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Molten Salt Reactors and Thorium Energy

Thomas J. Dolan
Adjunct Professor
Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Mon, 09/11/2017 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
3105 Etcheverry Hall
Fall 2017 Colloquium Series

Light water reactors are vulnerable to core melt, steam explosions, and hydrogen explosions; and they produce large inventories of actinides that must be isolated for thousands of years. Molten salt reactors with thorium fuel could operate at low pressure, avoiding heavy pressure vessels, steam explosions, and hydrogen explosions. The high molten salt temperatures (> 700 C) would facilitate high efficiency electricity generation, and the actinide production from thorium would be much lower than that of the U-Pu fuel cycle. MSRs could also incinerate actinide wastes from LWRs. 

About the Speaker: 

Prof. Dolan has worked at universities (Missouri, Illinois); national labs (LLNL, LANL, ORNL, INL); in industry (Phillips Petroleum); and in Austria, China, India, Japan, and Korea, and Russia. He served as Head of the IAEA Physics Section, where he facilitated international cooperation on research reactors, low energy accelerators, nuclear instrumentation, and nuclear fusion research.  His books are “Fusion Research” (Pergamon, 1982), “Magnetic Fusion Technology” (Springer, 2013) and “Molten Salt Reactors and Thorium Energy” (Elsevier Press, 2017).