can you buy thorium
Thorium is slightly radioactive, but it is much more abundant in nature than uranium and does not produce fission by-products. It can be used as a fuel in conjunction with plutonium to breed fissile uranium-233.
Its applications are diverse and it can be found in a wide range of products and processes. In addition to its use as a nuclear fuel in molten salt reactors, it is also used in many heat resistant ceramics and alloys.
In the ceramic industry, thorium oxide (ThO2) is used to make heat resistant glazes for ceramic tile. It is also used as a coating for tungsten welding rods.
Some thorium oxides are also used as incandescent materials in camping lantern mantles. These are impregnated with a thorium and cerium oxide mix, which glows very brightly when heated by an oil flame in a lantern.
Unlike uranium, which is an extremely common element, it is relatively rare to come across a pure form of thorium. However, it is possible to obtain a small amount of thorium by mining for thorium ore and recycling it as waste.
The main reason people do not pursue thorium is because they do not understand its potential in the energy sector. In particular, they do not understand that a large amount of research is required to develop a thorium breeder reactor.
As an alternative to uranium, thorium has been shown to be safer, less expensive and more environmentally friendly than its counterpart. However, to date, thorium breeder reactors have not been commercially developed and there is no domestic production of thorium in Australia.