After Harrisburg, Chernobyl and Fukushima, most people no longer considered ‘nuclear’ to be a serious option to fill in our energy needs. In fact, most people hardly gave it a serious thought in the last 20, 30 or even 40 years.
Very few people are aware that already in the 1960’s Alvin Weinberg, the inventor of our present day ‘standard’ nuclear reactor, the Light Water Reactor, uttered his doubts about the safety aspects of his invention. He and his team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory were working on a completely different type of reactor, that was designed for safety and maximal energy production: the molten salt reactor.
They built and operated one, and it worked flawlessly for almost four years.
Weinberg and his team could not believe what happened next: the Nixon administration simply ended the funding of the project, and their successful reactor was mothballed.
But starting around 2006, the technology of the molten salt reactor has been rediscovered, and attracts the attention of a growing number of young and talented researchers. None of the things you may have learned about nuclear reactors applies to molten salt reactors.
Here is how you can help them in their important mission: question your old ideas about nuclear. Maybe it’s time to develop new ideas based on new information. You could start at this site. And then, tell your friends.