Speak, Muse! And tell me of the pros and cons of molten salt reactors, such as the Peoples’ Republic of China plan to create:
Chinese energy demand is growing rapidly, and despite the world’s largest campaign of new nuclear construction, the vast majority of Chinese power generation still comes from fossil fuels. China has abundant supplies of coal, but their combustion has led to some of the worst air quality in the world. The ability of thorium MSRs to operate at atmospheric pressure and with simplified safety systems means that these reactors could be built in factories and mass-produced. They could then be shipped to operational sites with standard transportation. Their thorium fuel is compact and inexpensive. Chinese rare-earth miners have been rumored to have been stockpiling thorium from rare-earth mining for years, and if this is true, the Chinese will have hundreds of thousands of years of thorium already mined and available for use. The Chinese now have the largest national effort to develop thorium molten-salt reactors. Whether other nations will follow is an open question.