China is preparing to launch an experimental molten salt nuclear reactor, which could become a new stage in the development of nuclear power. The reactor, which is being built in Gansu province, will use a technology that has long been studied in the world, but has not yet been widely applied.
Nuclear power on molten salt
Nuclear power technology on molten salt was invented back in the 1960s in the United States, but it was not widespread then. In recent years, however, interest in the technology has increased, and several countries have begun working on molten salt nuclear reactors.
The main advantage of such reactors is that they can operate at higher temperatures, which allows for more efficient conversion of thermal energy to electrical energy. In addition, molten salt is a more stable coolant than conventional water, which reduces the risk of accidents.
How does a molten salt reactor work?
A molten salt reactor works on the principle of fusion. It uses fuel in the form of thorium or uranium, which is in a molten state in a special reactor. When nuclear fission takes place, thermal energy is released, which is used to produce electricity.
In addition, this reactor can operate at higher temperatures, allowing it to be used not only to produce electricity, but also to produce hydrogen, which can be used as fuel for cars.
Experimental nuclear reactor in China
China’s experimental molten salt nuclear reactor will have a capacity of 2 MW and will be used for research and development of new nuclear energy technologies. Work on the project began in 2011 and the reactor is now ready for launch.
China is one of the countries that is actively developing nuclear power. Currently, 50 nuclear reactors are operating in the country, and 16 more are under construction. In addition, China is actively working on the development of new nuclear energy technologies, including molten salt reactors.