World’s first thorium-fuelled facility in China

The Center for Thorium Molten Salt Reactor System, Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics has been told by the Chinese government that the deadline to develop an industrial reactor using thorium molten salt technology has been brought forward by 15 years. They no longer have 25 years to develop this reactor, but only 10.

A team of 430 scientists and engineers, a number planned to rise to 750 by 2015, is headed by Jiang Mianheng, an engineering graduate of Drexel University in the United States who is the son of China’s former leader, Jiang Zemin.

The Chinese appear to be opting for a molten salt reactor – or a liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR). In 2015 a prototype thorium reactor using solid fuel is expect to be ready. By 2017 the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics expects to have one that uses molten thorium fluoride.

More countries have been looking into thorium-based reactors because in theory they has various advantages of uranium-fuelled ones.

uranium_vs_thorium

To get this reactor up and running the Chinese are interested in programs and research from abroad, but the execution of the program to create a thorium-fuelled facility seems a Chinese-only endeavour.

Read more: SCMP

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