In an exciting new development for the future of nuclear technology, a team of Chinese researchers has successfully unveiled detailed designs for a ‘clean and green’ nuclear reactor that does not require water for cooling.
The design includes a molten salt reactor that is powered by liquid thorium instead of uranium, making the reactor safer in the event of a leak.
When completed, the test runs of the reactor could start as early as September 2021. If they are successful, China may build these reactors in the countries that have signed up for the Belt and Road Initiative because thorium (as compared to uranium) cannot be used to produce nuclear weapons.
While the project is small and will only be capable of producing 2 MW electricity in its testing stages, plans for a commercial level nuclear reactor are in the pipeline to provide electricity to the greater China region by 2030.
China has one of the world’s largest thorium reserves. When deployed, these reserves are reportedly capable of supporting the country’s energy needs for at least 20,000 years.