Facts about Thorium Molten Salt Reactors

Many of the problems associated with Nuclear Reactors are solved with Thorium Molten Salt Reactors. They were built and developed by a team led by Alvin Weinberg over a twenty year period starting in the 1950s.

TMSRs also known as LFTRs (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors) or DMSRs (Denatured Molten Salt Reactors) are important because they:

(1) are safer and more stable and cannot meltdown because they are already in a liquid state
and therefore do not require expensive containment that normally deals with highly pressurized hot water.

(2) can consume waste nuclear fuel. TMSRs in the modern view are actually two nuclear plants in one. They can provide energy and burn up nuclear waste and like all nuclear reactors have no polluting emissions or CO2.

(3) are less expensive than traditional reactors because the byproducts are far less toxic and do not require expensive containment. They can be built in all sizes.

(4) the left over products contain valuable ingredients that can be resold that are good for industrial as well as medical purposes

(5) are much more difficult to to use to produce fuel for nuclear weapons

(6) will produce far more energy than wind or solar power ever could. It does seem somewhat inevitable that Thorium will be an important part of our future the question is when?

(7) can potentially help in the desalination process, assist in Hydrogen Production and heat buildings. The heat generated can also provide a means for heat process needed by other industries.

(8) provide a means for third world countries to improve their economies by providing reliable cheap electricity (cheaper than coal plants) and will replace high carbon emission methods with far cleaner technology and almost no nuclear waste and the neglible amount of waste can be processed further for valuable isotopes and other rare elements.

(9) eliminate the need for fuels that produce carbon emissions therefore removing one of the root causes of war. It’s true we fight to defend what we need. And for too long we have needed energy in the form of fossil fuels. And that needs to change. Our military leaders know that and more than anything they want to change that basic story. That is why our message of thorium-based power enabling US energy independence resonates so strongly with them. It will also resonate well as a deterrent to allowing countries such as Russia from bullying other countries in need of their fossil fuels.

(10) Thorium is abundant and stockpiles are already stored so very little if any mining is required in North America for decades. After that mining Thorium is plentiful enough to keep the whole planet supplied for thousands of years.

(11) Robert Hargraves makes a convincing argument that it will lower the worlds population.
energy=industry=jobs=education=birth control=population control

Much of the battle we wish to achieve with clean nuclear energy is in re-educating the public. Getting funding has a lot to do with public opinion.

It is our hope that you educate yourself and your staff to the importance of fourth generation nuclear energy. There’s no stopping countries like China and other nations from polluting the environment beyond return without showing them a better way and TMSRs are the form of nuclear energy that is the better way.

Some of the individuals who are in my opinion it’s best representatives are Kirk Sorenson, Charles Barton and Robert Hargraves and Canadian David LeBlanc.

Robert Hargraves’ Book THORIUM: energy cheaper than coal has an online reference that is a tremendous collection of links to information on Thorium and the related subjects.

13 Comments

  • thoriumm
    September 13, 2012 - 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Some more recent discoveries. Unconfirmed claims. Thorium keeps the earth from being destroyed because it creates the magnetic field which deflects the solar winds. Thorium essentially causes volcanoes. Thorium can be used to create fusion in a PACER.

    • Joseph Perkins
      February 17, 2014 - 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Very unconfirmed. Firstly, nuclear reactions have absolutely nothing to do with magnetic fields of any sort and are unlikely to drive the dynamo in the core of the Earth. Secondly, although some heat in the core of the planet indeed comes from fissile material, it is too low (in BTUs) to make much difference. The temperature of the Earth is precisely where the “Latent Heat of Fusion” predicts. (“Fusion” here meaning crunching all those meteors, dust and debris together several billion Years ago when the Earth formed and all the heat the “Age of Massive Impacts” would have delivered). Thus, it is more than highly unlikely any radio nucleotide causes volcanos. A “PACER” based reactor brings back all the problems MSR of the type this article is about were designed to eliminate. The molten salt is not the reactor here, but the cooling loop, but ends up even more contaminated because a PACER does not “consume” radioactive materials like a conventional MSR.

    • Dill Hole
      August 18, 2014 - 4:44 am | Permalink

      Wow, Thorium causes volcanoes? You need to lay off the dope pipe sweetheart. Centralized plants that produce electricity with Thorium MSR technology are very likely to come about in the near future. The idea that automobiles should use MSR’s is so stupid words cannot describe it fully. Those pushing for a greener electric grid and handle-able fuels, great. Those pushing for MSR’s in automobiles need their heads examined.

  • ShadowPhantom137
    November 14, 2012 - 9:11 pm | Permalink

    the reasons why thorium isn’t being implemented is because:
    1. the licensing company is trying to find ways NOT to implement them
    2. the public reacts with fear and ignorance to anything with the word “nuclear” (example, NMRIs)
    3. thoriumMSRs were made in the age of the Cold War, a time where people were mainly looking for fissile material that can be weaponized, and thorium slid into the backround.
    if we can fix these problems, then we could have something to quench our thirst for energy for a long time, probably after we exhaust the world’s worth of thorium, we would’ve found a safer, more efficient, energy source, had found life on Mars, and had a female president.

  • thoriumm
    November 14, 2012 - 9:39 pm | Permalink

    @ShadowPhantom137
    Hello 137
    Is that your Isotope?

    You are right on points 2 and 3 but i don’t get what you mean about a “licensing company.”

    If you mean the “licensing body” called the NRC you are right again.

    Rick

  • December 29, 2012 - 8:22 pm | Permalink

    “Thorium keeps the earth from being destroyed because it creates the magnetic field which deflects the solar winds. Thorium essentially causes volcanoes.” — true, essentially.

    But it’s not just thorium. The full story is that whereas Kelvin computed how long the molten nascent Earth would take to reach its present level of internal heat flow (dig a deep mine, and measure how much hotter you are than at the surface), he came up with a figure of from 20 to 100 million years, and preferred 40 million. We now know that the age is about a hundred times that! The core is still molten because of ALL the long lived radioactivity, which includes thorium, uranium, and potassium-40. The mechanism of the planet’s magnetic field is pretty speculative as yet, I think, but we know that Jupiter has a big one too, so it must be something to do with electric currents.

  • Joseph Perkins
    March 11, 2013 - 5:50 pm | Permalink

    @thoriumm

    Close. Thorium, plus many ofther radionucleides, settled into the Earths core when the planet was still molten right after it lost its first “heat of fusion” (not Nuclear Fusion, but fusion of all the solar debris that made up the early Earth) and formed a crust. Those radioactives help to keep earths metal core molten and it’s the fact it is still molten that allows it to generate a magnetic field.

  • Joseph Perkins
    March 11, 2013 - 5:53 pm | Permalink

    @Albert Rogers
    “Earth Dynamo Theory” is the one your looking for. The electric currents are generated by shear stress on layers of the core. What scientists are not sure of is why the reversals happen from time to time. Those may have to do with convection flows and turbulance.

  • Joseph Perkins
    March 11, 2013 - 6:05 pm | Permalink

    @ShadowPhantom137

    The NRC has no concern with MSRs and would happily license them if someone can reassure them they’ve answered all the safety concerns (the US built one for aircraft/bombers right after WWII, shut it down when they realized how daft the idea was, then ressurected it to generate a ton of useful data and do experiments on ground based MSRs in the 1960s). The data showed how safe they are and so there are no real hurdles other than money. The NRC also wants to be shown a prospective licensor has the cash reserves to build and safely operate an MSR.

    On point 3, it’s very difficult to use a Thorium Cycle reactor to make bomb grade material as the U233 that makes a Thorium Cycle Reactor really run is not as useful or easy to work with as U235 or Pu239. The intermediate element between Th233 and U233 is Pa233 and that’s as dangerous as working in the gates of hell as it generates lethal levels of Gamma Rays for months after it forms and before it decays into the working U233. That’s actually a good thing. The chances of surviving trying to extract the U233 from the MSR are not very high 😛

  • Jief yang
    June 11, 2014 - 2:56 am | Permalink

    Thorium based energy production seems very promising, almost like a silver bullet. Forgive me if I’m sceptical but it sounds too good to be true.
    What is the current governmental narrative and legislation on this technology?
    How much research has gone into it?
    How long does it take to produce a pilot reactor?
    What waste does it produce and how safe is it to the environment, ecology and humans?
    What special rare resources does it require to built and maintain?

    • William
      February 16, 2015 - 6:35 pm | Permalink

      Look up Alvin Weinberg. He discovered ways to run a reactor without the use of solid fuels. Fluorine happens to be a very reactive substance and can create a salt with pretty much whatever it touches. Alvin Weinberg was shot down essential by a government that was dead set on war. Watch Kirk Sorensen talk in detail about it. In his pitch to apple he goes over the political hurdles Weinberg was being subjected to, mainly ignorance. “The Thorium Molten-Salt Reactor: Why Didn’t This Happen (and why is now the right time?)” is one of the many videos I’ve watched Kirk talk in, this one is the most detailed analysis of the the history of the LFTR.

      On another note, you all are saying MSR’s but that is not what is being preached here. You can make weapons grade urananium from a salt reactor. The point is the LFTR specifically, Liquid-fluoride Thorium reactors. To clarify an earlier statement, the chances that the spallation process in a thorium salt based reactor creates a trans-uranic (non-reprocess-able nuclear waste) byproduct is only 1.5% and even then its only in form of Np-237 still two whole neutrons away from being an extremely volatile and weaponizable form of radioactive material.

  • loren c grosse
    April 4, 2015 - 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Edited comment below the dotted line:
    Please work on a solution for California’s water shortage by creating desalination plants that are able to convert 500,000 gallons of sea water per day. Thorium reactors could provide most of the large amount of power needed to create the heat and electricity. This could be financed by the state. It would also allow electric cars such as the Tesla to flourish keeping car pollution to a minimum creating a cleaner environment. More water is needed for crop yields. We must do this now so that we and future generations can survive!! Herbert Hoover fed the world after the wars by getting countries together and moving crops and getting things done. Action is the key! We need to prove to the world that we can use technical advances such as thorium molten salt reactors to improve the quality of life. We need more than just baby steps to survive. We have to do ! Not just talk! Get going! Get growing!
    *********************************************************
    “please work on solution for ca. water shortage reverse osmosis plants that are able to run 500,000 gpd are available hooked with available seawater situation at lower elevation in growing areas in ca. plus thorium reactors to produce the power for water and electrical could be financed by state funding allowing electric cars such as tesla units to implement transportation provide cleaner environment more crop yields we must do these to survive and for future generations to come please work on solution!! Herbert hoover fed the world after the wars by getting countries together and moving crops and getting things done not meetings and talk action is the key! we could prove to the world that we can take care of us thru are tech advances and better for our country and peoples a thorium car would be great too! but lots of obstacles their baby steps first but to survive we have to do ! not talk! get going! get growing!”

  • Ashley O'Brien
    May 11, 2015 - 9:42 am | Permalink

    It is so frustrating when a vexing problem has a suitable solution (like this Thorium molten salt reactor) and then we have idiots who through either pure laziness or genuiene stupidity dont understand the technology-and at its heart,the tech here is not beyond the common man-at least to the point that he can be assured that it is safe,and economic etc etc. Loren C Grosse is an example of this kind of person…”a thorium car would be great too!” this is homer simpson type thinking. Automobiles crash, you idiot- and if you knew anything about the desgn constraints of a reactor you’d know that, sure ,it could be done,but it would be counter productive because of all the ancilliary equipment needed to run it and keep it from spewing 800 degrees celsius molten salt all over the road,etc etc. Kinda like the same insane idea of making passenger aircraft running nuclear reactors…want one crashing near your town? do ya? STOP pissing me off by making idiotic statements about tech you clearly have no clue about, this is the problem with the general public-herds of humans are incredibly stupid! most of them dont bother to take the time to educate themselves about any current issue that might affect them in the future-god knows they couldnt be relied on to just use their general knowledge,because they dont have any! like that git up above who said Thorium causes volcanoes!. Thorium isnt even magnetic,paramagnetic etc etc but yet its why we have a magnetic field?! I know not!

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  • Quick Facts: [Thorium Element 90 in periodic table] [Burns up fuel much more efficiently than traditional reactors] [leaves barely any waste behind] [3 x more abundant than uranium] [MSRs run at high temp in liquid molten mixture of fluoride - heat useful for purifying water] [looks like blue water] [no pressure needed] [much safer because of passive safety] [Less expensive to build because it is smaller and easier to build with no pressurized containment needed] [can run without water therefore good for dry and remote locations][molten salt is very stable]

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