Sodium as a reactor coolant
I have a quick question for the readers.
We often hear from the anti-nuclear crowd that molten Sodium metal, often used as a coolant in fast-spectrum reactors, “explodes when exposed to air”.
Now, anyone with a basic familiarity with chemistry can tell you that a sufficient quantity of Sodium will explode when in contact with water, and molten liquid sodium especially so.
But how reactive is molten Sodium in contact with air?
We know that solid Na is reasonably stable on contact with air, and it can indeed be handled, cut weighed and so forth, both in industry and in the laboratory, in an air atmosphere, although it is generally handled as much as possible under an inert atmosphere where possible so as to prevent oxidation.
Solid Sodium certainly is not explosive or pyrophoric in contact with air.
Is liquid Sodium explosive or pyrophoric in contact with air?
Can anyone provide any credible, useful references on the topic?