My health, although still not as good as I would like has been improving since my hospitalization last December. I am, however, not in good enough health to travel. This is unfortunate because I would very much have liked to attend the Third Thorium Energy AllianceConference in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. Energy from Thorium has a brief account of the Conference in Energy from Thorium. In addition the Thorium Energy Alliance has posted Power Point Presentations from the Conference on its web page. Judging from the presentations it is probably safe to say that Molten Salt Reactor technology has entered the age of entrepreneurs.
At this point I will stop, and pronounce Holden’s reactor DOA. Too much material goes into it, and too little electricity will come out. Fundamental questions are left unanswered, for example startup. 1600 kgs of U-233 is probably more U-233 than exists in the whole world right now. Where is the U-233 going to come from? There are quite a few more problems and questions. As David LeBlanc noted in his Conference talk, “Softer Spectrum” means “much smaller fissile start up.” David is still on the outside looking for an opportunity. In his Conference talk, David noted,
␣ Corporate interest will always be difficult to attract
␣ No lucrative fuel fabrication contracts
␣ Min 15 year return on investment a tough sell to shareholders (no matter how big the return may be)
␣ Existing nuclear players have their choices in place
Money is still the hard part, at least for now. Despite this enormous progress is being made by LFTR/MSR advocates. A month ago, Kirk Sorensen marked the fifth anniversary of Energy from Thorium. At that time a handful of people knew what thorium was. Even fewer knew about Molten Salt Reactors. Kirk set out to educate people using social media tools, and others followed his lead. What Kirk has managed to do is to start a bottom up social movement.