Petition to Restart LFTR Research in the Government


I don't usually do this, but I am asking you, my readers, to please read and, if you agree, sign the petition to the White House about resuming research into the LFTR  (pronounced "lifter") project.

LFTR stands for Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor, a different type of nuclear reactor first studied in the 1950s and 1960s.  Basically, liquid fluoride thorium reactors:

  • work at extremely high temperatures (815 degrees Celsius or 1500 degrees Fahrenheit),
  • work at regular pressure, and 
  • cool down with the surrounding air.

In contrast, our current nuclear reactors (mostly LWR - Light Water Reactor):

  • work at high temperatures (around 300 degrees Celsius, or 572 degrees Fahrenheit),
  • work at high pressures, and
  • need a water-based cooling system to cool down.

LWRs need to be large enough to justify the expenses of the water cooling systems, and the high pressure containment systems.  This translate to a definite minimum size for profitability.

In terms of waste, let me quote some numbers for you:

In theory, LFTRs would produce far less waste along their entire process chain, from ore extraction to nuclear waste storage, than LWRs. A LFTR power plant would generate 4,000 times less mining waste (solids and liquids of similar character to those in uranium mining) and would generate 1,000 to 10,000 times less nuclear waste than an LWR. Additionally, because LFTR burns all of its nuclear fuel, the majority of the waste products (83%) are safe within 10 years, and the remaining waste products (17%) need to be stored in geological isolation for only about 300 years (compared to 10,000 years or more for LWR waste). Additionally, the LFTR can be used to "burn down" waste from an LWR (nearly the entirety of the United States' nuclear waste stockpile) into the standard waste products of an LFTR, so long-term storage of nuclear waste would no longer be needed.  (From

In the mid 1960s,  a research group ran a liquid fluoride thorium reactor, using the equivalent of a light switch to turn it off every Friday evening and back on every Monday morning.  But the government shut down the project after five years and never resumed funding.


Because the Department of Defense provided the funding for nuclear research, and LFTRs don't produce weapons-grade plutonium.  In our race for weaponry, we stopped funding the better answer to energy production because it did not help the Cold War.

And now we are paying the price.  If we had LFTR technology, we could give it away to every country in the world that wanted nuclear energy.  The U.S. would be able to go to Iran and say, "Here, we have the answer to your energy problems.  We'll be good neighbors and help out." instead of politely threatening them to stop their nuclear research.

If we had LFTR technology, we could shut down the coal mines and coal plants.  Instead, we could open up thorium mining, and produce clean energy.  We would not be reliant on gas or oil from other countries to heat our homes in the winter and cool them in the summer.  We would be self-sufficient.

So please sign this petition, and maybe we can change a small part of our world.

Links for more information:


  1. Dear Kathryn,

    Thank you so much for spreading the word about LFTR, the Future of Energy. Last May, I was privileged to address the President's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future. I told those assembled that, having retired after 35 years of representing clients before judges and juries all over Tennessee, today I have only one client: My dream of a future of clean, safe, abundant, and affordable electric power for the world provided by the LFTR.

    Everything you say is correct and I hope your readers will watch the video and visit the links.

    But a small correction - it is true that LFTR works basically at living room pressure but NOT at living room temperature. In fact, one of LFTR's benefits is that it operates at higher temperatures than the LWR, above 1500 degrees Farenheit. LFTR is just another way to make heat, the purpose of every boiler no matter the source of the heat. LFTR is simply orders of magnitude superior at making heat than any other technology in existence today.
    Robert Orr Jr

    1. Dear Robert,

      Thank you for championing LFTR technology. I do hope that everyone listened, and that the government will restart the research.

      Also, thank you for pointing out the misinformation about the running temperature. I added an update at the top.


  2. Updated new petition:
    400 more signatures than the last one :)

    1. Thanks, Christina! I just signed the petition.

  3. To link up with a bunch of other Thorium advocates you can explore our new community on G+

    And yes as Christina noted the petition has been restarted, and will be restarted until we get the required number.

    1. Thank you for the invitation to the Google + community; I joined this morning.


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