Dr. Leslie Dewan is a co-founder and the CEO of Transatomic Power, a venture capital-funded start-up based on research conducted at MIT. Along with Mark Massie, the other co-founder, Dewan is exploring a design that uses a molten salt fuel that enables materials currently classified as “nuclear waste” to provide the heat source for a steam power plant. As the company’s web site explains, the design requires fuel where fissile isotopes (U-235 or Pu-239) make up 1.8% of the total actinide fraction.
Material meeting that fissile isotope requirement could be provided by lightly enriched uranium or by the reusable material produced after a single pass through a light water reactors and currently stored as “waste” in spent fuel pools and dry storage casks.
Transatomic’s ideas are exciting. Here is a recently posted video designed to generate interest in the concept and perhaps to attract interested and skilled talent to the team.
I’m working on arrangements to interview Transatomic Power leaders for the Atomic Show; you should expect to hear more about this company and its technology in the near future.