Molten Salt Reactor Projects in the UK

A feasibility study for a next-gen Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) has won funding from the Technology Strategy Board, the UK government’s strategic innovation agency. The bid was led by the indefatigable Jasper Tomlinson and Professor Trevor Griffiths. In a first for the UK, the project will produce a rigorous desk- and computer-based study of the feasibility of a pilot-scale MSR, based on the latest science.

Ian Scott has recently founded a UK based molten salt reactor development start-up, Moltex Energy LLP.

There was a presentation of the concepts for a “Simple Molten Salt Reactor” from Ian Scott of Moltex Energy. Ian Scott, at Moltex, originally planned to sell his technology to China, having given up on the West as a lost cause. He was persuaded to stay in Britain, and is talking to ministers. “The first stage will cost around £1bn, to get through the regulatory process and build a prototype. Realistically, only the government can do this,” he said.

There was a video lecture on molten salt reactors by other British presenters.

The UK has been talking and planning new nuclear reactors for many years. After many delays and slow approvals it appears that four EPR reactors will be built and completion targeted by 2023. In October 2013 the government announced that initial agreement had been reached with EDF Group on the key terms of a proposed £16 billion investment contract for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. EDF announced in October 2013 that while it would retain 45-50% of the Hinkley Point C project, two Chinese companies, CGN and CNNC, would take 30-40% of it between them, Areva would take 10%, and other interested parties might take up to 15%. First concrete would be 30 months on, with construction time 75+ months.

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