March 15 2016
By Nicole Andreou

Thomas Jam Pedersen

What shall we do with radioactive waste? Thomas Jam Pedersen says we should reconsider recycling it. This engineer with a curious mind will demonstrate how to solve the challenge of nuclear waste and simultaneously generate power for the next millennia via one solution: thorium energy.

RECONSIDER NUCLEAR WASTE

Thorium fuel-cycle energy is a particular type of nuclear power, which is not really being utilised today. First introduced in 1942, a thorium reactor was built in the US in the 1960s. When Thomas first read about thorium energy, he almost could not believe it: there is enough thorium in every country on the planet to provide its citizens with inexpensive energy for 1000 years.  

- It sounded too good to be true!

Thomas is now an expert on the matter and co-funded Copenhagen Atomics; a start-up that plans to build a thorium molten salt reactor, called Waste Burner. This reactor will be started by burning plutonium extracted from nuclear waste. The idea is to solve two problems at once: reusing nuclear waste to start a process that generates sustainable energy, and to turn a very dangerous substance into much less radioactive waste. 

As many European countries struggle with storing nuclear waste in the ground, recycling nuclear waste could be a solution. Indeed, the Waste Burner would reduce the storage time from more than 100,000 years to 300 years.

Even though nuclear energy seems hard to understand and suffers from a negative image, Thomas Jam Pedersen believes that we can no longer ignore this remarkable solution. To face the challenges of the future, Thomas asks us to overcome our preconceptions and consider thorium energy’s role in the energy debate and the energy mix of the future.

Are you ready to reconsider nuclear energy? Join us on April 7th at Bremen Teater to meet Thomas Jam Pedersen and judge for yourself.

 

- By Jasmine Crozier

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Thomas Jam Pedersen is an engineer, who has extensive experience in software and simulations. With a group of chemical engineers and physicists, he co-founded the startup Copenhagen Atomics. He also writes a blog about thorium energy on the website Ingeniøren.

Links: copenhagenatomics.com, LinkedIn, Blog