US And China To Build A Molten Salt Nuclear Reactor

U.S. President Obama shakes hands with China's President Xi in Beijing

According to Fortune, the US is helping China to build a molten salt nuclear reactor.  Due to a lack of funding and political will, the US Department of Energy (DOE) is collaborating with the Chinese Academy of Sciences. As reported by Fortune, “The Chinese will be doing work and sharing information with us, and we’ll be applying our expertise and supporting them,” per Oak Ridge nuclear engineer Jess Gehin. “They’re going to build a reactor there [in China]. Hopefully one will get built in the U.S., but there isn’t any concrete plan for that.” As reported by Pakistan DefenseChina plans to run the reactors not on uranium but on thorium, which enhances the reactor benefits.

Raw Science editor Donald Goldsmith details the history of thorium reactor development in his article Molten Thorium Salts: Nuclear Power for the Future? Cartoonist Box Brown created the cartoon The Thorium Report With Dr. X: An Exclusive Raw Science Comic. Dr. Frank Shu details a modular thorium reactor in development in the video Modular Thorium Reactor, and is further explained in Dr. Frank Shu: An Astrophysicist Offers An Outsider’s View On The Future Of Energy.

Nuclear power capacity supplied 2.59 percent of China’s electrical power output in the third quarter of 2014. The development of nuclear power in China is a large opportunity for increasing non-fossil fuel power capacity. Per Want China Times, under the NEA’s 12th Five-Year Plan, China will invest 1.2 trillion yuan (US$196 billion) in 101 new reactors between 2015 and 2030.

 

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