I got permission to take a few hours off of my day job yesterday morning to attend a professional event related to future employment. I crossed town on the excellent Metro system to the Florida Ave-Galludet University stop and made my way to the Kellog Conference Center for the opening of the first session of the first ever meeting of the Thorium Energy Alliance.
I listened to some inspiring opening remarks, a talk by Kirk Sorensen about the history and potential of thorium based energy, one by Robert Hargraves about Aiming High for a dramatic improvement in the way that humans manufacture the power that they need, and one by Paul Houle on using existing codes for simulations of various configurations of molten salt (liquid fluoride) reactors.
There was one more morning talk on the topic of reactor design that described some interesting configurations and fluid fuel options that included a low enriched uranium plus thorium version, but my nearly 50 year old brain is simply not pulling out the name of the presenter. (I promise to fill it in later, but I left my notes in my day job office.) (Note: The presenter was David LeBlanc.) My major contribution to the conference was to remind the attendees that thorium is a wonderful fuel that works well in cooperation with uranium. In fact, it does not work at all without uranium.
If you happen to be in the DC area, the conference is still happening for one more day. The roster of presenters is good, the company is interesting and the venue is one that will allow some very personal engagement with the other attendees.