US and Canada Nuclear Regulators Complete Technical Review of Molten Salt Reactor

US and Canadian nuclear regulators completed joint review of Terrestrial’s IMSR (molten salt) nuclear reactor.

Terrestrial Energy looks to commercialise the Generation IV small modular reactor (SMR) technology and begin operating its first plant by 2028.

Simon Irish, CEO of Terrestrial Energy, said: “This review by the Canadian and US regulators is a joint examination of the fundamentals of IMSR safety and is a cornerstone technical nuclear safety review that builds further confidence in IMSR technology and supports our national regulatory programmes. Completing this joint review is an important step forward in the commercialization of the IMSR and paves the way for further cross-border collaboration.”

Terrestrial Energy’s IMSR is a 4th generation reactor that uses molten salt as both fuel and coolant, with integrated components, that can supply heat directly to industrial facilities or use it to generate electrical power. It aims to commission the first power plants based on the small modular reactor within a decade. Its IMSR400 configuration, with twin reactors and generators, will mean an overall power plant design with a potential output of up to 390 MWe.

SOURCES- World Nuclear News
Written by Brian Wang,

31 thoughts on “US and Canada Nuclear Regulators Complete Technical Review of Molten Salt Reactor”

  1. Liquid salt reactors could also use thorium as fuel a d eat their own high level waste and use it to get create more power.

  2. You need one reactor design and if issues came up you know what to repair on all of them instead of a mix of gotta, Westinghouse had a good design GE not so much.

  3. I would like to talk to you about parabolic dishes making 40 mega-liters of freshwater from saltwater every day 24/7 plus power please contact me

  4. Talk is that Terrestrial Energy will use IMSR to make Ammonia.

    In other nuclear news:
    Nuscale is signing plenty of MOU’s for Eastern European countries
    Poland wants to go nuclear, maybe with Korean reactors
    LPP Fusion has record setting plasma purity, 10x fewer impurities than W7-X

  5. Why so SMALL!
    It is about one tenth as big as it should be, instead of 390 MWe is should be 5GWe.
    The world needs, and is going to need, HUGE amounts of electricity.
    The only way solar and wind can make a difference if is there is base supplier of energy.
    Stop designing foolish small nuclear plants!
    No one wants many hundreds of sources of radiation in a country, make it a few dozen only.

    • Nuclear reactor plants are massive, expensive, take a decade to build, and have very strict requirements on location. The idea behind this reactor design is that they can build more of them quicker, and place them all over. Instead of having one big plant, you can have many smaller ones. The cost in terms of money and land is much smaller.

    • The problem is that major construction ALWAYS has costs overruns and it takes so long to get a 5GW plant running with a crisis in interest costs. The depletion of the capitals pools in the first cycle led to investors demanding and getting huge interest rates, which was the economic basis of ‘stagflation’ where economic activity is declining while interest costs drive inflation. The SMR’s are a way around that. Ask yourself why so big? Why NOT have 12 400mw plants instead of one 5,000 mw plant? More flexible and if you build a ‘fixed design’ in a factory, you eliminate a LOT of problems with regulation and distribution.

    • Main thing is assembly line production.
      Conventional nuclear power plant takes a lot of time to pay dividends and pay for itself.
      SMR’s promise to start paying dividends and pay for itself a lot sooner.
      Since the construction of big projects is always financed you can imagine that the interest rate will play a big part of the overall cost and subsequently the electricity rates of the plant.

  6. Until nuclear power starts getting implemented we are doing nothing to reduce global warming even if it is a real concern.
    Most of Earth’s history there has been no polar ice. And that is limiting the history being considered to the period when there has been complex evolved plants and animals.

    • Most of HOMO SAPIENS history there has been polar ice.

      If we go by amount of Earth history, most of it there has been no free oxygen on the atmosphere (2.5 billion years with no free oxygen, until the Oxigenation Catastrophe, 2 billion years ago).

      Humanity evolved and it’s adapted to the status quo. Worse, human civilization was created around that. And the cost of big climate change will be HUGE, even if we survive.

      Nuclear energy is MUCH MUCH cheaper than that cost.

  7. Remember that the Atomic Energy Commission went for over 40 years without certifying a new reactor design. Hope those days are coming to a close.

  8. So this another review of documentation and plans, right?

    Sorry, it seems that nobody is serious about molten salt reactors. The companies are producing power point presentations after power point presentation. They are perpetually in the planning phase, but nobody actually builds any reactor even for research.

    And the bureaucracy doesn’t really want these power plants to be build. But it doesn’t mind reviewing some documentation, though…. keeps the salaries flowing.

    • It is hard to tell the difference between a PPT reactor and a reactor that is going to be built.

      NuScale is real and is going to be built.
      Terrestrial Energy’s IMSR seems real but the timelines for being built are far enough off to make it seem like it is a PPT reactor.

      Nowadays nobody builds test reactors. You have to go straight to the production reactor and rely on rigorous modelling and staying within limits. That’s why the IMSR core is swappable- they can’t use it longer because they don’t already have metallurgical results for longer container usage. That’s why they swap the core and its graphite moderator- they know graphite will work for that long based on previous reactors.

  9. I hope it goes great, and is AFFORDABLE, something nuclear power has always struggled to become.

    • Nuclear power is affordable, if you subtract the regulatory costs. In fact, it’s almost cliché to mention how France managed to have energy cheaper than the European average by relying almost exclusively on a single reactor design.

      • Right standardization and reasonable regulations would make nuclear power much less expensive. Waste product volume is so small it is really not an issue it is easily contained in concreate canisters.

      • 100%..

        Germany and France’s move to BS green energy as pushed by that dullard Kerry has destabilized their power, dramatically increased costs, and made them reliant on sketchy neighbors for alternatives.

        I worked on the AP600 design which was a stark departure from previous US strategies.. we still managed to screw it up.

      • Yeah, the excess cost is all regulatory churn and delay. You borrow money to start building the plant, and halfway through they change the regulations on you, and you have to tear up a lot of work and start over. Rinse and repeat. All the while you’re paying out interest and NOT generating revenue.

        Hardly shocking, nuclear energy is one of the few cases where regulatory capture was by the enemies of an industry, rather than the industry itself. It’s had the barely disguised purpose of making nuclear unaffordable, for decades now.

      • So the cleanup and fuel storage costs don’t count, then?
        A new reactor could produce power for – let’s be generous – fifty years. In that time, how much highly radioactive waste would be generated, and for how long would it need safe storage?
        Also, regulatory costs seem like a small price to pay compared with the costs of a couple of accidents I could mention.

        I’m not convinced either way on nuclear power – but claiming it is only not cheap because of the regulatory burden is disingenuous. Pharmaceutical companies would be keen to promote a similar argument, I think.

        • No, the cleanup and storage are quite cheap, all things considered. A modern nuclear reactor produces very little waste compared to the 1950s and 1960s models; and that goes decuple for a liquid salt reactor, where essentially all of the fuel will be spent. If you have any long half-life isotopes being created, just leave them in the reactor so they absorb more neutrons and transmute with a species with a shorter half-life (so-called “burning of trans-uranics”). For short half-life products, encase them in concrete and leave them in storage for thirty or so years and we’re done.

          Really, I’m not being disingenuous; there are many solutions to just about every problem you can postulate about nuclear power. Things are only this complicated because regulatory agencies were worried about rogue State actors accumulating weapons-grade ²³⁵U or ²³⁹Pu, which the Thorium cycle doesn’t produce.

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