The following legislation has been introduced in the US Senate today by Senator Orrin Hatch and Senator Harry Reid:Be sure to check out the discussion at Kirk's forum as well.
To amend the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 to provide for thorium fuel cycle nuclear power generation.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the "Thorium Energy Independence and Security Act of 2008".
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress finds that—
(1) the United States and foreign countries will require massive and increasing quantities of energy during the 20-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act to support economic growth;
(2) nuclear power provides energy without generating unacceptable quantities of greenhouse gasses;
(3) the generation of nuclear power in the United States and many foreign countries has been discouraged by concerns regarding—(A) the proliferation of weapons-useable material; and (B) the proper disposal of spent nuclear fuel;
(4) nuclear power plants operating on an advanced thorium fuel cycle to generate nuclear energy—(A) could potentially produce fewer weapons-useable materials than uranium-fueled plants; and (B) would produce less long-term waste as compared to other nuclear power plants;
(5)(A) thorium is more abundant than uranium; and (B) the United States possesses significant domestic quantities of thorium to ensure energy independence;
(6)(A) thorium fuel cycle technology was originally developed in the United States; and (B) cutting-edge research relating to thorium fuel cycle technology continues to be carried out by entities in the United States; and
(7) it is in the national security and foreign policy interest of the United States that foreign countries seeking to establish or expand generation and use of nuclear power should be provided—(A) access to advanced thorium fuel cycle technology; and (B) incentives to reduce the risk of nuclear proliferation.
Picture of the element Thorium on the periodic table.