Then fund the IFR for commercial-scale reprocessing and fuel production, but don't pretend that the IFR was a success so let's just keep doing it the dumb way. Uranium-based Nukes must go. Build a few IFRs to see if they meet the test. Old thorium reactors all failed to complete even one refueling cycle. WHY NOT???
IFR was a highly-enriched (67%) U235 reactor, not a thorium breeder, and was sodium cooled. It was not used to passivate spent fuel, breed U233, or any of the great new ideas. It was an experimental reactor that proved one could use another U235 cycle more efficiently, but not necessarily economically. Now that we're out of uranium for all practical purposes, what's the point? I don't think that Clinton had much to do with shutting it down, but old age may have been the trigger. 30 years is a long time for an experiment in futility.
EBR II may have been 30 years old but it was generating electricity and yes Clinton did shut it down . He did it by killing the project with his line item veto.I do not know what is so hard to accept in this when Clinton said this himself in pain words. The age did not matter. The reactor could have found other missions such as breeding thorium. But they shut it down in such a way that it could never be restarted. The Clintons also shut down a reprocessing plant that was 50% completed and sold off all the expensive parts for a song. The thing is we are going to need all kinds of energy from all kinds of sources and we can not afford to waste resources.
The old molten salt reactors were not developed because they were different and not understood by utilities. And they did not produce the plutonium needs to weapons programs. It was not developed because it would not work.
It worked, but there were problems that prevented building a working thorium blanket prototype (materials problems were rampant). D*** Greeley worked on these back in the '60's, but never was an advocate. He was a director at MITRE when I was there.
There are ways to transmutate the waste. It has not been done not because it is not possible but because it is always cheaper to do nothing. If you made it a requirement to transmute or reprocess the waste then the companies would use the ways that are profitable, such as using a Liquid Fluoride thorium reactor.
The thorium cycle needs to be investigated. The fuel is plentiful and cheap.
But it is not a simple matter to build a working prototype on a fast schedule with so many problems unresolved. I agree that it must be done, but it needs to get in line behind more promising non-nuclear solutions.