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Molten Salt Reactors
Nuclear May Be the Key to a Green Future
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  • Boritz

    “For their part, greens need to get over their emotional biases against the energy source, as it could do more for their cause than any wind or solar farm ever could.” [emphasis added]

    There is an alternate universe somewhere, presumably with a non-bearded WRM in residence, in which TAI exhibits a healthy but not paranoid suspicion that some movements do not honestly state their true intentions but rather act as a front to further a hidden agenda.

    • Fat_Man

      Boritz: Is this what you are saying?: The greenies don’t want an energy source that works and can run an industrial civilization. They want to impoverish everyone so that we can all live like Bangladeshi peasants.

  • BV

    The NY Times quote in this article refers to liquid sodium as a heat transfer medium in advanced reactors, and the article itself mentions this medium in the context of molten salts.

    Liquid sodium is not a molten salt.

    A salt, like table salt, contains a metal and a non-metal, where the metal is “oxidized” (loses at least one electron) and the non-metal is “reduced” (gains at least one electron). Thus, the two particles have charges (like magnetic poles) and are oppositely charged.

    Liquid sodium is pure sodium that is not oxidized, nor is there a counter-ion that is negatively charged in the liquid sodium medium. Though liquid and hence “molten,” it is not a salt.

    I know this is in the weeds, but it is an important difference. Molten salts are an actual thing used in a manner like liquid sodium in advanced reactor design, once of them being lithium beryllium fluoride, but they add an additional level of safety over molten metals such as sodium. If there is a failure in a pipe that contains liquid sodium, it could oxidize with air and react violently. A salt doesn’t have this problem.

    All that said, liquid metal and molten salt used as heat transfer media in advanced reactor designs are far and away safer than the light water reactors we use today.

    Oh and the US was about to deploy a liquid sodium reactor for commercial use back in the 90s, but John Kerry and Al Gore convinced Clinton to kill the program. Way to go guys!

  • FriendlyGoat

    Any news from Ronald Ace lately? Heat-trap solar with heat stored in sand for the intermittency problem seems safer than more nuclear reactions. It has to work, of course, which is the question up in the air.

  • Corlyss

    “nuclear energy may be the most important part of any future green energy mix.”
    Those people are too stupid to ever give up their hostility to cheap energy in any form.

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