50th anniversary of U-233 start of MSRE

Posted by on 2018/10/08 with 0 Comments

October 8, 2018, marks the fiftieth anniversary of the operation of the Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE) using uranium-233 as a fuel. U-233 does not occur naturally; it is formed when thorium absorbs a neutron undergoes a double beta decay to form U-233. U-233 is a superior nuclear fuel, producing enough neutrons through its fission (whether by a fast or thermal neutron) to allow sufficient conversion of thorium to U-233 to replace its consumption. That makes it very unique and very valuable. Keep reading…

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Fluorination Work under the MSRP

Posted by on 2018/07/12 with 0 Comments

As was previously mentioned, the actual work on continuous fluorination was surprising small during the Molten-Salt Reactor Program (MSRP) that ran from 1957 until 1976. Keep reading…

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Fluorination Technical Background Info

Posted by on 2018/07/11 with 0 Comments

All fission reactors turn fissile material like uranium or plutonium into an array of fission and activation products (such as plutonium or neptunium). These fission and activation products have a wide variety of physical and chemical properties. Some are noble gases, some are metals, some are volatile at the operation temperature, and others remain part of or dissolved in the fuel matrix (i.e. oxide or fluoride). At the moment of their formation from fission they inherit the neutron-proton ratio of their parent fissile materials, which are generally very different than stable nuclei of the element(s). Thus they are furiously radioactive at the moment of their creation, throwing off beta particles as they rapidly transmute some of their neutrons into protons and altering their neutron-proton ratio. This process of rapid beta decay to stability takes place surprisingly quickly. About 90% of fission products reach a stable nuclear form within a month of their birth from fission. Keep reading…

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Flibe Energy awarded $2.6M to develop NF3 fluorination

Posted by on 2018/07/10 with 0 Comments

Flibe Energy is honored to announce that our proposal to develop fluorination technology for LiF-BeF2 molten salt has been selected for award by the US Department of Energy!

U.S. Department of Energy Provides Nearly $20 Million for Domestic Advanced Nuclear Technology Projects

The following five projects were selected under the Advanced Reactor Development Projects pathway:

Fluorination of Lithium Fluoride-Beryllium Fluoride (FLiBe) Molten Salt Processing – Flibe Energy (Huntsville, AL) has teamed with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, WA) to examine the use of nitrogen trifluoride as an agent to remove uranium from a molten-salt fuel mixture as a preliminary step for the removal of fission products.

DOE Funding: $2,101,982; Non-DOE: $525,500; Total Value: $2,627,482

Keep reading…

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Rotary Club Presentation in Athens, AL

Posted by on 2017/11/18 with 0 Comments

Athens is a nuclear community that is home to one of the largest nuclear facilities in the United States, the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Athens is also near to our offices in Huntsville, AL. We were delighted to be invited to speak to the Athens Rotary Club recently during one of their luncheons about thorium reactor technology and what it might mean for the future of their community and for the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant.

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MSR Summer School in Italy

Posted by on 2017/07/05 with 0 Comments

Flibe Energy sent Dr. Matthew Lish and summer intern Jackson Breakell to the MSR summer school sponsored by SAMOFAR in Lecco, Italy. The SAMOFAR Molten Salt Reactor Summer School was an opportunity for students and researchers from across the globe to help facilitate the growth of Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs). The venue, at Politechnico di Milano (POLIMI) satellite campus is located in the urban center, surrounded by the towering Italian Alps. A warm welcome from SAMOFAR organizer Jan Leen Kloosterman of TU Delft and the host Stefano Lorenzi of POLIMI greeted the participants as the school began. Keep reading…

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Good luck and best wishes for Dr. Peterson

Posted by on 2017/04/20 with 0 Comments

We’ve really enjoyed having Dr. Per Peterson as one of the members of our Board of Advisors. Per is going to be working more and more with Kairos Power, a startup in the Bay Area, which is developing solid-fueled, molten-salt-cooled reactors, and has concluded his advisory relationship with us. We wish him all the best and really appreciate the years of help he has given us. Good luck Per!

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Buzz Aldrin, astronaut and thorium supporter

Posted by on 2017/03/29 with 0 Comments

About a year ago, I received an unexpected but very welcome phone call from Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who wanted “to talk with me a little bit about thorium…” Since then, a friendship has developed that culminated in dinner last night in Nashville with the original moonwalker and the two of us from Flibe Energy.

Buzz and I arrived at the thorium solution from a similar direction. Both of us were interested in how one might sustainably provide electrical power to a lunar or Mars colony over a long period of time in a simplified way. In early 2000, when I was first thinking about this problem, I simply could not imagine the complexity of an existing nuclear power plant transported to another planetary body. It just seemed utterly impractical. But I also knew enough about proposed space nuclear power plants to realize that they would not be able to operate over the long periods of time needed for a base on the Moon or Mars that would be inhabited for many years.

Through a mutual friend, Buzz was told about our work on thorium at Flibe Energy and called me and began a mutual discussion and correspondence that culminated in our first face-to-face meeting. I really hope that Buzz can use his unique access to world leaders to tell them more about this compelling option for both this world and others.

In case we need it, here is a map of thorium concentrations on the surface of the Moon:

Thanks Buzz!

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MSR TWG and ARTAG meetings at EPRI

Posted by on 2017/03/23 with 0 Comments

Two meetings relevant to the development of molten-salt reactors were held at EPRI in Charlotte, NC, earlier this week.

Keep reading…

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LFTR Article in Business Insider

Posted by on 2017/02/26 with 0 Comments

Over the last few months I’ve had several interviews with Dave Mosher, and he has produced an impressive piece of history and technological reviews about the LFTR that I think is well worth reading:

Business Insider: A forgotten war technology could safely power Earth for millions of years. Here’s why we aren’t using it

“The story of how we got here is neither short nor simple, but it explains why Sorensen and others are betting big on humanity’s coming “Thorium Age” — and why the US continues to stumble at its dawn.”

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