The commercial nuclear power sector has evolved with great help from the military-industrial complex. Research and development funded for the purpose of national defense has resulted in advances directly applicable to the power industry. For molten salt reactor designs to succeed, political support and military dollars may again be necessary. Observers of the energy sector have likely noticed a growing interest worldwide in small modular molten salt reactor (MSR) concepts. North American companies such as Terrestrial Energy, Southern Company, and TerraPower are working to industrialize designs (Figure 1), while the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics recently received $3.3 billion from the Chinese central government to build an MSR complex in the Gobi Desert.
Powermag 2nd Dec 2018 read more »