ThorCon’s Green Nuclear Power Gains Momentum

US DOE acting head of nuclear energy Ed McGinnis flanked by Indonesia delegation and Thorcon representatives

US DOE acting head of nuclear energy Ed McGinnis flanked by Indonesia delegation and ThorCon representatives

Mr. Zulnahar Usman, the chairman of the delegation, summarized the trip as “an unqualified success… I am going to strongly recommend to President Widodo that the Government add the Thorium MSR technology to the country’s energy mix.”

STEVENSON, Wash.

1. The Argonne National Lab has teamed up with ThorCon to apply for DOE grants that would support the development of ThorCon’s advanced MSR technology. One of the proposed projects would have Argonne apply its new high-fidelity simulation tools to ThorCon’s reactor design.

2. ThorCon’s first round of funding has been achieved. The lead investor, Dr. Gary Bergstrom, the founder of Acadian Asset Management, states “I was impressed by the extraordinary engineering abilities of the team as well as the project’s potential to make a dent in the climate change problem. Over my career I have been extensively involved with investing in emerging economies and I believe that many are promising markets for ThorCon's clean, non-intermittent, and low cost (under 7 cents/kWh) electric power. It also offers dramatic benefits in facility placement options and safety versus other alternatives.”

3. In early November, a delegation from Indonesian President Widodo’s special advisory Council on the National Economy and Industry (KEIN), made a visit to the United States to carry out due diligence on molten salt reactor (MSR) technology and on the ThorCon design. The delegation was escorted by ThorCon on visits to the Braidwood Nuclear Generating Station, the Argonne National Lab, the Oak Ridge National Lab, and the Office of Nuclear Energy of the Department of Energy in Washington, DC.

Mr. Zulnahar Usman, the chairman of the delegation, summarized the trip as “an unqualified success. Our meetings and discussions with various nuclear and molten salt reactor experts in the United States have confirmed the safety and viability of the MSR technology. The ThorCon power plant has also been confirmed as an excellent design whose stated schedule and costs are doable. I am going to strongly recommend to President Widodo that the Government add the Thorium MSR technology to the country’s energy mix.”

4. One of the highlights of the delegation’s US trip was a meeting the DOE’s acting head of nuclear energy, Mr. Ed McGinnis, who showed strong interest in Indonesia’s progress towards nuclear power. Mr. McGinnis and Mr. Usman agreed that the two countries would take steps to increase cooperation in support of Indonesia’s nuclear plans with the understanding that a ThorCon demonstration power plant would most likely be Indonesia’s first step.

5. At a recent meeting hosted by the Deputy Minister of Energy in Indonesia, a day long review was undertaken by the various stakeholders in the Government and private industry regarding adding nuclear power to the country’s energy system. A comparison of all offered sources of nuclear found ThorCon’s power to be 4 to 5 cents per kWh lower than the competition and the only clean source of non-intermittent power that was competitive with coal. PLN, the national utility company, expressed its willingness to buy nuclear power if it was under 7 cents per kWh. ThorCon’s willingness to provide power at this level was made clear to the Deputy Minister who expressed a preference for this low-cost option while at the same time acknowledging its unproven nature at commercial scale.

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About the Author: Carrie Brunner

Carrie Brunner grew up in a small town in northern New Brunswick. She studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married her husband one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children. Carrie writes mostly on provincial stories.
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