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This project started as discussion between MECi Group and Copenhagen Atomics, the two parties developing this project who believe in a future of clean energy, and a future of transparency and accountability.

Coming together in mid 2017 the two groups pondered, discussed and put serious thought into how to accelerate and legitimise thorium energy technology, in particular the MSB. How to take it mainstream without tripping over the red tape that has engulfed the “old” nuclear industry? The main question was transparency and a means of allowing participation of anyone who wanted to join in.

Watching the blockchain world unfold, it became natural to think how to combine these two modern variations of proven technologies: MSB – developed, proven and operating in the 1960’s and 1970’s; and the science of cryptography which has been developing for centuries. The modern version, SHA256 – being the basis of bitcoin, stemming from the Merkle–Damgård hash function, completed as Merkle’s PhD thesis in 1979, an hence and enabler for building trust across a decentralised network.

When also considering that the fuel salt for a MSB is consumed at the rate of only 0.4% per year (yes, really), it is the fuel supply that becomes the asset in making energy from thorium – it lasts for a very long time. This led to the natural conclusion that putting this asset onto a blockchain and tokenizing the necessary activities to keep it there – mining, processing, storing, transporting, burning, cleaning, replenishing, reusing, and waste handling – we would achieve our objective of transparency and accountability for an energy system that has the potential to change the world.

Further to this, Copenhagen Atomics has three vital tools needed for the blockchain to operate and interconnect with the real world:

1) A way of analysing the exact content of the salt at any time during the MSB operation. Up to 1,000 isotopes will be tracked, their decay and transformation recorded on the blockchain. This is achieved using LIBS – Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy.

2) The ability to clean the salt online, on a continuous basis, removing reaction inhibiting isotopes. Recording this activity on the blockchain provides transparency and accountability.

3) MSB operating and control software – essential for linking all elements of the fuel management system, combining the first two points above and feeding the blockchain with the necessary information to maintain its integrity.

Hence The Thorium Salt Network was born.

Here’s the principles being pioneered and their progress by Copenhagen Atomics as explained by Thomas Jam Pedersen, Dr Thomas Steenburg, and Aslak Stubsgaard, all of whom are core members of the blockchain project: