Renewable Energy Innovations partners with Alpha Tech Research Corporation to provide funding for the construction of Utah's first Thorium powered Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) to produce the much needed medical isotopes in the world today. This facility will also provide the lowest cost green power available in a reliable sustainable model. The facility is expected to go online sometime in 2022-2023.
There’s a mad dash for a vital medical isotope that’s used in about 50,000 medical procedures every day in the US, including spotting deadly cancers and looming heart problems. Currently, access to it hinges on a shaky supply chain and a handful of aging nuclear reactors in foreign countries. But federal regulators and a few US companies are pushing hard and spending millions to produce it domestically and shore up access, Kaiser Health News reports.
These MSR's are among the safest energy sources on earth - dense, reliable, and emit no carbon. The lifeblood of modern civilization is affordable, free-flowing energy. It gives us the power to heat our homes, grow and refrigerate food, purify water, manufacture products, perform organ transplants, drive a car and go to work.
Today's cheap, bountiful supplies make it hard to see humanity's looming energy crisis, but it's possibly coming within our lifetimes. Our numbers will grow from 7.36 billion people today to 9 billion in 2040, an increase of 22%. Rapidly developing nations, however, will supercharge global energy consumption at more than twice that rate.
Fossil fuels could quench the planet's deep thirst for energy, but they'd be a temporary fix at best. Known reserves may dry up within a century or two. And burning up that carbon-based fuel would accelerate climate change, which is already on track to disrupt and jeopardize countless lives.
if you level the energy playing field against other power sources by taking into account government subsidies and tax breaks, capital costs, fuel costs, and other factors that affect the price-per-megawatt-hour of a power plant, MSR Thorium energy remains a financial win in the long run.
Thorium powered MSR's levelized cost make it about twice as cheap as natural gas "peaking" plants (which fire up to meet sudden peaks in energy demand). This Thorium power also beats the overall cost of many coal-fired power plants. It also wins financially against solar rooftops, many fuel-cell energy schemes, some geothermal and bioenergy plants, and that's before you account for the extraordinary hidden costs of fossil fuels against public health and the environment, including particulate pollution (which kills tens of thousands of people a year) and exacerbating climate change.
The MSR technology was conceived during the Cold War and forgoes solid nuclear fuel for a liquid one, which it can "burn" with far greater efficiency than any power technology in existence. Manhattan Project scientist Alvin Weinberg calculated in 1959 that if we could somehow harvest all the thorium in the Earth's crust and use it in this way, we could power civilization for tens of billions of years.
"The technology is viable, the science has been demonstrated," Hans Gougar, a nuclear engineer at INL. Foreign governments, including China also now spends more than $350 million a year developing its variation of the Cold War-era design.