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 Post subject: "Connection 2012"
PostPosted: Apr 25, 2012 7:42 pm 
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I'm returning from Singapore to the US after having presented LFTR technology and Flibe Energy at the "Connection 2012" conference. I also had a chance to meet local thorium advocate Benjamin Soon (thoriumsingapore.com) and had a wonderful visit.


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 Post subject: Re: "Connection 2012"
PostPosted: Apr 27, 2012 2:00 pm 
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At the "Connection 2012" conference, I was part of a morning session on the 25th of April with four speakers. The introduction was given by Nagi Hamiyeh of Temasek Holdings.

The first speaker was Kevin Kajiwara, who is the director of Global Markets for the Eurasia Group. The title of his talk was "Global Politics--Emerging Trends and Risks".

I spoke next and the title of my talk was "A Global Alternative--Energy from Thorium". I began by saying "I'm here to tell you a story that you and I and every other form of life on this planet has been a part of, and it the story of how thorium has sustained and protected life on Earth for billions of years". I then described thorium's role in keeping the interior of the planet molten, in generating the magnetic field, and in the movement of tectonic plates and carbon recycling. I likened our present energy situation to a climber hanging on a cliff, and said that once again thorium would come to our rescue. But it would be despite the public sentiment against nuclear power, as evidenced by the recent cover of the Economist magazine saying "Nuclear energy, the dream that failed". To revive the potential of nuclear power, I said, we would need to confront three assumptions and challenge them. The first challenge was that liquid fuel is better than solid fuel. The second challenge was that thorium is better than uranium. And the third challenge is that fission makes things that are more useful than electricity, like medicines and desalinated water. I described each of these in turn and then described how Alvin Weinberg's Molten Salt Reactor Program had been able to show the basic feasibility of the technology. I concluded by describing the opportunities awaiting an organization taking an early leadership position and finished with the statement that "thorium will become the world's dominant energy source, and this will be the most important development of the twenty-first century."

After my talk, there was a poll of the audience where Nagi Hamiyeh asked the question, "which energy source will be the most important for the 21st century?" The options were nuclear, solar, wind, coal, gas, oil. As I recall the nuclear option won something like 45% of the vote, which was more than twice any of the other options. Nagi turned to me and said, "Kirk, I think you've changed a lot of minds today" for which I was very pleased.

There was then a break after which Aubrey McClendon, the CEO of Chesapeake Energy, connected by videoconference from Oklahoma. His topic was "Shale Gas--An Energy Game Changer."

The last speaker in the session was Robert Friedland, the founder of Ivanhoe Mines, who spoke about the Oyu Tolgoi copper mining project in Mongolia. He also had a video presentation about the project which was very interesting.

UPDATE: Blog posting about the conference.


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