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Guest: Dr. Ajay Kothari; Topics: Dr. Kothari makes the case of using thorium molten salt reactors for power generation in the U.S. and globally. Ajay also talked about SSP, nuclear power, launchers and related topic. He provided us with numbers and statistics.
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We welcomed Dr. Kothari back to the program for the next round in his discussing support for thorium molten salt reactor power in the U.S. and globally. Most of the discussion involved Ajay making the case for thorium, providing some specs for a would-be molten salt reactor, talking about potential fuel competition sources including SSP which he did not favor. Don't miss why he was not so supportive of SSP, then post your comments on the blog as we would like to know your thoughts on the issue.
Ajay had much to say about the global scene for thorium. He talked a lot about what China was doing plus he said they had a demo plan in operation though it was a bit different from a molten salt reactor. He also talked about the political process in the U.S. which makes it very hard to design, build and permit a thorium molten salt reactor, thus limiting the investment and research interest in the reactors. In addition, Ajay did say there was thorium on the Moon and talked about having a reactor there. There is also thorium on Mars so that too was a possibility. At one point in the discussion, our guest was asked to compare the thorium U.S. reserves he mentioned earlier to global oil reserves given the conversion factor used by our guest when he brought up the subject. Tell us what you think of this comparison. You know the drill, post your comments on the blog. Ft. Worth John called to talk about how one starts the thorium reaction in the first place, plus the use of waste materials in the thorium reactor. Our guest and John had quite the discussion on this topic. Back to the Moon, Ajay did say it could be in a liquid or solid form. He explained the difference.
Marshall called to ask him about his concept in light of the small modular reactors that are being designed and made operational. The two of them talked how thorium could play a role in developing cislunar space. As for launch vehicles, Ajay suggested the Falcon Heavy but then said that none of this would be a problem for Starship, assuming Starship flies. Before bringing our discussion to a close, I want to mention the earlier email from Dr. Dewar which I read on air. Jim asked me to post a version of his email on the blog which I have done. He offered Ajay a strategy for selling thorium to the public but Ajay said we were not even advanced enough to do Jim's suggestion. Don't miss this discussion over Jim's email earlier in the show because it led to talking about the old NERVA project from decades ago as we were ending the program. Ajay talked ISP numbers, rocket stages, and more. Before ending, I did ask Ajay for his action plan to make thorium part of our energy power mix. Don't miss how he responded to that question.
Just before ending, Ajay talked about the NRC, the need to prove out the thorium reactor technology and then he offered us a plan for 500 1 gw reactors around the country. Don't miss his closing comments on this final program topic.
Please post your comments/questions for Dr. Kothari on our blog. You can reach him through me or his company website, Astrox.com.