Recent Research of Thorium Molten-Salt Reactor from a Sustainability Viewpoint
The most important target of the concept “sustainability” is to achieve fairness between generations. Its expanding interpolation leads to achieve fairness within a generation. Thus, it is necessary to discuss the role of nuclear power from the viewpoint of this definition. The history of nuclear power has been the control of the nuclear fission reaction. Once this is obtained, then the economy of the system is required. On the other hand, it is also necessary to consider the internalization of the external diseconomy to avoid damage to human society caused by the economic activity itself, due to its limited capacity. An extreme example is waste. Thus, reducing radioactive waste resulting from nuclear power is essential. Nuclear non-proliferation must be guaranteed. Moreover, the FUKUSHIMA accident revealed that it is still not enough that human beings control nuclear reaction. Further, the most essential issue for sustaining use of one technology is human resources in manufacturing, operation, policy-making and education. Nuclear power will be able to satisfy the requirements of sustainability only when these subjects are addressed. The author will review recent activities of a thorium molten-salt reactor (MSR) as a cornerstone for a sustainable society and describe its objectives and forecasts.
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