Indonesia continues preliminary work towards fission testing of Thorcon thorium molten salt reactors in 2020

Indonesia is exploring a number of new options for nuclear power, including high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs) and a thorium molten salt reactors.

Indonesia has signed several nuclear deals
* In early 2015, they signed a contract to build and test a pebble-bed HTGR at Serpong with a consortium of Russian and Indonesian companies led by NUKEM Technologies.
* in August 2016, they signed a cooperation agreement with China Nuclear Engineering to develop small HTGRs in Kalimantan and Sulawesi by 2027.
* they have signed agreements with Russia’s Rosatom to develop a floating nuclear power plant to power smaller inhabited islands.
* in March 2017, three state-owned Indonesian power companies completed a 10-month-long preliminary feasibility study for a 250-MW molten salt reactor that would use a combination of 80% thorium and 20% uranium (the uranium would be enriched to 19.75% U-235, and the fuel would be delivered to the plant as fluoride salts). The reactor is from the ThorCon International nuclear startup. ThorCon is a company owned by Florida-based consulting firm Martingale Inc. The prefeasibility study stems from a memorandum of understanding the company signed with the Indonesian state firms in December 2015.

Indonesia has a lot monazite and Thorium, which is recovered from the country’s substantial tin mining industry.

The ThorCon reactor is designed for installation 15 to 30 meters underground.

ThorCon noted that an entire plant can be manufactured in blocks on a shipyard-like assembly line, claiming that a single large reactor yard can churn out 100 1-GW ThorCons per year. Manufacturing costs for building a 500-MW ThorConLand power plant are about $1.2/W, it said. Generation costs could hover around $0.024/kWh. Capital costs are low, it said, because the reactor operates at 700C, enabling the use of supercritical steam turbine generators, such as those installed at modern coal plants.

The designers foresee no technical reason why a full-scale 250-MW prototype cannot be operating within four years.

The plan is for prefission testing to begin in 2018, and fission testing in 2020.

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