Kirk Sorensen


President, FLiBe Energy

Talk title: The Potential of Thorium as a Global Energy Source

Abstract: Global energy demand continues to grow and the challenge of providing energy is compounded by impending retirements of coal and nuclear power plants.  Thorium is one of three options to realize nuclear fission energy but is the only one that is both sustainable and can be realized in a thermal-spectrum reactor.  The physics of thermal-spectrum reactors enhance safety options.  Liquid-fluoride salts offer the best combinations of performance and safety, and their chemistry aligns ideally with the thorium fuel cycle, enabling high potential resource utilization.  This in turn makes thorium an energy resource that is sustainable for tens of thousands of years.  Technologies for liquid-fluoride thorium reactors were advanced considerably at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1960s and 70s, and are now being pursued by a variety of companies and nations.

Short Biography:  Kirk Sorensen is president and chief technologist of Flibe Energy, a company dedicated to the design and development of highly-efficient thorium power sources.  He is also an international speaker on the potential of thorium as a future energy source, speaking recently in Dubai, Singapore, Switzerland, South Korea, Portugal, Canada, the United Kingdom, and across the United States.  His work has been featured in numerous magazines, books, television specials, radio and internet interviews.  His TEDx talk and YouTube videos have been viewed by hundreds of thousands.  He has studied thorium technology since 2000 and has been a public advocate for its use and development since 2006.  He started the weblog “Energy from Thorium” which spawned a global movement of interest in liquid-fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) technology.  He has a masters’ degree in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and has completed all work for a masters’ degree in nuclear engineering at the University of Tennessee.  He worked at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center for ten years developing new technologies for space transportation, including a two-year detail to the Army Space and Missile Defense Command.  After NASA, he served as chief nuclear technologist of Teledyne Brown Engineering in Huntsville before founding Flibe Energy.  He has also taught nuclear engineering as a visiting instructor at Tennessee Technological University.  He lives in northern Alabama with his family.