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Thursday, 23 November 2017

Safe nuclear passes first hurdle!

For a long time nuclear energy has had a bad wrap. This is not surprising given the wide coverage received by disasters such as Chernobyl and Fukushima, their association with nuclear weapons and the problems with the disposal of long-lived radioactive waste. So despite their outstanding 'green' credentials, nuclear is the only scale-able base-load power source that has zero emissions, you will not find nuclear an acceptable renewables option in any Western environmental group handbook. Yet that may change.

As reported recently in Word Nuclear News (Integrated Molten Salt Reactor passes pre-licensing milestone);
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has completed the first phase of a vendor design review of Terrestrial Energy Inc's Integrated Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR). The design is the first advanced reactor to complete the first phase of the CNSC's regulatory pre-licensing review.
The integrated molten salt reactor (IMSR) design promises unprecedented safety, with a fail-safe auto shut off mechanism protection against any unforeseen events. The molten salt reactor design design was conceived in the 1960's but was discarded in favor of the light water reactors in common use today. Why? The LWR breeder reactors produce plutonium for nuclear weapons! But all that is another story.

Addressing safety concerns removes one of the main arguments against the use of nuclear energy.  By switching to Thorium as the reactor fuel (see What the Heck is Thorium, Thorium nuclear update, Thorium nuclear experiments in Europe) the remaining concerns re nuclear proliferation and, nuclear waste can also be addressed.

Thorium nuclear is one to watch in the future!

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