Josephson: Nuclear power for Wyoming, June 24, was critical of the Natrium nuclear reactor project. It’s financed by Bill Gates with an $80 million subsidy from the U.S. Department of Energy. So, nuclear energy money is coming to Wyoming. Okay so far?
Josephson talks about the weight of nuclear waste, up to 83,000 tons in the United States. Used nuclear fuel is dense. You can stack six decades of it in the perimeter of a football field, less than 20 yards high. And it can be burned again in Phase III and Phase IV reactors.
The Molten Salt Reactor Experiment, MSRE at Oak Ridge National Laboratories tested the viability of using molten fuels in a nuclear reactor. From January 1965 to December 1969 the reactor logged more than 13,000 hours at full power. The alloys of that time handled the job without incident. Politics delayed that technology. Now TerraPower has the advantage of that knowledge and 21st Century alloys and technology.
Molten Salt Reactors, in addition to producing electricity also operate at 700 degrees centigrade (1,292 Fahrenheit). They can’t melt down. They’re already melted down. That heat can be used to make low carbon hydrogen fuels, fertilizers, desalinate or sanitize water, or recycle trash.
Josephson likes solar panels falling costs. But much of that can be credited to coal power and Chinese slave labor where most of them are made. Wyoming would require thousands of acres of surface area using wind turbines and solar panels to produce the same amount of energy that the Natrium reactor will produce. And according to a recent paper by The Harvard Business Review, solar panels will create 50 times more waste and cost four times more than predicted. Even CJ Box has Joe Picket, his Wyoming fictional character talking about these energy issues. Yup.