Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group (NRG) said on 18 December that it had started a new experiment at the High Flux Reactor at Petten in the Netherlands that aims to simulate what happens when molten salt cools down to below 150 degrees Celsius.
The test makes use of the strong gamma field emitted by used fuel, which is temporarily stored in the reactor pool. The results of the experiment - part of NRG’s Molten Salt Technology Programme - will contribute to the safety analysis of molten salt reactors. NRG said the research facility, called SAGA, is designed so that it can be reused for follow-up research. “The special thing about this research is that it does not take place in the reactor core but in a basin next to it. Use is made of the fuel rods that are cooling in that basin. The radiation emitted by the fuel rods used is extremely suitable for investigating effects such as gas formation in the salt.” NRG works together with the Rež research center in the Czech Republic and the Free University of Berlin on SAGA.