Update on Advanced Molten Salt and Pebble Bed Nuclear Reactors

Here is an update on advanced molten salt reactors and pebble bed reactors. For the past 60 years, the world has had water and pressurized water reactors which follow the same principle as a coal plant except they use a nuclear reactor to generate heat.

Terrestrial Energy is working towards an operational first 400 MW molten salt reactor around 2028. They are a leader going through the long multi-step, multi-year regulatory processes in the US and Canada. They are lining up various suppliers for fuel supply and other siting options and approvals.

China is starting up the Wuwei molten salt reactor which is designed to produce 2 megawatts of thermal energy, which is only enough to power up to 1,000 homes. China plans to build a 373-megawatt reactor by 2030, which could power hundreds of thousands of homes. China started its molten-salt reactor programme in 2011 and has investing 3 billion yuan (US$500 million) so far.

China has just started operation of its 200 MW high temperature pebble bed reactor. This reactor could be dropped in to replace the coal burning unit of a coal plant and work with the rest of the facility.