Molten salt reactor

Posted on:March 14 2011

Because of the recent events, I came across molten salt reactors. Never heard of those before, but apparently, they are much safer, cheaper and basically better. There is for example not the risk of a reactor meltdown because of their architecture. The only apparent reason that they are not in use is political: The companies building the current types of reactors simply didn't want to switch, since they had all work done already for building the types of reactors currently in use. Interesting stuff.


Most of todays reactors are built in the 60s. Since then there have supposedly come a lot of much more efficient and safe architectures. Fortunately the greens managed to stop the building of new plants since you know... nuclear stuff is evil. Forcing us to stay with the old inefficient and less safe reactors instead to keep up with power demands. Politics can be ironic sometimes.
2011-03-14 20:42:00

Funny that you mention this type of reactor. A few hours ago we talked about all the new climate friendly technologies and the reasons why we don't have them yet. The simply answer:

Lobbyism, what else?

I feel sorry for the mighty interest groups not having the balls to take useful risk. The only way to get their lazy asses up is when their money pools start to dry.

Necessity is the mother of invention. Therefore we can't hope for the leadership to change anything. There's not enough pressure. Not yet.
2011-03-14 20:56:00

Molten salt reactors were originally developed for the thorium cycle. Interestingly the whole thorium cycle (thorium based reactors) are pretty safe and there is technology available today where you could build thorium reactors. I have a friend who is doing a PhD on the thorium based fuel cycle, and he was telling me incidences like fukushima (potential meltdown) can be prevented in a thorium reactor. World thorium reserves are much much higher and thorium as a fuel is much better than uranium. But after incidents like 3 mile island and Chernobyl (and unfortunately fukushima) the greens have just one thing to say ...."all nuclear plants are unsafe". That's just ludicrous. If that were the case, flying was also unsafe in 1908. If we had stopped there there would never have been a modern jetliner.

Having said that, let's not forget what is happening is Japan is really tragic. Let's just pray for the people and the most of all the workers inside the plants. Let's hope all turns out well.
2011-03-16 16:04:00

thorium can't be used for bombs. that's why uranium is in use today.
2011-03-21 00:59:00

Let's not forget though, even if they'd be as safe as some windmill or whatever, that the waste is nuclear for centuries even if getting after-care (which it doesn't, too expensive ofcourse). Also radiation around those plants is still slightly higher causing f.e. drastic increase in child leukemia in about 50km radius around them.

Until they get things fusion-powered as opposed to fission-powered I rather go with any alternatives. (Like )
2011-03-30 00:39:00

Great Forum! This is my first post so I just wanted to say hi

2011-07-06 17:37:00

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