As Eielson AFB bid goes out for a nuclear micro-reactor, Thorium should be under consideration
Reading today’s Fairbanks Daily Miner, Eielson Air Force Base has put up for bid a nuclear micro-reactor and what we need is for America to be more competitive against China that is already pursuing Thorium systems.
More information on Thorium reactors and the advancement towards their use.
Hopefully a Thorium system will be among those included in the bids. Can one be developed from beginning to end as the bid seems to be for commercialization project of a pilot? I have been hoping for such a system for years. We have to watch and see as I hope we continue to advance towards a better future challenging ourselves to be more competitive. The Thorium systems are safer and more efficient. What will it take to finally integrate them over standard nuclear systems that from my understanding have been not able to be containerized yet and that could be deemed hazardous in a small form. Is a containerized nuclear system safe? Can Thorium be integrated to improve efficiency and make the systems safer. We need to compete at the forefront of technology and can.
Here is what Thorcon is doing in Indonesia and this would be difficult to do here, however it is interesting to study and see how we can apply conditions in Alaska to work with a Thorium based micro-reactor. Sunday reading, viewing and learning are needed and it will be interesting to follow the bid selection process to see if more focus can be on what is new and developing versus conventional, if conventional can even function as a micro-reactor.
It was found out in this presentation by Kirk Sorensen that in the 1950’s a bunch of Air Force Engineers were tasked with the problem of putting a nuclear reactor inside a plane to power it flying through the air and they designed a Thorium fueled molten salt-based reactor.
According to the video, “It ran at very high temperatures. It was very efficient. It was a thermal spectrum . . .,” and he could go on and on, but where is it today? “The idea died in the late 1960’s and early 70’s,” so here we are talking about a similar project and time to revisit the idea.
To watch more of his presentation, that is good preparation for the design and build portion, see: