Security & Safety

Canada / Terrestrial Energy Reactor Completes Phase 2 Vendor Design Review

By David Dalton
18 April 2023

Advanced nuclear plant could power industries such as steel and mining

Terrestrial Energy Reactor Completes Phase 2 Vendor Design Review
The IMSR is designed for rapid deployment using standard uranium fuel. Courtesy Terrestrial Energy.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has completed phase two of the pre-licensing vendor design review for Terrestrial Energy’s integral molten salt reactor (IMSR) power plant.

The Canada-based nuclear technology developer said this is the first advanced, high-temperature fission technology to complete a review of this type.

The vendor design review is a comprehensive pre-licensing regulatory review. Terrestrial Energy said the completion of phase two provides “commercial confidence” to proceed to licensing and construction of IMSR plants.

“It is the first technology review completed by a major regulator of a nuclear plant design that uses a Generation IV reactor technology to supply heat at high temperature, and the first time for molten salt reactor technology,” said Simon Irish, Terrestrial Energy’s chief executive officer.

The vendor design review involved a review of the IMSR nuclear power plant covering 19 “focus areas” defined by the CNSC.

Its scope included a review of Terrestrial Energy’s engineering management processes, confirmatory testing of components and systems, reactor controls and safety systems, safety analysis and requirements for safeguards, security, fire protection and radiation protection.

Company ‘In Worldwide Talks’ On Deployment

Terrestrial Energy said it is engaged with a range of industrial companies operating large energy and emissions intensive plants in multiple jurisdictions worldwide that are seeking to offset emissions and source reliable zero-carbon energy supply.

The IMSR plant is designed to be sited close to its industrial end-user and to decarbonise industrial sectors such as steel and mining.

The IMSR plant is designed to use standard assay low enriched uranium (LEU) civilian nuclear fuel, thereby avoiding the need for high assay LEU (Haleu) fuel, which is not yet being produced in significant quantities. The company said future versions of the IMSR can use Haleu when it is available.

“We have designed our IMSR for rapid deployment so it uses standard uranium fuel, the only Generation IV advanced nuclear reactor to do so,” Terrestrial Energy said on social media.

Terrestrial Energy is working on a fuel supply programme with Springfields Fuel (Westinghouse) in the UK and Orano in France.

Last month GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy announced that its BWRX-300 small modular reactor, which used different technology to the IMSR, had completed phases one and two of the CNSC’s vendor design review process.

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