m-MSR Technology.

Advanced Atomic is best represented by the Molten Salt Reactor

The marine-MSR is an iteration of the Molten Chloride Fast Reactor (MCFR) being developed by a Team consisting of TerraPower together with Southern Company, ORANO,3M and CORE POWER.

Development work by TerraPower is focused on a fast neutron spectrum. Testing of conceptual designs started in January 2016 when the U.S. Department of Energy awarded a five-year, $40 million cost-sharing award for continued research and development into TerraPower’s MCFR project.

In December 2020, the Team were awarded another $90 million cost share award from the US DoE to build the first proof-of-concept MCFR, as part of the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program. The private portion of the cost-share program is funded by the members of the Team.

Advanced atomic energy in the form of the MCFR and the resulting m-MSR can deliver reliable, durable and clean energy to heavy transport and industry, solving the challenge of deep-decarbonisation in an elegant, cost effective way.

Molten Salt Reactors are dramatically different from conventional nuclear reactors (LWRs / PWRs).

MSR’s run on a liquid fuel (molten salt) mixed with Uranium oxide. Because the ‘fissile’ energy material is locked into the fuel salt, it cannot escape in case of an accident. Accidents can happen, and when they do we want to be absolutely sure that the environment is not poisoned. The MSR does that really well.

Exceptional fuel efficiency is a key benefit. In the MSR, over 95% of the energy in the fuel is consumed, compared to less than 1% in a conventional nuclear reactor.

Like with all machines, extreme fuel efficiency means fewer refuellings and much less residual spent fuel. This is really helpful to comply with rules for atomic energy.

We can ‘load-follow’ almost perfectly so that large industrial assets with variable energy demand, like ships and factories, can be reliably powered by sustainable, clean energy with zero emissions.

This makes the MSR a suitable technology for all the heavy industries that are the hardest to decarbonise.

The MSR is small so we can mass-assemble multiple machines, bringing down the cost of energy below that of gas, diesel and variable renewables like wind and solar.

The m-MSR has excellent safety characteristics

  • The job of an atomic reactor is to produce powerful heat.
  • Therefore, the coolant is key to avoid overheating. Loss of coolant in a conventional reactor can caused accidents. This cannot happen in an m-MSR.
  • In an m-MSR the fuel is the coolant, and the coolant is the fuel, so coolant cannot be lost.
  • This is the very definition of walk-away safety.
  • If an m-MSR malfunctions and the temperature starts going up, drain plugs melt and the entire load of liquid core fuel is poured into passive drain tanks that are intimately linked to an ultimate heat sink, keeping them cool and unreactive.
  • This is an accident mitigation feature that is possible only in fluid fuel reactors, and is perfect for heavy transport and industry.
  • This is the only energy technology that leaves little if any waste, lasts for generations and provides constant, reliable energy that we can afford.