30 years from now we may no longer be using fossil based fuels for generating electricity. "thorium" is a mineral that we have an abundance of all over the planet. It produces minimal radioactive waste and there is no danger of a "melt-down" like the one that happened at Chernobyl.
Thorium can NOT be used to produce weapons grade materials and can actually utilize (and consume) plutonium waste from traditional reactors (an efficient way to get rid of radioactive waste).
We already have enough thorium in our reserves to cover all of our energy needs for thousands of years and more thorium can be mined as needed. Building thorium reactors will be very inexpensive.
The high cost of building conventional reactors comes from the extreme safety requirements that have to be met. While thorium reactors run hot and are radioactive, the amount of radioactivity and heat depend on the size of the reactor. Conventional reactors require huge complex facilities. Thorium reactors can be built much smaller.
Because of the way they're constructed, the reactors could be built almost any size. Ultimately an inexpensive reactor could actually be built small enough to power a single home, up to a larger unit that could produce up to a full Gigawatt of power.
The Department of Energy's SSTAR (Small Sealed Transportable Autonomous Reactor) pictured above is designed to be safe, inexpensive and with an output of 100MW can take care of a city of 100,000, cost only $25 million dollars, require minimal maintainance and the cost of producing electricity would be about 1/10th of what it is today.
Scientists have said that within 5 years the world could completely change over to thorium reactors that run cleaner, less expensively and safer than conventional power generation systems...