I already knew something about the story, because my father had played an important role in its scientific origins.
I was the 33rd member of the energy from Thorium discussion group, the only open discussion group devoted to nuclear power in 2007, At that time Molten salt nuclear technology was virtually unknown, even in the small nuclear community. We started out as a grass roots effort, and look at how much we have accomplished in the last 8 years. Not too long ago, thorium was even discussed in The House of Lords. In 8 more years the movement may have MSRs nearing sales in North America, while in China a Thorium Molten Salt Breeder may be nearing completion.
During 2008 I analyzed the implications of what I began to see as the Molten Salt and Thorium revolution. I understood that Molten salt Reactors could be operated with a Uranium Cycle, and that the uranium fuel cycle MSRs required less development before they could reached the market, and some time later concluded that the low cost development manufacturing potential of uranium fueled MSR, should make them the kickoff stage of a revolution in energy technology. The Thorium Molten Salt Breeder Reactor (the LFTR) would be more complex, and would require more time and money than the UMSR to develop. But this thorium stage would potentially offer huge benefits. It would potentially be capable of generating most of the would's energy for millions of years, and do so at a low cost. In 2008, I posted this essay on Daily Kos:
In 2008 I wrote: Early phases of paradigm shifts are often periods of confusion. There is now a great deal of confusion about the LFTR. People, who fail to understand how radically different the LFTR is from better understood Light Water Reactors still wonder how the LFTR could not have all of the flaws of LWRs. In fact the LFTR paradigm offers solutions to Many of the major problems of LWRs without difficult and expensive fixes and workarounds. Until people adjust their thinking to include the new paradigm, the confusion will continue to be common. One of my commenters wrote, "every thing must begin with a vision." Visions may seem disconnected to what came before.
Probably no more than a thousand people in the entire world fully understands the paradigm, although thousands more understand bits and pieces of it. Much of the paradigm was shaped by Eugene Wigner, a authentic genius and a man of singular vision. Wigner foresaw the need for extracting the enormous energy potential from thorium and using it to sustain human civilization. Wigner's vision included a heavy water fluid core reactor as the instrument through which thorium was to be transformed into nuclear fuel. Alvin Weinberg, Wigner's former sidekick and another genius, realized that the Molten Salt Reactor was a far superior tool for realizing the full energy potential of thorium fuel cycle, and the potential to increase energy efficiency to increase its energy potential even further by coupling it with massive desalinization projects in desert countries.