Public sector funding and research position China to lead molten salt reactor development

October 25, 2018 | Case Study

While many countries have migrated away from nuclear power generation following the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident, China is placing its bets on next-generation nuclear to address increasing air pollution from coal-fired plants, which makes up over 60% of the country's power generation. In 2013, the Chinese Academy of Sciences initiated its nuclear research program on thorium-based molten salt reactors after funding $350 million to support technology development and solicited the help of U.S. scientists and startups to explore solid-fueled and liquid-fueled thorium reactor designs. Unlike the private sector in the U.S., which is just beginning to see increasing attention and funding from the public sector, China continues to support technology development and recently announced an additional $3 billion in funding over the next 20 years for large-scale demonstrations.

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