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A US company says it will have a nuclear-powered prototype vehicle on the road within two years.

Laser Power Systems from Connecticut is developing a method of propulsion that uses thorium to produce electricity to power a car engine.

Thorium is an element similar to uranium and because it is such a dense material it has the potential to produce massive amounts of heat.

According to Laser Power Systems CEO, Charles Stevens, just one gram of thorium produces more energy than 28,000 litres of petrol. Mr Stevens says just eight grams of thorium would be enough to power a vehicle for its entire life.

In an interview with Ward’s Auto, he explained small pieces of thorium were used to generate heat and were positioned to create a thorium laser. The lasers heat water to produce steam and power a series of mini-turbines.

Mr Stevens said an engine weighing approximately 227kg would be light enough and compact enough to fit under the bonnet of a conventional car.

If it were that simple though, petrol would already be a thing of the past.

Mr Steven said developing turbines and generators that were usable and portable was much more difficult than making the thorium lasers.

“How do you take the laser and put these things together efficiently?” This is the question Mr Stevens and the 40 workers at Laser Power Systems are currently trying to answer.

If they can get the technology to work, however, Mr Stevens says thorium-powered cars could “run for a million miles”.

“The car will wear out before the engine. There is no oil, no emissions – nothing.”

If thorium does become a major power source of the future, Australia would be well placed to become a global energy giant.

According to the US Geological Survey, Australia has the second highest level of thorium in the world with 333,690 tonnes – accounting for somewhere between one quarter and one sixth of the world’s thorium reserves.

The concept of the thorium-powered car is not brand new. In 2009, Loren Kulesus presented the Cadillac World Thorium Fuel Concept (or the WTF as it became affectionately known).

Kulesus said apart from adjusting the Cadillac WTF’s 24 tyres every five years, not one element of the vehicle would need to be added or subtracted in 100 years.

Do you think thorium-powered cars are the future? Let us know in the comments section below.

  • Aquahead

    Grouse! As long as there is a high performance (or should that be higher performance!) version it’ll do well here!

    • HHH

      World reserves of thorium are about 1.3 million tonnes. At 8g per vehicle we still can’t replace the world’s vehicle fleet of about 750 million. In fact we’re about 500 million cars short.

      • Scott Masdfa

        you’re off by a factor of 1000.  750 M cars * 8g = 6M kg.  There are 1.3 M TONNES, so 1,300 M kg.  

        • Jonathan Fox

          Actually, 1.3M tonnes * 2000 lbs/ ton = 2.6B lbs * 2.2kg/lb = 5.7B kg * 1000g/kg = 5.7T g / 8g/car = 710 billion cars. So yeah.

          • Bill Nye The Science Guy

            1 tonne = 1000KG = 2205lbs. You must be confused with ton, which is an ambiguous term, as it means the same as tonne in metric countries (1000KG/2205lbs), but refers to an imperial short ton in the USA (907KG/2000lbs). Since we start with a metric unit (tonne) and end with a metric unit (gram), we can forget pounds.

            1.3 million tonnes = 1.3*10^6 tonnes = 1.3*10^9 kilograms = 1.3*10^12 grams. That’s 1.3 trillion grams of Thorium to play with.

            1.3*10^12 / 8 = 1.625*10^11. That’s 163 billion cars worth of thorium. That’s still 200 times as much Thorium as we need for cars. So even if the whole world becomes developed nations, we’ll still be able to power every nuclear tuk tuk.

          • MetaLibra

            OH SNAP! Jonathan Fox, you just got shown up by Bill Nye!!! OHHHH!!!!!

          • Bill Nye The Science Guy

            Also you multiplied because you stated that it’s 2.2Kg/lb. It’s actually 2.2lb/Kg, so you should divide 2.6 by 2.2.

          • Larry Hillmon

            Not even a legitimate discussion. The whole fleet cannot be replaced instantaneously, nor does it need to be. The transition will take decades. By then, their will be no lag in production of thorium based vehicles if this thing does happen. You don’t need the numbers, because the human race will adapt to ALL avenues of change this phenomenon could create.

        • zag1

          Your actually all wrong.

          Using the Aust amount they have.

          333 690 000 000 tones / 8 (grams) = 41,711,250,000 cars powered with thorium.

          So 1 reserve should have enough for close to 42 billion cars.

          • Gazzbarr

            Unfortunately zag1 you didn’t use the Australian amount quoted. You quoted “333 690 000 000 tones” (sic).The article quoted 333 690 tonnes in Australia.

            A calculation description of what this could mean is offered below.

            Calculation Description
            Given that 1 tonne = 1000 kilograms and 1 kg = 1000 grams, and based on the quantity of exactly 333,690 tonnes, when converted to grams, the follow is the result: 333 690 tonnes = 333 690 000 kilograms = 333 690 000 000 grams!
            If a single 8 gram quantity of thorium is sufficient to power one car, then divide the quantity of thorium as converted to grams, by 8. The result is: 41 711 250 000 ‘8 gram’ units. Assuming the global fleet of cars to be exactly 750 000 000 units, it follows that the estimated Australian reserves of thorium could power 55.615 lots of the entire global fleet of cars! This is again demonstrated under the calculations subheading below:

            The calculations
            333 690 tonnes of thorium, or

            333 690 000 kilograms of thorium, or
            333 690 000 000 grams of thorium, divided by 8, gives
            41 711 250 000 units of 8 grams each, and if there is
            750 000 000 cars in the global fleet, then this is
            55.615 fleets of cars

            Note that the quoted the 333,690 tonnes of thorium is a ROUNDED estimate to the nearest 10 tonnes of the reserves known in AUSTRALIA!
            Note also in the article, that quantity was estimated at being between a 1/4 and 1/6th of the world’s (known) thorium reserves! The calculations given are ONLY based on the quoted Australian thorium levels. The actual levels COULD be 4 to 6 times that! Hence there could theoretically be more than enough thorium to power all the world’s cars, trucks, ships, planes, and electricity power stations.
            Since some argue that the world has passed ‘peak oil’ back in 2008, and even if it hasn’t, most of us accept that eventually, global oil demand will out strip supply from all known & accessible reserves.
            Hence, a range of viable alternative energy sources must be researched, fully developed, accessible, affordable and substantially implemented as soon as possible!

          • zag1

            Sigh. I am Australian.

            I simply changed 333,690 metric tonnes into metric grams, which equals 333,690,000,000 metric tonnes in grams.

            You then simply divide the resultant tonnes by 8 (8 grams) equals 1 car powered.

            Which shows the above reserve on it’s own will power far far more cars trucks etc than the examples provided by the other people.

            41,711,250,000 is the TOTAL amount of cars that could be powered by the Australian reserve without using any other reserves.

            As you can see that reserve alone will power many billions of cars, the global car fleet is 750 million, or to give a number for that 750,000,000 cars.

            Amount of cars powered on thorium

            Cars powered right now by other means

            Also the Australian reserve won’t output 4 to 6 times that amount, it’s rated at one quarter (1/4th) to 1/6th of the total world reserve.

          • ixlplix

            I agree with you

          • Jimdawg

            Actually ALL of you are far off base if we use Thorium intelligently. Cars could just as easily be powered by electricity, recharged by plugging them into the wall outlets….i.e. Tesla’s model S. The Thorium would be used to generate electricity in volumes MUCH greater then using it in small quantities powering a laser. Its use replacing Uranium in nuclear plants would make the world much safer, and reduce the resistance to nuclear energy powering our cities.

          • krish

            i’d bow to yours

      • DBlain

        Those are also currently known reserves. Thorium isn’t really actively explored for since governments forced power generation companies to use uranium back in 50’s (you can’t weaponize thorium). If thorium starts being used en masse, you can bet known reserves will grow massively as more exploration capital is turned towards locating and digging it up.

        Also, Scott is correct, we would have just under 1.2 Trillion grams of thorium if we hauled up known reserves right now, meaning we are about 1550 times over our current needs to power 750 million cars.

        • dookey

          yes YOU CAN weaponize thorium.

          • DBlain

            Sorry, you are correct, I should have written “It is extremely, extremely difficult and cost prohibitive to weaponize thorium when compared to how easy it is to make weapons of mass vaporization and poison to serve the modern statist pagan religion”.

            That better?

          • Steve

            Thx DB, i totally get that. My bigger concern would be from the accidental release of anything radioactive and harmful in the, let’s say, worst case scenario accident, etc. Or for the purposes of terror short of “weaponization, how easy to transform into a fairly destructive and murderous, “dirty bomb”?

          • Brian Lewis

            I am not a radiochemist, but from a quick reading it looks like the most likely result of a thorium car being blown up would be mild dermatitis.

          • Tom Scooter Seiple

            and frankly, that’s nothing compared to what a car power with flamable gas does to your skin.

          • Bill Nye The Science Guy

            After a few hundred years, used thorium fuel becomes less radioactive than the natural uranium under your feet right now. Thorium can’t be used to create a useful dirty bomb. Terrorists would achieve more death with cheap and easy nitrate explosives, like they used on the twin towers (not 9/11, the first time).

          • Joshua James

            oh and pulled this from wiki… just to be helpful 8^)

            The thorium fuel cycle creates 233U,
            which, if separated from the reactor’s fuel, could with some difficulty
            be used for making nuclear weapons. This is one reason why a
            liquid-fuel cycle (e.g. Molten Salt Reactor or MSR) is preferred — only a limited amount of 233U
            ever exists in the reactor and its heat-transfer systems, preventing
            any access to weapons material; however the neutrons produced by the
            reactor can be absorbed by a thorium or uranium blanket and fissile 233U or 239Pu produced

          • Darrin Woodard

            Can I get that in “Banana Equivalent Dose”?

          • Kerrie Grant

            I’m glad to note someone concerned at the use of this element

          • Steven

            Actually, its WORSE. You turn what MAY have been an unintentional misstatement into a RANT.

          • Bill Nye The Science Guy

            In laymans terms:

            It’s almost as easy to build a Thorium nuclear bomb as a Uranium nuclear bomb. It’s just that Thorium can’t be used to make a dirty bomb (which is not nuclear, as instead of splitting the atoms to release nuclear strong force energy, it just distributes a radioactive pollutant in the atmosphere).

          • Divegoddess

            If Americium can be used for a dirty bomb, so can Thorium. The power in a dirty bomb is psychological, not physical. How many people think any amount of radioactivity will kill them? Almost all.

      • Ray Lauzzana

        BTW: We could go for 4g per vehicle and get only 500,000 miles per vehicle.

        • Kevin Jones

          or use 2g cuz most cars only last till 150-200k

          • z

            does it not require a certain mass of thorium to get the heat to generate.. like with the atomic pile.

          • Jason

            Then use recycled i.e partially depleated thorium.

        • Dave McCall

          What about using your car’s power plant to power your home? Keep the 8g per vehicle, and then plug your car in to your house to run it off the car. Make it a hybrid system by powering your house on photovoltaics during sunlight hours and your car by night.

          • nillocr

            This, this so much.

          • Chris Coddington

            You think you’re so smart. That’s because you are. Damn good idea!

          • despinos

            Dave, it may make more sense to have the thorium generator at home and an electric car plugged at home

          • Dave McCall

            Not necessarily. If it is in the car, the car never needs to recharge, change a battery, etc. Mining the materials for, and manufacturing the batteries for electric cars are the major sources of pollution in electric cars. That can be eliminated with thorium. It also gets rid of the range anxiety people have with battery electric cars. A thorium car can go a million miles without recharging or filling up.

            The point of the article is that a thorium reactor could be built small and light enough to be a mobile powerplant. Photovoltaics can’t. But they can be put on a stationary building. It makes sense to me to put the small, portable power source into something portable and leave the unwieldy ones to the buildings.

          • despinos

            Maybe in the USA there is a very car oriented culture. In Europe in general we are more concerned about energy consumption at homes and industries than in cars. So, energy at home is a priority before powering the car.

            Unfortunately, i don’t see either of these (in the car or in the home) happening.

            I recently read some info regarding past US program for nuclear powered planes. After more than 1Bn USD spent, the involved projects were abandoned (by president (JFK).
            Technology has to meet safety and security, and nuclear reactors (no matter how small) simply don’t fit the bill as mobile devices.

            If the thorium compact reactor was feasible, it woul not appear in (small) cars, but in ships, trains, etc.

          • ixlplix

            IF it’s feasible, it could be used in all sorts of applications. Doesn’t need to be restricted to any one thing.

      • Anthony Haeseler

        just spit balling here but if we use thorium, isn’t also possible that other high density materials could be used? also in theory, asteroid mining could also be a way of the future and it would not surprise me to find thorium on asteroids. i wonder if a thorium engine could be used to power a very large space ship, currently we cant use nuclear because it’s too heavy but thorium is lighter.

        • cray74

          Thorium has been identified in many locations beyond Earth, including the moon and Mars. But, folks, thorium by itself isn’t going to power anything. You need to breed it into uranium.

          Then you’re stuck with the usual nuclear space travel questions. How do you use the uranium? Make a NERVA-style thruster of modest specific impulse and epic hydrogen or ammonia reaction mass appetites? Make a nuclear reactor that drives a dynamo for a high-impulse ion engine? In either case, you don’t zip out to the asteroids. You’re still looking at voyages of months and years.

          • mikelorrey

            Thorium is easily transmuted into Uranium 233 with a simple proton beam. It then rapidly decays into stable isotopes of other elements.
            Furthermore, a nuclear engine of any kind would allow a mission to the asteroid belt of only months, but asteroids are all over the solar system, many come quite near Earth.

          • Sangria Singh

            This concept is known as the “Space Monies” theorum.

          • lchien52

            i like it when they say simple proton beam. I happen to have one in my garage left over from my cold fusion experimental days.

          • spherical

            Project Orion would give thrust equivalent to existing chemical thrusters. The problem is regulatory, not technological.

      • cray74

        Well, actually, once you get done turning thorium-232 into a useful, fissile isotope like uranium-233, you still need a critical mass to get a useful amount of energy. That’s many kilograms of stuff per car, not grams.

        • spazdor

          The impression I got from the article was that this engine design doesn’t require a fission chain reaction, it relies on plain ol’ nuclear decay.

        • John Chewter

          Thorium is already fissile. And can be used in other types of thorium reactors.

        • mikelorrey

          No you don’t need a critical mass of Thorium. Thats the point of transmuting it into U233, which is a uranium isotope that rapidly decays on its own.

      • Defiant

        Yeah, but that’s not a finite quantity. If we started using it in cars, they’d mine a LOT more of it.

        • Larry Hillmon

          no they won’t. Primarily because they won’t live those million years to reap the benefits, which is probably why we don’t have it to begin with lol. Even if they do, they will find a way to dilute it, so your car runs only 7 measly years. damned devils!

      • squire

        If they cut it down to 6 grams they’d have it well covered.

      • Charlotte Juett

        Bad math.

        • kucklehead

          I just want to use it to power my light saber, Obie-wan! Cars won’t be around that many more years anyway. We’ll be beaming each other around like Captain Kirk.

      • Larry Hillmon

        thats just bad thinking. really bad. first of all, you won’t replace the world’s vehicle fleet, not even by a tenth. The “world” wont let their guzzlers go that easily or quickly. Not to mention, affordability issues in early years of possible production like with Tesla’s Model S. YOU MUST BE A TRUST FUND BABY..

      • Aleithia

        These numbers are known Thorium reserves. Far more exists but we haven’t really been looking for it, and therefore don’t really count it. Then there are the Thorium deposits that are extensions of the reserves. They haven’t been drilled yet, so their potential is unknown. Create a demand and that will change.

  • Guts

    what happens if its in an accident?

    • “james”

      no, it’s quite safe, and doesn’t require the massive amounts of cooling sources to keep it safe. 8 grams would be quite easy to keep safe, i’m not sure if it has the same amounts of radiation. it’s an interestingidea, and probably better than the idea that we should be powering cars with silly batteries. Thorium is also safer to dispose of than uranium.

      • DBlain

        Thorium’s alpha radiation cannot penetrate human skin. It’s very safe relative to the other options out there.

        • Meleegra

          On a massive scale though? Could still be harmful if everyone has one.

          • durus

            I don’t think you know how radiation works as well as you think you do.

          • Aaron

            on a Massive scale Thorium is still virtually harmless, it can not be weaponized, and would have to be eaten to be even close to toxic. The fact that it can not be used to make any form of Nuclear bombs is why we do not use it to make energy. A single plant about the size of a two bedroom apartment could power the city of Seattle for nearly 300 years, and would be virtually safe when the last 2% of fuel is removed, and then transmuted to be safe to handle in just 20 years, meaning that only 20 years into the next fuel cycle the remaining 20% would be inert making it safe. The reason it can not be used to make a bomb of any kind is that it is too far removed from a destructive reaction to result in any blast, and if used in a dirty bomb, it would be virtually worthless because it is so dense that it would not harm more than a 5 to 10 block radius, and would be an easy cleanup. The fact that Thorium is not used more readily in power production, and cars is not due to its “dangerous” nature as it is not, but is due to the power companies getting paid by the Government to use Uranium instead, billions are paid out in fact to have these death plants running, over the 100% safe thorium reactors. There is enough Thorium in a single Metric Ton of soil is enough to power Seattle. .9 and would last as much as 300 years before refueling, and be virtually safe, to the 39 metric tons it takes to run a city for say 15 to 20 years resulting in highly toxic waste. its a no brainer to use Thorium, it has always been the free energy source we have needed, but that would put the power companies in a bind when power costs next to nothing to produce, and then demand you pay the same amount.
            Not all Nuclear is bad, the Sun for instance is Nuclear, and for the most part does not result in cancer, excess exposure sure does, like with anything else. however it is not the primary cause of most forms of Cancer. Yet we do not run out of the sun like its the end of the world. Thorium makes even coal plants look scary to me.

          • Amy Lutz

            Seems like, with some R&D, one would be able to eventually have their own Thorium power plant and go off grid. How nice would that be?

          • Ernie

            Why would you bother, when a single, large power plant is always cheaper than a million, small power plants?

            You could easily have a natural gas turbine generator in your basement doing the same thing the utility-sized natural gas turbine generator does, except far less efficiently and at only 20 times the cost. And that’s at the really efficient end of the scale. You can pick up an inefficient gas generator at your local Home Hardware today.

          • Frans Pagnier

            so then why build a thorium car and not use thorium power plants to power electric cars? seems like the same logic? or does a thorium powered car sounds more fancy?

          • Ernie

            It’s all about how often you have to refuel it, of course. :) Having a powerplant you have to refuel once every 100 years is even better than the current standard of gasoline refuelling, whereas there is no battery (and, to be honest, likely never will be) that stores energy at the same density that gasoline does. The battery electric car’s one saving grace is that while the power density of the storage medium is inferior to gas, it’s also about 3 times more efficient with the energy that does get stored.

            But having small generators for stationary applications like powering your home (As Amy Lutz proposed) is grossly inefficient compared to having much larger ones that power entire cities. While I’m sure that Amy thinks that the power company is gouging her for the electricity they sell her, I’ve also noticed that she’s not currently powering her house with a Honda generator, in spite of the fact that there’s nothing stopping her from doing so. And the reason for that is that it would cost about 10x as much.

          • jason

            Yes power density of fuel compared to batteries is big, But efficiency of an electric motor is far superior to that of a combustion style, You cannot be more wrong about small portable power plants, It all comes down to the design.

          • Rural Scientist

            I agree entirely. There are some places where generators are a better idea. In remote areas, the electricity would have to be sent hundreds of kilometers just for 1 or two houses. My friend lives in such a place, and his grandfather managed to score a generator out of the HMAS Adelaide (he worked for the steel company who bought the scrapped ship). The only downside is that when he and his 7 neighbors (shared driveway, fields and generator) fire it up (by wrapping a tow rope around its drive shaft and pulling it with a tractor), they have to run all their air conditioners to provide for its minimum loading. If the size of the generator was better matched to the number of people sharing it, it would be quite ecologically and economically efficient, especially since the old fuel oil engine will run on any flamable fluid (old dirty engine oil, kerosene, diesel) with enough lubrication, and the exhaust bubbles into an uninhabited pond to capture the exhaust soot.

          • Bill Nye The Science Guy

            Because batteries are really, really heavy, store hardly any power and cost a ton to make and keep servicing. By generating the power in the car as you use it, you can do away with batteries.

          • jason

            Not a fact or true statement, A single large power plant is not always going to be cheaper than smaller ones. Its about the design. There are pro’s and con’s to each type and the way it interacts with existing infrastructure

          • Steven

            Actually, a plant operating as described for the thorium would be AS efficient regardless of scale.

          • Keith Edwards

            Really nice. A single gram of thorium could power a home for years.

          • dippychild

            Fantastic insight here…maybe taking it a little bit deeper than you…Governments pay power companies to produce energy, for which they charge us. It enslaves the world. Free “power”….they dont want us to have free power of any kind, It is part of the Plan, the one everyone is talking about now. It is true we’re waking up to it, but we are still half asleep, so they’re trying to rush in and gain total control while we “just dont believe our eyes”…. And anyway it will be a very long time before we can have this, amazing stuff, that would do more to change the planet overnight than anything else.

          • Nunyabusiness

            This is why Nicoli Tesla was destroyed financially. He was close to free or nearly so power generation and distribution. The oil and electric industries could not have that happening so forced his financial backers to abandon him.

          • jason


          • jesse

            Partly true yes, his idea was also stolen and handed over to hitler (radio controled tanks), edison (energy) company owed him the amount that wold bankrupt the company so they had him killed also since he wouldnt sell his idea when he realized the gov was abusing it for their own greed. Btw for a fact, he invented wireless during his era. Why n
            ow not while he was alive, and again…. illumani…

          • Tom White

            Don’t forget how Westinghouse bought the rights to his patents and made billions, while he lost out big time.

          • jason

            If there were better power sources, we would have it, There is no such thing as free power, only conversion of energy.

          • Keyser Soze

            “Only” a 5 to 10 block radius? In a densely populated city like New York, that could mean thousands of dead people. Two teenage kids blew up a pot of gunpowder that barely even touched 50 feet, and an entire city was on martial law lockdown because of it.

          • Marty Meikleham

            I think you don’t know what a dirty bomb is.Its just a bomb that spreads radio activity over a relatively large area to basically poison the general population. It isn’t a bomb that creates a nuclear blast with vast devastation.

          • Christopher Dean

            Petrol and diesel are pretty toxic too…

          • Steven

            ANYTHING can be weaponized, including your morning coffee.

            That is not to say thorium is any more dangerous than any other fuel. I am just tired of reading comments stating it can’t be weaponized.

          • Defiant

            Everyone has an arsehole…and they aren’t dangerous.

          • Keith Edwards

            If it won’t even penetrate through skin, then it won’t penetrate through the metal or carbon fiber of the car… in other words, the radiation will never reach you.

          • al_c

            Using NRA logic, the world would be safer if everyone had one

        • Keyser Soze

          Alpha radiation is EASILY absorbed through lung tissue, so if any alpha particle radiating material is atomized or incinerated (like what might happen in a car crash, especially a crash involving a regular pretoleum burning car), the particles can be inhaled into the lungs where they will cause significant radiation exposure and genetic damage. This is what happened in the Gulf War with depleted uranium burning in tanks on battlefields, exposure to which caused Gulf War syndrome in thousands of people.

          • Defiant

            Yeah, but the amount in the car is TINY. No more damage than a conventional car accident where the vehicle(s) explode. People get hurt in accidents.

          • Frans Pagnier

            vehicles pretty much only explode in hollywood

        • John Chewter

          Alpha emmiters are terrible if swallowed or breathed in (dust)

        • Keyrlis

          It stores in bone if ingested or inhaled, though, and can easily cause cancers from the radioactive mutative effects once inside the body. That’s one reason they quit using it in gas mantles and toothpastes.

        • john

          That is not true, in the 1920’s thorium was used in jewelry (making purple gold) and caused burning and other issues.

          • Golfschwein

            You made me google it. It’s pretty stuff!

      • Keyser Soze

        “Silly batteries”? Ever heard of paper batteries? Theyre very simple, regular wood pulp is soaked in a concentration of carbon nanotubes which coat the fibers, the wood pulp is made into paper, and anode and cathode are attached to it, and as long as its soaked in an electrolyte solution (salt water, blood–for powering medical devices, etc.) it acts as a supercapacitor, holding an enormous amount of charge (the charge held is proportional to its surface area, which the carbon nanotubes increase exponentially.

        A paper batter the size of a single sheet of newspaper holds enough charge to power an electric car.

      • JPReturns

        If it’s giving off enough energy to power an automobile, it’s giving off enough energy to cause radiation sickness.

        • speshuljake

          radiation and energy are two entirely different things. if something as simple as energy exposure gave you radiation sickness, you wouldn’t be able to walk around in sunlight…

    • squidlips

      Society is full of applications of small quantities of radio-nuclicides. Surveyors, non-destructive testing engineers, health services, mining samplers to name but a few very. They are safe with the right safeguards and contribute invaluably to society without people even knowing about it. Radiation is normal in low levels around us all the time. We get it from the sun, from the soil, from the air and from the food we eat. It is in the bricks we build our houses with. It is found all over the place in low doses.
      The problem is not nuclear isotopes, it is with the term “nuclear”. Among other, we can thank the Greens for scaremongering.
      Imagine how much CO2 (and other harmful by-products produced by oil burning) we could save with these cars replacing conventional cars!

    • ricpent

      Thorium is much safer!

    • Ian Sean

      This is why we can’t have nice things. People like you believe the oil giants’ baseless apples-to-oranges conclusions, so we have perpetual oil wars and a crashing economy and probably a culling of the masses pretty soon.

      • Reed

        Where’s the skepticism? These are outlandish claims, this article. How does one mix a laser and thorium and get power? For nuclear power from thorium, it takes a neutron source, such as Uranium.

        (Fun fact, we’ve actually had at least one nuclear plant using thorium, but it was in combination with uranium, in the form of large pellets.)

        • ixlplix

          The article actually states how. thorium powers the laser. The laser boils water which powers the car. So, it’s not a total closed loop. Water would have to be replenished. The main concern is powering the laser. If they have that sussed. There’s no issue. Aside from the heat source it is a steam powered car. You’d still need a battery.

    • Mike

      ^ didn’t read any of the previous comments

  • Technofreak

    Likelihood of this reaching the public? Less than zero.

    • pja

      The public can dream.

      Thorium reactors, if they do manage to make it practical (they have not succeeded so far), will be no safer than uranium reactors from a radiation point of view. there will be just as much shielding and waste disposal difficulties.

      A uranium powered car is far more likely to happen before a thorium powered car just because we’re technologically more experienced with uranium. And what do you think is the chance of seeing a commercial uranium reactor under the bonnet?

      • RedBack

        Research is your friend. Use it.

      • PB

        They cannot use Uranium because of its potential use as a ‘special nuclear material’ for enrichment to weapons grade.
        Thorium on the other hand cannot be made into a fission weapon, emits far less radiation than Uranium (at least 10 times less) and does not need to be enriched to be used as fuel. Secondly the Thorium is not used in a reactor, it is simply being used as a heat source for the laser. A Fukishima style accident from 8g of thorium is not possible. There is no nuclear Fission taking place here and the thorium undergoes natural radioactive decay which produces heat. I doubt much shielding would be required at all given that it decays by alpha particle emission which cannot penetrate skin. IF they can get it to work great, but it’s a big ask…Good to see though.

        • Stucki

          If Thorium is not used in a reactor, than how is it’s internal energy harnessed? How does it produce heat? If what you are saying is true, then this car seems to be a perpetual motion machine of the second kind. In order for an engine to be efficient, it must operate at a relatively high temperature. I can’t see eight grams of Thorium or any other element spontaneously generating enough heat to power an engine.

          • droopaloop

            If you heat Thorium a tiny bit it gets wildly hot and actually has rushes of heat… Easily enough to create steam and power a set of mini turbines. It’s not perpetual motion; it’s a simple reaction, which eventually results in the complete decay of the Thorium (over a long period of time)

          • JD Ray

            You should read up on the rudiments of radioactive decay, particularly RTGs. That should answer a lot of your questions. In short, some things in nature are just naturally “hot” (a relative term). Harnessing that energy (i.e. using the differential between the fuel’s natural or induced temperature and the surrounding or adjacent environment) is the key to clean energy. This is different than consuming a fuel like gasoline, where the hydrogen-oxygen reaction releases heat while producing byproducts we refer to as “exhaust”.

            Anyway, that’s my understanding of it. YMMV. 😀

          • Aaron

            it powers a laser not the engine the laser powers the engine, and it runs on the natural decay of a Thorium not pressured Thorium gets hot but not super radioactive, there is a difference, it gets hot like the stove, but does not produce tons of radiation. the radiation produced is mild Alpha, you actually get more radiation from old tube TVs that put out X-rays, and Beta, and if you put a light bulb in the microwave with tungston in it, then you get gama waves, but seriously you need to research what Thorium can do before talking about it again.

        • cray74

          Thorium cannot be used in a reactor. It is not fissile. You need to convert it to uranium to be fissile. Look up the Shippingport Reactor and India’s nuclear program, both of which depend on that breeding process.

      • Uzza

        There are many ways to build reactors, and the current dominating design today, using uranium, will never be viable to power a car. And thorium will most likely not be either.
        And this proposed use of thorium is completely bogus, and it’s not even a nuclear reactor.

        But you are completely wrong that thorium won’t be safer than uranium based reactors. It is all dependent on the design.
        Liquid thorium fueled Molten Salt Reactors can be built a lot more safer because it has passive safety features that current solid uranium fueled reactors do not have.
        They also do not need massive containment buildings as they do not operate at 150 atmospheres of pressure, allowing the reactor to be much more compact.
        And it produces only 1/200th the amount of waste as reactors today, which will be less radioactive than the ore the thorium came from in 300 years.

        There are many ways to build reactors, so don’t lump them all together based on what we use today.

      • john

        There already is a 500 megawatt thorium reactor up and running in India. At the moment they are leading the way.

        • Chris Ferdhana

          Construction on the actual thorium reactors in India will commence in 2016. Don’t know where you receive your information from.

      • Jason Boulard

        Thorium is many times safer and is less radioactive by many factors over uranium it is abundant and the waste is many times less by weight than thorium reactors because most of the thorium is used up the remaining waste is medical isotopes and transuranics that have halflives of hundreds of years as opposed to uranium which is hundreds of thousands of years

      • http://fedgeno.com/ Fedge

        Dude you are dead wrong. The only reason uranium is being used is because it’s useful for weapons. Thorium is practical, has been used and is much, much, much safer.

        • cray74

          …after thorium has been converted to uranium. Look up some “thorium” reactors. Thorium has been used in reactors, but only as a fertile material that converts to U233.

          The good news is, U233 doesn’t generate nearly as much long-lived waste as U235 and Pu239 reactors. But thorium by itself isn’t a magical nuclear fuel. It isn’t a fuel at all.

        • Barry

          Sort of. Uranium was used more because it had an existing knowledge base (i.e. steam cycles and centrifuge enrichment), whereas thorium would require massive amounts of R&D to become commercially ready. For example, the MSRE (our go-to example of thorium as a viable fuel) showed several areas of necessary improvement, particularly in materials that are capable of withstanding corrosive salt environments at extremely high temperatures. Even today we haven’t developed such materials — perhaps due to lack of investment, but true nonetheless.

          That is to say, uranium came to be used due to inertia more than conspiracy.

          • http://fedgeno.com/ Fedge

            CANDU reactors can use it.

      • Aaron

        sorry but you are wrong on every thing you have said, first off there have been two plants that ran effectively for nearly 25 years at UC Berkeley, Uranium is super toxic because the rods must be replaced due to corrosion when there is still about 65 to 70% fuel remaining, and is why they are so dangerous. It does not need as much shielding, and is cooled down with Sodium, and in those Sodium cooled reactors there is no chance of explosion because a Thorium reactor does not operate under pressure. The waste is only 2% of the starting product to the Uranium 65 to 70%, Uranium can not be transmuted to be any safer for more than 3k years, where as you can make the waste from Thorium transmute to be safe in just 20 years. they can run 99% underground, and take up a foot print the size of a two bedroom apartment, not hundreds of acre’s as with Uranium. They do not need fresh water sources, the disposal is simple, and it does not even need to be removed for nearly 80 years on the small scale or nearly 300 years in a larger plant. Uranium would blow up in a car accident, and explode because Uranium must operate under extreme pressure. the chance of seeing a Thorium laser under a car hood is actually not that hard to believe because at just 6 grams it is legal for any one to own, one can also buy a thorium powered laser right now if you had the cash. I think you need to do your research on these reactors, and not talk about something you clearly have not done any real research into.

        • Frans Pagnier

          so wouldn’t it be much more sensible to make thorium power plants and run the cars of the electricity produced there? instead of having to put a mini power plant in each car which will be way more costly and less efficient… although of course a thorium powered car sounds way cooler then just an electric car… how much will this car cost? who t f will be able to afford this car?

    • squidlips

      Your maths is very bad – likelyhood can never be less than zero.

      • pja

        your mastery of linguistics is less than zero

        • Ian Sean

          As a linguist, I died a little inside when I read this complete misapplication of the term for the field…

    • Vince Stagbaugh

      Nothing like a real positive thinker, eh?

  • Force-15

    “Mr Steven said developing turbines and generators that were usable and portable was much more difficult than making the thorium lasers.”

    Instead of using steam to power miniature turbines and generators, why not use a reciprocating compact steam engine like the Cyclone Power Technologies or Uniflow Power Ltd designs? These can offer useable torque from rest whilst being small enough for automotive use.

  • Brett

    Does everyone remember when Top Gear made a car out of electrical goods? Those “tyres” look like clothes dryer tumblers!

  • themarvel

    The WTF car. Does anyone else spot the irony in this name??
    Sadly, their claims seem rather over-the-top. A demonstration of said technology – particualrly the stability of the reactor – would go a long way to easing any concerns.

    • Jason Boulard

      Its not a reactor its a thorium laser that powers steam generators and it is very safe and stable

  • Karl

    I hope something like this actually makes it to production one day.
    Go human progress!

  • Nath746

    Will it drive like a conventional petrol car (i.e. engine noise, manual gearbox, reliable??)

    • squidlips

      Will probably be much quieter and use a CVT for optimal efficiency – but who knows!
      I would think it more reliable than todays cars and it could potentially be used to power your house too!

      • Nath746

        If 8 grams can get over a million miles, why would you need to worry about efficiency? unless it has no power, and a CVT would bring out the most power…

        • frostythesnowman

          Supply isn’t unlimited so using less ensures the technology can be used longer. Reliability would go up too being more efficient too in general.

      • John Smith

        I was under the impression that the laser and steam were generating electricity for use in an electric motor. If that is the case, a CVT would not be necessary – a direct drive system would be used like with most current electric cars.

    • Aegolin

      It probably sounds like a steam train including whistle

      • SOEL

        Choo Choo

    • steve

      NO, you will steer it with your feet. The wheel will change your longitudinal velocity. They can add a “stick” to it so that you can pretend to change gears. & they can install an MP3 of a Ferrari V-12 making noise (or if that is not manly enough for you an American V-8 tuned for NASCAR). They can even be made to only last 100,000 miles if you so desire. Idiot.

  • Μr Gaspo

    Pja, you are wrong on Thorium reactors. They can’t go critical like conventional reactors, they burn nuclear waste and finally the waste from thorium reactors is dangerous for only 500 years nor 10,000 years. China is investing to commercialize thorium reactors as a source of Co2 free power generation… this is nuclear power without the big downsides. As for putting such technology in cars… Not too sure about that.

  • Andrew M

    Am I missing something here……

    Wouldnt you need to fill this regularly with water?

    • squidlips

      closed loop system – like your engine’s cooling – maybe only need top-ups.

    • cray74

      See: condenser. Steam engines have the option of cooling and condensing their steam back into water. It is common in stationary steam plants (coal, nuclear) to do so, and less frequent but proven to do so in mobile train and car engines to recirculate water.

  • http://c-treon@hotmail.com peter

    Hi,in a few years everyone will have a nanny robot to cater for our every whim
    mobile restrooms and mobile homes for the fast relocatable slave worker.Run by thorium or sodium sun turbines.
    Cooperate workers will have fully intergrated luxury homes on wheels depending on level of hierachy to fully self contained palaces.Roads will need to be a bit wider.We will laugh at past fuel buying weekly and low spec coffin cars.
    Our nanny robots will also detain us if we digress……1984?

  • abuna ventana

    sounds good..
    But a better idea should be –
    – and also, the CHARGING BATTERIES should be homogeneous in design, easily removable and replaceable by users.. just like the batteries in toys.
    – Then, all the petrol stations must be accommodated with BATTERY STATIONS which enable easy replacement of empty cells with charged cells.
    – The customer should pay initial cost of cell to the DEPT and charging charges to the BATTERY STATIONS.
    – It should fully be owned and controlled by Govt to facilitate max possible reduced cost.

    • frostythesnowman

      This is already done for the emerging PEVs like Tesla and Volt.

      We want it miniaturized and in the car itself to rid ourselves of the massive and heavy batteries and for the 5000-25000x higher range.

    • Mac

      The reason NOT to to do this, is energy density.

    • lonewolf


    • Not quite…

      Or you could drop a hydrogen fuel cell in a car and never have to rely on wasteful and costly batteries again. The only thing that comes out the tailpipe is water (Hydrogen mixing with Oxygen).

    • John VanderWerff

      You are kidding aren’t you???
      Owned and operated by the GOVT???
      Using Nuclear Reactors???

  • Dennis

    The most obvious use of such technology is in unmanned probes/ vehicles like the mars rovers. Imagine a car sized rover on mars which didn’t need to hibernate itself due to lack of solar power.

    • squidlips

      I dont care for a car on Mars. What good does that do me? Only a waste of government (tax-payer) money.
      Howabout imagine a car in your driveway that never needs to vist a petrol station? This is good.

      • Hooter05

        Ignorance is bliss. What good does that do you? Most of the innovation gone into design for any space mission eventually makes it to the public, so it does a great deal of good for you! And that is terrible way to think. “I can’t see the immediate benefits so it must be a bad project so I don’t care for it”. Go look into how many inventions have come from Nasa’s (and the private sector they fund) innovations. You’d be surprised.

        • Anthony Haeseler

          in addition exploration of space will IMO reveal resources that we can use, we here on earth have limited amounts of metals primarily. if everyone was forced to recycle this could last us a while but space and other planets such as mars not only offer a possible place for people to move to in the future but a second source of these metals. and others that could be more useful… such as thorium in this case

          • SOEL

            You’ve got your head in the clouds. Look down in the gutter and ask the people there if they need rare metals from outer space.

        • SOEL

          Terrible argument. Technology should be developed for the benefit of humanity, not just handed down as an afterthought.

    • AndrewF

      Who cares if a mars rover has to power down for the night? Does it need to get to work by 9? It has nothing but time.
      I am only interested in road-going applications… well, and in the use of thorium in nuclear reactors to generate electricity – I think we should be following China’s lead and build the suckers left right and centre instead of making our lives miserable with energy restrictions which is what carbon tax is, effectively.

      • Anthony Haeseler

        the trick is, we already have the technology to provide free energy that produces NO co2. solar and wind power…. these produce enough electric CO2 free energy to power the world over, if we would build it… but t’s expensive since at least here in the US the governement would rather give money to oil and coal. corporations dont want free energy. we dont need uranium or thorium power plants… put a solar panel on every house, on skyscrapers etc and you can have FREE energy. plus the suckers can in the right place produce enough energy that you would be selling it back to the power company.

  • Vince

    Sounds like a blast!

  • Corkas

    Sounds like a really good idea.
    Provided they can show there is little to no harmful radiation being emitted.

    Considering thorium is less than $1 per gram. I like (and I’m sure other will also) the idea of 1.6mil km’s for a few bucks. and zero emissions.

    Sounds almost to good to be true.
    and for that reason alone i think it will either,
    not be practical or it will be to expensive to sell to the public.

    I hope they can prove me wrong.

  • Leon

    8gms of Thorium would pollute a really wide area if used in a dirty bomb. How are these people going to stop that from happening?

    • Uzza

      Thorium is useless if you want to make a dirty bomb.
      It is an alpha emitter, so it doesn’t even penetrate the skin.
      It also has a 14 billion year half life, which means that it’s hardly radioactive at all.
      You can hold thorium in your hand without any danger.

    • AndrewF

      Better question: how can we stop ignorance and prejudice? Do the world a favour, go educate yourself and stop fearing everything ‘nuclear’. It’s largely thanks to people like you we are now pinching pennies and running around turning off every 10w light bulb, all the while surrounded by boundless sources of energy.

  • Old dog

    Do a little research and you will see that the physics is fatally flawed. Check out energyfromthorium dot com.

    • RedBack

      We’re not talking about reactors here, just harnessing particle decay.

      The obstacles are significant, but the physics doesn’t actually preclude the possibility that it might work.

  • FrugalOne

    Ok, pass it on to the Japs to finish this

    Bring it to market, i will buy one immediatly if not silly priced.

    We can dump all used radioactive in the empty oil fields in arabland

  • FrugalOne

    Really, we had another solution during the war [due to lack of crude oil], was called a ” gas producer ” Google[Motorola Owners] that, used a fitted fire place to make fuel gas for a std. vehicle

    Just pick up rubbish on the side of road stoke the fire and keep crusing along

    • AndrewF

      Well, we had an even better solution before then, it was called “the horse” – you didn’t even have to forage for rubbish and stoke the fire, it just fed itself on the side of the road…
      Stuff that. I don’t want to go back to middle ages. I want abundant and cheap energy, and I want it now!

      • Corkas

        I dont like that idea either.
        They dont make any good rims for horses these days. =)

        • DGS

          In times of crisis I suppose you can always eat you horse, (read your history books), your carcould not save you from starvation.

          Apart from that horses where a crap form of transport. They crapped an pissed everywhere and crossing the street was like walking through a minefield of streaming piles. and then there was the smell.

          there is a very good reason that cars took over from horse and buggy in only a coulple of decades – no comparison.


    pretty big claim if you ask me.thats a world changing event.don’t know if i’d be broadcasting it to the world either,someone might want to stop it/steal it…

  • Blondie

    Aprils Fools – got you all…oops is August

  • Andrew of Melbourne

    We have so much Thorium we will be exporting it all overseas just as we do with Uranium. We are such a generous country we never keep the good things for ourselves thanks to our politicians.

  • Paulie

    Absolutely brilliant prospect, however I can’t see it happening, sounds way too good to be true.

  • 1984 clause

    “nothing is efficient in Oceania except the thought police”

    This requires leadership and will to happen, so it won’t in this generation.

  • Ty Freeman

    I am wondering if any one in this project has considered a sterling cycle engine. It would reduce wait and would not require water. Oil would be required but you could use the extra space for it and still have tons of left over room.

    • Paf

      I think it will still have a lot of excessive heat, that can be contained on the road and put into the grid.

  • Mike

    I can’t believe anyone is taking this seriously. It’s patent nonsense. The only way to extract that kind of energy from thorium is by nuclear fission, and that produces an awful lot more of radiation than thorium itself.

    Thorium reactors may make sense in power stations, as a source for cheap electricity that could than be used to charge batteries or make hydrogen or other chemical fuels. Stuffing it into every car is lunacy.

    • PB

      Thorium is not suitable for nuclear fission unless it is enriched and if it is not it cannot sustain a chain reaction. NASA has been using radioisotope thermo-electric generators on spacecraft and rovers for decades, admittedly they used U-238 which is naturally occurring uranium but this cannot sustain a chain reaction. It can undergo fast fission but these conditions do not exist in a reactor. If the concept can use thorium instead of U-238 to achieve the same thing then great (to charge batteries), but I do agree that an enriched Thorium molten salt reactor is a better way to go, and the energy used to charge electric cars, but I guess it comes down to a question of range as pure electric cars are at this stage useless on a long trip.

      • Uzza

        You got a few fact mistakes.
        There is no enrichment of any kind for thorium, it is all Th-232, which is fertile. It can be transmuted in to fissile U-233 by absorbing a neutron.
        The same applies to U-238, it is fertile and not fissile, and by absorbing a neutron it become fissile Pu-239.

        And the RTG you mention use Pu-238, not U-238. U-238 have a half life of ~4 billion years, and is terrible to use in RTGs because of it.
        Pu-238 have a half-life of ~88 years, which means there is a lot of decaying that produces heat that the RTGs use to produce electricity.

        • PB

          Yeah Roger that, my Bad, should have done a bit more reading before gobbing off, but Thorium 232 is not fissile and needs enrichment (maybe better to use ‘priming’)by absorbing slow neutrons and then decaying by Beta emission into U-233 which is fissile. I never said it wasn’t fertile. But you are right with the RTG Pu 238 decays faster producing more heat and need less shielding but I got the atomic mass right just wrong isotope!
          I guess with the Thorium they are trying to use the heat to power a laser in the same way that the RTG uses decay heat to produce electricity. But we can’t put fissile U-233 in a car now can we? So it must be operating in a similar way to the RTG. Interesting concept if it can work.

  • chugs

    no way that car will look like that when it goes into production.

    ten bucks says it’ll look like a Camry

  • mik Hambilton

    looks a great idea i knew there was a better idea than petrol
    i would hope this viechle would be affordable 30.000
    because i am sure this fuel idea will be further studyed and
    more models will come even power for houses and future transport alternatives

  • jet proto street

    Yes,its a futur. Im french and im very interesting for a proscess! I would like know why make a thorium car for france! I dont speak english very well sorry!!!!

  • RemyC

    You forget it’s still a steam powered car, so in the words of Howard Hughes, who already tried that years ago, and gave up on the idea… “If I crash, I don’t want to get steamed like a lobster!”

  • reppac

    and 2 years later – how much closer are they? Nada

  • Eddie Rojo

    Thorium-powered tech are achievable only if world leaders unite against the already painful grip of the world’s oil cartel. That’s FACT ONE.

  • Eddie Rojo

    Thorium-tech is achievable only if world leaders unite against the already-painful grip of the world’s oil cartel. That’s FACT ONE.

  • alf

    cadilac WTF? right…

  • maiya

    Just another non-renewal resource to war over. Why not use something like electricity which can be powered by sun, ocean current or wind. There is nothing to war over then. See how amazing electric cars can be going 60 mph by watching the documentary ” Who Killed the Electric Car”.

    • http://karbowiak.dk Michael Karbowiak

      Well, seeing as the worlds thorium supply isn’t located any specific place, and even the places with very very little thorium deposits, would be able to fuel themselves for several thousand years, there would be no incentive for war 😛

      • Paf

        Not if it is stocked up in spots. If it is evenly spready, you have a lot of land that needs to be harvested.

    • Paf

      60mph is nothing … update yourself on the new Tesla cars 😉

  • romrom

    “The car will wear out before the engine. There is no oil, no emissions – nothing.”
    That’s BS, there is and there will always be a lot of emissions in a car lifecycle.
    Its construction, technical maintenance and destruction/recycling counts for a big part of the emissions and pollution.
    It’s like seeing cooking as only putting stuff in a oven : no you have to buy your food, prepare it, cook it, and then wash the dishes.

  • Fool

    Would it not be a great idea to make a steam cylinder engine instead of driving turbines? One can always appreciate the chug of a good engine.

  • Jack Yull

    this will never go in to production as long as oil is around im afraid, the world economy is based on oil sadly, this will be kept underground like alot of other great inventions :(

  • Kalairbo

    I like this idea… But I don’t see it happening.
    As soon as it becomes a viable technology, big oil will do exactly what they did years ago when the TRUE electric car, with barely any of the battery problems we have today, was thought up: Buy the design and shut that sucker down.

  • Chris

    A nuclear submarine of the U.S (currently can’t recall its name..USS smthing i believe) is operating since 1967 and until now it has burned 0.5kg of uranium.
    Same principal as above, except that instead of the steam turbines/generator producing electricity for propulsion, the submarine produces steam and through 4 steam turbines and a reduction gear it rotates the propeller .
    …and that was 50 years ago!!
    Well, either engineers are getting dummer …or there is some serious energy interests keeping society stack in the petrol technology of the previous century until complete consumption of the petrol resources.
    Anyway, it seems to be a challenging project and a new step in the car industry.
    Hopefully our grand grand .. grand children will have the luck to buy one in a descent price.

    • Truther

      Nuclear energy creates nuclear waste. It is extremely dangerous and has to be permanently cooled. If they used this stuff in cars instead of gas we might all be suffering some kind of mass infertility pandemic by now

  • MechaVelma

    as long as its propertly shielded, I say rock and roll.

  • Miriam Pia

    I don’t know how viable that is, but it means that buying a car will become like buying a watch with a built in battery. That makes it seem great. People driving around with mini-nuclear power fuel tanks and the idea of getting radiation leaks with every car crash makes it sound – pathological at best, even though there are nuclear submarines they are exactly all over the roads. A physicist FB friend called it rubbish – I’m going to ask why because even though I’m educated and not an idiot, I think he might understand this better than I do.

    • http://karbowiak.dk Michael Karbowiak

      Honestly, Thorium isn’t that radioactive, even in a reactor. Plus we are talking about ~8 grams of nuclear material.

      You’d get about the same exposure from it, as a plane ride from New York to Berlin. (Probably more)

      Besides, radiation isn’t that terribly bad for your body, it can actually promote health and regeneration, it’s just an issue with society today, that anything that has to do with radiation is oh so scary

      • Truther

        Same exposure over how much time? That plane flight is a few hours – nothing compared how long they’d be exposed to radiation in their car. 8 grams is not a tiny amount of radiation either.

        Then there’s the issue of accidents and fires (which would make the radiation airborne which is much more dangerous if it got inside your body.

  • Spiff2003

    Thorium yes.. Uranium? Way to dangerous..

  • Manero

    Hopes and dreams, the car will never become a reality.

  • ferrum

    Thorium is a far better nuclear fuel than uranium. The only reason we use uranium in nuclear plants today is because we were “familiar” with it from the Manhattan Projects. To use it for a car would be awesome if you can make it safe enough to survive a crash. Very excited about this possibility!

  • tobiasz

    I think U.S.A. will find mass desctruction weapons in Australia

    • Muhammad Abbass

      We’ll be right, they probably won’t be able to afford the fuel to get here in pretty short order.

  • Robin

    So if Thorium is so safe, why hasn’t it been in use for large scale reactors instead of either Uranium or Plutonium?

    Back in the 1950’s Thorium was also proposed to be used in space vehicles. That never happened either.

    • Muhammad Abbass

      Because it can’t be used for bombs.

  • Chiguy

    If a 1g Thorium reactor can produce more energy than 28,000 liters (7400 gallons) of petrol (which at a rough 20 miles a gallon, comes out to about 148,000 miles) it makes sense to put self-contained reactors like this in peoples homes, or at least a somewhat larger reactor in a subdivision or neighborhood. How many years or decades of electricity could be produced from one of these?

    I’d rather see these not driving around. The electricity produced from these reactors could power electric cars no problem, right?

  • Oracle

    Huge issue here… why would a car company want to sell you a car that has almost no service requirements… means they can only make money off you once…. unless they move to a more IT business model where people want to buy a new car because its new features (think iPhone craze) and generate sales hype that way. right now you are forced to repair and replace items regularly. And what will big oil have to say about this, and how can they influence this, if its not in their benefit, you can be sure they will do everything in their power to stop it.

    I love this idea and hope it eventuates! Society wants a clean fuel alternative to the current cars we have, we want options that look good, perform well, are comfortable and last. But some of the biggest industries don’t want this…. this is the bigger issue to solve….

    • Eric Vandergriff

      All of the above is not our problem as the consumer. I hope something of the type safely happens. Don’t worry about the economy, people will still have money to spend elsewhere.

    • Muhammad Abbass

      Depends how much money they make off you first time then I guess.

  • TerryWS

    Steam? It would 100 gallons of water to go 100 miles. That’s 800 pounds of weight.

    • Muhammad Abbass

      Closed system. No water will be used, it will be re-used within the system. FFS people, this is hundred year old technology except for the method of heating. Nuclear power plants are just big kettles for boiling water to drive steam generators.

  • davol

    If I were Iran I’d just build the world’s greatest thorium reactors to show the world how it’s done. We’d make it here in America but it doesn’t lend itself to bomb technologies very well.

  • Andreas Mesics

    How bad would a crash be with this kind of car? good, bad, worse than now? Better?

    • cecilia

      how about NOT having an accident. You CAN prevent them. Just don’t drive while distracted

  • Carl Von Wolzogen


  • Papakaz

    So we trade
    greenhouse gases for radiation poisoning. That’s what I call progress!

  • ECO Earth

    It wont make it to the public big oil and the government wont let it. like they like to keep killing the planet and us in it they only car about there pockets.

  • Lillwille Lindholm


  • Robert Patrick Reibold

    Yes I’ll take one in Forest Green

  • Robert Patrick Reibold

    Don’t forget if you were in space planet hopping and had no gas stations how handy it would be

  • Nogginuser

    Lots of things the story doesn’t account for… Yes the water cycle.. .. water (even demineralized) creates corrosion..there is a lot involved in creating steam that is dry to avoid damaging your turbines, condensing that steam requires a lot of energy. Turbines need lubrication/cooling.. Generators need an output all the time or a storage solution eg. batteries.. 8 grams 1 million miles ridiculous, im sure the thorium is stable enough to power a laser you really think you can turn it on and off 3-4 times a day for decades? Let me see a prototype..

  • Paf

    Engines can probably hold on bad crashes, if designed properly of course.
    They can be unified and reused, if auto crashes.
    And do your math – that’s a LOT of fuel for this technology, hundreds of years of industry maybe.

  • milkco

    But it would be enough for all public airspace transport and we all know there bigger than a car so it could be done.

  • Mary Sedici

    Do you believe Oil Cartel and Power companies will let this happen? Oil sheiks start prepare your resumes :)

  • Mitch Prettyman

    You want to use another radioactive material that WILL have to be disposed of in some barely contained lead encased nuclear waste pond when we have free energy devices already that are being suppressed. You have to mine this RADIOACTIVE substance which will cause contamination, as always, when the world can operate on energy that exists in the space all around us. This is a wonderful innovation and you are awarded points for ingenuity, but you fail in environmental sustainability in the face of a greater technology that the world is too stupid to REALIZE as the dominant energy source. All because you can’t make a profit.

  • Eric Smith

    Could somone explain to me how much overall water would be consumed during a drive from this?

    • Muhammad Abbass

      None. The system would be closed presumably.

  • Wesley Bruce

    Forget earth, to much green tape, go for the moon and mars.

  • Kenneth Griffin

    What a wonderful idea, exciting technology and a big fantasy. If this technology is ever developed, it will be bought out by the oil companies and if that fails all the developers will be killed and their technology will be lost or destroyed. REFERENCES: Nicoli Tesla & Stan Meyers

  • Keyser Soze

    Every single car driving person in the world would have to have an extensive background check and be certified to transport nuclear material. Does that sound very likely to you?

    • Muhammad Abbass

      You just want to hope they do not demand an education standard.

  • cray74

    Ya’ll know that thorium isn’t actually a nuclear fuel, right? You need to breed it into Uranium-233 before it’s useful. You can get lots of energy out of thorium after it is no longer thorium, but then you need a critical mass’s worth of U233 – which is kilograms, not grams – to start boiling water and powering a steam turbine.

    The whole thorium laser stuff? I’m sure you can get thorium to lase but, like all lasers, you’ll need more input energy than you get out. Right now most lasers are riding in the 100:1 and 10:1 efficiency ratio. 100 watts of electricity in, 1 watt of laser light out.

    And then shining beams of light (laser light or otherwise) on lumps of thorium or uranium doesn’t magically make energy. Atoms don’t split and make energy because you lase them. With a giant, building-sized, most-powerful laser in the world you can get a bit of fusion to happen (see: National Ignition Facility), but…whoever came up with this car is better at invoking science fantasy buzzwords than actual nuclear science.

    • Muhammad Abbass

      Gosh mate, you’d better let these company directors know because they’ve got forty odd people all wasting their time on the idea and you could save them all that trouble.

  • Rogoraeck

    Just wait for some Al CIADA terrist blow up the Laser Power Systems from Connecticut!

  • guest

    What are the effects of radiation emission?

    • Wolf

      there is no emission

      • Wolf

        that’s why they call it clean energy.

  • James Randall Swing

    i would love to see oil based car go away in my life time

    • Muhammad Abbass

      You probably will, just not the way we’d all like to see it.

  • Pat Borlagdan

    Thorium-powered machines would be okay provided the waste, radioactive or not must be well addressed. Otherwise we will suffer the consequences.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Kieseyhow Kieron Seymour-Howell

    This is an interesting idea. But, why would you waste time and effort putting this technology into such a useless vehicle? This should go into high-speed rail, long distance trucks, ocean liners and mining equipment. Don’t waste time and effort putting something like this into a sports car.

  • Doug Ditfort

    another finite resource gobbled up for a few generations personal use. meh

  • travisteee

    petrol/oil giants will never allow this technology to come into the main stream- this will get shut down byt them throwing stupid amounts of money at the issue- electric car technologies should have been way beyond where they are now but companies like BP and shell have stifled any growth or development, as well as any real further studies on the technology.

  • Bengalzona

    Most people won’t buy it because of safety fears about radiation, even if it is totally safe. That’s just how peoples are. But I would buy one.

  • Denise Kemmerling-Haag

    The concept is intreging however because it would require mining is it really a sustainible alternative?. Is there and radioactive waste that need to be addressed?

  • Muhammad Abbass

    The problem isn’t the technology but those who will control it.

  • Christopher Cook

    What about gear oil, or tranny fluid?

  • IMissTheOldFormat

    Thorium Schmorium! Back in the 50s they had pictures of the guys in the jetpacks and say we would be “jetpacking to work” in the year 2000. Ha! Oh how about “We must work together to reduce our dependency on foreign oil” said by every president since the Department of Energy was created. Dirty rotten scoundrel politicians will find a way to tax us just for reading this article!

  • Stefan Gasser

    Yeahh, that would be sooo great!

  • hnb

    No nuclear car is ever going to hit the market, because there better and safer alternatives. Besides, using a nuke core as primary heat source, to pass heat into molten salt > to oil > to water > to steam > to electricity > to move any vehicle via so many energy conversion steps is idiotic at best. Most car designers are bozos. There are better, cheaper, safer ways, by those that know how to think and do R&D. I will not say more in a public blog. Google is your friend.

  • Tyler

    This might be the best energy related news since they began developing one-atom-thick carbon sheets that might revolutionize solar cell technology and make it many times cheaper.

  • Layne Morales

    SNAP generators have been used in space since the 60’s. They merely rely on a temperature difference to create an electric current in a metal. There is a sample of one in the Smithsonian in D.C. Seems a guy named Tom Swift put one into his car in the fifties… :)

  • Uncle_Meat

    As long as the bailed out US loser elites are concerned this concept will never reach the market. Leave it to a foreign nation to own this market.

  • nab

    Not like free energy though. You can’t just dig it up and stick it in an engine. Thorium, like Uranium, takes a massive industrial infrastructure and processing expenditure.

  • OneManGangBang

    The real question is…… How big of rims can i put on this biotch. Just sayin.

    • PlayahationNation420

      spinners? I feel ya OG

  • WolfgangDS

    Oil would be a thing of the past? No it wouldn’t! Do you have any idea how powerful the oil companies actually are?

  • Sean Long

    Oh, great. Let’s put NUCLEAR POWERED vehicles in the hands of drunk drivers. Gee, what a “good” idea … ::sigh::

    Until the compartment the Thorium is in, is absolutely 500% crash-proof … please god NO, don’t let this happen …

  • Nikola Stajic

    it better get used to, the ships, trucks and other heavy machinery…

  • Stephen

    A few observations:
    1. Thorium is useful for energy, but not because it is dense. Thorium is useful for energy because it can be transmuted into uranium-233.
    2. Thorium itself is not fissile, and is not even very radioactive.
    3. Eight grams of thorium in a car would do absolutely nothing. You need to have a reactor that “breeds” the thorium into U-233, and such reactors will weigh a great deal more than 227 kg. Guaranteed.
    4. Due to the above observations, at least one of two things must be true:
    4a. This article is a spoof, an August Fool’s joke from 2011.
    4b. The author of this article has not even the slightest idea what he is talking about.
    But thorium as a fuel really is an extremely cool idea, one that could very well change the entire world. But not by putting Mister Thorium reactors in every car.

  • abinico

    This can’t possibly be good for the environment in the long run.

  • Remedy Chill


  • jo jo

    why we look all elements in planet earth only we should search this element and others in other planets too thorium available in mars so we can bring from mars and use lol

  • Eveoh

    Everyone is freaking out over the fact there is radiation in the car. There’s radiation coming from your microwave oven and cell phone, and it’s still under control.

    This could be the Dilithium Crystal of the 21st century.

  • Gwynn Graham

    WOW!!!! TOO FKN COOL!!!!!

  • elderlyfox

    Yet.. in 1935 Garrett in USA had patented a hydrogen powered car, using electrolysis from a palladium and platinum electrodes in distiled water, with power first from the car 12volt battery, then from the in-car generator, to fully power the car. Stan Meier had a high tech fuel injected hydrogen beach buggy using electronic pulses to help break down the water molecules. He was poisoned in 1998. A Swiss scientish in the 70s had 200 trucks and tractors running on hydrogen, using a radio wave to break dowm water vapour. The corrupt Govt. forced him to dismantle the fleet.
    Somebody please tell me that when we can send soil analysis back from Planet Mars, our brilliant scientists cannot efficiently spli a water molecule.
    In any case, Tesla had free wireless electricity in 1922, till the corrupt US Govt forced him to dismantle his ‘tower’ in Colorado that year. Dr Thomas Beardo, USA, n has a patented motionless generator since the 90s. Newmann, USA, has an overunity device driving a pickup for 40 years etc.
    Oil is a trillion dollar industry. Thorium will get ‘buried’, as did the rest. Any more Qs?

  • morgani

    i once took 4 grams of “THORIUM”, and thought my dog was Elvis, or Joan Rivers……in any case, not a good result……

  • ctblizzard

    This article should win an award for best comments! What a breath of fresh air compaired to the recent happenings in DC. It is interesting to note this company is in my home state of CT so ill check them out. While I have heard of thorium , I never realized its potential use for energy production. And wonder why with all the problems we have been having with nuclear materials why no one is producing energy with it now?

  • HP Austin

    The University of Michigan developed a new type of engine that got 90 mpg and it was supposed to be on the road last year. Allen Myers, a Japanese firm, at least two other Americans and a Filipino have developed cars that run on water – an electric current separates the oxygen from the hydrogen which is then burned. All of these technologies have been suppressed by big oil and the banks and this will be also.

  • Dw

    I must have missed the elite plus health care systems that eliminate cancer, all the nuclear cult followers here must have access to one.

  • Anonymous

    This would be awesome, but I doubt the Oil Companies would ever allow this to happen.

  • Adolfo

    As long as the Corporations of Petroleum full of arabs and others do not sent assasins to kill the inventor as they did before with the cars powered with water (H2 specially) in Usa and other countries, all will be well.

  • http://www.essentialmotoring101.com/ Andy Mervin George

    I thought we will have flying cars in the future?? Because by then, there would be too many mines on Earth that cars cannot travel on. Flying would be it 😉

  • Keifus


  • JPReturns

    Two Words: Car Accidents. Wrecking a vehicle will result in release of the thorium into the environment. Anything which weighs only 8 grams and gives off that much energy is going to be a real danger.

  • theBopper

    As awesome as the car looks….why exactly would someone manufacture a car that is still dependent on drilling and stockpiling a” resource” than taking that time & money to develop an engine that uses solar power to create energy…. the sun is free & in the sky…if were at a point where the gasoline engine is to become obsolete… why wouldn’t you just develop an awesome solar system..
    greedy turds..

  • BryanS

    Nothing would need replaced? no fossil fuels? Some people dont have an idea of lubrication, corrosion, and how you get plastics and modern tires.

  • Doug Williams

    I think it would depend on the cost of the auto, especially with the liberals running the country into the ground,

  • Filipe

    Whoever designed this car must’ve been having a really bad day

  • luka

    “he explained small pieces of thorium were used to generate heat and were
    positioned to create a thorium laser. The lasers heat water to produce
    steam and power a series of mini-turbines.”
    you dont read the article. what thorium reactor dream guys? it is a old technology is about steam engine actually go back 100 years but use thorium not coal. you seen to many SF movie. we still have coruption and people starving and you want 1Mil km car?? do you not have mortage or other small things to think about?

  • Joe Montoto

    The real bonus is only having to deal with a car salesman once in a lifetime!

  • justdooit

    Only the super rich will be able to afford one…The rest will ride BUSES…lol

  • justdooit

    Gimme a Thorium power Motocycle…lol…NOT…

    Hmmm…no stats on speed/performance…hmmm

    And…WHAT happens in a wreck…does one get radiated…lol OMG…

    Me thinks I’ll stick with my Toyota…

  • Dieter Gould

    At the rate technology is going. We should be flying our own personal transport vehicle. And, by the time they figure out this alternative fuel source… Obamacare, should be part of the fossil fuel program. A.k.a. Dust in the Wind!

  • Jason M Gee

    The Biggest Problem Isn’t the OIL Companies Or The GOV. nope the biggest Problem to me Seems to be the water for the turbines its finite unless thers a induction system with some sort of reverse osmosis to turn air and seperate it in to water

  • Suzy Leigh

    Why develop something that requires gouging into the earth,? These mining companies continue to reap destruction on our planet, and take our money and health simultaneously, why can’t we devote our energy into developing solar power, other than it being free?

  • Suzy Leigh

    Why develop something that requires gouging into the earth,? These mining companies continue to reap destruction on our planet, and take our money and health simultaneously, why can’t we devote our energy into developing solar power, other than it being free?

  • Mhic Dhu Ghaill

    Methinks thorium is what powers USN “nuclear” submarines. But maybe I disrember.

  • Tom White

    I would say that I think thorium powered cars are certainly something we should try to develop. The 19th century technology that we still use today is reaching the end of it’s effective life and we need to prepare for the next thing.
    The other possibility could be separating out the hydrogen atom out of saltwater and using it as fuel. It could either be pre-compressed or produced on the fly from salt water. So although it would need to be refueled and does have a by-product (oxygen), it would not require boiling water to generate steam for pressure. Either way, it’s worlds better than the antiquated, polluting technology we still cling to today.

  • Tammy Fry Garding

    I hope this becomes the future so it will bankrupt the middle east and put people to work making this car. As long as it is affordable and hopefully the government will not interfere.

  • Jesse Yuvali

    gasoline is very risky source in our today cars, even electric cars are not the safest in case you touch the wrong parts, steam cars back in the day would harm the operator too, so any energy source has a safety risk. australia will love the idea, turkey is pushing the boron car, at the end somebody is going to make money. nobody can still mess with my bicycle, cheers

  • Antonio Piazza

    This car would have to cost a million dollars to buy. How could they possibly make one affordable for the masses? Also, what happens to the radiation if it is in a serious accident?

  • squire

    I’m all for anything that puts an end to my weekly trip to the pump.

  • Mike.edu

    NO! We are not competent to use nuclear energy at this time…

  • GS

    What happens when there is an accident?

  • Terry Houston

    Well come on , lets get to it. Were not gettin any younger here. Why the hold up? Because of a dollar? The more things like this we come up with the less were gonna need the dollar. The less we need the dollar , the more peaceful life will be.

  • Klabauterhuhn

    Kar pls

  • Anonymous

    There are certain complications to consider.
    One glaringly obvious one is when there is a car accident, and there is a nuclear explosion.

  • Trippa

    Yeah everyone go and buy this amazing future cars so the price of petrol goes down and I can enjoy my loud and enviroment non friendly m3 on the nurburgring gp 😉

  • Sunny

    Probably would be made in China where no one cares about the people working with the Thorium.

  • Ben Buds

    consumers would love it, tons of industries would not and will do everything in their power to keep us from it

  • ZAIMatte

    Thorium laser?! What the heck is that?

  • OregonCityTom

    Just a moment, here. Don’t sell your Yugo just yet. With a half-life of 14.05 billion years, common Thorium isn’t about to give up its energy without help. Do a few calculations, and this cries “Bogus!” It’s all about energy density, after all.

    Do a little Google searching and you’ll discover this same fellow promised the same wonderful result in the summer of 2011, with the same flurry of excitement… and the proper skepticism, citing not only the vagueness of the claims, but the overwhelming facts of nuclear energy conversion. Now here it is 2013, and the news is buzzing again.

    But the Physics problems with this have not changed: Neutrons are stubborn when well glued.

    One advancement, though: we have learned that the institutional memory of the “but gasoline is SOOOO 20th century” crowd is right around 2 years.

  • noprops

    Point missed: outside propulsion, thorium holds promise to the THE energy source for the future, albeit distant future.

  • Little Ted

    Just leave it to some 13 year old who’s never been to school to solve the problem. Science is useless.

  • Elitist

    Nothing wil happen while America is ran by Lobby groups….Just like the gun laws…

  • Ashwath

    USGS Estimates in tonnes(2011)CountryReserves

    India 963,000
    United States 440,000
    Australia 300,000
    Brazil 16,000
    Canada 100,000
    Malaysia 4,500
    South Africa 35,000
    Other Countries 90,000
    World Total 1,913,000

  • RJ

    so , why not use this technique for home heat / cooling ? weight potability etc. would not be an issue .

  • Anizguy

    Sorry but oil companies will not allow it the oil addiction is working to well

  • Steve4FairTax

    Why not just have a Thorium generator in your house and drive any standard electric car? Use it to heat your house too. No need for a mobile generator.

  • Michael Webb

    I’m curious, why the 24 individual tires? Is it just for a futuristic aesthetic, or do they serve a purpose like that?

  • Suliman

    Any alpha emitter will give you lung cancer when dispersed into the air. A lot of military veterans learned that the hard way.

  • imadufus

    Why not? If it can be done, then go for it. I’m sure it’s way out of my price range, but they do look cool. Maybe I can pick a used one up some day that’s seventy or eighty years old.

  • Dan Chartier

    It is great to read about more possible uses for thorium. Put me on the list for the first t-cars to roll off the assembly line.

  • Jamie Ray Donald Kutaj

    This isn’t gonna happen until all the oil in the world is gone.. basically.

  • Joe Hopeful

    May never happen. No wear and tear? No replacement engine parts? No mechanics? No filtration replacement components? No manufacturing, no supply chain, no sales staff, no distribution? (Of course I know every thing would not be eliminated.)

    All this is part of the very essence of America’s love and infatuation with the automobile. I think this fuel source is a fantastic idea and would stand in line. But what about the loss of jobs,: not to mention the loss of profits for big corp officers? Would be hard for this guy, who grew up in the time right after WWII and the Korean war to see some corp entities surrender their profits to a smarter and more desirable auto and power source.
    Maybe we have evolved enough to “see” the light provided by a cleaner and more affordable power source for it?. One can hope.

  • LMJ313

    No emissions, no greenhouse gasses, powerful and abundent fuel. Bottom line, this would solve way too many problems for the environmentalists to support it.

  • Phillip Textor

    After the tech is perfected, how much for a conventional, mid-sized, 5 passanger vehicle? How much hosrepower? How fast? I love the idea.

  • FreeDezi

    The real problem is greedy governments and evil corporations. The license and permits to own such a vehicle would match or exceed the cost of running a gasoline vehicle.
    We could all have gasoline for 10c per litre now, but criminals in power make it maximum price. Until we show the megalomaniacs who is boss, we will continue to get scammed forever!

  • sambo

    The good old US will find a way to screw it up

  • rapier1

    Sorry, but this is some guy selling snake oil. The technology doesn’t make sense *at all*. This has been debunked in multiple other sources. Basically, he’s saying if he shines a laser on a hunk of thorium it will produce more energy than is put into it. Even though the thorium, by his own claims, is sub-critical (which means it’s not engaging in fission). In fact, he’s claiming that he’s extract 50 time more energy from this setup than you get from uranium-235 fission. This is a weird claim and really hard to swallow. This honestly sounds like one of those free energy devices that are, inevitably, a scam based on the idea of a perpetual motion machine. The fact that he’s claiming this is based on secret technology developed by Tesla just sort of ratchets up the crank quotient in this.

  • dirtyfloorsindahous

    Peoples inability to calculate doesn’t bother me…, Chatterboxes wanting to rant doesn’t annoy me…., cars already move without new fuel sources….., but….., if Thorium can get rid of the tinea between my toes, I’m excited!

  • rjw

    Why waste your time generating steam, spinning a turbine and an alternator just to produce electricity? Why not do as NASA does in their OSCAR 7 power plant and use the nuclear heat to power a two-moving-parts Stirling Engine that produces electricity directly by oscillating motion, magnets and pickup coils?

  • Carl Jones

    The reason why this will be binned, is that every house could be off grid and that destroys the elites control mechanism.

  • Headgasket

    This looks like an excellent idea – but the sad reality is that Big Oil and their allies will be all over this one. They will bury this and come next year most people won’t even remember it. I hope to be proven wrong.

  • Angus

    Sounds like the grain of truth (in the potential of Thorium nuclear power) that’ll be used to scam investors.

  • Eirik

    I guess becoming a mechanic will be considerably harder in the future, with the basic nuclear physicist training required 😛

  • Mats Larssen

    Well, it doesn’t really matter because whether cars would be running on thorium or not do not depends on the possibillity in technology, but whether politicians around the world would allowed it! Thou I do think thorium would be used to produce energy for daily use in different nations where they will develope thorium technology. Still, I think that’s years head before they have any full scale thorium reactor for commercial use.

  • Gary

    Nice… Do it.. Lets knock out the oil and gas gusseling cars…


    concept is too risky but put simply.. the heart of the engine is nuclear fission. An accident would be too risky for not only the inmates but also the entire area where the accident takes place. why do we need to have thorium powered cars ? we can then have Thorium powered homes, isnt it, the same engine can sit in the basement and produce enough power to light up even huge buildings and also supply to the grid when not using substantially. Moreover the heat can be directly utilized in cold countries to warm the interiors of say large hotels etc. This engine can be big and developed to power big ships, earthmovers, huge mining machinery and vehices, as accident rates are lower in that category. If this engine is so safe can it be allowed to power aeroplanes ? All the thorium that is said to be available is stolen from South India and not anywhere else.

  • Matthew Snelling

    Portable nuclear generator, requiring small amounts of fuel to create steam, drive turbines, and create energy…….. Steampunk-style-super-sized Iron Man suits for all!

  • Outcast

    Nuclear powered cars were introduced to me in a book that I had read in the 1960’s in elementary school titled “Automobiles of the Future” by Irwin Stambler. Rocket powered cars, automated superhighways, lunar rovers and hovercrafts were also discussed in that book with some very submissions by Ford and GM. On another subject, home refridgerators were at one time were considered to be built, nuclear powered by a small pellet of material.

  • Jacob

    Whats so hard about using wind, solar, and water. Sure at this point in time they suck, but that is because no enough minds or money is being put into it. I’m sure if the world for some magical reason could not use the fuels we currently using the world as a whole would come up with stuff real quick

  • kevin Dailey

    What happens in an accident? Is there a risk of radio activity? Technology at some point will allow cars to drive them selves almost eliminating accidents. Does the reactor need to be encased in lead? That might pose another problem. You may have enough Thorium to power every car car but what about the lead needed to encase the reactor?

  • aquaheadsbro

    Love to see my mechanic work on this!

  • Mike Maggard

    You all can argue all you want. This is never going to happen. Big oil will never allow it to see the light of day. If this technology can be used in a vehicle, you can dang well bet it could be used to power your home. Could you imagine if every home had a Thorium generator that could power your home for 100 years? Who would need power companies or big oil. And don’t forget about the EPA cronies, and the environmental nut bags that will come out of the woodwork if they want to open mines for this stuff. Nope, between big oil, power companies, EPA, & environmentalists this subject might as well be closed before it was ever opened.

  • MetaLibra

    Sure these cars last a long time without fueling, but they will eventually run out of fuel. So obviously there is a finite amount of Thorium, and it will be used up in a matter of centuries, if it is used like this and to its full extent in cars alone. Also, I would bet money that scientists are studying it for possible alternative uses aside from vehicles. No matter what the numbers crunch out to be, it’s still not addressing the fact that it is a finite amount, AND that it will most likely be used in other applications (perhaps airplanes, ships, submarines, trains, and non-transportational machinery, etc.)

  • Richard Reimer

    Let’s get cracking then if the thorium theory is right than make it happen!

  • Tghu Verd

    Does the description of how this is supposed to work even make sense?

    Thorium powered lasers heating steam to power a generator to create electricity to run the car…or some such, I think the Wizards at Hogwarts might have designed this one. And all based on the comment that “just one gram of thorium produces more energy than 28,000 litres of petrol.” I’d expect that pretty much 8g of **anything** undergoing fission would do that, but I’m not keen to park it in the garage overnight.

    Looking at the Laser Powered Systems website there’s more hype than science (and wildly repetitive hype at that…same words across multiple tabs). LPS may be building something useful, but a thorium powered car is not it.

  • http://singularthinker.wordpress.com/ AlphaThinker

    Don’t see any reason to risk to put a nuclear reactor in a car. Generating hydrogen with Thorium nuclear reactor (LFTR in example) and then using fuel cell looks much safer.

  • jim

    what happens when the car crashes with another car do we gotta worry about instantaneous death or have they already thought of that

  • Johnny C

    I prefer to transfer the fission fuel into electricity in the reactor station, and let the Tesla motor do the “No oil, No emission” thing on road. Sounds safer.

  • JD

    isnt the point of the search, for either free energy or “renewable” energy!
    doesnt matter if it lasts longer than oil – its still not renewable..shii..

  • billed

    So if the car crashes with 8gms of fuel would this cause

  • Thorium230

    I want mine with white wall tires

  • Nathanzamprogno

    This concept is nonsense. Putting radioactive material in every car? Why not use Thorium in electrical power generation stations and then use the electricity to charge conventional electric cars?

  • Duncan

    so, it’s almost 3 years later, how is it going? Or was this a reprint of an original article from the beginning of April :)

  • grailpuffin

    So…. Its now 2014. Where is it?

  • krish

    i believe that thorium emits radiations continually,having it in phase, accidents,unpredictable as it means can happen and in that case exposure of the radiation if any would be a major trauma to the living kind i suppose!!!

  • Marek Zimowski

    It is already 3 years since the original post. And what? Nothing. I presume, that some petrochemical company bought that project, lock it in a safe and making bilions of dolars seling oil… Typical and very sad. :(

  • Joseph Edward Bodden

    the car will wear out before the engine, and the old engines will be bought up by ISIS? Al Qaeda? They can build this, BUT NOT A CAR THAT CAN RUN ON AGRAFUELS LIKE WOOD ALCOHOL???? And just how is our ‘planned obsolescence based economy going to embrace this miracle of toxic nuclear waste made mobile?

  • CrazyBox

    I’m even wondering: why not put Thorium as fuel for RTG’s of space probes? I’ve been researching this and found that thorium has an impressive half-life: more than 70,000 years, and have an energy cost very good ($ 5,000 / kg, 1g = 28000l gasoline), a energy density more impressive even, and large reserves. remembering that the Voyager 1 and 2 probes will shut down in 2020 and 2030, respectively, after 80 years of work. So a Thorium RTG would likely last about 875 times more than the Pu (current).

  • man

    Where can i buy one and how much

  • http://www.platinumremovals.com.au/ MarcioWilges

    The comments are hilarious! I am not here to debate on the calculations because I know I am not that good in Math OR Science. Therefore, let me just save the trouble. I just find it amazing that Mother Nature has a lot more to offer than we could possibly imagine. It is simply remarkable to know that many elements have been uncovered through the removal of the ground to make room for discoveries for the benefits of mankind.