BEIJING: China has developed the world’s first commercial nuclear power plant that uses thorium instead of uranium or plutonium as nuclear fuel.
This nuclear power plant is also unique in that it uses molten salt to keep it cool, unlike traditional nuclear power plants.
The technology, called the Molton Salt Reactor, was invented in the United States about 60 years ago, but was abandoned in 1969.
In this technology, ordinary salt is dissolved inside the core of the power plant, in liquid state, with nuclear fuel, which not only controls the temperature of the reactor but also helps nuclear fuel to generate electricity. does.
China has further developed the same technology to build a commercial nuclear power plant whose fuel is “thorium” metal.
From a safety standpoint, the power plant is being built in a secluded area of the Gobi Desert in northern China, far removed from the human population.
Experts say thorium-fueled nuclear power plants could be better than uranium and plutonium-fueled nuclear power plants, while Molten Salt technology could make them even safer and more environmentally friendly.
Although there are risks in the case of thorium-fueled nuclear power plants (thorium nuclear reactors), they are much lower than conventional (uranium / plutonium-fueled) nuclear power plants.
Not only China but also international experts have high hopes for this world’s first thorium nuclear reactor because if this reactor is successful, we will have a new way of peaceful and environmentally friendly use of nuclear power.
According to Chinese sources, the first thorium nuclear reactor built in the Gobi Desert will be operational this month. However, no specific date or date has been announced in this regard.