An article in the South China Morning Post is reporting that China plans on completing the world’s first thorium nuclear reactor using thorium molten-salt technology 15 years sooner than was originally planned.
The urgency of completing this project has been brought on by the severe pollution problems China is facing, in large part caused by the growing number of coal power plants which currently produce about 70 per cent of the country’s electricity.
There are apparently significant challenges in developing a commercial thorium reactor — for example, molten salt produces a high amount of flouride and other corrosive chemicals, and there is much about thorium that is unknown. Still, the Chinese have “declared war” on pollution, and according to Professor Gu Zhongmao, an official at the China Institute of Atomic Energy, nuclear technology is the only option they have to win that war.
One wonders what will become of this project, however, if the E-Cat is recognized to be cleaner, cheaper, and able to be implemented in a much shorter time frame.