Thorium-Fueled Underground Power Plant Based on Molten Salt Technology (Ralph Moir & Edward Teller) USofA28.Feb.2015
Ralph Moir and Edward Teller. Nuclear Technology Vol. 151 Sep. 2005 If the molten salt reactor appears to meet our criteria so well, why has it not already been developed since the molten salt reactor experiment operated over 30 yr ago? The competition came down to a liquid metal fast breeder reactor ~LMFBR! on the uranium-plutonium cycle and a thermal reactor on the thorium-233U cycle, the molten salt breeder reactor. The LMFBR had a larger breeding rate, a property of fast reactors having more neutrons per fission and less loss of neutrons by parasitic capture, and won the competition. This fact and the plan to reduce the number of candidate reactors being developed were used as arguments to stop the development of the molten salt reactor rather than keep an effort going as a backup option. In our opinion, this was an excusable mistake.
Bill Gates is interested in advanced Gen IV nuclear reactors to help solve the world's energy problems.
This presentation is about advanced concept MSRs. On-going efforts in the USA are planning to use the proven and tested technology that was developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1960s & 70s.
TerraPower, the Bill Gates-chaired nuclear company that is developing a fast reactor, is now investigating alternative reactor technologies, including thorium fuel and molten salt reactors.