Small Modular Reactors

Terrestrial Energy / Company Begins Testing Of IMSR Fuel Salt

By David Dalton
10 November 2020

Company Begins Testing Of IMSR Fuel Salt
A visualisation of a Terrestrial Energy IMSR nuclear plant. Courtesy Terrestrial Energy.
Terrestrial Energy USA and the Argonne National Laboratory have begun detailed testing of the Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) Generation IV advanced nuclear power plant fuel salt.

This fuel salt testing programme is part of a broader confirmatory testing programme for fuel, components, and systems used in the IMSR power plant, Terrestrial Energy said.

The results of the tests will support licensing applications for the first commercial deployment of the IMSR power plant. Terrestrial Energy USA is developing the IMSR for US market deployment.

The IMSR is an advanced reactor employing Generation IV molten salt technology. In December 2019 the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission chose the IMSR for the first joint technical review of an advanced, non-light-water nuclear reactor technology.

Terrestrial Energy, established in 2013, is proposing to build a 195-MW IMSR at Chalk River in Canada. It wants to commission the first IMSR power plants in the late 2020s.

The plant operates at high temperatures (600 Celsius) and is said to be 50% more efficient than traditional reactors. It uses a graphite moderator and standard assay low-enriched uranium fuel with the same level of enrichment (less than 5% U-235) as in conventional nuclear plants.

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