UK-based Frazer-Nash Consultancy and Terrestrial Energy have signed a contract for engineering services related to the fabrication of the graphite moderator, a key component in Terrestrial Energy’s Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR).
Frazer-Nash has provided consulting services to the British government and the operators of the UK fleet of 14 advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGRs). The UK has operated 40 graphite-moderated reactor since 1956, and during this period extensive studies have been conducted on the performance of reactor graphite. Terrestrial Energy will draw on this knowledge and experience as it proceeds with the engineering programmes for deployment of the first commercial IMSR power plant.
“We are excited to be working with Terrestrial Energy as this collaboration provides a very tangible way of applying our skills and knowledge to help deliver low-carbon energy to our future power landscape,” said Neil McDougall, managing director of Frazer-Nash.
“Frazer-Nash experts are assisting Terrestrial Energy with the fabrication of the IMSR graphite moderator, supporting it to deliver to time and budget. We are pleased to be providing our experience and know-how relating to high-temperature graphite and leveraging our work with the Nuclear Innovation Programme, initiated and funded by the UK Government. We look forward to contributing to Terrestrial Energy’s game-changing IMSR power plant project and to its commercial deployment.”
Terrestrial Energy is seeking to drive change with its 400MWt (190MWe) IMSR power plant, which operates at high temperatures (600°C) and is 50% more efficient than traditional reactors. The IMSR uses a graphite moderator, and standard assay low-enriched uranium fuel with the same level of enrichment (less than 5% U-235) as in conventional nuclear plants use.
Terrestrial Energy has also signed a design services contract with BWXT Canada Ltd to support the development of key components in its IMSR. The company is also working with Netherlands-based NRG on materials testing and graphite behaviour. The collaboration with NRG is part of a wider partnership between Terrestrial and the European Union’s scientific community, following a March 2018 technical services agreement with the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Karlsruhe, Germany to perform confirmatory studies of the fuel and primary coolant salt mixture for the IMSR.
Photo: Schematic of the IMSR