Friday, September 27, 2013

Molten Salt Reactors

My September 26 post which offered a link to a video of a recent David LeBlanc narrative in which he offers an excellent account of a probable direction of Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) development.  David is a brilliant reactor scientist, who is working to develop commercial MSR technologies.  David's current view is that commercial MSRs using ORNL technology are possible in the near term, while thorium breeders will require a longer gestation period.

There are good reasons for developing Uranium fueled MSR and Denatured MSRs (DMSR) before developing Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTR).  The technological challenges facing the development of UMSRs and DMSRs are quite trivial when compared to the technological challenges facing LFTR developers.  Given even a very favorable development path, lots of MSRs can be sold before the first LFTR hits the market. We are not running out of Uranium any time soon and its' supply will last for millions of years, probably as long as we want it.

The Second Nuclear Era will probably begin with the appearance of commercial Molten Salt Reactors on the market.  Once this happens things will begin to move fast, unless the MSR technology is crippled by regulation. 

As far as I know, Kirk Sorensen has not shared his views on David LeBlanc's position.  My suspicion is that Kirk is in agreement with David, and may even be developing a Uranium Fueled Molten Salt Reactor.  I even suspect that Kirk may have a potential customer.  Someone is paying money to Kirk's business, that could either be investors, or a customer who has engaged Kirk for hush, hush work.  At any rate, I would not be shocked if Kirk's first product is an Uranium fueled MSR.

I also suspect that the British Weinberg Foundation is also interested in Uranium MSRs.  In June, The Weinberg Foundation issued a report titled Thorium Fueled Molten Salt Reactors.  This report, intended for British politicians is probably the best introduction to Molten Salt Reactors ever written.  This report at the very least reflects both Kirk Sorensen's influence, and quite possibly the influence of Energy from Thorium discussions.  At any rate the report is both well written and authoritative.

Note on this post: Over a year ago, I lost the ability to read or write with a computer.  I previously had already lost the ability to read and write texts on paper, due to glaucoma.  In early September I underwent a heart procedure that involved placing another stint in my heart.  Following this procedure, my ability to read and write on a computer underwent some improvement, although my vision is nothing to write home about.  At any rate I can now write more serious posts, even if they may not be long. I am grateful for the assistant of my wife, Rebecca Roller Barton.


Joris said...

Interesting. Somehow, the link to the Thorium report is not working?



Wayne McGuire said...

Change link ending from ".pd" to ".pdf"

Wayne McGuire said...

Change link ending from ".pd" to ".pdf"


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