Molten salt reactors were trouble in the 1960s—and they remain trouble today

Posted: 20th June 2022

By M. V. Ramana | June 20, 2022

A technician prepares salts for use in MSRE in 1964 By Oak Ridge National Laboratory Accessed via Flickr CC BY 20

A technician prepares salts for use in MSRE in 1964. By Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Accessed via Flickr. CC BY 2.0. 

Molten salt nuclear reactors are all the rage among some nuclear power enthusiasts. They promise designs that will soon lower emissions from shipping, be cheaper to run and consume nuclear waste, and be transportable in shipping containers. The Canadian government has provided two companies, Terrestrial Energy and Moltex, with tens of millions of dollars in funding. Indonesia’s Ministry of Defense has sponsored a study of thorium-based molten salt reactors. The International Atomic Energy Agency organized a webinar calling molten salt reactors “A game changer in the nuclear industry.” Unsurprisingly, China has plans to build one.…
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