The good greenies at GreenTec then did the honorable thing. According to the people behind the DFR and to Klute, they airbrushed the reactor out of contention by implementing a de facto rule change. Under the switch, public voting - which in the original set of rules was to have elected one of the three finalists - no longer counted. Instead, only members of the GreenTec jury could choose all nominees.
Klute has started a campaign to reinstate the DFR. He wrote:
"People who had campaigned for the award and for the DFR were heavily shocked. Not only they found the decision as such completely incomprehensible, but also the procedure to make it. Changing rules in the course of the game is something that is usually considered less than fair. Most of us (but obviously not all) learned this early in our childhood. No wonder the award’s makers were criticized violently in blogs and social media, especially on their own Facebook page."
GreenTec says on its website that it honors "ecological and economic consciousness and commitment." In bumping off the DFR, it's missing a trick.
The DFR, from Berlin's Institute for Solid-State Nuclear Physics, is a type of reactor known as a molten salt reactor that, as I've often noted (see links below), offers many operational, safety and waste advantages over conventional solid fuel reactors. The DFR could run on uranium or on thorium fuel, and is also capable of burning plutonium left by conventional reactors - a useful alternative to treating the plutonium as dangerous waste. It would be effective as a CO2-free heat source in industrial processes such as hydrogen production, as explained by the Institute's Daniel Weibach and Nico Bernt in the video below.
GreenTec, like other nuclearphobes in the environmental movement, should get over its squeamishness and realize that nuclear - especially new and innovative nuclear like the DFR - is its friend, not its foe.
For more on the DFR, click on this video:
Video from the Institute for Solid-State Nuclear Physics, via YouTube. Top photo is a screen grab from the video.
A sampler of alternative nuclear technologies (those in boldface describe molten salt ideas similar to Germany's DFR). For a longer list, click on the archive link underneath: