Petition Closed

Thorium has significant advantages over the industry standard uranium fuel, as it is much more efficient, abundant, and less expensive. For example, when thorium is used in a Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor, as researched by Alvin Weinberg in the 1950s, the reactor can not melt down, explode, and requires significantly less funds for construction and operation than Light Water Reactors. Not only is there a significant reduction in nuclear waste from a Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor compared to the uranium powered Light Water Reactor, thorium waste can not be used for nuclear weapons. Despite these advantages, thorium has received very little attention. Government spending needs to be allocated to research the potential of the fuel for future nuclear reactors. Thorium can not be ignored any longer.

Letter to
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Senator Angus King
Senator Susan Collins
and 3 others
Governor Paul LePage
U.S. Senate
Maine Governor
You just signed the following petition addressed to: Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, US Senator Susan Collins.

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Research Thorium as an Alternative Nuclear Fuel

Just recently I received a public policy project in my humanities classes as a junior at Casco Bay High School in Portland, Maine. I presented in front of environmental experts from the Greater Portland area including a woman from the EPA in the auditorium at the Portland Public Library. I received the highest grade possible on both my white paper and professional presentation on the topic of Thorium technology. I received comments such as, “Floored away by strong this (presentation) was. It was college level +, extremely professional.” from the expert panel that graded me. The strength that doing well on the project has led me to this point in which you read every letter of every word I write. My passion for this topic is incredible, and I can't stand by and watch other countries such as India begin to harness this amazing energy source while the United States of America does nothing.
Imagine yourself in the future, residing in a squat, ranch style home living and breathing the image of an American family. You come out the front door to go to work, saying hello to a neighbor on the left, who is following the same morning routine, and you turn to the right and see your other neighbor: a nuclear power plant. Contrary to your predecessors, you think nothing of your safety; if anything you embrace the plant. You say hello to the sole technician who inspects the plant daily. You remark about “the old days of coal” and the once imminent threat of an inhospitably hot Earth, then get into your car and drive to work. This future is the promise of thorium.
Thorium is a slightly radioactive material that is incredibly efficient, safe, and abundant. Right now, the US relies primarily on coal to generate electricity, and it is taking a toll on our environment. One of the biggest environmental downsides of coal is it's emission of greenhouse gasses when burnt, which creates frictional energy between molecules when it encounters heat rays from the sun. The result, a warmer Earth which at our current rate, eventually will not be able to sustain life. In order for Earth to continually be able to sustain life, we must find a non-carbon emitting power source as well as implement it into the infrastructures of nations. There are forms of renewable energy such as wind and solar power which are being implemented in countries today, but they are all dependent on things out of our control. We can't regulate wind flow through a valley or move the clouds which cast shadows on solar panels. Despite this, they are incredibly insufficient for our energy demands, which causes some officials to say an energy reduction is needed. Thorium solves all of these problems, offering an energy source that is within our power to regulate, an energy source that doesn't emit carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gasses, and doesn't restrict our use of energy. In reaction to the global climate change crisis, the US federal government needs to ground nuclear energy into it's electricity producing infrastructure to the point where it is our primary source, initially using a thorium/uranium blend in the standard light water reactor, and eventually moving specifically to LFTR reactors, or Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors.

Thorium has significant advantages over the industry standard uranium fuel, as it is much more efficient, abundant, and less expensive. For example, when thorium is used in a Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor, as researched by Alvin Weinberg in the 1950s, the reactor can not melt down, explode, and requires significantly less funds for construction and operation than Light Water Reactors. Not only is there a significant reduction in nuclear waste from a Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor compared to the uranium powered Light Water Reactor, thorium waste can not be used for nuclear weapons. Despite these advantages, thorium has received very little attention. Government spending needs to be allocated to research the potential of the fuel for future nuclear reactors. Thorium can not be ignored any longer. It has the potential to power the future, will you let it?
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Sincerely,
Ben Smith
benalastair@gmail.com
207-756-5339

Isaac Selleck
iiselleck@gmail.com
207-615-8928

Will provide additional resources such as my research paper and works cited upon request.