Sunday, December 6, 2015

ThorCon Reactor to be ready to go on line by 2021?

No sooner do the electrons get dry on the page of a Recent Nuclear Green Post on What I took to be a major flaw in the ThorCon business plan, than Thorcon ups and signs a memorandum of Understanding with Indonesia, acknowledging that they intend to do a deal over ThorCon's MSR. The most impressive and perhaps puzzling thing about the news story on the MoU is:
The consortium will provide Indonesia with a clean solution to its pressing energy needs, (at a price that is competitive with coal. The first plant is scheduled to be commissioned in 2021.
I appear to have written the wrong address, so try this.

ThorCon appears to be ready to go great guns. if they expect to have a full size commercial MSR ready to go by 2021. The funny thing is that unlike Terrestrial Energy, which announces new hires with impressive credentials every month or so, ThorDon appears to be doing it all with an extrenely small team. Yet ThorCon seems to expect to beat Terrestrial Energy to market. Of course Thorcon probably knows where and how it is going to manufacture its reactor, and the manuyfacturing business will have a lot of mouths to feed.  ThorCon has a lot to accomplish ands little time to accomplish it.  Not only do they have to design and build a 1000 Mwe advanced reactor within 5 years, but they have to set up a reactor building factory inside a ship yard in less than 5 years, in enough time so that the first reactor is not just build, but has been set up in its new home before the 5 years are up.

While We have a good deal of information about how the ThorCon Reactor is going to be manufactured and material costs, we have far less information on the Reactor design in the corporate Executive Summery.  Other ThorCon documents are equally vaigue about ThorCon reactor design.  This suggest that ThorCon's focus has been focused primarily on shipyard manifacture, and lining up customers, then and only them will it begin to spend the real money required to develop their reactor.  But Jack Devanney the real man behind ThorCon, is far to shrude to sell an idea without a plan to get a reactor design out quickly.  Devanney knows that something that be done by a few people slowly, can be done by a lot of people quickly.  Those people don't have to be under a long term contract, just long enough to complete the work.  Now that the customer is signed up and a product launch date is set, Devanneyis going to send out the press gangs, and then it will be full steam ahead for the good ship Jack.

Will it all work out for ThorCon?  Who knows, but potewntially any it goes, it will be an interesting story.


Andrew Jaremko said...

Thanks Charles. I would have completely missed this good news. I also notice that ThorCon's media contact is none other than Robert Hargraves, author of Thorium: Energy Cheaper Than Coal. (Or another man of the same name, though that seems unlikely.)

As a minor item - there's an error in the URL linking to the press release. It should be . It wasn't hard to figure out how to get the press release, but I just thought you should know.

Thanks again!

Chris Bergan said...

Confirmation of this information can be found at

Seems that NuScale will have some friendly competition in getting to market. Of course, what really matters is who will build the 5th, 10th, and 100th assembly-line reactor without major problems or recalls. Most people will only be looking at who builds a successful prototype, but that is only one leg of a long relay race - not the eventual goal. Hopefully there will be a few more companies that will join in this 'nuclear race' as there certainly are plenty of markets for several entrants.

Also of interest this week is The Third Arab Forum on the Prospects of Nuclear Power being held in Bahrain. Plenty of posturing going on: "Rosatom is a global leader in terms of the number of nuclear reactors under simultaneous construction around the world (currently standing at 34), while the company’s portfolio of export contracts over a ten-year period is worth more than $ 100 bn – a figure it expects to double within a decade."


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