SELLOUT -- How Washington Gave Away America's Technological Soul, and One Man's Fight to Bring It Home, by VICTORIA BRUCE, Bloomsbury Publishing.
The story follows Jim Kennedy's chaotic early life in St. Louis, Missouri, and his eventual emergence as champion of the United States' rare-earths industry and Thorium nuclear energy.
Paranoia over anything radioactive led to government restriction on mining and refining of weakly radioactive Thorium, a chemical element often associated with minerals containing rare-earths metals. This snowballed into mining companies, that could produce abundant byproduct rare-earths minerals, sending those minerals to the mine dump.
China quickly gobbled up the entire worldwide rare-earths industry. American companies that use rare-earths in their products such as cellular telephones, computers, and advanced military hardware, are forced to relocate to China to obtain needed resources.
If America were to go to war with China, we would have to buy most of our advanced weaponry from China. For that matter, we would have to borrow money from China to pay for war with China.
American scientists developed Thorium-fueled "molten salt" nuclear reactors that are much safer and cleaner than uranium-fueled reactors.
This research, taxpayer funded, also was snapped up (for free) by the Chinese because of the ridiculous restrictions on mining rare-earths minerals containing Thorium. China is pressing ahead full-throttle on Thorium fueled reactor development and will patent their designs. America may have to buy the new reactors from China and pay royalties to China for reactor research originally done here.
Jim Kennedy got into the rare-earths fray accidentally when he bought the Pea Ridge iron mine near Sullivan, Missouri. Turned out, Pea Ridge also has a billion dollars of rare-earths content in the iron ore.
Jim and his associates have been fighting for years to fix the regulatory mess that accompanies Thorium and Rare-Earths and to bring manufacturing of rare-earths dependent products (including advanced military hardware necessary for National Defense) back home, and to restore our leadership in Thorium nuclear energy.
Can he do it? Will entrenched 'Powers That Be' in government agencies let this happen? The book closes on a cliff-hanger.
- William Jud, Exploration Manager, Legend Minerals