Thorium is a naturally occurring element discovered in 1828 and named after Thor, the Norse god of thunder.
In nature, virtually all thorium is thorium-232, and has a half-life of about 14.05 billion years. It is estimated to be about four times more abundant than uranium in the Earth’s crust. Thorium was formerly used commonly as the light source in gas mantles and as an alloying material.
Many countries throughout the world are considering plans to use thorium for their nuclear power for its safety benefits and its abundance compared to uranium.
Thorium burns longer and at higher temperatures to achieve many efficiencies over other conventional fuels including more efficient fuel utilization, the elimination of packaging waste, and significant reduction of long-lived radioactive isotopes. One pound of Thorium will produce the same energy output as 300 lbs of Uranium and 3.5 million pounds of coal, without the environmental effects of coal in the atmosphere and the risks associated with Uranium generators and waste products. There is 90% less waste with a Thorium reactor with the little waste produced requiring storage for an average of 200 years versus the requirement to store spent Uranium for 10,000 years.