This afternoon (May 4, 2012) SDPB radio had on Science Friday with Ira Flatow. One of the topics discussed was thorium as a nuclear power source. You will notice links there to the program protagonists on the issue--- Richard Martin and Arjun Makhijani.
I assume the primary impetus for the program today was the new book by Richard Martin titled "SuperFuel: Thorium, The Green Energy Source at Amazon Books..."
Opposition to the idea of Thorium as an ideal fuel came from Arjun Makhijani of The Institute for Energy and Environmental Research
The program this afternoon gave the impression at least that the IEER organization opposes all nuclear energy. I may be wrong about that however. One of their pdf publications does specifically address the issue as Thorium No Panacea orIdeal Fuel
I have been interested in this issue for sometime. I may have heard about it first on another Science Friday a couple years ago or read it in WIRED Magazine. Such an article is Uranium is So Last Century.
It may be that Thorium is not an ideal fuel, but then the question becomes "Is there actually any "ideal" fuel?" Wind and solar might fit into an ideal category, but getting enough of that going is not all that simple and might take significant time. Super-insulated energy efficient building is something significant as well and that can be done starting tomorrow. We hear "jobs, jobs" noise from both parties. New super-insulated housing and retrofitting could get the construction industry going again and also solve part of our energy problem and also in the process put a dent in global warming consequent to human economic behavior.
Anyway, these links offer some information that I think is well worth your time. We need to make our real "war" effort the complete separation of the US from foreign fossil fuels. Thorium power may not be ideal, but it may be the best interim solution. I will put some more information together on that idea with more detail. I have ordered the book by Richard Martin, but it will not arrive for a week or two.
Our political critters need to stop licking the butts of bucaneer bankers and bunco brokers and get truly serious about serious issues that have consequences for everyday people even if they don't directly benefit the plutocrats and the 0.01 percent of our population so very, very rich that their wives might be wearing $990 TeeShirts.
*** Stay tuned ..you can know more even if your tee shirts never cost more than $9.90 including tax--- Doug Wiken