Carl Page Encourages Japan to Become an Nuclear Energy Exporter

February 3, 2024

Carl Page Encourages Japan to Become an Nuclear Energy Exporter

Japan can be nuclear leader with the deployment of “dry” nuclear reactors

TOKYO — February 3, 2024 — Our Founder, Carl Page, addressed an audience of more than 100 researchers, engineers, citizens, and policymakers interested in the molten salt reactor at the International Thorium Molten-Salt Forum. Page emphasized the importance of nuclear energy as a low-carbon energy source to stabilize the price of electricity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

He highlighted the potential of nuclear energy for heating buildings and creating synthetic transportation fuel, among other applications. He summarized the need for molten salt reactors as a safe, proven nuclear energy technology and noted that the United Nations still is not doing enough to address climate change through nuclear energy, despite promising to triple nuclear power by 2050.

He encouraged Japan to focus on national security, which is synonymous with energy security, and outgrow the habit of relying on foreign sources of energy. “We in this room know that Japan can make all of its energy domestically,” he said. “Right now, you are sitting at 80 to 88 percent dependence on foreign fuel. And we know that with renewables and domestic nuclear, you could be 0 percent dependent and be exporting energy. It’s very exciting.”

Focus on “dry” reactors and inexpensive solutions

Page reassured the audience of the inherent benefits of “dry” reactors such as the molten salt reactor that have no water touching the fuel, providing passive safety and allowing them to operate at higher temperatures for processes that require high heat, such as chemical processing. Molten salt reactors, too, are ideally suited for coal-to-nuclear retrofits.

Page emphasized the need to make energy cheaper — a solution that environmentalists often overlook. He also suggested that the nuclear industry must change its messaging to become more popular. “I’m excited about transitioning to renewable energy and nuclear power, and believe it will be more cost-effective than expected,” he said. “Leadership and decision-making are crucial for navigating uncertainty in the face of environmental threats.”

He warned of the dangers of ocean acidification and mentioned a potential solution would be to add iron to the ocean, which could potentially fix one-quarter of the carbon problem at a relatively low cost.

The potential of SSF

Page mentioned the potential for solid-state fusion, or cold fusion, and commended Japanese companies such as Clean Planet on their work in the area. “I wouldn’t put it at 100 percent chance that it will succeed, but I think there’s a good chance, and it does not have regulatory risk. People working on cold fusion get energy but no radiation, which makes some people disbelieve it, but engineers can measure the heat, so it does work.”

Solving climate change will involve empowering engineers and scientists to create new technologies that will generate new wealth and emphasized that institutions should invest in high-risk companies with the potential for 100X returns. “We have to focus on abundance versus austerity in addressing climate change,” he said. “New technologies and sustainable practices can reduce humanity’s footprint on nature without compromising quality of life.”

He concluded with a strong call to action: “We have to ask engineers how to build things that don’t exist, versus relying on governments and businesses to focus on what already exists.”

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