Wednesday, February 19, 2014

158. Thorium Policy

WHEREAS Canada is a net exporter of energy products and possesses a greater proportion of thorium to uranium;

WHEREAS alternative forms of energy are quickly gaining traction in the world’s energy economy;

WHEREAS Canadian governments have a responsibility to provide safe and clean energy solutions for Canadians;

WHEREAS nuclear experts, such as Hans Blix of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has stated  that thorium based reactors are safer, almost impossible to weaponize, and are a critical element in  combating our climate crisis;

WHEREAS there are less long-lived waste products (only 400-500 years rather than thousands) and thorium reactors can be easily shut down without chain reactions like those that took place in Fukushima in 2011;

WHEREAS scientists at the United Kingdom’s National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) have encouraged their government to support thorium reactors;

WHEREAS before switching to plutonium Canada had invested decades into thorium research;

WHEREAS the existing model for CANDU reactors can be modified for thorium fuel;

BE IT RESOLVED that a Liberal Government would direct the Council of Canadian Academies to study the utility of thorium-fuelled reactors;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a Liberal government would direct, based on the conclusions and recommendations of the Council of Canadian Academies, investment appropriately in thorium reactors in concert with all other levels of government as part of a comprehensive plan to further develop sustainable energy solutions for Canada.

Thorium reactors are not big on my radar screen, although they have proponents.  But whether you agree or disagree with the individual policy, its very much the kind of thing the LPC should be doing: lean forward on "clean energy" of any kind.  Some things might work out, some won't.  But the future is not in oil.   And in any case the thrust of the piece is research.


crf said...

There were no chain reactions after Fukushima shut down (which happened right after the earthquake and well before the Tsunami hit). All reactors operate under this principle: the control rods need to be in a proper configuration for the chain reaction to occur. The accident was due to radioactive decay creating (ever diminishing) heat, which couldn't be removed from the reactor vessel quick enough, causing some failures in containment (which isn't a chain reaction at all).

So whoever wrote that resolution probably doesn't know much about nuclear energy, and didn't bother to consult many people who might. (Though its goal, developing Th reactors, is eminently sensible.)

Unknown said...

Most of what I've read about LFTR is promising and we are missing a sure thing by not investing in it. There are some nay sayers however. I wish the issue would be resolved and we would move forward to developing this technology that could end our dependence on fossil fuels.