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Superfuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future (MacSci)by Richard Martin
Synopses & Reviews
A riveting look at how an alternative source of energy is revoluntionising nuclear power, promising a safe and clean future for millions, and why thorium was sidelined at the height of the Cold War
In this groundbreaking account of an energy revolution in the making, award-winning science writer Richard Martin introduces us to thorium, a radioactive element and alternative nuclear fuel that is far safer, cleaner, and more abundant than uranium.
At the dawn of the Atomic Age, thorium and uranium seemed to be in close competition as the fuel of the future. Uranium, with its ability to undergo fission and produce explosive material for atomic weapons, won out over its more pacific sister element, relegating thorium to the dustbin of science.
Now, as we grapple with the perils of nuclear energy and rogue atomic weapons, and mankind confronts the specter of global climate change, thorium is re-emerging as the overlooked energy source as a small group of activists and outsiders is working, with the help of Silicon Valley investors, to build a thorium-power industry.
In the first book mainstream book to tackle these issues, Superfuel is a story of rediscovery of a long lost technology that has the power to transform the world's future, and the story of the pacifists, who were sidelined in favour of atomic weapon hawks, but who can wean us off our fossil-fuel addiction and avert the risk of nuclear meltdown for ever.
At the dawn of the atomic age, uranium and thorium were equally important as the elements of choice in researching nuclear energy - either one could have powered the world's reactors. But it was uranium that won out, and thorium, which is far cleaner, safer, and more abundant than uranium, was relegated to the dustbin of science. With it went the possibility of creating a low-risk nuclear energy source to power our planet. Now, as the world searches for cheap, non-carbon-emitting energy sources, thorium is reemerging as an overlooked solution. As one of the first energy experts to promote the development of thorium, award-winning science writer Richard Martin combines science, new historical research, and a timely business narrative to show how we can wean ourselves off our fossil-fuel addiction and shift to a lower-risk energy source. At once a big think book and a science manifesto, SuperFuel challenges us to look back at what could have been different in history as well as forward to an energy revolution in the making.
About the Author
Richard Martin is an award-winning science writer whose work has appeared in Wired, Time, Fortune, The Atlantic, and The Best Science Writing of 2004. He is the editorial director of Pike Research, a leading clean energy firm. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.
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