"It will be great when workable fast breeder reactors, for a low price and safe design come on board. With little waste and great economies."
Fast breeders - heh heh. With molten sodium coolant, heh heh. "It won't catch fire this time guys, honest. We learned from Shippingport, really!"
Richard Nixon was sold that when he killed the Oak Ridge project in favour of his boys in Southern California. Guess what happened.
Japan was convinced they'd solved it when they setup Monju. 20 tons of burning sodium in the basement makes for a bad day. They're still cleaning that one up (and that wasn't even in the nuclear loop!)
The Russians tried molten lead coolant loops - the fumes ate the brains of a number of their researchers.
I'm quite sure that at some point in the future Alvin Weinberg will be canonised for his successful effort to produce a properly safe and usefully hot nuclear reactor - and his production of one that ran for 9000 hours between 1966 and 1969 - with NO measurable corrosion despite the claims made by FUD teams since then.
Weinberg used Uranium for the Nautilus reactor because that's what was available, not because it was the best fuel for the job. He used a steam boiler design because that's what worked for the job and was entirely containable and had an effectively infinite heatsink just outside the hull, and steam turbines were well understood by navies - not because it was the perfect technology for the job. He was _extremely_ unhappy that his 60-80MW 6bar design was scaled up to 3000MW and 100bar - the stresses on the engineering go up with the cube of the power and these are massive steam bombs ready to explode. He was firmly convinced even before making the Nautilus and Shippingport reactors that Thorium was the best long term answer - likening it to diesel and enriched uranium to TNT in terms of fuel types.