Do you know the purpose of Thorium in the mantles? I have been around electronics for many years and knew about Thorium and its purpose in vacuum tubes but was not aware of its use in mantles, although they were the only lights we had in tents while hunting in the mountains of New Mexico..
Keep in mind, thorium is still radioactive. Not as much as current nuclear fuels, but still up there. However, that is a good idea.
More research in thorium needs to happen. Luckily, India is building a thorium heavy water reactor, and is scheduled to go into operation some time this year, 2011. 300 MW is the output, but it uses a plutonium core to start the reaction, not an accelerator.
Hopefully, installations like this will help push thoriums adoption.
Thorium is also a component of mantles used in gas powered camping lanterns and outdoor lights. At one time it was necessary to placard shipments of Coleman mantles as radioactive.
As a Canadian, I was shocked to discover that the CANDU reactors were originally designed to use Thorium, but were switched over to Uranium for political purposes.