Small Modular Reactors

Terrestrial Energy / Generation IV Reactor Developer Upgrades IMSR400 Design

By David Dalton
14 September 2021

Plant could play ‘major role’ in clean hydrogen production at industrial scale
Generation IV Reactor Developer Upgrades IMSR400 Design
Illustration of the IMSR400 power plant in the configuration proposed for the Darlington site in Canada. The IMSR400 has the capacity to generate 390 MW (net) of electric power on a 7-hectare site. Courtesy Terrestrial Energy.
Canada-based generation IV reactor developer Terrestrial Energy has upgraded its integral molten salt reactor (IMSR) nuclear power plant design in response to utility requirements.

The company said the upgrade increases the cost-competitiveness of the IMSR400 and means it has the efficiency, economics and flexibility to play a major role in the clean energy transition including the production of clean hydrogen at industrial scale.

The IMSR400 is one of three small modular reactor power plant designs under consideration for deployment at Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington nuclear power station. The others are designs by GE Hitachi and X-energy. The IMSR400 is one of two Generation IV technology candidates and the only Canadian technology candidate.

The plant is a proprietary design drawing on Generation IV reactor technology developed and demonstrated over many decades. Using molten salt reactor technology, the IMSR400 generates electric power 50% more efficiently than conventional nuclear power plants that use water-cooled and water-moderated reactor technology. According to Terrestrial Energy, with this 50% efficiency improvement, the IMSR400 has a reduced capital requirement and waste footprint, and improved economics per kWh of electricity for new nuclear power plants.

The IMSR400 uses nuclear fuel at standard enrichment – the only Generation IV SMR power plant designed to do this today. This avoids the considerable cost and time of re-licensing uranium enrichment plants and removes hurdles to commercialisation, Terrestrial Energy said.

The company announced an agreement last month with Westinghouse and the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory to provide the IMSR’s nuclear fuel supply.

Pen Use this content