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One application where it is difficult to run connected to the grid is ocean shipping. Pure U233-Thorium molten salt breeder reactors can be designed at a size appropriate for use in ship engines.

They can also regulate power output more quickly than a light water reactor ~ slow down the circulation of the fuel out to the heat exchanger phase, allowing the molten salt mixture to heat up, the reaction slows down, and less total power is generated. So they are much better suited to operating on a grid with a substantial harvesting of volatile renewable energy sources.

Sadly, the best hope for serious development of the technology in the US may be the fact that they can scale down smaller than light water reactors, so could be used in smaller ships and subs than the current nuclear power vessels in the US Navy.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Dec 8th, 2011 at 11:49:42 AM EST
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