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Thorium-powered car. WANT.

(Google: image preview selection is still having the open-in-new-window problem. Plzfixokthx.)
Aug. 12, 2011 - The price of oil is on an upward spiral due to increasing demand and diminishing supplies. Short of finding vast new untapped reserves buried somewhere
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Stanislav Sinyagin's profile photoCindy Brown's profile photoBob Adams's profile photoWoozle Hypertwin's profile photo
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Radioactive engines... I'm sure the average consumer will snap those right up. >_>
 
Natural thorium decays very slowly and the alpha radiation emitted cannot penetrate human skin meaning owning and handling small amounts of thorium is considered safe.
 
+Bob Adams Well yes, but we are talking about the general public here. They see the word radiation and panic. That's why MRIs are not called NMRIs despite it being the full proper name. The word Nuclear would scare people off even though it has about as much to do with radiation as a radio.

That and I'm sure Big Oil would be more than happy to take advantage of the public ignorance to whip up some nice media scare nonsense so they can push 'safety' regulations through to price the cars out of the market.
 
That's why it wouldn't be marketed as "radiation".
 
Heh, I'm only half-serious. Even if the thing glowed in the dark the "You never have to buy gas for the life of the car." would sell it. (Provided the price of the car wasn't something absurd.)
 
Well, which is it?

He is proposing the use of the rare earth mineral thorium in conjunction with a laser and mini turbines that easily produce enough electricity to power a vehicle.

Thorium is abundant and radioactive, but much safer to use than an element such as uranium.

Abundant or rare :-P
 
Abundant. A rare earth element isn't rare. It's just a term for a collection of certain ore deposits. These ore deposits are hard to mine because they don't have vanes like coal. More like mineral deposits in sand. Hard to separate from the surrounding material.
 
Also, iirc, the US government actually has a large reserve of already-mined thorium sitting out in a desert somewhere -- sufficient to meet all of our power needs for something like 100+ years. I can dig up the article if that fact makes anyone's eyes pop out (sorry 'bout that)...
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