Eight grams of new energy source Thorium can power this car for 1 century. What does that mean for Medicine?

// November 2nd, 2013 // Information Technology, Interesting, IT Innovation

Thorium Concept Car

Thorium Concept Car – Image Courtesy www.greenpacks.com

This sleek-looking (or ugly-looking, depending on how you look at it) concept car was designed by Loren Kulesus to be the “Cadillac World Thorium Fuel Concept Car” as an idea for a car that would run off of Thorium. “According to CEO Charles Stevens, just one gram of the substance yields more energy than 7,396 gallons (28,000 L) [that’s 300,000 miles] of gasoline and 8 grams would power the typical car for a century.” [This, of course, does not actually run off of Thorium and is just a concept-design to illustrate the idea. Nuclear powered cars, even powered by energy sources as safe as Thorium, are not presently a good idea and even still are still a long way off in terms of advancement.]

“The principle is fairly simple. The thorium would be lased to generate heat, which would then produce steam in a closed-loop system. That steam would then power a generator to produce electricity. Since it only takes a thin sheet of aluminum foil to shield the world from the weak thorium radiation and the element can’t be weaponized, it’s thought to be perfect for mobile power generation.” (Source: Autoblog)

“Laser Power Systems (LPS) from Connecticut, USA, is developing a new method of automotive propulsion with one of the most dense materials known in nature: thorium. Because thorium is so dense it has the potential to produce tremendous amounts of heat. The company has been experimenting with small bits of thorium, creating a laser that heats water, produces steam and powers a mini turbine.”

“Current models of the engine weigh 500 pounds, easily fitting into the engine area of a conventionally-designed vehicle.”

Source: http://www.industrytap.com/thorium-fueled-automobile-engine-needs-refueling-once-a-century/15649

What does this mean for medicine?  [Of course it’s not yet possible, and even seems silly, to power a device from nuclear energy.] It could mean that one pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implant surgery would be necessary for the rest of a person’s life without need for subsequent surgeries to replace the batteries. This would provide a more permanent solution in patients that are in danger for ventricular fibrillation or other heart complications. It could mean the possibilities for backup energy for ventilators or life-sustaining medical devices, or it could mean new backup generators for intensive car units and hospitals that would provide 100% capacity for continued operations if electrical energy failed (or it could mean replacing electrical energy altogether).

Probably more important to people is how it can fuel their iPhone or Android smartphone. [Again, of course it’s not yet possible, and even seems silly, to power a device from nuclear energy.] But, it’s nice to dream of how this can be used for medicine.