this may be true, but today, in 2010, there are NO actual operating thorium cycle reactors, and therefore, as a matter of fact, we don't really know how well they would perform,
WRONG: There exists plenty of R&D thorium reactors; so the physics have been proven. One excellent example is we've proven that the energy from one (1) tonne of thorium is roughly equal to 200 tonnes of uraniumm, or 3,500,000 tonnes of coal. The point is, we have a measured energy output from real-world reactors - not just fluffy academic theories.
assuming they actually could be built economically.
Yea, because shedding blood over oil is so economical.
as they say, in theory, theory and practice are the same, in practice they ain't beyond this, there are two other significant issues with any nuclear power proposal: a, the associated technology (eg, how to handle high level waste safely) can serve as a cloak for related activities in bomb making; you just can't get away from this (eg, if you have a thorium reactor, you need emergency technology for dealing with very hot waste; this same technology, or related technology, is critical to bomb making, but is very rare, and hard to obtain and hide if you don't have a large civilian program)
Thorium scavenges plutonium, thereby acting as an eco-cleaner that eradicates this terrible scary waste you hint at.
Here's a recent article:
b) ther are better alternatives; nuclear power is an intelligence test: if you say yest to nuclear, instead of solar/wind, you fail (and don't give me that crap about fundamental physical contraints on solar/wind - people who say stuff like that are just ignorant)
I have no idea what this "test" is you speak of, but the idea of solar is a joke. We can always hope to break, but simply cannot ignore established laws of physics - no matter how much we might want to. You want us to ignore physics? Let me know what happens when you leap off a cliff...damn silly laws of physics...
I believe that a day will come, which enables us to effectively break established laws of physics, but until that day, I do not want my children's blood shed over a purposeless war intended to control corporate-sponsored energy options. Especially when strong alternatives exists, even though puppets like you continue to ignorantly spout otherwise. Speaking to ignorance - maybe try lifting that veil of your own, and do some in-depth independent research - instead of just fumbling around with a half-assed read of a wikipedia article.
When it comes to solar, we cannot hope to harness a fraction of this planet's needed transportation related energy needs, let-alone the other energy needs. We're better off using the same square-acreage and growing food, or even growing biofuel.
Now, wind, there's interesting potential there; I live in Portland Oregon, USA - there's a huge number of expanding wind farms just east of me, and our biggest issue is the fact that our current electrical grid is struggling to carry all of this new power.
But our wind farms will not keep New York running overnight...nor help the east-coast survive a cold winter.