4

This article and included video from Young Turks claims that Laser Power Systems has produced a "concept for a car" which can run for 100 years on 8 grams of thorium without needing t be refueled. While I believe a car powered by thorium may be feasible, I am highly skeptical of their claims especially after visiting their website.
The article claims to show an image of a car which:

  • is powered solely by thorium,
  • runs off only 8g of thorium for 100 years,
  • is about as safe as other cars (no dying of radiation poisoning),
  • and the thorium releases its energy by using "using bits of it to build a laserbeam that heats water, produces steam, and powers an energy-producing turbine."

Has a car meeting these claims been produced? (already answered in comments.. no) Has a concept car which is reasonably likely to meet these claims been designed? It may be useful to give any indication as to what progress this company has made, if any, in this field.

  • Welcome to Skeptics!. The reference you provide does not claim they have built a concept car but a "concept for a car". It is just an idea. – Oddthinking Jul 2 '14 at 19:37
  • @Oddthinking That answers the first part of my question. I have edited the question accordingly to take it off hold (though it is still clear what I am asking). – another guest Jul 2 '14 at 20:26
  • 4
    The article does not show a picture of a Thorium powered car. It just talks about the idea of a Thorium-powered car and attaches a futuristic-looking car image. There is no claim in the article that this is anything more than an idea. – DJClayworth Jul 2 '14 at 20:33
  • 2
    How do you plan to shield the reaction? The thorium power cycle requires neutron bombardment--good luck shielding against that in a car--and it produces the same fission byproducts of uranium fission. Some of those are gamma emitters--again, good luck shielding against that in a car. – Loren Pechtel Jul 4 '14 at 3:20

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .