Our Mission: Unparalleled Safety Amongst Power Generation Technologies
Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) have numerous safety advantages over conventional Light Water Reactors (LWRs).
- MSRs do not use the high operating pressure of LWRs, which, in addition to dramatically improving safety, also reduces cost.
- MSRs cannot melt down. In LWRs, water cools reactor fuel rods and provides a shield against radioactive releases. The fuel for MSRs is suspended in molten salts, which, similar to water, acts as a coolant and shield. However, unlike water, these molten salts cannot get hot enough to boil away. As a result, the nuclear fuel in an MSR simply cannot got hot enough to damage the containment structure or cause a widespread radioactive release.
- MSRs' used fuel disposal requires dramatically less storage space than LWRs [more].
But the safety of MSRs is actually far greater than even these facts suggest. Contrary to the impression created by a few justifiably concening accidents involving LWRs, even older generations of nuclear power plants have a dramatically better safety record than other power production technologies.
|Annual deaths per TWh* produced|
|Technology||Deaths/TWh||% of US Electricity|
- Statistics compiled by Brian Wang
- TWh = terawatt hour of electricity
|« Previous: Utilizing Proven Nuclear Technology||Next: No Nuclear Fuel Waste »|