Saturday’s Statesman’s issue, Dec. 19, included an article titled Green Movement Turns in Surprising Direction. The article mentions reactors that run off of spent fuel and produce virtually no waste products and emit virtually no carbon to the atmosphere. Can this be true? Actually, it is true. In the late 1960s the Department of Energy built the Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) Experiment at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory that proved the technology and ran flawlessly for five years before being canceled by the Nixon administration. The MSR still sits at Oak Ridge in long-term storage. It is possible to run off of spent nuclear fuel because only about 3 percent of uranium is used in a traditional reactor. MSRs convert about 97 percent of the fuel to energy. MSR reactors may also run off of Thorium. About 20 percent of the world’s Thorium supply is located in the Lemhi Pass district of Idaho.
I would recommend anyone interested in this Generation 4 reactor to log on to ThoriumRemix.Com for more information. Yes, it is all true. If they are built, MSRs could a huge boon to Idaho’s economy and drastically reduce greenhouse gases.
Bob Ross, Boise