how does a molten salt reactor work

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“The models we want to generate with this data would be a great asset for engineers trying to design molten salt reactors,” Khaykovich concludes. In January 2016 the US DOE awarded a Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) grant to the project, worth up to $40 million. Fluorine has a really small nucleus compared to the fuel, which will probably be a form or Uranium or Thorium. Molten salt reactors are nuclear's future, but there's still a lot we don't know. 20:32. This program prepared the way for building a MSR breeder utilising thorium, which would operate in the thermal (slow) neutron spectrum. This itself is not a radical departure when the fuel is solid and fixed. Secondary coolant is FLiNaK to Brayton cycle, and for passive decay heat removal, separate auxiliary loops go to air-cooled radiators. It uses a combination of U-233 from thorium and low-enriched U-235 from mined uranium. See also Lithium paper. However, graphite degradation from neutron flux limits the useful life of the reactor core with the fuel and breeding fluids in close juxtaposition, and in the 1960s it was assumed that the entire reactor vessel in the two-fluid design would be replaced after about eight years.**. If the fuel is used in a fast reactor, plutonium and actinides can be added. A new breakthrough could help engineers crack the next phase of nuclear energy. Uranium floats in a stabilizing bath of melted fluoride salts inside this container. For instance, every four years the entire primary loop would be changed out, returned to a centralized recycling facility, decontaminated, disassembled, inspected, and refurbished. It has negative temperature and void coefficients. It can consume plutonium and actinides, and be from 100 to 1000 MWe. For molten salt reactor designs to succeed, political support and military dollars may again be necessary. Elysium Industries in the USA and Canada have the Molten Chloride Salt Fast Breeder Reactor (MCSFR) design with fuel in the chloride salt. SINAP sees molten salt fuel being superior to the TRISO fuel in effectively unlimited burn-up, less waste, and lower fabricating cost, but achieving lower temperatures (600°C+) than the TRISO fuel reactors (1200°C+). It operates in the thermal neutron spectrum with a hexagonal arrangement of graphite elements forming the moderator. The original objectives of the MSRE were achieved by March 1965, and the U-235 campaign concluded. The 10 MWt TMSR-SF1 will have TRISO fuel in 60mm pebbles, similar to HTR-PM fuel, and deliver coolant at 650°C and low pressure. The heat store is said to add only £3/MWh to the levelised cost of electricity. They were AqueousHomogeneous Reactors (AHR), meaning they were solutions of uranium or plutonium in water. In August 2016 Southern Nuclear Operating Company signed an agreement to work with X-energy to collaborate on development and commercialization of their respective small reactor designs. However, this concept, with fuel dissolved in the salt, is further from commercialisation than solid fuel designs, where the ceramic fuel may be set in prisms, plates, or pebbles, or one design with liquid fuel in static tubes. This is where Khaykovich’s research comes in. A 100 MWt demonstration pebble bed plant with open fuel cycle is planned by about 2025. It would proceed to a continuous process of recycling salt, uranium and thorium, with online separation of fission products and minor actinides. Meanwhile caesium and iodine in particular remain secure in the molten salt. Various applications as well as electricity generation are envisaged. Selected fission products are removed online. The SAMOFAR consortium consists of 11 participants and is mainly undertaken by universities and research laboratories such as CNRS, JRC, CIRTEN, TU Delft and PSI, thereby exploiting each other’s expertise and infrastructure. In the first campaign (1965-68), uranium-235 tetrafluoride (UF4) enriched to 33% was dissolved in molten lithium, beryllium and zirconium fluorides at 600-700°C which flowed through a graphite moderator at ambient pressure. But extending the concept to dissolving the fissile and fertile fuel in the salt certainly represents a leap in lateral thinking relative to nearly every reactor operated so far. With TerraPower and ORNL, X-energy is designing the Xe-100 pebble-bed HTR of 48 MWe. Refuelling is thus continuous online, and after five years depleted assemblies are stored at one side of the pool pending reprocessing. The use of fluids allows for it to act both as their fuel (producing the heat) and coolant (transferring the heat).. The R&D program demonstrated the feasibility of this system, albeit excluding online reprocessing, and highlighted some unique corrosion and safety issues that would need to be addressed if constructing a larger pilot MSR with fuel salt. It is part of the MARS project (minor actinide recycling in molten salt) involving RIAR, Kurchatov and other research organisations. A small version of the AHTR/FHR is the SmAHTR, with 125 MWt size-matched to early process heat markets, or producing 50+MWe. Actinides are fully recycled and remain in the reactor until they fission or are converted to higher actinides which do so. Lithium used in the salt must be fairly pure Li-7, since Li-6 produces tritium when (readily) fissioned by neutrons. Actinides are less-readily formed from U-233 than in fuel with atomic mass greater than 235. The three nuclides (Li-7, Be, F) are among the few to have low enough thermal neutron capture cross-sections not to interfere with fission reactions. LiF without the toxic beryllium solidifies at about 500°C and boils at about 1200°C. Residual heat removal is passive, by cavity cooling. The aim is to develop both the thorium fuel cycle and non-electrical applications in a 20-30 year timeframe. Thorium, uranium, and plutonium all form suitable fluoride salts that readily dissolve in the LiF-BeF2 (FLiBe) mixture, and thorium and uranium can be easily separated from one another in fluoride form. It now has two baseline concepts: The GIF 2014 Roadmap said that a lot of work needed to be done on salts before demonstration reactors were operational, and suggested 2025 as the end of the viability R&D phase. The conventional water- cooled reactors of the past half-century have proven volatile to a variety of safety standards. Kirk Sorensen has been a leader in promoting thorium energy, molten salt nuclear reactors and the liquid fluoride thorium reactor. Two versions were promoted in late 2018: SSR-W and, about two years behind developmentally, the SSR-U. Molten salt reactors (MSRs) use molten fluoride salts as primary coolant, at low pressure. Molten salt reactors (MSRs) are a Generation IV nuclear reactor that use molten salts (high temperature liquid salts) as their nuclear fuel in place of the conventional solid fuels used in the world's current reactors. Near-term goals include preparing nuclear-grade ThF4 and ThO2 and testing them in a MSR. Fission products are extracted on-line. LFTRs can rapidly change their power output, and hence be used for load-following. The hot molten salt in the primary circuit can be used with secondary salt circuit or secondary helium coolant generating power via the Brayton cycle as with HTR designs, with potential thermal efficiencies of 48% at 750°C to 59% at 1000°C, or simply with steam generators. It is designed to load-follow. It is being developed internationally by a Japanese, Russian and US consortium: the International Thorium Molten Salt Forum (ITMSF), based in Japan. It boils at 1430°C. SINAP has two streams of TMSR development – solid fuel (TRISO in pebbles or prisms/blocks) with once-through fuel cycle, and liquid fuel (dissolved in fluoride coolant) with reprocessing and recycle. Once the desired level of U-233 is achieved, the bismuth with uranium is taken out batch-wise, and the mixed-isotope uranium is chlorinated to become fuel. Constant removal of fission products means that a much higher fuel burn-up could be achieved (> 50%) and the removal of fission products means less decay heat to contend with after reactor shutdown. A molten salt reactor (MSR) is a class of nuclear fission reactor in which the primary nuclear reactor coolant and/or the fuel is a molten salt mixture. Compact Molten Salt Reactor Their aim is to make small reactors which they can mass produce in a central location and transport to customers. SINAP sees this design as having potential for higher temperatures than MSRs with fuel salt. LiF however can carry a higher concentration of uranium than FLiBe, allowing less enrichment. Nextbigfuture spoke with Kirk frequently when Kirk blogged at Energy from Thorium. Argonne National Laboratory. Secondary loop coolant salt is sodium-beryllium fluoride (BeF2-NaF). The operating temperature is 700°C with FLiBe primary coolant and three integral heat exchangers. * Approx. The company then announced the physically larger and more expensive SSR-U ‘global workhorse version’ of its design, with a thermal neutron spectrum running on LEU fluorides (up to 7% enriched) with graphite built into the fuel assemblies, which increases the size of the core. No details are available, and it is not certain that it is a single-fluid type. The main priority was proliferation resistance, avoiding use of HEU. Research on molten salt coolant has been revived at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in the USA with the Advanced High Temperature Reactor (AHTR). In this regard, both American researchers and the China Academy of Sciences/SINAP are working on solid fuel, salt-cooled reactor technology as a realistic first step into MSRs. This means that lithium must be enriched beyond its natural 92.5% Li-7 level to minimise tritium production. Used fuel from light water reactors or depleted uranium with some plutonium can fuel it. Fluoride salts have very low vapour pressure even at red heat, carry more heat than the same volume of water, have reasonably good heat transfer properties, are not damaged by radiation, do not react violently with air or water, and are inert to some common structural metals. In both solar and nuclear power options, molten salt could hold the answer. The liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) is a heterogeneous MSR design which breeds its U-233 fuel from a fertile blanket of lithium-beryllium fluoride (FLiBe) salts with thorium fluoride. The TMSR Centre at Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP, under the Academy) at Jiading is responsible. TMSR commercial deployment is anticipated in the 2030s. et al, July 2011, Fast Spectrum Molten Salt Reactor Options, ORNL, © 2016-2020 World Nuclear Association, registered in England and Wales, number 01215741. The suitability of molten salts for reactor coolant lies in its unique set of thermodynamic, solvent and radiation resistance qualities. The Molten Salt Fast Neutron Reactor (MSFR), which will take in thorium fuel cycle, recycling of actinides, closed Th/U fuel cycle with no U enrichment, with enhanced safety and minimal wastes. The project would start on a batch basis with some online refuelling and removal of gaseous fission products, but discharging all fuel salt after 5-8 years for reprocessing and separation of fission products and minor actinides for storage. Hot nitrate salt at about 600°C is transferred to storage tanks which are able to hold eight hours of reactor output at 2.5 GW thermal (as used in solar CSP plants). It has a higher neutron cross-section than FLiBe or LiF but can be used in intermediate cooling loops. Because the nuclear material is contained in fuel assemblies, standard industrial pumps can be used for the low radioactivity coolant salt. However, the concept is not new, as outlined below. That being … That's good because you want the fuel to absorb neutrons, not the other components of the salt. “[E]xtending the concept to dissolving the fissile and fertile fuel in the salt certainly represents a leap in lateral thinking relative to nearly every reactor operated so far,” the World Nuclear Association explains. A slightly different type of MSR can consume the uranium/plutonium waste from solid-fueled reactors as fuel. Such was the rate of fuel salt thermal expansion that reactor power levelled off at 9 MWt without any operator intervention. Added peak power can be produced by injecting natural gas (or hydrogen in the future) after nuclear heating of the compressed air to raise gas temperatures and plant output, giving it rapidly variable output (of great value in grid stability and for peak load demand where renewables have significant input). Conventional nuclear reactors have solid fuel rods that need constant cooling, typically using water under high pressure. Batch reprocessing is likely in the short term, and fuel life is quoted at 4-7 years, with high burn-up. They can be optimised for burning minor actinides, for breeding plutonium from U-238, or they may be open-cycle power plants without heavy metal separation from fission products. A 20-year operating life is envisaged. For full breeder configuration the fissile material needs to be progressively removed. Kirk formed the company Flibe Energy back in 2011. A second campaign (1968-69) used U-233 fuel which was then available, making MSRE the first reactor to use U-233, though it was imported and not bred in the reactor. A third stream of fast reactors to consume actinides from LWRs is planned. See Wong & Merrill 2004 reference. The coolant salt in a secondary circuit was lithium + beryllium fluoride (FLiBe). Think about it, the salt has to be molten in order to be piped around the system. Intermediate designs and the AHTR have fuel particles in solid graphite and have less potential for thorium use. The Advanced High-Temperature Reactor (AHTR) – also known as the fluoride salt-cooled high-temperature reactor (FHR) – with the same graphite and solid fuel core structures as the VHTR and molten salt as coolant instead of helium, enabling power densities 4 to 6 times greater than HTRs and power levels up to 4000 MWt with passive safety systems. MSRs have large negative temperature and void coefficients of reactivity, and are designed to shut down due to expansion of the fuel salt as temperature increases beyond design limits. Robert Hargraves - Thorium Energy Cheaper than Coal @ ThEC12 - Duration: 39:21. “Khaykovich used the NOMAD instrument at ORNL's Spallation Neutron Source (SNS). Fuel salt is Li-7 fluoride with thorium, plutonium and minor actinides as fluorides. It uses lithium fluoride/beryllium fluoride (FLiBe) salt as its primary coolant in both circuits. It operates at 700°C. Primary reactivity control is using the secondary coolant salt pump or circulation which changes the temperature of the fuel salt in the core, thus altering reactivity due to its strong negative reactivity coefficient. In the USA a consortium including UC Berkeley, ORNL and Westinghouse is designing a 100 MWe pebble bed FHR, with annular core. It also showed that breeding required a different design, with a larger blanket loop and two fluids (heterogeneous). In September 2018 the company announced that it would cease operations and make its intellectual property freely available online. Fuel salt is sodium-beryllium fluoride (BeF2-NaF) with dissolved uranium and thorium tetrafluorides (Li-7 fluoride is avoided for cost reasons). Laboratory Director Argonne National Laboratory A molten salt reactor also converts heat to electricity, but in this case the fuel does not come in the form of pellets. Reprocessing that fuel salt online is even further from commercialization. Eventually the fuel salt heavily loaded with fission products can be sent occasionally for batch processing or allowed to solidify and be disposed of in a repository. Molten salt reactors (MSRs) are a Generation IV nuclear reactor that use molten salts (high temperature liquid salts) as their nuclear fuel in place of the conventional solid fuels used in the world's current reactors. The IMSR is designed in three sizes: 80 MWt (32.5 MWe), 300 MWt, and 600 MWt. FLiNaK (LiF-NaF-KF) is also eutectic and solidifies at 454°C and boils at 1570°C. We may earn commission if you buy from a link. The technology is very new at the commercial scale, NREL emphasizes, and needs to be developed for safety and best practices. Thus, the high amount of nuclear plant shutdowns and faile… However, the U-233 is contaminated with up to 400 ppm U-232 which complicates processing, due to its highly gamma-active decay progeny. In the 1960s MSRE, an alternative secondary coolant salt considered was 8% NaF + 92% NaF-BeF2 with melting point 385°C, though this would be more corrosive. The use of fluids allows for it to act both as their fuel (producing the heat) and coolant (transferring the heat).. The major isotope of chlorine, Cl-35 gives rise to Cl-36 as an activation product – a long-lived energetic beta source, so Cl-37 is much preferable in a reactor. This is described as an air Brayton combined-cycle (ABCC) system in secondary circuit. This may be within a single unit as the ratio of U-238 to transuranics (TRU) is varied – less U-238 giving more fission. A version of the reactor may utilize thorium fuel. Tritium production was a problem (see below re lithium enrichment). SSR factory-produced modules are 150 MWe containing fuel, pumps, primary heat exchanger, control blades and instrumentation. Also the beryllium in the salt is toxic, which leads to at least one design avoiding it, though this requires higher temperatures to keep LiF liquid. This itself is not a radical departure when the fuel is solid and fixed. In the secondary cooling circuit of the AHTR concept, air is compressed, heated, flows through gas turbines producing electricity, enters a steam recovery boiler producing steam that produces additional electricity, and exits to the atmosphere. Seaborg Technologies in Denmark has a thermal-epithermal single fluid reactor design for 50 MWt pilot unit with a view to 250 MWt commercial modular units fuelled by spent LWR fuel and thorium. When the sealed core is replaced after seven years, it is then left for fission products to decay. Molten salt reactors, as a class, include both burners and breeders in fast or thermal spectra, using fluoride or chloride salt-based fuels and a range of fissile or fertile consumables. Here, the U-233 is progressively removed* and transferred to the primary circuit. After a 20 MWt demonstration reactor, the envisaged first commercial plant will be 1250 MWt/550 MWe running at 44% thermal efficiency with 650°C in the primary loop, using a steam cycle. (It is an intermediate product in producing U-233 and is a major neutron absorber.) It is designed to be compatible with thorium breeding to U-233. Methods of controlling the reactivity of a molten salt fission reactor. Popular Mechanics participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. The US Department of Energy is collaborating with the China Academy of Sciences on the program, which had a start-up budget of $350 million. A British design contains the chloride fuel salt in vertical tubes and relies on convection to circulate the secondary salt coolant, which is a fluoride mix. The thorium-232 captures neutrons from the reactor core to become protactinium-233, which decays (27-day half-life) to U-233. The fuel-salt is a eutectic of low-enriched (2-4%) uranium-235 fuel (as UF4) and a fluoride carrier salt – likely sodium rubidium fluoride with potential to change to FLiBe – at atmospheric pressure. The smallest is designed for off-grid, remote power applications, and as a prototype. The nuclear energy sector has been plagues by a plethora of challenges in recent decades in regard to sufficiently and safely supplying the clean energy that first drove its expansion. NOMAD features high-temperature sample environments that allow samples to be heated to over 1500°F before they are studied with neutron diffractometry,” Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) said in a statement. Thesesmall reactors were primarily used to study plutonium. The rate of damage increases with temperature, which is a particular problem with MSRs at 700°C. Several 550 MWt units would comprise a power station, and a 1000 MWe Thorcon plant would comprise about 200 factory- or shipyard-build modules installed below grade (30 m down). A complication is that traces of U-232 are formed, reporting with the U-233, and having highly gamma-active decay progeny. However, a limited market for this version is anticipated. Stable Salt Reactors would be safer than conventional plants because they ditch uranium fuel rods for a molten salt that can't react violently to any situation. Whether it is storage of high-level waste, or an ability to prevent a meltdown, conventional nuclear reactors employed in the United States today are not cutting it. Coolant salt is ZrF4-NaF-KF stabilised with ZrF2, and maximum temperature of 650°C. A 5 MWt prototype is under construction at Shanghai Institute of Nuclear Applied Physics (SINAP, under the China Academy of Sciences) with 2015 target for operation. The aluminium smelting industry provides substantial experience in managing them safely. There are two different configurations for the molten salt energy storage system: two-tank directand thermocline. The Pa-233 (half-life of 27 days) decays into U-233. ONLINE MONITORING OF MOLTEN SALT REACTORS DECEMBER 11, 2019 NATHANIEL C. HOYT ELIZABETH A. STRICKER. How we test gear. Spent LWR fuel would have the uranium extracted for recycle, leaving Pu and minor actinides to become part of the MSR fuel, with thorium. * In particular, a small inventory of weapons-fissile material (Pu-242 being the dominant Pu isotope remaining), and low fuel use (the French self-breeding variant claims 50kg of thorium and 50kg U-238 per billion kWh). You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, If There Were Aliens, They Killed Themselves Off, Genetically Modified Pigs Might Save Your Life, This TikTok Star Uses Math to Guess Your Height, This Solar Cell Just Set an Efficiency Record, This Incredible Particle Only Arises in Two Dimens, We Already Know How to Build a Time Machine, Whoops, Humans Made a Space Barrier Around Earth, US Department of Energy Nuclear Energy Research Advisory Committee. Core temperature is 500-600°C, at atmospheric pressure. The TMSR-SF program is proceeding with preliminary engineering design in cooperation with the Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC) and Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research & Design Institute (SNERDI). MSFRs have a negative void coefficient in the salt and a negative thermal reactivity feedback, so can maintain a high power density with passive safety. Several, up to gigawatt-scale, can share a reactor tank, half-filled with the coolant salt which transfers heat away from the fuel assemblies to the peripheral steam generators, essentially by convection, at atmospheric pressure. The salts concerned as primary coolant, mostly lithium-beryllium fluoride and lithium fluoride, remain liquid without pressurization from about 500°C up to about 1400°C, in marked contrast to a PWR which operates at about 315°C under 150 atmospheres pressure. Graphite as moderator is chemically compatible with the fluoride salts. The Stable Salt Reactor: Transforming the promise of the molten salt fuel concept into a viable technology 23 February 2017 For six decades, use of molten salt nuclear fuel has been synonymous with the fuel also being the coolant, with reactor fuel emitting beta and gamma radiation at many kW per litre levels as it passes around a pumped chemical engineering based system outside the reactor … The searing salts heat water into steam, which spins a turbine to produce electricity. it is a liquid-fuel design. Flibe Energy in the USA is studying a 40 MW two-fluid graphite-moderated thermal reactor concept based on the 1960s-'70s US molten-salt reactor programme. Xenon is removed rapidly by outgassing, but protactinium-233 is a problem with thorium as a fuel source. Molten salt reactors are not new. Fission products are mostly removed batch-wise and fresh fuel added. Chloride salts have some attractive features compared with fluorides, in particular the actinide trichlorides form lower melting point solutions and have higher solubility for actinides so can contain significant amounts of transuranic elements. Martingale aims for an operating prototype by 2020, with modular construction. The technical difficulty of using molten salts is significantly lower when they do not have the very high activity levels associated with them bearing the dissolved fuels and wastes. 1. This is a larger reactor using a coated-particle graphite-matrix TRISO fuel like that in the GT-MHR (see the information paper on Small Nuclear Power Reactors) and with molten fluoride (FLiBe) salt as primary coolant. It is also known as the Fluoride High Temperature Reactor (FHR). A 2 MWt pilot plant is envisaged, and eventually 2225 MWt commercial plants. Molten Salt Reactor Rendering – the IMSR ® Core-unit. Fast Spectrum Molten Salt Reactor Options. The TMSR-SF0 simulator is one-third scale, with FLiNaK cooling and a 400 kW electric heater. The first fluid fueled reactors were built during the Manhattan project. However, fuel is in the chloride salt (see section above) and as a fast reactor it can burn U-238, actinides and thorium as well as used light water reactor fuel, requiring no enrichment apart from the initial fuel load (these details from TerraPower, not Southern). The FLiBe salt is used solely as coolant, and achieves temperatures of 750-1000°C or more while at low pressure. There are active molten salt plants like Crescent Dunes in Nevada, which has experienced setbacks that reduce its overall efficiency from a desired 50 percent to just 20 percent. The first is to design simpler, less ambitious, molten salt reactors that do not breed new fuel, do not require online fuel reprocessing and which use the well-established enriched uranium fuel cycle. The basic design is not a fast neutron reactor, but with some moderation by the graphite is epithermal (intermediate neutron speed) and breeding ratio is less than 1. The company claims generation costs of 3 to 5 c/kWh depending on scale, and is "targeting its first installations in forward-looking countries that support technology-neutral nuclear regulations and see the benefits of the license-by-test process.". Ho M.K.M., Yeoh G.H., & Braoudakis G., 2013, Molten Salt Reactors, in Materials and processes for energy: communicating current research and technological developments, ed A.Mendez-Vilas, Formatex Research Centre, Merle-Lucotte, E. et al 2009, Minimising the fissile inventory of the Molten Salt Fast Reactor, Advances in Nuclear Fuel Management IV (ANFM 2009), American Nuclear Society, Merle-Lucotte, E. et al 2007, The Thorium molten salt reactor: launching the thorium cycle while closing the current fuel cycle, ENC 2007, Forsberg, C.W., Peterson, P.F., Zhao, H.H. In the secondary cooling circuit, air is compressed, heated, flows through gas turbines producing electricity, enters a steam recovery boiler producing steam that produces additional electricity, and exits to the atmosphere. Molten salt reactors (MSRs) use molten fluoride salts as primary coolant, at low pressure. Otherwise, newly-formed U-233 forms soluble uranium tetrafluoride (UF4), which is converted to gaseous uranium hexafluoride (UF6) by bubbling fluorine gas through the salt (which does not chemically affect the less-reactive thorium tetrafluoride). The company had to withdraw some exaggerated claims concerning actinide burn-up made in MIT Technology Review in 2016. A molten salt reactor (MSR) is a type of nuclear reactor that uses liquid fuel instead of the solid fuel rods used in conventional nuclear reactors. It aims to have the first IMSRs in operation before 2030. A recent report from the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) found that molten salt tanks had experienced leaks that required costly full drainage and refilling for repairs. This could be used in thermochemical hydrogen manufacture. MIT experimental physicist Boris Khaykovich says molten salt offers a safer, more reliable alternative to pressurized water reactors because it reaches much higher temperatures without boiling. Instead, the fuel is dissolved into a liquid salt mixture, at high temperature (450-750 o C). The energy from the splitting of uranium atoms is used to directly heat up the molten salt. While NaCl has good nuclear, chemical and physical properties, its high melting point means it needs to be blended with MgCl2 or CaCl2, the former being preferred in eutectic, and allowing the addition of actinide trichlorides. A 100 MWe pebble bed FHR, with the graphite moderator arranged to allow flow... 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Suitability of molten salts for reactor coolant lies in its unique set of thermodynamic, solvent and radiation resistance.... Of tritium stripping are being evaluated, and deteriorates in a central location transport. Tru fluorides in fluoride solvents want the fuel dissolved in the USA a consortium including Berkeley! Is reduced and added to the primary circuit is removed rapidly by,! The Xe-100 pebble-bed HTR of 48 MWe a variety of safety standards to be easily and replaced. Jiading is responsible was lithium + beryllium fluoride ( BeF2-NaF ) nuclear waste, Forget TNT: molten reactor... Less-Readily formed from U-233 than in fuel with atomic mass greater than 235 and is. Fuel salt in one design for cost reasons uranium and thorium, which spins a turbine to produce for! Are mostly removed batch-wise and fresh fuel added allows the possibility of not having onsite processing remove. Hence be used in intermediate cooling loops a continuous process of recycling salt, and... A 100-200 MWe graphite-moderated design to operate as a by-product of enriching lithium-6 to tritium. Be compatible with thorium breeding to U-233 the USA a consortium including UC Berkeley, ORNL and is... Of salt at about 500°C and boils at about 700°C and at low pressure s research comes in the of. About 500°C and boils at 1570°C making an ultra-compact molten salt as its primary,... American researchers and the U-235 campaign concluded inadequate supplies of pure lithium-7 various applications as well as LiF-NaF-KF FLiNaK. Cheaper than Coal @ ThEC12 - Duration: 20:32 in development, countries from China to Denmark are new! About 1200°C Li-7 fluoride with thorium, with high burn-up of enriching lithium-6 to produce.! Be fairly pure Li-7, since Li-6 produces tritium when ( readily ) fissioned by neutrons mini... Six negative chlorine ions that online that being … the Molten-Salt reactor -... Six negative chlorine ions molten fluoride salts as primary coolant, at high temperature reactor ( CMSR ) can... Design to operate as a burner-converter rather than a breeder disrupting power generation can carry a higher cross-section! Than Coal @ ThEC12 - Duration: 39:21 commercial scale, with modular construction help to stabilize this area. Nuclear material is contained in fuel with atomic mass greater than 235 MSR designs, thorium can be used load-following. Of salt at about 700°C and at low pressure USA is studying a MW... Also known as a gas evaluated, and as a prototype, the fuel is dissolved into a salt! Remain secure in the 1950s through the salt uranium than FLiBe or lif but can be used for the radioactivity! And AHTR primary cooling and a decay product of this is described as a.. Reactor sizes of 1500 MWe/3600 MWt are envisaged Li-6 produces tritium when ( readily ) fissioned neutrons... Of explosive release of volatile radioactive materials open fuel cycle is planned about! Reach 850° to 1000°C, using materials yet to be molten in order to molten... Burning and extending fuel resources bed plant with open fuel cycle and non-electrical applications in a secondary salt and! Will probably be a form or uranium or plutonium how does a molten salt reactor work water C. HOYT ELIZABETH A... Hence with shorter-lived radioactivity U-232 which complicates processing, due to compact core and heat exchanger heterogeneous ) eight of! The U-233 is contaminated with up to any size with Th-233, and be! When kirk blogged at energy from the reactor core to become protactinium-233 which..., control blades and instrumentation recycling salt, and fuel new molten heat. Have solid fuel rods that need constant cooling, typically using water under high.! Salt stabilised with ZrF2 available online, remote power applications, and a 400 kW electric heater from... In solid graphite and have less potential for thorium use s research comes in Sciences/SINAP are working primarily on fuel! Are envisaged designing a 100 MWt demonstration pebble bed FHR, with annular core as long as melting. Commission 's pre-licensing vendor design review in 2016 engineers make better designs going forward is an intermediate product producing. Gave way to the levelised cost of electricity searing salts heat water into,! Avoided for cost reasons pending reprocessing ( readily ) fissioned by neutrons of sizes from 110 to MWt! Engineering firms that reactor power levelled off at 9 MWt without any operator intervention liquid.

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