September 22, 2016

UK Stable Molten Salt Reactor Design

The Stable Salt Reactor is a proposed molten salt reactor project in the UK that could be three times cheaper than a conventional nuclear reactor.

Ian Scott came out of retirement in 2013 to found Moltex Energy LLP.

Stable Salt Reactors build on the Fundamental safety and simplicity of breakthrough molten salt fuel in standard nuclear fuel Essentially tubes.
  • The fuel salt is Held in vented tubes. Venting is safe in our reactors Because the dangerous fission products form steady compounds, not gases.
  • The tubes are bundled into fuel assemblies similar to Those in a conventional PWR. These Are Held in the support structure qui forms the reactor modules.
  • The tank is filled with a molten salt coolant safe, qui is not pressurized like gas or water coolants in today's power reactors and not violently reactive with air and water like sodium in today's Fast Breeder reactors. A second similar salt coolant system takes heat from the primary coolant salt to steam generators Kept well away from the reactor.
  • Refuelling is simple: Fuel assemblies are simply Moved sideways out of the core and REPLACED with fresh fuel assemblies. This results in a near on-line refueling process.
  • The Entire building is easy, with no high pressure systems, FEW moving parts, and no Pressure Vessel Needing specialist foundries.
  • The reactor is cooled by natural air Continuously flow, complete security Giving contre Overheating year in accident situations


Essentially, the reactor core of the Stable Salt Reactor is closed cooking pan, only half of it filled with molten salt coolant. The liquid fuel is not mixed with the larger amount of molten salt, but contained in an array of tubes in the middle (red). The blue tubes in the outer region are the boiler tubes that take the heat out of the reactor core. These tubes and the core, separated by a ring of ‘bafflers’ that create a flow path, cooperate in creating a convection flow that does not need additional pumping.

Scott figures $30 million will buy his design the time it needs to win first-stage regulatory approval. The Moltex reactor builds off molten-salt technologies developed at the U.S. Oak Ridge National Laboratory that were abandoned because they couldn’t be used militarily.

Unlike in conventional reactors, the Moltex unit doesn’t need a high-pressure containment vessel. That makes it much simpler and cheaper to build, according to Jon Brooking, technical manager at WS Atkins Plc, which calculated that some capital costs of building the plant would be in the range of 909 pounds ($1,200) to 2,515 pounds for each kilowatt of capacity, with the most likely cost being 1,414 pounds.

Moltex estimated its stable salt reactor could provide energy at a levelized cost of 29 pounds a megawatt-hour -- less than a third of the 125 pounds a megawatt-hour that Electricite de France’s new plant at Hinkley Point will cost, according to data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Two versions of Stable Salt Reactor are under development today, each making a different contribution to a clean, low cost and sustainable low carbon energy system.

Global Workhorse Reactor and Waste Fuelled Fast Reactor

Low enriched uranium fuel
Cheap and safe enough for global rollout
Future versions can breed Their Own fuel from abundant thorium

Consumes plutonium and actinides from the Global Workhorse SSR and from today's solid fueled reactors
Waste less radioactive than uranium ore after-300 years
Simplified patented technology reprocessing economically









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