As a scientist who studies natural climatic disruptions of the distant past and finds disturbing parallels with the vast changes that we’re setting in motion with today’s fossil fuel emissions, I’ve long favoured a switch to alternative energy sources.
But having been an anti-nuke protester back in my college days, I’ve also been reluctant to support nuclear power thanks to the unresolved problems of meltdowns, waste storage, bomb proliferation, and terrorism.
Nonetheless, my attitude changed several months ago after a chance conversation with a geologist friend whose son is training to become nuclear engineer. “He’s working on a new kind of reactor,” my friend explained, “It can’t melt down, it makes only minimal waste, and it can’t be used for making bombs. Instead of running on uranium, it uses thorium instead, which is a lot safer to work with.”
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