One of the persistent myths left over from the first Atomic Age is that nuclear reactors can only be used to produce electricity in massive, central station power plants.
That application is only one of many ways to use the heat from fissioning uranium, plutonium or thorium. In the US, fully 1/3 of the 100 quadrillion BTUs (Quads) of energy used each year is consumed by industrial process heat applications. Nearly all of that is supplied by burning hydrocarbons (some is supplied at paper mills and lumber processing plants by burning biomass).
With some clever engineering that takes advantage of research initially conducted to attempt to enable solar heat to be made available when the sun is not shining, Cal Abel is working on ways to produce, distribute or store nuclear fission heat.
We are joined in our discussion by Bob Apthorpe, another man with a degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Wisconsin, the same place where Cal earned his BS and MS.