Many countries have built nuclear reactors and different nuclear technologies have been successfully commercialized over the past six decades. There will be multiple winners with new nuclear fission technology and new reactor designs.
The best new nuclear fission technology is molten salt nuclear. This is because reactors would be far more compact than current nuclear reactors. Molten salt reactors can be 20 to 100 times more compact for the same power generation level. If are building something 20 times smaller then you can usually build it much faster and at much lower cost.
Multiple new molten salt and pebble reactor designs will be built. There will be a competition to see which reactor designs will get scaled up to large numbers of units.
Molten salt and pebble bed reactors will both be able to make walkaway safe reactors. This is because they will have freeze plugs at the bottom. The physical plugs will be designed to melt when the temperature goes higher than what is designed. This will then let gravity drain the fuel into holding tanks where the fuel will naturally cool down. This design does not need any computers or other equipment or human technicians to do anything. It will be automatic safety.
The two reactor designs reviewed here are by Seaborg Technologies of Denmark and Thorcon (American company looking to build in Indonesia). Both companies plan to build molten salt reactors in ships or barges. This will mean they float on water and can easily access water for cooling and operations.
Thorcon is planning to mass-produce 100 nuclear reactors every year from shipyards.
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Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.