'When it comes to science and technology, Europe is still in the lead and we can be the first worldwide to realise this technology and build that reactor’, argues Jan Leen Kloosterman from TU Delft.
Thorium Molten Salt Reactors in Dutch Television
To the world energy supply this would mean a tremendous solution.
'Every single year we dig enough thorium out of the ground to produce all electricity worldwide for 40 years. So we dig up an enormous supply of energy, and do nothing with it.’Jan Leen Kloosterman, a nuclear physicist and a TU Delft professor, is working with the European SAMOFAR project that aims to prove the innovative safety concepts of the MSFR by advanced experimental and numerical techniques, and to deliver a breakthrough in nuclear safety and optimal waste management.
‘Fukushima would have looked completely different with molten salt reactors because no radioactivity would have been released. The reactor is inherently safe.’ sums Kloosterman the advantages of the molten salt reactor.
This type of reactor was already developed in the 1960’s by Alvin Weinberg, who is also the designer behind today’s Light Water Reactors. After Weinberg’s thorium molten salt reactor experiments were discontinued in 1985, Mr. Weinberg stated: ‘The project was terminated but I still think that people eventually will come back to this reactor type’.
Molten salt reactors deserve a new chance also according to the former senator and chemist Kees de Lange. ‘Absolutely. To the world energy supply this would mean a tremendous solution.’, he advocates.
China and India are already fully committed to developing thorium reactors, whereas Europe is lagging a similar effort. ‘When it comes to science and technology, Europe is still in the lead and we can be the first worldwide to realise this technology and build that reactor’, argues Kloosterman.
The video was broadcasted by Dutch Public Television on November 25.