Experimental reactor could hand over the holy grail of atomic energy to China | world

China is slated to commission an experimental nuclear reactor this month that could revolutionize the nuclear power industry.

Instead of uranium, the reactor is operated with thorium, a weakly radioactive element. If successful, it could provide safer and cheaper nuclear energy and help the country reduce its carbon footprint. It will use molten salt instead of water as the coolant and its byproducts are less suitable for arming.

The experimental reactor will be small – three meters high and 2.5 meters wide – and only have an output of two megawatts (MW), enough to supply up to 1,000 typical households with electricity. However, it is part of a longer term plan to build a series of small molten salt reactors with a capacity of

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