Jones Seminar: Aim High!

Robert Hargraves, Institute for Lifelong Education at Dartmouth (ILEAD)

Friday, September 24, 2010, 3:30pm

This seminar is part of the Jones Seminars on Science, Technology, and Society series

Aim High proposes using thorium energy to address environmental problems. Mankind's fossil fuel burning releases CO2 into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming and deadly air pollution. Natural resources are rapidly being depleted by world population growth. Safe, inexpensive energy from the liquid fluoride thorium reactor can stop much global warming and raise prosperity of humanity to adopt US and OECD lifestyles, which include lower, sustainable birth rates.

Oak Ridge first developed molten salt reactor technology in 1958-1976. Thorium fuel is transformed to uranium-233 which fissions, producing heat and electric power at a cost less than that from coal power plants — the only way to dissuade developing nations from burning coal. Thorium produces less than 1% of the long-lived radioactive waste of today's nuclear power plants. Existing nuclear power plant waste can be consumed. One ton of plentiful thorium costing $300,000 provides 1 GW-year of electric energy, enough for a city. A 5-year NASA-style shoot-the-moon project can complete technology development of this inexpensive, safe, clean power.

About the Speaker

Robert Hargraves co-authored Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors in the July/August 2010 issue of American Scientist. He is currently teaching Energy Policy and Environmental Choices: Rethinking Nuclear Power at Dartmouth ILEAD in Hanover NH. He was Chief Information Officer at Boston Scientific 1994-2000, senior consultant at Arthur D. Little 1982-1994, Vice President Metropolitan Life Insurance Company 1980-1982, President of DTSS Incorporated 1972-1980, and Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Associate Director of Kiewit Computation Center at Dartmouth College 1967-1978. He earned a Ph.D. in high energy physics from Brown University 1967, and an A.B. majoring in both mathematics and physics at Dartmouth College 1961.