Moltex Energy calculated that abundant solar and wind energy will mean nuclear energy needs low capital and fixed operating costs to be profitable at 30-50% capacity factor in unsubsidized competition with fossil fuels. Radical innovation will slash costs of nuclear energy. SSR (Stable Salt Reactor) will meet the cost objective, comfortably, through intrinsic safety and simplicity.
From over 90 applications, New Brunswick Power selected the Moltex Stable Salt Reactor – Wasteburner (SSR-W) as one of two reactors it intends to build at the Point Lepreau site. Moltex has completed the submission to Vendor Design Review phase 1 (VDR1) with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Moltex will soon move on to VDR2 and then to the application for the necessary licenses. Moltex is on track to having an operational reactor by 2030.
In November, 2020, Moltex Energy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NB Power and ARC Canada to work collaboratively to find synergies by establishing a small modular reactor vendor cluster in New Brunswick.
Moltex is developing a 300 MW reactor that is fueled by recycled nuclear waste, contributing to clean energy targets and reducing legacy waste. In tandem, it is developing energy storage technology so its reactor can be used as a 900 MW peaking plant, to complement intermittent renewable energy sources.
“Static” molten salts in fuel pins was rejected by ORNL because convection of fluids would be unreliable in an aircraft due to gravity’s impact on reactor being variable during flight.
Fast spectrum “Wasteburner” SSR-W:
* Fueled by higher actinides from conventional oxide fuel
* Chloride salt fuel
* Output temperature 600°C
* Patented exceptionally simple process (Waste to Stable Salts) to extract Pu/Am from spent CANDU fuel with only 0.38% Pu
SSR-W is expected to be piloted in New Brunswick, powered by “nuclear waste” / “spent fuel” from CANDU reactors.
SOURCES- Moltex Energy, Gordon Mcdowell youtube video
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
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6 thoughts on “Moltex Nuclear Would Work in a World With Abundant Solar Energy”
Then you'd better not fly on the Airbus A330, A340, A350, or A380, or the Boeing 777 or 787. Rolls Royce makes their engines.
One recent change in the design to note is that they were going with heat exchangers in the coolant salt pool, taking heat out of the coolant salt into a tertiary salt which then flowed through pipes taking the heat off to a steam generator.
Now they have eliminated the tertiary coolant salt and heat exchangers, it appears (from the slide picture) that they are just pumping the coolant salt from the top of the pool and sending it to the steam generators and then sending the cooled salt back to the pool. You can also see this in fig 3 of this Moltex pdf report: https://www.moltexenergy.com/wp-content/uploads/New-Nuclear.pdf
Scaryjello will be pleased to note the other design change – a return to a cylindrical core as opposed to a rectangular one 😉 .
The slides are from Ian Scott's recent video on GordonMcDowell's youtube chanel if anyone fancies a watch:
I really like the Moltex design. I hope they actually get to build a test reactor at some point.
I wish them the best, we need nuclear power to be viable at the lowest cost, greatest efficiency and highest safety standards as possible.
I'm leaning towards this design. The fuel salts in tubes, and the bathtub model eliminates one coolant loop, and keeping fission daughters out of the graphite are big plusses.
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