The molten salt reactor (MSR) featured in your article ‘Salt of the earth’ (News, 13 November) is a great concept. It has very good stability, can run at very high temperature and very low pressures (not much higher than city water pressure).
Compare this to a typical 2,500 psig pressure water reactor (PWR). The greatest thing about it is the potential for fission product removal, thus drastically minimising the high level waste stream.
I don’t think a molten salt reactor using liquid fluorides is ‘a long way off’. The work done at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, in the sixties and seventies addressed most of the technical problems. The issue with hydrofluoric acid production is another one they really put to bed.
I’ve collected many documents relating to this reactor at my website, and I post information about thorium and liquid-fluoride reactors at my blog: Energy From Thorium?