ThorCon announces that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has published details of the ThorCon liquid fission power plant on IAEA's go-to web site for advanced power reactors, ARIS. ThorCon gigawatt MSR power plants deliver energy cheaper than coal and can be mass produced by shipyards after demonstration in Indonesia.
One new feature is the ThorConIsle version, a complete 2 x 250 MW power plant built in a hull, then towed to a near-shore site and securely ballasted down to the sea floor. This ThorCon version will be the prototype liquid fission power plant for Indonesia.
Another newly announced capability is prolonged passive decay heat cooling, so that even if all power and instrumentation is lost [station blackout] the liquid fission power plant can remain safely unattended for at least a year.
"The economics of liquid fission and shipyard production enables ThorCon to achieve its mission of Powering Up Our World with emission-free energy cheaper than coal."
Lars Jorgenson, CEO ThorCon
The ThorCon design has progressed since the 2015 signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between ThorCon and three Indonesia-owned companies responsible for electric power, nuclear reactors, and petroleum. ThorCon continues to work with Indonesia agencies, ministries, and universities, and also works with Indonesia nuclear engineers, exchanging information at places such as their TRIGA reactor site.
Black start capability is attractive to developing nations. With no external power, ThorCon can power itself up and then help restart other generators on a regional electric transmission grid. Not simply a base-load power plant, ThorCon can continuously vary power production to meet demand just by changing the speed of its fluid pumps.
ThorCon's double roof prevents penetration from an aircraft strike, increasing public confidence in the safety of ThorCon in such extremes. Complying with international nonproliferation conventions, ThorCon fuel uses low-enriched uranium, and so creates some plutonium as do all commercial nuclear power plants. Unique to ThorCon, thorium dilutes the chemically similar plutonium, making its liquid fission fuel useless for weapons.
The USA consumes 1400 W per person; in contrast most South Asia people get less than 100 W. Providing developing nations with 700 W per person would double world electricity generation. ThorCon power plants will cost $1.2 billion per gigawatt unit. Existing shipyards are capable of manufacturing 100 units per year, rapidly meeting new demands and enabling replacing fossil-fuel-fired generation within this century.
You can read the ThorCon white paper at the IAEA website.