Think Thorium: The Future of Nuclear Energy - Opening October 14

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History will showcase a new permanent exhibit called Think Thorium: The Future of Nuclear Energy, opening to the public on Friday, October 14, 2022. Sponsored by the Thorium Energy Alliance, the exhibit looks at the past, present and future of using Thorium as fuel in a nuclear reactor and the development of a reactor technology significantly different from that used today.

Thorium was the second element discovered to be radioactive and has seen use in both industrial production and medicine. It has not, however, been used in nuclear energy production, since unlike uranium, it cannot sustain a fission reaction. Technology is currently being developed that would use thorium as part of both the fuel and the coolant for a new class of reactor. The molten salt reactor, when fully developed, would be safer, produce less waste and help reduce the world’s dependance on fossil fuels for energy production.

Conceptual models of a thorium fuel based molten salt reactor, videos and historical information will be accompanied by artifacts from the museum’s collection to illustrate the history and future of the use thorium. Artifacts will include a sample of thorium bearing beach sand from the Karela region of India and lead vials used in the 1950s to ship thorium-based medicines.

Think Thorium: The Future of Nuclear Energy will be included with the price of admission into the museum. This special exhibition is sponsored by the Thorium Energy Alliance.