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Thorium will generate abundant clean energy. Editing free doc to communicate this fact. Need $ to expand lecture & interview coverage.
Documentary "Thorium." was completed late 2016. Please enjoy and share.
Documentary "Thorium." was completed late 2016. Please enjoy and share.
151 backers pledged $5,808 to help bring this project to life.

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Thorium 2013 Conferences & Interviews



Gordon McDowell here. I’m working on a documentary about Thorium.

There’s a lot of social and environmental issues competing for our attention. Lowering the cost & environmental impact of energy production is a great meta-solution. It can allow developing nations to enjoy the lifestyle we currently enjoy and decouples our own energy hungry lifestyles from the consumption of fossil fuels.

Energy from Thorium offers all this. Thorium can generate electricity cheaper than coal. Thorium can be converted into energy without releasing any pollution at all. No greenhouse gasses. No particulate from combustion.

Thorium is incredibly abundant in the Earth’s crust. We can’t run out of thorium, any more than we can run out of rock.

I’ve been working on this documentary since June 2012, when a Kickstarter campaign allowed myself and many video wielding volunteers to meet at TEAC4. We captured lectures & interviews.

My process has been to share publicly (on YouTube) as much educational material as possible during the course of the documentary’s construction. I’m not the only guy working on a documentary about thorium (hi Frankie!) or even about nuclear power. But I am trying to make my process extremely transparent and of value to other thorium advocates as they craft their own narrative.

This documentary does not need to make money. It just needs to get done.

It is already fully funded, in the sense that I’ve already allocated remaining Kickstarter funds to post production. The doc will be released. Period.

However, construction is taking longer than expected. New thorium conferences are approaching. I’d like to attend them and use them as a cost effective means of capturing additional interviews and lectures. TEAC5 in Chicago. ThEC13 in Geneva.

Right now I’m the narrator in the doc. This glues together the various interviews and lectures, and allows me to restate information that has not already been captured in an audience friendly fashion.

I’m not the best guy for narration, I’m just the most convenient one. I can iterate towards better script (and delivery) and then later replace myself with footage of experts chiming in on the exact same subject matter.

That’s what this KickStarter campaign is for... getting to conferences in 2013 so I can get those experts on camera. Not that I haven’t had excellent opportunities before to interview folk already, but in 2012 the script hadn’t advanced far enough along for me to be asking the right questions. I can do better in 2013.

If you can assist me getting to these conferences, I offer exclusive access to my own footage of all lectures I capture in 2013.

I’ll still eventually post those lectures for everyone to see on YouTube. I just can’t be bothered to edit them as soon as I get back home. My priority (for the sake of the doc) is interview footage, and incorporating what I capture to replace my own talking head.

So until I’ve been able to leverage the interviews, I’ll just privately share a wide-angle, single-camera, 1080P coverage of all the lectures. That won’t take much of my time, and if you care about thorium / MSR / LFTR this will keep you in my loop.

Of course the big reason you might want to help is that I really DO want to share the lectures, my interviews (and the documentary itself) on YouTube. I’m not sure video coverage of the conferences will make it online otherwise.

If it wasn’t for your support in 2012 I’d not have flown to Chicago to attend TEAC4, and I’d not have posted 6 hours of (edited) lecture footage to YouTube.

If it wasn't for your support in 2012 I'd not have flown to Berkeley to capture Kun Chen from Chinese Academy of Science speaking to their first American audience about China's MSR program.

If it wasn’t for your support in 2012 I’d not have flown to Shanghai to attend ThEC12, and I’d not have posted 14 hours of (edited) lecture footage to YouTube.

You’ve helped me to caption many of these lectures. This gives me searchable text for more easily finding key moments. It also makes the videos accessible to a wider audience.

You’ve helped me interview scores of experts. You’ve allowed me to tour Oak Ridge National Labs (and collect video footage of the original Molten Salt Reactor Experiment), speak to researchers who worked on MSRE, and post this all online for everyone to see.

Certainly the documentary itself will have a far greater impact than any one tour, interview or lecture. But occasionally the doc-in-process footage helps expand our audience.

The ($1000 budget) documentary I created in 2011 (Thorium Remix 2011) continues to be very popular, with the combined views of the original and various remixes having well passed 1 million. I hope we can reach many more with a better doc in 2013.

My process in 2011 was very similar to what I'm doing now. Much of my video assets (plus Kirk's TEDxYYC which I edited after helping shoot) were posted to YouTube before I ever started editing the 2011 doc itself.

I look forward to sharing source material and project iterations with you. Such content is what I wish existed online when I first put together Thorium Remix 2009.

I can’t build a LFTR (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor)... I can’t build an MSR (Molten Salt Reactor) of any sort. I’m not a VC or angel investor.

I can program. I can shoot & edit video. So this is the very best I can do to help see thorium developed as an energy resource.

Your continued trust in me getting this done is greatly appreciated.


Risks and challenges


I raise enough money to get to Chicago but not Geneva.

Will fold inadequate Geneva funds into other non-Geneva doc production.

Geneva will not be covered. Only Chicago.

I may attend other unplanned talks or conferences (such as me attending CAS at Berkeley in 2012). I will share all talks I capture with backers, and eventually the general public.


I have already estimated this documentary would have been completed in 2012. In fact, the working title was "Thorium Remix 2012".

I do not know exactly how long this will take to complete, except that I'm more interested in ITERATING and issuing early releases than stamping any final video as "done".

If I can't complete a rough cut by end-of-May, then I won't be asking brilliant questions at TEAC5. This is a possibility. But my to-ask questions get better week by week.


ThEC12 did set the project back significantly, as I took time to process (and understand) lecture footage. I will apply this learning experience to TEAC5 & ThEC13, and avoid lecture editing until I can remove myself as the bottleneck for documentary production.


Editing wise, this is a one-man show.

I'm making off-site (and on-site) backups.

I've communicated hardware requirements to certain thorium advocates. Should someone needs to combine off-site backup with new hardware to keep this thing moving forward, it will be done.

Also, I have been posting much of my footage to YouTube. This is because my own Thorium Remix 2009 was very successful at communicating the importance of thorium using nothing more than existing YouTube footage. Much of the footage I've shot has been released into Creative Commons for this purpose.

The project itself uses Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. Adobe Creative Suite is available on a monthly subscription basis, so there's no huge "up front" licensing cost for taking my project and continuing with it. Just a powerful workstation with 64GB RAM. (Seriously.)


If someone comes up with a better way of supplying our civilization with energy, I'll be very happy.

It will need to scale small and large. It will need to be clean. It will need to allow harvesting of isotopes for cancer treatment. It will need to help consume already created stockpiles of "spent" nuclear fuel rods. It can't have a large environmental footprint. It must be walk away safe.

It really ought to be cheaper than coal, just to be sure it actually gets deployed around the globe.

If that happens I'll still complete the doc as a free educational resource.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Exclusive early access to all lectures captured in 2013. Single angle. Board audio. Wide. 1080P.

    Estimated delivery
    12 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $3 or more About $3

    Exclusive early access to all lectures captured in 2013. Single angle. Board audio. Wide. 1080P.

    Access to DRM-free downloadable copy of TR2011 (the older, already-done doc).

    Estimated delivery
    111 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    I'll ask your (brief!) question when conducting interviews. The response may or not be included in final doc, but I'll post the response on YouTube for you to review and share.

    Exclusive early access to all lectures captured in 2013 (single angle, board audio, wide, 1080p). Access to DRM-free downloadable copy of TR2011 (the older, already-done doc).

    Estimated delivery
    6 backers
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (60 days)