Canada’s L3 MAPPS and Terrestrial Energy have signed an agreement to develop real-time simulation for Terrestrial’s Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR). Terrestrial aims to commercialise the modular reactor design – which can produce 400 MWt (190 MWe) of energy – in the 2020s.
Molten salt reactors use fuel dissolved in a molten fluoride or chloride salt which functions as both the reactor’s fuel and its coolant. This means that such a reactor could not suffer from a loss of coolant leading to a meltdown. Terrestrial’s IMSR integrates the primary reactor components, including primary heat exchangers, to a secondary clean salt circuit, in a sealed and replaceable core vessel. It is designed as a modular reactor for factory fabrication, and could be used for electricity production and industrial process heat generation.
“The simulation is a key tool to model IMSR power plant performance,” the companies said in a joint statement yesterday. “It will support the engineering development of the IMSR power plant design, its licensing, and ultimately, power plant customers by supporting operator training.”
L3 MAPPS president Rangesh Kasturi said, “It is a natural fit for Terrestrial Energy – a frontrunner in the development of Generation IV reactor technology – to join forces with L3 MAPPS, the leading developer of nuclear power plant simulation technology. We look forward to working with Terrestrial Energy and combining our respective technologies to achieve advanced reactor technological firsts.”
“We identified modelling and simulation as a priority area last year, so we are delighted now to be working with L3 MAPPS and benefitting from the world-class simulation capabilities that they bring to the IMSR project,” said Terrestrial Energy CEO Simon Irish. “IMSR power plants are transformative energy technology solutions. They can make an important contribution to the world’s growing demand for clean, low-cost and reliable energy. Our relationship with L3 MAPPS is another important step towards fully realizing that potential.”
L3 MAPPS said its agreement with Terrestrial “sets the framework for the companies’ long-term collaboration”.
Terrestrial has said it intends to submit an application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a design certification or construction permit in late 2019.
In June 2017, Terrestrial began a feasibility study for the siting of the first commercial IMSR at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ Chalk River site. In March this year, Terrestrial and US utility Energy Northwest agreed a memorandum of understanding on the terms of the possible siting, construction and operation of an IMSR at a site at the Idaho National Laboratory in southeastern Idaho.