China world first green new thorium-core nuclear reactor begins testing

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China is on the verge of testing the world’s first waterless nuclear reactor with thorium and molten salt, which could bring it closer to its green energy targets.

According to and quoting Iya,

China’s new thorium-core nuclear reactor begins testing. While the radioactive element has previously been tested in reactors, many scientists and nuclear industry experts believe it could make China the first country to develop the technology on a commercial scale, according to a report in Nature. And puts it at a great distance from other countries.

If the reactor works, it could be a major turning point in the global community for safer and more efficient alternatives to conventional forms of nuclear power.

This new reactor is unusual because it circulates molten salts instead of water. This can generate nuclear energy at relatively cost-effective and safe costs.

Most importantly, thyristor fuel reactors can generate much smaller amounts of radioactive waste than traditional reactors, and potentially take steps to address long-standing objections to the nuclear industry.

According to China, the construction of the test reactor based in Wuwei near the Gobi Desert was expected to be completed in August, and Officials said it begin testing this month.

Thorium is a weak, silver-like radioactive metal that occurs naturally in rocks and is not currently used in modern industry. Thorium is also a waste product from the extraction of scarce land resources in China, which means that it can be a viable alternative to uranium, an element that the country has to import at high cost.

“Thorium is much more abundant than uranium, so it will be a very useful technology in the next 50 or 100 years as global uranium reserves begin to decline,” explains Lyndon Edwards, a nuclear engineer at the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology.

He added: “Since it takes decades for this technology to reach full maturity, there is no time to waste and we must start developing it now.

China launched its molten salt reactor project 2011 and has invested about $500 million in the project, according to Ritsuo Yoshiuka, a former president of the International Melt Thorium Association in Japan who was worked with many researches in China.

The Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP) is responsible for operating the reactor, which is designed to generate only 2 megawatts of thermal energy. This amount of energy alone can power a maximum of 1,000 homes. Of course, this is a test reactor, but if the test is successful, china plans to build another 373-megawatt reactor by 2030, with a thorium-core reactor that can power hundreds of thousands of homes.

According to Jiang Keun, an energy modeller at the Beijing National Institute of Energy Research and Development, such highly efficient, Climate change-aware reactors are among the perfect technologies that can bring china closer to its zero-carbon target of 2050. Has been.

According to Nature, the important point is that while the natural isotope thorium-232 cannot be fissioned, it can absorb uranium-233 neutrons when irradiated, in which case it can fission and generate heat.

So far, thorium has been used as a potential nuclear fuel in experiment at reactors in Germany, Britain and the United states.

It is also currently part of India’s nuclear program, although the cost of extracting it has been inefficient compared to existing uranium, especially since thorium must be converted to a fissile material. But if China’s thorium reactor is effective, it could be a turning point in the development of commercial-scale nuclear power based on this element.


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