Dr Reza Hashemi-Nezhad, School of Physics, University of Sydney is a
nuclear physicist and Australia's only expert in the field of
Accelerator Driven Nuclear Reactors which uses thorium as fuel. He has
been working in this field for 10 years in international collaborations,
with some of his research funding from Germany.
"Many of the concerns that people have expressed about nuclear energy
would be solved by using thorium instead of uranium to generate energy.
This would involve a new type of reactor called an Accelerator Driven
System. Apart from the fact that Australia has the world's biggest
reserves of thorium, the ADS using thorium does not produce plutonium
and can incinerate its own nuclear waste as well as plutonium and other
very long lived radioactive waste (such as that produced by the
experimental reactor at Lucas Heights).
"The nuclear waste produced requires only 500 years of storage time as
opposed to hundreds of thousands of years for conventional nuclear
reactor waste. In these reactors a meltdown like the Chernobyl disaster
is virtually impossible."