UK-based nuclear technology company Moltex Energy has secured a "multi-million dollar" investment from Spain-based IDOM Consulting, Engineering, Architecture SAU. The funding will enable Moltex to expand its operations in Canada where it is working to build a 300MWe demonstration small modular reactor.
Moltex Energy plans to build a Stable Salt Reactor - Wasteburner (SSR-W) at Point Lepreau in New Brunswick under an agreement signed with the New Brunswick Energy Solutions Corporation and NB Power in summer 2018.
The recent funding injection will allow Moltex to grow its New Brunswick office and accelerate the pre-licensing process through the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission's vendor design review, according to a statement.
IDOM, which has "extensive experience" in the design of molten salt facilities for the concentrated solar power industry, will work with Moltex Energy in both Canada and Spain on mechanical engineering, thermal hydraulics and the use of molten salts. IDOM will also join the New Brunswick Modular Reactor Cluster.
“This is a very important, strategic deal for Moltex Energy,” commented Moltex Energy's Canadian CEO Rory O’Sullivan. “To have such a highly respected company as IDOM choose to invest in Moltex, from all the nuclear technologies out there, is a real seal of approval for our technology. This follows the selection of Moltex eight months ago by New Brunswick Power, from a field of 90 possibilities."
Unlike most molten-salt reactor concepts, in the SSR fuel salt is contained in standard fuel assemblies, which simplifies the reactor design. The fuel assemblies are held in reactor modules and will be submerged in a tank half-filled with molten salt coolant. The coolant transfers the heat away from the fuel assemblies to the peripheral steam generators. Moltex has also proposed its GridReserve molten salt heat storage concept to enable the reactor to supplement intermittent renewables.
Moltex Energy is one of seven vendors current engaged in the vendor pre-licensing design review process in Canada, while agreements between the regulator CNSC and four other vendors are under development.
Photo: The Stable Salt Reactor (Credit: Moltex Energy)