– IMPACT REPORT –
Thorium has somehow survived its early demise…
Now it stands poised to fuel a limitless Future if we can change the course of history !
The nuclear debate continues to put forward large scale alternatives to fossil-fueled Society, but has never included a much better option, when it comes to managing the waste and risks. This tragedy is essentially the result of politics, not science, since there likely isn’t a more misunderstood and overlooked element on the Periodic Table than Thorium.
Despite its enormous potential to safely power both the developing world and our modern societies through the self-regulating energy production of the little known “Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor” (LFTR). This long-mothballed reactor design is gaining great new attention in other parts of the world because it produces only small amounts radioactive waste (which fully decay in a few hundred years, rather than many thousands), offers no realistic potential for easy weaponization, and in fact enables the destruction of weapons grade materials. Thorium astoundingly still remains an elemental mystery to most people to this very day however. Mainly because it’s early and successful development in the U.S. was nixxed in favor of the Uranium-based weapons programs in the 50’s and 60’s.
Suspected anomalies discovered in article published at MIT News :
The ongoing, yet destructively repressed and polarized, debates between so called Climate Skeptics (and their ilk) VS. the popular proponents of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) may have cooled slightly in the post-Copenhagen lull. But questions around the scope of Scientific Method employed in determining AGW, are only now beginning to rise to the forefront of Public Consciousness.
The primary question has been to wonder if it’s indeed possible for ‘pure science’ (at least at the educational research level) to be bent or distorted in order to serve pre-ordained objectives.
So can science be bent around the points of peerage that are always subject to new review (according to said Method), to instead selectively support current states of research. In effect whatever specific agendas, that might tap into otherwise unavailable funding, or even simply to act as a public relations tool – in service of much larger visibility campaigns?
If we can possibly leave aside (just for now) the temporarily cooled question of Climate Change, we could look for signs of all of the above in a surprisingly exuberant article published on the MIT News site in July 2008 instead of wondering if science is above promoting itself for the sake of funding or notoriety.
Even though it’s exultant title wildly proclaims that a “Major Discovery from MIT is primed to unleash a Solar Revolution”! the hard science and empirical data or comparative results behind the article are thinly presented (at least from the Layman’s POV), and there still doesn’t seem to be much obvious evidence of wider public discourse or a proper ‘peer review’ process around this “major discovery” either.
Perhaps this is just the style employed for wider press releases via “MIT News”, however one would at least expect to see evidence of published papers/results, or at least links to some shared or foundation research. Perhaps MIT is operating under the principals of private enterprise, and it wouldn’t want to jeopardize plans to commercialize it’s discovery by giving away any un-patented trade secrets.
That last possibility would indicate that we’ve already seriously diverged out of the field of publicly funded research, and into corporately (privately?) held intellectual property. Perhaps someone could clarify the business model that supports MIT, or other such institutions to dispel any such naivete that could be evidenced here.
In any case, let’s try to leave commercial interests aside, and get back to some hard Science.