Malcolm Handley of ARPA-E had a presentation that made the economic case for nuclear fusion. The economic case also applies to molten salt nuclear fission reactors and other high-temperature nuclear fission projects. Molten salt nuclear reactors were built and operated in working prototypes in the 1960s and 1970s.
Malcolm indicated that early nuclear fusion reactors could have a reasonably sized market if the price of energy produced was about $60-$75 per megawatt-hour. This could be about $10-30 per megawatt-hour more if there was some of the proposed costs for carbon were introduced.
Process heat is high-temperature heat for industrial purposes. This is 20% of energy usage. Renewables like solar and wind are very inefficient at generating high-temperature heat. These are markets for many nuclear fusion designs and some high-temperature nuclear fission designs. Citing restriction mean nuclear fission would only be able to address 20% of this market. However, if there were safer advanced nuclear fission then the same restrictions on where they could be built may not apply.
Historical solar and wind deployments have been slower than nuclear deployments in Sweden, France and the USA.
SOURCES – ARPA-E
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.