Sources on Molten Salt Reactors 2015

This section will be continually updated. Last update: 20150626 (that’s the ISO date). I’ll add sources as I find them, or remove them if they’re no longer available. Unless stated otherwise, I find the sources I mention here reliable.

Simple yet effective calculations

Book: Sustainable Energy without the Hot Air by David MacKay If I acquired any understanding of how to calculate energy quantities in different units, I owe it to this book. MacKay knows how to make calculating fun. I will see to it that will remains on top of the list. In agreement, I quote Tony Juniper, former Executive Director, Friends of the Earth: “For anyone with influence on energy policy, whether in government, business or a campaign group, this book should be compulsory reading.” The  book is freely available in html version, free as pdf download or for sale as a paper copy. It also gives a ton of references that help you doing your own calculations.

Online tools that will help you make your own calculations There are many more, of course, just google with the words ‘unit calculator’. Use it a few times, your start understanding the different units. Getting your first estimation right will boost your confidence – just go for it!

Blogs and sites with loads of information on molten salt reactors, and many other ‘things nuclear’

Energy from thorium Energy from thorium used to be Kirk Sorensen’s website, but as things started rolling for his company, Flibe Energy, Kirk took a step back, concentrated on his company and a group of people close to him took over his grass roots approach in search for support of MSR’s, with a focus on thorium. One of Kirk’s earlier accomplishments can still be found here, an incredible treasure vault: a full repository of the original Oak Ridge documents.

iThEO The International Thorium Energy Organisation iThEO is an international network that aims to make thorium energy a reality. One of its key activitities is the organisation of Thorium Energy Conferences, that offer a stage for key players in the international ‘molten salt movement’. A notable initiative is the publication of a yearly Thorium Energy Report, that is helpful for the increasingly daunting task of keeping up with the developments around molten salt reactors that are rapidly accelerating.

Nuclear Green Charles Barton’s blog is another treasure vault full of valuable information with a strong focus on molten salt reactors. He has studied extensively the ORNL documents that Kirk Sorensen has published (the ones the Chinese downloaded before starting their own MSR program…). You have to know what you’re looking for though, it really is a blog.

WHAT IS NUCLEAR Nick Touran likes molten salt reactors, but doesn’t like to only mention the advantages without the concerns. This quote sums it up:  “All those wonderful benefits can’t possibly come without a slew of problems. Lots of people promote these reactors without acknowledging the issues, but not us! A reactor concept has to stand on its two feet even in the face of disadvantages (and we think the MSR can do this).” The site also notes the problem of thorium myths. Saying ‘its thorium and because of that it’s safe’ is misleading. This page tells you why – and also why we need to investigate molten salt reactors, whether they employ thorium, uranium, plutonium or mixtures.

Atomic Insights Rod Adams’ blog is a great source for ‘things nuclear’ with wider perspective. Rod Adams does not hesitate to give his unvarnished opinion and you somehow never forget he served in the Navy. Well informed posts, seasoned with grumpy comments, a january 2015 post on ThorCon is a nice example.

Scientists debunking radiation danger myths This is the SARI website (Scientists for Accurate Radiation Information). This website is a platform for leading scientists whose shared passion is to deliver their urgent message on the true effects of radiation on the human body. Membership includes Dr. Wade Allison, whose book you’ll find discussed elsewhere on this site, as well as a number of radiation biologists and other scientists.

The Hiroshima Syndrome This is an interesting blog I have not fully studied yet, so I’m a bit hesitant to post it here, but I’m sure that if you made it here, you have at least the intention to think for yourself… The site tackles a subject that must be a pretty unnerving thought to many: what if radiation is far less harmful than we ever thought, and the health of the people in places like Fukushima and or Chernobyl is not threatened by radiation, or even radionuclides (they are not the same thing) but by the stress of being forced to leave theire homes and grounds. Nevertheless, there is growing evidence that this is exactly the case…

DecarboniseSA This Sout Australian (SA) site discusses what is in my view a major topic for ‘pro-nuclear’: its feeble narrative. The author, Ben Heard, entered his career as a climate change campainger with a strong dislike for the nuclear option. In this article, he gives a pretty sharp analysis of the question the url displays.

THE ENERGY REALITY PROJECT This site is supported by an ever growing network of enthusiastic participants that you might call ‘ecomodernists’ – although many will not like to be labelled in any way. In support of political action, mainly in US and Canada. Their facebook group contains a high percentage of very well-informed participants like Alex Cannara, Jaro Franta, Lars Jorgensen and Charles Barton. Plenty of interesting materials, like this position paper on proliferation issues in relation to nuclear energy in general and molten salt reactors in particular.

thoughtscapism Some sites are written by what you could call ‘converts’. Many of them have been concerned about the environment much of their life, but have only recently come to the insight that nuclear is not as evil as they once thought. The link is to an article in just that spirit.


Claims to be the largest professional association for the advancement of technology. Often has interesting articles on technological aspects of nuclear. Like this article that describes how pissed the Swedish are for Germany’s ‘Atomausstieg’.

Companies in the race to produce the first commercial molten salt reactor

Transatomic Power

MIT spinn-off, an initiative of former MIT PhD students Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie. Here it is.

Thorcon Power

The ‘new kid on the block’ of molten salt reactors entered the scene with a hugely ambitious business plan, aiming to supply the world with nuclear energy around 2050. Here it is.

Terrestrial Energy

Basically the Canadian company built around the intellectual property of David LeBlanc. Close relationships to Oak Ridge National Laboratory (US) and University of Tenessee. Click here. 


Is Bill Gates’ US company that is researching the traveling wave reactor. According to rumours, Terrapower is also looking at molten salt options. Here’s the link.

News Articles

20150513 Finally, The Huffington Post caught up with msr developments. And does a good job too: Steven Kotler discusses three technologies ‘you should be excited about’: IFR’s, LFTR’s and SMRS’s. Never mind the abbreviations: the article is well informed and fun to read. Here’s the article.

This article in the South China Morning Post is interesting because it stresses China’s motive to be investing in MSR’s: massive pollution caused by coal power plants. “If we build as many nuclear power stations as there are in France and Japan, we will also enjoy blue skies and clean air like they do.” “To completely get rid of smog, nuclear power is the only option,” according to Gu. Here’s the whole article.