Seaborg is the largest reactor design start-up in Europe and they are making an ultra-compact molten salt reactor (CMSR). Seaborg cannot meltdown and can use spent fuel. Conventional nuclear reactors have solid fuel rods that need constant cooling, typically using water under high pressure.
They are talking to the East Asian supply chain and are talking to customers who could buy 10-15 units for the late 2020s.
In the CMSR, fuel is mixed in a liquid salt that acts as coolant. This ensures it can always be cooled and it cannot melt down or explode. It will simply shut down by itself in case of an emergency.
The importance of this is not only the safety but also a significant reduction in complexity and cost.
They have a design for a molten salt reactor that is ten times smaller than the Terrestrial Energy IMSR. It would 20 to 30 times smaller than an existing pressure water nuclear reactor for submarines.
Seaborg CUBE reactor can use spent nuclear fuel (SNF) by adding thorium as a catalyst. The CUBE as a waste burner. Current conventional reactors use about 4% of the uranium fuel rods. This is because they use Uranium 235 and cannot use the Uranium 238. The thorium aspect is only useful in terms of very long term issues. Thorium with Uranium can extend nuclear fission to hundreds of thousands of years instead of tens of thousands of years.
Timeline aligned with standard IAEA reactor development method
• 2014-2016: Pre-conceptual Design Phase 1
• 2017-2018: Pre-conceptual Design Phase 2; 1.5 Million Euros
• 2019-2020: Conceptual Design Phase; 10 Million Euros
• 2021-2024 Technical Design Phase; 50 Million Euros
• Ready to build reactor blueprints
Delivered cost for 250 MW thermal MSR in 2025 in the $50 Million to $70 Million depending upon manufacturing scale. They are working towards a 50 MW thermal pilot plant and then would scale to 250 MW thermal for a commercial system.
SOURCES- Seaborg, Youtube – Gordon McDowell
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com