But there are a lot of forces allied against Thorium in both the government, energy companies and the current nuclear industry.
Senator Hatch (R) Utah with support from Harry Reid (D) Nevada has introduced a bill annually for five years to fund $200 million to research to commercialize Thorium power. Yet every year the bill never even gets voted on.
What is stopping Google itself from funding this I don't know? Our country should make this a major initiative similar to the race to the moon and get us off coal, oil and gas.
http://juwel.fz-juelich.de:8080/dspace/bitstream/2128/3136/1... [50+ page PDF outlining the problems]
The moment management knowingly blamed accidents on Russians with oversight from the authority, they played away their authority to the right of running such experiments: be it solid fuel or liquid.
People (rightly) assume, that the blatant lies were independent of the phase of the fuel
(AVR and HTR as separate projects make no difference in this respect either). And this is what is biting TEPCO: the series of "white" lies.
Even in India (which has 25% of world's Thorium reserves), it is a mystery to many, as to why the Govt. chose not to invest more heavily in Thorium based research, rather than going for traditional ones.
"The country is involved in the development of nuclear fusion reactors through its participation in the ITER project and is a global leader in the development of thorium-based fast breeder reactors."
The reactors he presented appeared to be much simpler (so... they'd likely be cheaper).
The industry dismissed liquid reactors because of the problem extracting weapon grade material. Uranium based reactors where not as safe nor as cheap. During the cold war this made sense but not today.
It has also been about people protection their jobs. The uranium based industry can't say that something else is better because then they might lose their jobs. And who do you think the politicians ask when they want advice?
Or perhaps you've been swept up by the breathless prose of popular science articles?
As far from peak uranium as we appear to be, there is simply no need to explore alternative fuel sources. Fuel is not scarce. The capital (political and financial) to build infrastructure - both power plants and reprocessing plants - is.
In that climate, the (never-been-built-or-licensed) LFTR is only a game-changer if its construction (and licensing and R&D) costs are an order of magnitude lower than those of current-gen reactors. This I highly doubt.
(To be more specific, it's the absence of nuclides with mass number greater than 238 in Thorium waste that makes it less problematic than Uranium waste. These nuclides dominate the long-time, i.e. millenium, radiation profile of the waste. The short-time, i.e. decade/century, radiation profile of the waste is dominated by lower-mass-number fission products, abundant in both types of waste)
Reprocessing plants are extraordinarily expensive to build and operate, more so even than reactors themselves.
And the cost of fuel is still important, uranium isn't getting cheaper.
And what calculations are those?
It would be better for all of us if Google stays focused in software development.
I think focusing on power is a mistake for Google (unless founders are having fun toying with power).
If energy costs are eating into their bottom line and they have the cash, why shouldn't they invest into new energy tech.
Seems like a good business decision to me
Because amount of attention that top management have is limited.
Google would be better off if they focus on their core products.
For example, Search.
$280Million just in june.
I don't know anything about Bussard, but seems like he unfortunately passed away before completing his research (which admittedly was underfunded). However I wonder if part of the reason for it being underfunded is that it promised power that was TOO cheap. Too cheap to profit at the same scale as coal etc.