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SuperFuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future (MacSci) Paperback – August 20, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 203 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“Besides briefly covering everything technical you need to know about the 90th element on the periodic table, SuperFuel provides engaging detail on the history and likely future of using thorium as a comparatively safe and substantially beneficial nuclear fuel . . . [Martin] makes a solid, convincing case for thorium as a superfuel, not simply to replace uranium, but to reduce the use of much dirtier fuels such as coal . . . With readable presentations like SuperFuel, the path to a better energy future just got a little easier.” ―The Washington Times

“Makes the case that thorium, an abundant, safe element that cannot easily be turned into a weapon, should be fuelling our reactors instead of uranium…Martin is at his best when describing the human struggles of the cold-war era that spelled their…convincing.” ―
New Scientist

“Traces the history of nuclear power development. . . Recommended.” ―

“Richard Martin has done an exemplary job of exploring a technically demanding subject in a gripping narrative form. The implications of this subject could not be more vital -- for oil prices, energy security, the chances of coping with climate change -- and 'Superfuel' clearly and fairly spells out the reasons for both optimism and for caution. If every technical book were written in this clear and engaging a style, we'd all be a lot better informed! I am very glad to have read this book.” ―
James Fallows, The Atlantic, author of China Airborne

“Bringing back to light a long-lost technology that should never have been lost, this fascinating and important biography of thorium also brings us a commodity that's rare in discussions of energy and climate change: hope.” ―
Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired

“Thorium is the younger sister to uranium, less volatile, slower to self-consume, and as many have contended without success, much better suited as a source of nuclear power than uranium.
Superfuel by award-winning science writer Richard Martin tells the Cinderella story of thorium in a fast-paced, insider's account. This short, well-written book is a must read for those interested in understanding thorium's past and its potential to be a clean, renewable energy source for the future.” ―Cynthia Kelly, President Atomic Heritage Foundation

“Our future energy supplies rely upon hard choices. Richard Martin educates us on our troubled history with nuclear energy, and even more importantly, how to develop this essential source of 21st century clean energy. This is the type of book that can make a difference!” ―
John Hofmeister, author of Why We Hate the Oil Companies

“The story of the slightly radioactive element thorium, a much-touted alternative fuel for nuclear power plants. Abundant in the Earth's crust, thorium has been used in various industrial processes since its discovery in 1828. Advocates, writes Martin, an award-winning journalist and senior research analyst for Pike Research, a clean energy firm, say the silver-gray element has another possible use: as a cheap, safe energy source with the potential to solve our power crisis.…A lucid overview of a still-developing chapter in the story of nuclear power.” ―
Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Richard Martin is an award-winning science writer whose work has appeared in Wired, Time, Fortune, The Atlantic, and The Best Science Writing of 2004. He is the author of SuperFuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future. He isthe editorial director of Pike Research, a leading clean energy firm. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.
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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 113727834X
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (August 20, 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 272 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9781137278340
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1137278340
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 10.3 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.62 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 203 ratings

About the author

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Award-winning science and technology journalist Richard Martin has been covering the energy landscape for nearly two decades. A contributing editor for Wired since 2001, he has written about energy, technology, and international affairs for Time, Fortune, The Atlantic, the Asian Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. He is the former technology producer for (1997-2000), the technology editor for The Industry Standard (2000-2001), and editor-at-large for Information Week (2005-2008), and since 2011 he has been the editorial director for Pike Research, the leading clean energy research and analysis firm. His work was selected for Best Science Writing of 2004, and his honors include an “Excellence in Feature Writing" award, from the Society for Professional Journalists, for a Seattle Weekly investigative report on Boeing’s ties to China.

Martin’s writing on the future of energy has taken him around the world. In 1997 he spent three months in Aerbaijan and Kazakhstan, as one of the first Western journalists to report on the last great oil rush of the 20th century, the Caspian Sea oil boom. In Canada's northern Saskatchewan province, Martin descended 600 feet underground for a rare close-up of the world’s richest uranium mine. He has travelled across Alaska’s forbidding North Slope to report on new horizontal drilling techniques for extracting oil from under the permafrost near the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. And he spent weeks investigating the strange phenomenon of “super-rust” inside oil tankers, for a Wired feature. In early 2012, reprising a reporting trip he made in the late 1980s, he drove the Gulf Coast to report on America’s new petroleum export surge for a cover story for Fortune. Martin’s December, 2009 Wired story on thorium catalyzed the thorium power revival.

Educated at Yale and the University of Hong Kong, Richard Martin lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and son.

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
203 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on May 21, 2012
45 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on July 29, 2012
8 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Mr. G. Lonsdale
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsory reading for long-term opponents of nuclear power
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 30, 2014
7 people found this helpful
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Chris ap Alfred
2.0 out of 5 stars Very important subject, but the book is a bit of a damp squib.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on October 10, 2015
2 people found this helpful
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Richard B
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorium nuclear fission
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 2, 2013
Bob smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorium will happen, we just don't know when and where.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 20, 2015
Ron Lawrence
5.0 out of 5 stars Nuclear Power Stations of the Future (unless someone surprises us with even more acceptable)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on December 30, 2013