Smaller, Safer Nuclear Energy Reactor Designed by Utah Professor

Slashdot reader the darklaser writes: A chemical engineering professor at Utah’s BYU has created a nuclear reactor design that could produce enough energy for 1000 homes in the space of 4 feet by 7 feet. And there’s a bonus: potentially no nuclear waste or risk of melt down.

They use molten salt that bonds with the dissolved fuel. Then, very valuable Molybdenum-99 (as in $30 million per gram) can be extracted from that salt and sold for use in medical imaging.

Additionally, this system is very inexpensive, at a cost of around 3 cents per kilowatt hour.
The professor (who led a larger team on the project) tells a local TV station it’s important because nuclear energy is “the only baseload or controllable, 100% on-power that has no emissions at all.”

And since all the radioactive byproducts are dissolved into molten salt with this technique, he believes it’s “a system that’s impossible to melt down. There’s nothing to melt, and it’s not likely to cause any release problems because there’s no pressure and there’s nothing to push it’s out.”

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