Small Modular Reactors

Generation IV / Terrestrial Energy And NRG Analyse IMSR Graphite Behaviour

By David Dalton
9 October 2019

Terrestrial Energy And NRG Analyse IMSR Graphite Behaviour
The High-Flux research reactor at Petten in the Netherlands. Photo courtesy NRG.
US-based advanced nuclear reactor developer Terrestrial Energy and NRG of the Netherlands have established a graphite irradiation programme to analyse graphite behaviour in Terrestrial Energy’s Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR).

NRG said the programme is part of Terrestrial Energy’s testing of the Generation IV IMSR. The irradiation is being carried out at NRG’s High-Flux research reactor at Petten in the Netherlands.

Graphite is a key component of the IMSR power plant. NRG said the graphite irradiation programme provides data that shows structural changes of IMSR graphite under irradiation conditions.

The agreement between Terrestrial Energy and NRG reinforces Terrestrial Energy’s partnership with the European Union’s scientific community. In March 2018, the company signed a technical services agreement with the European commission’s Joint Research Centre in Karlsruhe, Germany. This agreement focused on confirmatory studies of IMSR fuel and primary coolant salts.

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.

In February Terrestrial Energy completed a siting study with nuclear research organisation Canadian Nuclear Laboratories to shortlist sites for a commercial power plant using the IMSR.

The study recommended detailed investigation of several sites within the Chalk River Laboratories property in Ontario.

Terrestrial Energy said its IMSR plants will provide zero-carbon, cost-competitive electric power and industrial heat for use in many industrial applications. The IMSR is a small modular design, with models ranging from 80 to 600 MW thermal, making it suited for remote communities and industrial operations, including on-grid and off-grid power provision.

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