Terrestrial Energy Doubling Clean Energy from 2030 Molten Salt Reactor

Terrestrial Energy will double the power of the Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR®) nuclear power plant design. It is now called IMSR®400 and will generate net 390 MW of electric generation capacity for grid supply from twin reactors and generators. This upgrade, in response to utility requirements, further increases the cost-competitiveness of the IMSR®400 as a clean, safe and reliable source of energy. Terrestrial Energy is making small and modular nuclear power plants that use its proprietary Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR®) technology.

Terrestrial Energy’s IMSR®400 is one of three Small Modular Reactor (SMR) power plant designs under consideration for deployment at Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington Nuclear Generating Station. It is one of two Generation IV technology candidates, and the only Canadian technology candidate. Terrestrial Energy’s Oakville operation represents the largest SMR power plant technology development project in Canada.

The IMSR®400 is a proprietary power plant design drawing on Generation IV reactor technology developed and demonstrated over many decades. Using Generation IV molten salt reactor technology, the IMSR®400 generates electric power 50 percent more efficiently than conventional nuclear power plants that use water cooled and moderated reactor technology. With this 50 percent efficiency improvement, the IMSR®400 has a reduced capital requirement and waste footprint, and improved economics per kWh of electricity for new nuclear power plants.

In 2016, they became the first Generation IV reactor developer to submit a power plant design to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), Terrestrial Energy has been committed to the CNSC’s Vendor Design Review process. They completed Phase 1 in 2017 and expect to complete Phase 2 by early 2022. Since late 2019, the company has also been engaged with the CNSC and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), as the two regulatory agencies collaborate to develop licensing practices to support efficient reviews of Generation IV nuclear power plants.

The IMSR® power plant’s 700°C high temperature operation achieves greater than 44 percent thermal efficiency for electric power generation, a game-changer. Conventional reactors use water and are forced to operate a much lower temperatures of no more than 300°C and are limited to 33 percent thermal efficiency; small conventional reactors are unable to reach 30 percent. The 50 percent greater thermal efficiency of IMSR® power plants translates directly to 50 percent more electricity generated, and by extension, to 50 percent more revenues and lower costs per unit of electricity.

In electric power markets, IMSR® power plants can generate dispatchable power at a levelized cost of under U.S. $50 per megawatt-hour. This is cost-competitive with natural gas and coal, and never faces the prospect of carbon penalties.

In industrial heat markets, IMSR® plants have the potential to be cost-competitive with natural gas and heating oil. They provide an in-furnace cost of heat of less than U.S. $6 per MMBtu, within U.S. $2.50 of North American in-furnace natural gas costs.

SOURCES- Terrestrial Energy, gordonmcdowell
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

15 thoughts on “Terrestrial Energy Doubling Clean Energy from 2030 Molten Salt Reactor”

  1. It’s like the plastics question and the recycling myth the plastics people created. If you haven’t outlined a long term plan for taking take of the waste you’re producing, then maybe you shouldn’t be producing the product in the first place.

  2. IMSR is much simpler than a LFTR. There's no reason to think it will take all that long, as long as Canada's regulators stay reasonable.

  3. Yup Canada is faced with a $250B Cleanup cost for its abandoned oil/gas wells. The imsr gets carted away on a truck for refurb/refuel.

  4. What is the estimated date for an operational reactor? They say phase 2 in 2022, but I don’t know what that means. Does it suggest actual operation by 2030? 2040? 2100?

  5. Sometimes you don't need more than a few Megawatts. It's nice to be able to scale up or down to match what is needed in the region.
    You don't want one powerplant to provide more than about 10% of the power on your grid, so it is not a disaster when one plant shuts down for any reason

  6. I don't understand the interest in low power reactors especially Molten Salt Reactors. Because of the high temperature that a Molten Salt Reactor can run, a small one could provide 5 to 10 GW of heat which could prove 2 to 5 GW of electricity.

  7. That high operating temperature also means the molten salt storage touted for the Natrium reactor can be used on this reactor. That way it can easily load follow.

  8. So still more expensive than using oil, gas and coal. Do their cost estimates include the clean up costs at decommissioning or those being handwaved? But they threaten a carbon tax in order make it look better. This isn't good marketing material.

Comments are closed.