Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major Energy and Environmental News and Commentary affecting the Nuclear Industry.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Will China eat our lunch over the LFTR too? by Charles Barton

A couple of months ago I wrote apost titled, "Keeping up with China: The Economic Advantage of Molten Salt Nuclear Technology."  I argued that Chinese LWRs were going to come in at about 40% cheaper than reactors built i the west, and that low cost electricity would give China a huge economic advantage.  I then pointed out that Molten Salt reactors had the potential to substantually lower nuclear costs, thus offering the United States a route to energy competitivemess.  wFriday, Hua Bei who is, I believe a Chinese Scientist posted on Energy from Thorium the following comment:
"Five days ago, China just started the TMSR project in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) annual report conference, which indicates that China has joined the international MSR club officially. Chinese TMSR project is one of the first four launched projects in 2011, as can be called the "Strategic and Leading Project of Science and Technology". Its ultimate target is to investigate and develop a whole new nuclear system ( thorium based molten salt nuclear system) in about 20 years. The website link of related reports are as follow.
http://www.cas.cn/xw/zyxw/ttxw/201101/t ... 7050.shtml
http://whb.news365.com.cn/yw/201101/t20 ... 944856.htm"

For those who do are unfamiliar TMSR stands for the European name for the LFTR.   I posted this comment on Nuclear Green, and received the following comment from horos11 "charles,

you know, I read this, and I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

After all, this site and others have been sounding the clarion call to action on this, and I should be glad that someone finally heeded it and its getting traction in a place that really matters, but I have a sinking feeling that:

a. its going to take far less than their planned 20 years

b. they are going to succeed beyond their wildest expectations.

Which means that the next, giant sucking sound we may hear is the sound of the 5 trillion dollar energy market heading east, further depressing our economy, weakening the dollar (and the euro) and ultimately making the US economy dependent on rescue from the chinese in the future (when they are done rescuing themselves).

Yet, in the large scheme of things, this is a definite good, and may be our savior from anthropomorphic climate change.

so again, laugh? or cry. I guess its up to how you view things - I guess I'm tentatively laughing at the moment, but mostly from the overwhelming irony of all this."

- Charles Barton

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