Jacobs to support development of Moltex Energy's Stable Salt Reactor

6 August 2020

Impression of a Moltex Energy power plant US-based Jacobs announced it has been selected to support development of Moltex Energy's Stable Salt Reactor (SSR). Jacobs will build a bespoke experimental facility for thermal transfer testing at its Birchwood Park research and development facility in the UK.

Moltex Energy’s Stable Salt Reactor is designed to generate low-cost electricity by burning processed spent fuel pellets which would otherwise have to be stored as radioactive waste, Jacobs said in a statement. The SSR is modular in construction, and its rectangular core can be extended module by module to create reactors from 150MW to 1200MW power, Moltex says on its website.

To assist with validation of thermal transfer modelling, Jacobs said its chemistry, materials, engineering, instrumentation and modelling teams will collaborate to create a "technically complex simulation to replicate the heat output of a fuel channel and to validate computational fluid dynamics modelling of the thermal transfer across the fuel assemblies into the coolant."

Moltex already uses Jacobs’ ANSWERS® software for radiation transport modelling and simulation of reactor performance, it added.

“We’re looking forward to continuing our support for Moltex into this new phase of development as part of our strategy to be a solutions provider at the cutting edge of research into advanced reactors,” commented Jacobs Critical Mission Solutions International senior vice president Clive White.

“The Stable Salt Reactor design is significant because of its potential to recycle waste in a clean, safe and economical way, generating electricity which will power communities while reducing carbon emissions.”

Moltex has been awarded more than $6 million in funding from Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), a US Department of Energy agency, to help develop the reactor, which is cooled using molten salt.

Moltex Energy is also receiving funding through Canadian Nuclear Laboratories' Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative (CNRI), for nuclear fuel development.

Photo: Impression of a Moltex Energy power plant

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