Note: This video was recorded over the summer during one of Peter’s hikes.
Thorium is a potential substitute for uranium-based nuclear power, but will it solve our nuclear problems? If thorium could help with the proliferation of plutonium and make it harder to create weapons on the backend, adoption of more nuclear power might be easier….but thorium isn’t our knight in shining armor.
Here’s the grossly over-simplified uranium nuclear process: you take the usable uranium and separate it from the other isotopes, then convert it into something like a fuel rod, then it’s placed in a reactor which generates heat which spins a turbine. (Like I said, grossly over-simplified) Once that’s done, one of the waste materials is called plutonium.
The process with thorium is a bit more involved and requires different infrastructure, but you still end up with plutonium. Sure, it’s marginally less of the bomb-making stuff and in a bit more complex compound mix, but there’s STILL plutonium.
While this is an interesting tech that should be explored by countries with a bunch of thorium (like India), this doesn’t solve our proliferation issue. Plus, there’s still an entire set of other problems that need to be considered, such as disposal and storage.
Barring the development of fundamentally new tech, nuclear power might be losing its place in the US energy mix. As a result, growth in electricity production will be seriously hampered even if all this new Greentech works perfectly.
Here at Zeihan On Geopolitics we select a single charity to sponsor. We have two criteria:
First, we look across the world and use our skill sets to identify where the needs are most acute. Second, we look for an institution with preexisting networks for both materials gathering and aid distribution. That way we know every cent of our donation is not simply going directly to where help is needed most, but our donations serve as a force multiplier for a system already in existence. Then we give what we can.
Today, our chosen charity is a group called Medshare, which provides emergency medical services to communities in need, with a very heavy emphasis on locations facing acute crises. Medshare operates right in the thick of it. Until future notice, every cent we earn from every book we sell in every format through every retailer is going to Medshare’s Ukraine fund.
And then there’s you.
Our newsletters and videologues are not only free, they will always be free. We also will never share your contact information with anyone. All we ask is that if you find one of our releases in any way useful, that you make a donation to Medshare. Over one third of Ukraine’s pre-war population has either been forced from their homes, kidnapped and shipped to Russia, or is trying to survive in occupied lands. This is our way to help who we can. Please, join us.