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Nuclear power may yet ease our clean energy-hungry lives

/ 06:23 PM June 10, 2016
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Old nuclear research, which has gained renewed attention, may help solve energy crisis. INQUIRER.net PHOTO

While nuclear power produces tremendous energy, the tragedies that have occurred from its operations (remember Long Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima) give it a tenuous reputation. Fortunately, according to a report on OZY, old research has been dug up that may quell nuclear meltdown concerns.

The rediscovered technology is called molten salt reactor (MSR), which creates power by dissolving uranium pellets in molten salt. This transforms the uranium into liquid that can be safely stored inside reactors for decades. Research on this technology actually dates back to the 1950s until the 1970s. Efforts to construct working plants were shelved because the technology could not easily produce weapons-grade nuclear material to arm the US during the cold war, something that currently designed power plants can accomplish easier.

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However, with the cold war a thing of the past and climate change upon us, the prospect of clean and safe energy production has rekindled the research into MSR. A multilateral collaboration with the US Department of Energy, China and other countries estimates that fully functional MSR plants will be up and running by 2030. It will produce energy at a far cheaper cost than coal and none of the environmental damage that coal plants create.

Technology like this may even one day ease the cost of energy in our own backyard. Alfred Bayle/rga

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TOPICS: molten salt reactor, MSR, Nuclear power, nuclear research
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