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thorium car

A concept atomic car designed by Laser Power Systems that uses a radioactive metal called thorium as its fuel instead of the commonly known uranium. The company claims that the car can run for 100 years on as little as 8 grams of the thorium fuel. Thorium is a naturally occurring radioactive element that was discovered in 1828 by a Norwegian mineralogist and identified by a Swedish chemist, who then named it after the Norse god, Thor. Compared to uranium, thorium has many advantages: it can produce 90 times the amount of energy that the same amount of uranium generates, it only produces a fraction of the radioactive waste and the waste is not useful for making nuclear bombs, a thorium reactor is much safer than its uranium counterpart because it relies on physics instead of machines and people to keep the reaction under control.

Since thorium is very dense and is capable of producing large amount of heat, Laser Power Systems developed a system that uses a small amount of the material to generate a laser which heats water and generates steam to power a mini turbine. According to Laser Power, just one gram of the substance yields more energy than 7,396 gallons (28,000 L) of gasoline and 8 grams would power the typical car for a century.

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