I've noticed, particularly on reddit but also elsewhere on the english-speaking internet, that thorium nuclear (MSR/LFTR) power is being hyped. And I can't help but feel suspicious. It seems too...
I've noticed, particularly on reddit but also elsewhere on the english-speaking internet, that thorium nuclear (MSR/LFTR) power is being hyped. And I can't help but feel suspicious. It seems too good to be true. "burns our nuclear waste", "infinite fuel", "Absolutely safe", "Proliferation is not an issue". Stuff like that. Not gonna provide much evidence for those claims existing here, but I'll say that you can usually find them in any big thread involving energy sources and there's a few TED talks too. Coal, conventional nuclear, renewables, any of those is apparently strictly inferior and we're complete morons for not switching already. Coal apparently causes more damage through radiation than nuclear, nuclear is dirty and renewables need something... anything.. to keep them company in case we can't get enough wind/sun. (Also, batteries and hydroelectric storage don't exist.)
German wikipedia has this to say about thorium hype: "Der MSR/LFTR als Teil einer Thoriumnutzung erhält etwa seit dem Jahr 2010 insbesondere im angelsächsischen Raum starke Unterstützung verschiedener Organisationen, während Nuklear- und Energieexperten eher zurückhaltend sind. Einige dieser Befürworter halten den LFTR sogar für die Lösung fast aller Energieprobleme. Kritiker sprechen aus unterschiedlicher Motivation heraus vom MSR- oder Thorium-Hype oder sogar von Astroturfing." - https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fl%C3%BCssigsalzreaktor - paraphrased: MSR/LFTR received strong support in english-speaking areas by various orgs, while nuclear- and energy experts are mostly silent. Some supporters regard LFTR as solution to all energy problems. For various reasons, critics call thorium hyped or even astroturfed. [citations are mostly english, for the curious]
Meanwhile, there's major problems regarding practicality, we can't estimate just how secure it is (keep in mind modern reactor concepts are all "theoretically safe" as long as you keep the human out of the loop and maintain the facility properly.) Proliferation risks of thorium fueled reactors are immense due to U233 (232-contamination doesn't make the weapon less dangerous when used, just more dangerous to handle.). Also, no serious evidence for the capability to burn nuclear waste. And decommissioning a thorium plant seems, as of now, to be just as much of a shit job as a conventional nuclear plant - if not worse.
My main question with this is: How do you view thorium power / did you notice the same trends as I did? I'm just trying to form a conclusion between the hype and a maybe cynical pessimism.