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Norway Can Solve the Global Energy Crisis

Accelerator driven nuclear reactors based on Thorium may present a solution to the global energy crisis and could help ease political tension globally. Norway could play a key role in this development.

This is the opinion of Mr. Egil Lillestol, professor at the Institute of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen. The past year he has spent much of his effort and time convincing the Norwegian public and authorities that nuclear reactors based on Thorium could be the answer to the major energy challenges the world is facing.

The professor from the University of Bergen believes that a Thorium power plant is much safer and more efficient than traditional nuclear power reactors:

•There is no danger of a melt-down like the Chernobyl reactor
•It produces minimal radioactive waste
•It can burn Plutonium waste from traditional nuclear reactors with additional energy output
•It is not suitable for the production of weapon grade materials
•The energy contained in one kilogram of Thorium equals that of four thousand tons coal
•The global Thorium reserves could cover the world’s energy needs for thousands of years

•Norway has an estimated 180 000 tons of Thorium which based on the current price of oil is equivalent to 250 thousand billion US$, or 1000 times the Norwegian oil fund.

It was the Italian Nobel Laureate, Carlo Rubbia, who came up with the idea of this project which Professor Lillestol wants Norway to initiate. Estimates of energy gains and waste transmutation have been verified in several experiments, which in turn have been checked by the IAEA. What is now needed is the building of a prototype. This will take about 15 years to build and cost approximately 550 M€. It is expected that several countries and institutions will contribute with money as well as know-how if the prototype is realized as an international collaborative effort.

- The current energy crisis dictates us to save energy. Alternatives to the use of fossil fuels must be developed as soon as possible, with direct conversion of solar heat and nuclear power as the only viable options. As an energy nation with large Thorium reserves, Norway has a special responsibility to push the development of an accelerator driven reactor based on Thorium. Within an international project group, Norway should take the lead in the financing, projecting and building of the first prototype of such a reactor inside an international co-operation, says Professor Egil Lillestol

Egil Lillestøl | alfa
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