TED Conversations

Reese Palley

Explorer's Club

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Small nuclear reactors have been described as inherently safe since the late 1950s. Why are they not accepted.

In the late 1950s Alvin Weinberg and Edward Teller both described nulear reactors that are inherently safe, produce little or no waste and require refueling once every 50 years.
Reactors of this type that can fit into a suitcase have been developed by the US military.
These molten salt reactors hold the promise of repalacing fossil fuels and can be produced in their thousands the same way we produce Boeling airliners and at an even less cost.

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  • Mar 20 2014: There are several companies trying to produce the small molten salt reactors - one was written up in HBR in 2013. I do not remember their name. I think a major problem will be the regulations put in during the major fear period of nuclear energy. The environmentalist put in major blocks to get a new reactor design approved for commercial use.
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      Mar 20 2014: You are absolutely correct.
      • Mar 21 2014: I was tutored by two friends who worked in the nuclear industry, one worked oat oak ridge in the Manhattan Project. - 8>))
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    Mar 19 2014: Please link to a reliable essay regarding these reactors. I'm having trouble believing such technology exists.
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      Mar 20 2014: Dear Lawren. The literature is endless. Start with Alvin Weinberg in THE FIRST NUCLEAR ERA and THE SECOND NUCLEAR ERA. Then go to the web and type in Thorium.
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        Mar 20 2014: I am aware of LFTR (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor) technology. What I am waiting for you to verify are reactors that "can fit into a suitcase" and "can be produced in the thousands."

        Such technology does not exist, and I believe you're deluding yourself.