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Admiral Rickover is generally seen as the father of commercial nuclear power. He pushed the boiling water designs scaled up from successful navy submarine reactors. The idea was "now is better" and "damn the torpedos, full speed ahead!". Maybe he was right at the time, but that was 60 years ago. Now we have all this spent fuel from his reactors and we have to do something with it. We could bury it now at horrific expense. Or we could use it as input for breeder reactors, burn up the uranium and difficult mid-halflife actinides generating 200x the power we have got so far and then bury what's left at horrific expense. No mining, mining injuries, mining environmental costs or fossil fuel usage because our mine is the dangerously overfull spent fuel cooling ponds of boiling water reactors.
A lot of people in these threads have accused me of being anti-nuke because I don't want more boiling water reactors. I am not anti-nuke, I'm anti-stupid. We have more spent fuel than we will need for 100 years. I don't see any need to make more of it until we have a plan for what to do with what we have. IFR solves that.
In fact, breeder reactors enrich Uranium so well they can feed themselves and all the boiling water reactors too, so we could shut down mining right now and not mine another gram of natural uranium for 100 years. Enriched uranium is a natural byproduct of a breeder reactor. It is almost free! How is that for solving two problems (or eight) at once?
The downside is we wind up with a bunch of plutonium, some of which NASA needs, and the rest can be securely buried with less risk of than the wastes we already have.
I like the thorium thing too - a reactor that can only fission while you radiate it is a nice safe design. The traveling wave thing holds promise too.