A Small Step to Energy Independence

Molten Salt Reactor Schematic

Energy security is a very complex subject and no single technology is the silver bullet but if we really want enduring security for the UK, energy security is critical and one way of achieving that energy security is to reduce reliance of hydrocarbons where those hydrocarbons come from places like the Middle East.

One could argue that energy interdependence with other nations produces a symbiotic relationship between consumer and producer but I think recent events in Eastern Europe might pour water on that theory.

Molten salt reactors are an exciting technology with much promise and the UK Technology Strategy Board approved funding in Summer for a development study.

In an exciting development, a bid to study next-gen Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) has won funding from the Technology Strategy Board, the UK government’s strategic innovation agency. MSRs could be a game-changing way of producing clean electricity, so this is great news for all who support the revival of clean energy R&D to tackle climate change.

The bid was led by the indefatigable Jasper Tomlinson and Professor Trevor Griffiths. In a first for the UK, the project will produce a rigorous desk- and computer-based study of the feasibility of a pilot-scale MSR, based on the latest science.

The TSB’s decision is welcome. This project marks another step in the revitalization of the UK’s next-gen nuclear R&D — although it goes without saying that much more needs to be done.

A good overview of molten salt reactors can be found here and here

Molten Salt Reactor Schematic
Molten Salt Reactor Schematic

The value of the research grant is a whopping £75,000

Compare that to the excess £1.2 billion subsidy paid to the wind sector every year.

Still, small steps and all that.

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