New Projects, Nuclear, O&M, Reactors

Oak Ridge Lab teams with Canadian nuclear developer on integral molten salt reactor design

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee is collaborating with Canada-based Terrestrial Energy to bring the company’s Integral Molten Salt Reactor to the engineering stage.
The partnership is designed to bring Terrestrial Energy’s reactor design to the engineering stage by late 2016. Terrestrial Energy’s reactor design builds on ORNL’s 7.4-MWth Denatured Molten Salt Reactor design. ORNL built and demonstrated the first molten salt test reactor from 1965 to 1969.
Molten salt reactors use molten fluoride salts as a primary coolant at low pressure, according to the World Nuclear Association. The primary coolant salts remain liquid from about 500 degrees C (932 degrees F) to 1,400 degrees C (2,552 degrees F), and many are being developed as a prospect for the thorium fuel cycle.
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