Arnesen, Patrick

I have read from recent news articles that geological storage would cost up to 24B. Might I recommend an alternative that would cost the same amount of money, solve the waste problem, create a long term export industry for Canada, and solve both the global warming crisis and the world energy crisis?

In the 1960s and 70s Oakridge National Labs validated a molten salt nuclear reactor design. The science was proven and a test reactor was successfully run for several years. The design was shelved mainly because it could not produce plutonium for use in nuclear weapons. Being a liquid core design, nuclear poisons are continually filtered out, allowing the reactor to burn up nearly 100% of its nuclear fuel. This type of reactor could burn through all of Canada’s nuclear waste while creating energy. Even better, the reactor can be designed to breed U-233 from thorium, which can then be fed into the reactor core as fuel. This would allow us to use our nuclear waste to kick off a thorium energy economy.

Such a reactor design, known as LFTR, has fantastic passive safety features and should be able to produce power cheaper than coal. If the design could be engineered and validated by Canada, it would quickly become the cheapest and cleanest energy source available, and would be adopted throughout the world. It would replace fossil fuels, stopping global warming and the energy crisis.

All this could be done for approximately the same cost as burying our nuclear waste in geological storage, but I hope you’ll agree, the upside is far better.

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