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Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor: A Long-Term Energy Solution?

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Because of its lack of application to weapons, a promising project at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory that was leading toward a thorium reactor was cancelled by the Nixon administration in 1969 in favor of a more efficient plutonium breeder. The Oak Ridge program was advancing the technology of using molten salt as a reactor fuel rather than the solid rods found in existing naval and commercial reactors. It had successfully operated such a reactor for 22,000 hours before being terminated. Liquid fuel offers great advantages in cost and safety over the solid fuel design.

Currently the liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) is having a resurgence of interest worldwide. Let me list the advantages of an electrical power plant based on LFTR compared to conventional nuclear and fossil-fuel plants:

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