China moves closer to completion of world’s first thorium reactor

July 22, 2021, 6:58AMANS Nuclear Cafe
China’s molten salt loop experiment. (Photo: Thorium Energy World)

China is moving ahead with the development of an experimental reactor that would be the first of its kind in the world and “could prove key to the pursuit of clean and safe nuclear power,” according to an article in New Atlas.

Citing local news reports, New Atlas said that the Chinese government intends to finish building a prototype molten salt nuclear reactor in the desert city of Wuwei in the coming months, with plans to establish a number of larger-scale plants in similar settings thereafter.

Details: China has been leading the charge in advancing the technology behind molten salt reactors. In 2011, the Chinese government approved plans for a thorium molten salt reactor and tasked its scientists with developing the technology to run it. Now, as reported by the South China Morning Post, construction on the 2-MW prototype reactor is due to wrap up next month, and the first tests could begin as soon as September.

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