Cars Fueled by Nuclear Power May Not Remain a Dream

September 5, 2011 / 3 Comments

Cars may run fueled by nuclear power, if research on than terrain goes as per plans. Charles Stevens of Laser Power Systems (LPS) is working on creating an emissions-free turbine/electric generator powered by thorium lasers.

thorium1 Cars Fueled by Nuclear Power May Not Remain a Dream

During World War II, thorium was used as a backup power source to uranium and plutonium and, though it is lighter and safer than those other materials, developments were never truly carried out with it.

Further, a laser produced by thorium does not produce a beam of light like most lasers do. Instead, it emits a wave of heat that gives off incredible amounts of energy.

It is predicted that thorium laser powered generator will weigh about 500 pounds and fit under the hood of a car. One gram of the element produces the equivalent of 7,500 gallons of gasoline. In other words, only 8 gm of thorium could power a car for 300,000 miles.

The idea of a nuclear powered car is not new. In 2009, Cadillac announced their World Thorium Fuel concept car at the Chicago Auto Show and Stevens is now developing this technology at his Massachusetts-based R&D firm, LPS.

 

thorium laser car technology Cars Fueled by Nuclear Power May Not Remain a Dream

 

The idea to run cars with thorium has energized the small but active thorium community, which holds that it is the answer to our clean energy needs because it could, effectively, power a car forever. The new technology “would be totally emissions-free,” Stevens said, “with no need for recharging.”

Researchers in Russia, India and more recently, in China and North America, have studied using thorium as fuel for nuclear reactors, partly because it is more difficult to use in atomic weapons than uranium or plutonium.