At the dawn of the atomic age, uranium and thorium were equally important as the element 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. What might have happened had our scientists, our government, and the nuclear power industry invested the resources to develop this little known yet abundant element? Would we face a global energy crisis and the prospect of catastrophic climate change today? Why are countries around the world, including rising economic superpowers India and China, rushing to develop electricity from thorium while the United States, which studied thorium reactors extensively in the 1960s, plays catch-up?
Now, as the world searches for cheap, non-carbon-emitting energy sources, thorium is reemerging as an overlooked solution that could provide hundreds of years of clean, safe power. 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 gripping business narrative to tell the untold story of thorium power – and show how we can wean ourselves off our fossil-fuel addiction, deliver a safe energy source for a millennia, and avert the risk of catastrophic climate change.
At once a big think book and a science manifesto, SuperFuel challenges us to look back at what could have been different in history and forward to an energy revolution in the making. The most important science and technology book of the year, SuperFuel will change the discussion of our energy future.
-James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic, author of 'China Airborne.' "
-Cynthia Kelly, President, Atomic Heritage Foundation
-Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired, author of The Long Tail and Free
-John Hofmeister, former president, Shell Oil, author of Why We Hate the Oil Companies