Terrestrial Energy extends testing of IMSR fuel at Argonne National Lab

27 January 2022

Rendering of the IMSR® Core-unit (Credit: Terrestrial Energy)Terrestrial Energy USA (part of Canada’s Terrestrial Energy) said it had extended its testing programme at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) for measurements of fuel salt properties used in its Generation IV Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR).

This programme is being expanded to include fission product solubility measurements as part of Terrestrial Energy’s plan for confirmatory testing of IMSR fuel, components, and systems. Test results will support licensing applications for first commercial deployments of IMSR power plants.

Terrestrial Energy began its fuel salt testing at ANL in 2016 with assistance from a US Department of Energy (DOE) Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) programme award. GAIN directs support to the nuclear community commercialising innovative nuclear technologies.

“We continue to expand our relationship with ANL, which began in 2016 with the DOE’s GAIN programme. This first GAIN award catalysed what is now a full-scope commercial engagement with the lab,” said Terrestrial Energy CEO Simon Irish. “Our business strategy is to work with world-class laboratories offering expertise in specific areas, rather than building such laboratory capability in-house. This strategy, often executed with the support of government grants, keeps our engineering resources focused on the IMSR development and accelerates our development schedule.”

ANL, using previously developed equipment and methods, will measure fission product solubilities over the IMSR’s full operating cycle to regulatory quality control standards. Additional investigations at US national laboratories include further confirmatory measurements of thermophysical properties of the IMSR fuel salt and development of IMSR instrumentation and control systems. Terrestrial Energy is developing the IMSR for US market deployment. The IMSR uses an innovative design based on demonstrated Molten Salt Reactor technology and Standard Assay Low Enriched Uranium.

On 18 January, Terrestrial Energy said it had appointed a senior nuclear industry executive as Managing Director of UK operations as the company advances its new nuclear technology. Michael Drury joins the company from the UK National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), where he led the business development function for New Build and Advanced Nuclear Technologies, including Small Modular Reactors and Advanced Modular Reactors.

Photo: Rendering of the IMSR® Core-unit (Credit: Terrestrial Energy)

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