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.

10 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 :P

  • 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?

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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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