Richard Martin: "SUPERFUEL: Thorium, The Green Energy Source for the Future" | Talks at Google

Richard Martin: “SUPERFUEL: Thorium, The Green Energy Source for the Future” | Talks at Google

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Richard Martin was the first to write about thorium in the mainstream press. His feature story in Wired catalyzed the thorium power movement. An award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in Time, Fortune, The Atlantic, and The Best Science Writing, Martin is the editorial director of Pike Research, a leading clean-energy firm. He lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and son.


In this groundbreaking account of an energy revolution in the making, Martin introduces us to thorium, a radioactive element and alternative nuclear fuel that is far safer, cleaner, and more abundant than its more volatile sister, uranium. As we grapple with the consequences of nuclear energy disasters such as last spring’s meltdown at Fukushima and the proliferation of atomic weapons, not to mention our problematic dependence on Middle Eastern oil, thorium is reemerging as an overlooked energy source. Martin thoroughly articulates the world’s past and present development of thorium as an energy source, and he details its benefits as an element that can wean us off our fossil-fuel addiction while averting the risk of a nuclear meltdown.

“Richard Martin tells a story that needs to be understood for our future energy supplies rely upon hard choices. Martin makes at least one of those difficult decisions ever so much easier by educating us on our troubled history and experience with nuclear energy, and even more importantly for the future development of this essential source of 21st century clean energy. This is the type of book that can make a difference!” –John Hofmeister, author of Why We Hate the Oil Companies

“Bringing back to light a long-lost technology that should never have been lost, this fascinating, important biography of thorium also brings us a commodity that’s rare in discussions of energy and climate change: hope. “– Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired

“Thorium is the younger sister to uranium, less volatile, slower to self-consume, and as many have contended without success, much better suited as a source of nuclear power than uranium. Superfuel by award-winning science writer Richard Martin tells the Cinderella story of thorium in a fast-paced, insider’s account. This short, well-written book is a must read for those interested in understanding thorium’s past and its potential to be a clean, renewable energy source for the future.”– Cynthia Kelly, President Atomic Heritage Foundation.

This talk was hosted by Boris Debic.