Lately I’ve been enjoying the EcoModernist Podcast interviews with the founders of ThorCon and Elysium. I’m a fan of Ed Pheil from Elysium industries, as he answered my many questions about his reactor in layman’s terms even I could understand. But ThorcCon is a whole other story. Thorcon make mass produced molten salt reactors (that cannot melt down, as they’re already a liquid) built in shipyards on boats.
They reckon one shipyard could build maybe 20 GW a year of small modular nukes, compared to sometimes taking 5 years to build a 1 GW land reactor! There’s the advantage of mass production, a 100 fold increase in build out speed. The ship just sails into a developing world nation bay somewhere, plugs into the grid for 10 years, and then unplugs for recycling! It’s so weird, because *normally* they’re after the longest lived BIG reactor to deliver power economically. I’ve been listening to discussions about nukes lasting 80 to 100 years! But even with the short-lived block construction of these small modular boat-nukes, and their vastly accelerated life cycles, they’re still going to deliver power cheaper than coal, possibly within 7 years to Indonesia. While they have all the SAFETY of molten salt reactors, they’re not breeder reactors. So cheap little Thorcon boat nukes could then sell their waste to Elysium, who would gladly buy it to burn in their breeder reactors.
More on ThorCon and Elysium at Next Big Future.