In an exciting development, a bid to study next-gen Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) has won funding from the Technology Strategy Board, the UK government’s strategic innovation agency. MSRs could be a game-changing way of producing clean electricity, so this is great news for all who support the revival of clean energy R&D to tackle climate change.
The bid was led by the indefatigable Jasper Tomlinson and Professor Trevor Griffiths. In a first for the UK, the project will produce a rigorous desk- and computer-based study of the feasibility of a pilot-scale MSR, based on the latest science.
The TSB’s decision is welcome. This project marks another step in the revitalization of the UK’s next-gen nuclear R&D — although it goes without saying that much more needs to be done.
That said, it is further confirmation that MSRs are no longer seen as “pie in the sky” technology. As R&D gains momentum worldwide – from startups like Transatomic Power and Bill Gate’s Terrapower to China’s research efforts — MSRs are becoming increasingly serious contenders. As the TSB has recognised, the potential prize of safer, cheaper, more-efficient low carbon energy is too attractive to pass up.
We hope that the TSB’s decision is just the first phase of a well-resourced programme of UK MSR research.
We will post further details as we hear them. Keep an eye on the Weinberg’s blog for further updates and an interview with the winners themselves…
Congratulations to all involved in the bid!