Education

The Next Generation of Nuclear Power Is Here

After a decade of research and development, China is ready to test its first-ever thorium-powered molten salt reactor. If it runs safely and shows potential to be cost-effective, China may be powering over a hundred thousand homes by 2030.
» Recap on Fusion Energy https://youtu.be/JIQbo1kI3-s
» Subscribe to Seeker! http://bit.ly/subscribeseeker
» Watch more Elements! http://bit.ly/ElementsPlaylist
» Visit our shop at http://shop.seeker.com

This reactor, a unit in Wuwei capable of producing just 2 Megawatts of thermal energy, is actually a test bed for two experimental technologies. Those would be the Thorium fuel source and the molten salt coolant.

Unlike Uranium 235, Thorium is not fissile, meaning it can’t sustain nuclear fission. Thorium 232, however, is fertile, meaning if it captures a neutron, it will eventually decay into Uranium 233, which can then be used to generate power. Then there’s the use of molten salt for coolant. Molten salt is just what it sounds like; salt that’s been heated to the point it turns from a solid into a liquid.

For the salt in the Wu Wei reactor which is a compound of fluorine, lithium, and beryllium, that happens at about 450 degrees celsius. But a molten salt reactor can use that liquid for more than just coolant; it’s possible to actually dissolve fissile and fertile material into the molten salt. A molten-salt reactor doesn’t necessarily need to use thorium; some nations and private companies are designing molten salt reactors that can use the waste products from the nuclear power plants that exist today. And thorium reactors don’t necessarily need to have their fuel dissolved in a molten salt coolant. But China’s pilot reactor in Wu Wei ties both these experimental technologies together.

#science #seeker #technology #nuclear #thorium #china

Read More:

China prepares to test thorium-fuelled nuclear reactor
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02459-w
“Thorium is a weakly radioactive, silvery metal found naturally in rocks, and currently has little industrial use. It is a waste product of the growing rare-earth mining industry in China, and is therefore an attractive alternative to imported uranium, say researchers.”

China is gearing up to activate the world’s first ‘clean’ commercial nuclear reactor
https://www.livescience.com/china-creates-new-thorium-reactor.html
“The molten-salt reactor concept was first devised back in 1946 as part of a plan by the predecessor to the U.S. Air Force to create a nuclear-powered supersonic jet.

Seven years into China’s Belt and Road

Seven years into China’s Belt and Road


“President Xi Jinping of China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in a pair of speeches in 2013. In Kazakhstan, he outlined a vision of restoring overland trade routes from China to Central Asia and Europe — the ancient ‘Silk Road.'”

____________________

Elements is more than just a science show. It’s your science-loving best friend, tasked with keeping you updated and interested in the compelling, innovative, and groundbreaking science that’s happening all around us. Join our passionate hosts as they help break down and present fascinating science, from quarks to quantum theory and beyond.

Seeker empowers the curious to understand the science shaping our world. We tell award-winning stories about the natural forces and groundbreaking innovations that impact our lives, our planet, and our universe.

Visit the Seeker website https://www.seeker.com/videos

Elements on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SeekerElements/

Subscribe now! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=dnewschannel

Seeker on Twitter http://twitter.com/seeker

Seeker on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SeekerMedia/

Seeker http://www.seeker.com/

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

The passenger with no name | Thabang ‘Pholoso’ Sekgothe | TEDxUniversityOfSouthAfrica
How Can We Use Plastics in a Smart Way? | Melanie Ecker | TEDxUNT
SEXUnSHAMED: Are you having it with the right person? | Seanlai | TEDxDupreePark
Olivia Affuso: 3 ways community creates a healthy life | TED
Can stereotypes ever be good? – Sheila Marie Orfano and Densho

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *