Thorium-Fueled Automobile Engine Needs Refueling Once a Century

Back in the late 60s and early 70s the US military built Thorium-Fueled reactors and designed them for aircraft and was very

Thorium Concept Car - Image Courtesy
Thorium Concept Car – Image Courtesy

successful. These small nuclear reactors would never go critical and blow up due to the design. Now a new concept car has arrived and has great potential for a fuel source. By the way if you actually study Nuclear Physics there is only 3 to 5 pages that cover thorium reactors due to their size and popularity.

There are now over one billion cars traveling roads around the world directly and indirectly costing trillions of dollars in material resources, time and noxious emissions. Imagine all these cars running cleanly for 100 years on just 8 grams of fuel each.

Laser Power Systems (LPS) from Connecticut, USA, is developing a new method of automotive propulsion with one of the most dense materials known in nature: thorium. Because thorium is so dense it has the potential to produce tremendous amounts of heat. The company has been experimenting with small bits of thorium, creating a laser that heats water, produces steam and powers a mini turbine.
Current models of the engine weigh 500 pounds, easily fitting into the engine area of a conventionally-designed vehicle. According to CEO Charles Stevens, 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.

The idea of using thorium is not new. In 2009, Loren Kulesus designed the Cadillac World Thorium Fuel Concept Car. LPS is developing the technology so it can be mass-produced. Read More Source

28 thoughts on “Thorium-Fueled Automobile Engine Needs Refueling Once a Century”

    1. There are 2 typos. There “are” only 3-5 pages, ….and due to “their” size and popularity. OOps!

      1. There “are” more inappropriate usages of words and exclusions of punctuation in the article than what you have pointed out, but “they’re” not the reason you should be commenting. If you want to be a bitch, then do a complete job of being a bitch.

  1. My question is why not make this a conversion kit so folks can just adapt this to vehicles they already own. Dig this fancy future caddy we have here but if itsnot practical. Most of the 99% can’t afford a Tesla.

    1. It’s a tad unrealistic to thing that, with a few minor modifications, you could “convert” your fossil fuel engine to run as a Nuclear reactor. 😉

    2. I’m sure just handing out radioactive kits to whoever wants them will not cause any problems at all… just with like Freon back in the day LOL.

  2. If they succeed, they’ll never be allowed to get it to market … Too much money at risk if something like this hits the open market. Heck, put that engine in a stainless steel frame … It not like Delorean had a bad experience bucking the automotive powers.

    1. Do you mean Tucker? DeLorean got out of the automotive business because he started running cocaine. Otherwise, point well taken and I agree, sad to say.

  3. it sounds good, but we know it will never happen, the car industry would stop the fuel industry would stop no jobs etc…my question is what if the car crushes…

  4. Big Oil will make this disappear, just like all of the other technology that threatens them. Even if it slips through the cracks, the cost and taxes associated will be made so high that no one can afford it anyway.

    1. Yes. And China will do whatever Big Oil orders them to do. Not! They’ll just steal it for themselves.

  5. Interesting that aircraft and vehicles have been tried and tested using this potential but on a massive scale the general population could be waiting 500years to buy one !

  6. It would be interesting to know just how much thorium would cost, is it naturally occurring? If a manufactured substance how much energy used to create it? How much shielding would be required, and isn’t safe in an accident?
    A fantastic concept, but could it be made into reality??

  7. All I hear is baaa baa baaa bleating of sheep and the “eat, sleep, work, eat sleep, work” robots. The only reason they have so far managed to bury stuff like this or tax it out of the realms of affordability is because we let them!
    It’s time we got off our backsides and showed them exactly who works for whom! They are our ‘public servants’ who are supposed to represent us. We were not born to serve them!!

    All it takes is for a few innovative companies such as the one mentioned here to stand up and say NO! we will not shelve this technology, neither will we give you control of it and then for the rest of us sheep to wake the flock up and stand behind them to ensure that they do not suffer the bullying of Big Oil and governments!

    It’s really not rocket science!! ……………………………….. well, actually, i guess it is but you get my drift 😉

  8. Not that this isn’t a neat article, but if I hear one more article mention a reactor blowing up because it went critical I’m going to vomit. If a reactor never goes critical, it never gets used to generate power. That is not a typo. When you see the word “critical” concerning a nuclear reactor, you can replace that with the phrase “is operating at a stable level of power, neither increasing in magnitude nor decreasing in magnitude.” “Critical” means STABLE. It simply means power is not changing, but maintaining a chain reaction to keep making power. While I’m at it, here’s a few more terms to have fun with. Subcritical: means power is going down. Supercritical: means power is going up. Prompt critical: this is the bad one. I won’t go into details, but when you talk about things blowing up (not the fuel mind you) this is what you should be saying. Any reactor that achieves prompt criticality is screwed. Things will go all kinds of bad so quickly even computers can’t catch it and stop it in time. Has a reactor ever done this? Yes. Chernobyl pulled it off. That’s how bad it is. But if you know anything about Chernobyl, you know they violated every safety protocol they had. So there you go. Tirade over.

  9. Howard Hughes ‘steam’ power liability & accident public relations nightmare seems to pale in comparison. Then remember to factor in litigious opportunists and possible deliberate misuse of volatile substances. I barely trust my neighbors to own audio speakers- polka was not meant to be ‘bass’ed all night. For Peace & Environmental sake, NO NUCLEAR!


  10. There “are” more inappropriate usages of words and exclusions of punctuation in the article than what you have pointed out, but “they’re” not the reason you should be commenting. If you want to be a bitch, then do a complete job of being a bitch.

  11. …so what happens in a major car accident, possibly with a petrol tanker, followed by an explosion…um….major nuclear incident. This idea = fail

  12. I don’t know anything about Thorium or nuclear physics. One bad thing I thought of with this car is the availability of Thorium to the general public and it being used with bad intentions. If nuclear material is available to terrorist cells by simply buying a car, that’s a bad thing!!!! Sorry my first thought was negative. However, the idea of a vehicle with zero emissions and needs not to be re-fueled, just maintenance, is AWESOME!!!!!! I love it, gas right now is killing me, especially being laid off and having to travel from Haverhill MA to Derry N.H. every other day, only 25 miles but it adds up.

  13. A few things.

    1. No, the US military did not build thorium-fueled reactors for aircraft in the late-’60s or early-’70s… or ever (the work in the 1950s was based on molten fluoride salt as a fuel). The entire development process for atomic-powered aircraft was scrapped by 1961, for a few reasons:

    1.a.: If an aircraft with an atomic reactor went down and said reactor tore free from its moorings, the damned thing – heavy by nature – would tumble free of the lead shielding and neatly irradiate the surrounding area.

    1.b: ICBMs rendered the idea moot, since the entire purpose of trying to put atomic-powered aircraft into the sky was to have bombers that could maintain standby for days or even weeks without refueling or landing back in the grim days of the Cold War.

    1.c: It wasn’t cost-effective, and there was no indication that it ever would be.

    2. Thorium reactors can operate at sub-criticality… but only if accelerator based, which isn’t exactly feasible in a car. And the lack of criticality doesn’t do a thing to stop the radioactive gases that are thorium’s decay products.

    3. Just about the last place you want to put an operational reactor is in an automobile. See, cars have this nasty tendency to wind up in nasty accidents. Bang up the engine compartment, and at best you’d have radioactive material leaking/venting/strewn about; at most, you’d have a criticality incident right there on Main Street.

    This is a stunningly bad idea. It would be dandy for naval propulsion, perhaps (as an updated take on the old SS Savanna experiment), but you don’t want to be in highway traffic with one of these things.

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