07 September 2011
Alvin M. Weinberg's Legacy.
What does humankind already owe Alvin Weinberg - Well, he invented Light Water Reactors, so how many millions or billions of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions has that saved? How many millions of premature deaths from fossil fuel burning pollution has that prevented?
If LFTR are widely deployed, Weinberg's obsession becomes reality. In his autobiography Weinberg confessed:
"I became obsessed with the idea that humankind's whole future depended on the breeder. For Society generally to achieve and maintain a standard of living of today's developed countries depends on the availability of relatively cheap, inexhaustible sources of energy."
Of course, he was talking about breeding fissile uranium from thorium, with thorium's abundance capable of supplying all of our energy needs for hundreds of thousands of years (to all intents and purposes - inexhaustible)
Let's hope and let's dream it happens and then, in terms of the debt humanity owes to an individual, Weinberg will be at the pinnacle.