingdom.

33. Dr Lucas Joppa, Conservation Biologist, United Kingdom.

34. Associate Professor Lian Pin Koh, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Australia.

35. Professor Charles J. Krebs, Emeritus, Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Canada.

36. Dr Robert C. Lacy, Conservation Biologist, USA.

37. Associate Professor Susan Laurance, Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change, Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Studies, James Cook University, Australia.

38. Professor William F. Laurance, Distinguished Research Professor and Australian Laureate, Prince Bernhard Chair in International Nature Conservation, Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science and School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Australia.

39. Professor Thomas E. Lovejoy, Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation and University Professor in the Environmental Science and Policy department, George Mason University, USA.

40. Dr Antony J Lynam, Global Conservation Programs, Wildlife Conservation Society,USA.

41. Professor Anson W. Mackay, Department of Geography, University College London,United Kingdom.

42. Professor Helene D. Marsh, College of Marine and Environmental Sciences, Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research, James Cook University,Australia.

43. Professor Michelle Marvier, Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Santa Clara University, USA.

44. Dr Clive R. McMahon, Sydney Institute of Marine Science and Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia.

45. Dr Mark Meekan, Marine Biologist, Australia.

46. Dr Erik Meijaard, Borneo Futures Project, People and Nature Consulting, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.

47. Professor L. Scott Mills, Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program in Global Environmental Change, North Carolina State University, USA.

48. Professor Atte Moilanen, Research Director, Conservation Decision Analysis, University of Helsinki, Finland.

49. Professor Craig Moritz, Research School of Biology, The Australian National University, Australia.

50. Dr Robin Naidoo, Adjunct Professor, Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability University of British Columbia, Canada.

51. Professor Reed F. Noss, Provost’s Distinguished Research Professor, University of Central Florida, USA.

52. Associate Professor Julian D. Olden, Freshwater Ecology and Conservation Lab, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, USA. e:

53. Professor Maharaj Pandit, Professor and Head, Department of Environmental Studies, University of Delhi, India.

54. Professor Kenneth H. Pollock, Professor of Applied Ecology, Biomathematics and Statistics, Department of Applied Ecology, North Carolina State University, USA.

55. Professor Hugh P. Possingham, School of Biological Science and School of Maths and Physics, The University of Queensland, Australia.

56. Professor Peter H. Raven, George Engelmann Professor of Botany Emeritus, President Emeritus, Missouri Botanical Garden, Washington University in St. Louis,USA.

57. Professor David M. Richardson, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

58. Dr Euan G. Ritchie, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Integrative Ecology, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, Australia.

59. Dr Çağan H. Şekercioğlu, Assistant Professor, Biology, University of Utah, USAand Doçent 2010, Biology/Ecology, Inter-university Council (UAK) of Turkey.

60. Associate Professor Douglas Sheil, Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway.

61. Professor Richard Shine AM FAA, Professor in Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Sydney, Australia.

62. Professor Chris D. Thomas, FRS, Department of Biology, University of York,United Kingdom.

63. Professor Ross M. Thompson, Chair of Water Science, Institute of Applied Ecology, University of Canberra, Australia.

64. Professor Ian G. Warkentin, Environmental Science, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada.

65. Professor Stephen E. Williams, Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change, School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Australia.

66. Professor Kirk O. Winemiller, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences and Interdisciplinary Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Texas A&M University,USA.

Note: Affiliations of signatories are for identification purposes, and do not imply that their organizations have necessarily endorsed this letter.

Nothing new about the “new” thorium designs – Oh but, there’s the MARKETING

The Atomic Weapons Establishment Funds almost Half of UK Universities

Oak Ridge National Lab Discusses Relationship Between Molten Thorium Reactor And Weapons:
By 1954, the Laboratory’s chemical technologists had completed a pilot plant demonstrating the ability of the THOREX process to separate thorium, protactinium, and uranium-233 from fission products and from each other. This process could isolate uranium-233 for weapons development and also for use as fuel in the proposed thorium breeder reactors.

Molten-salt reactor experiments continued at the Laboratory through the 1960s and into the early 1970s. In 1969, Keith Brown, David Crouse, Carlos Bamberger, and colleagues adapted molten-salt technology to the problem of breeding uranium-233 from thorium, which could be extracted from the virtually inexhaustible supply of granite rocks found throughout the earth’s crust. When bombarded by neutrons in the molten-salt reactor, thorium was converted to fissionable uranium-233, another nuclear fuel

In December 1960, the AEC directed the Oak Ridge Laboratory to “turn its attention to developing a molten-salt reactor and thorium breeder“. (Emphasis Added)
Further, as you can see, there is nothing really “new” about molten salt thorium reactors other than marketing. As in all fashion the same old stuff gets rehashed. We need new energy innovation and investment instead.

More Reading of Interest Regarding Thorium Reactors and Weapons Proliferation: