Canada’s Terrestrial Energy announced recently that the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) had completed a first joint technical review of Terrestrial Energy’s Generation IV Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR).

The agencies conducted the IMSR technical review as part a cross-border regulatory programme established in 2019 by a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between the CNSC and the NRC. This expands on a 2017 cooperative agreement between the agencies to review activities associated with advanced reactor and SMR technologies. It also strengthens the agencies’ commitment to share best practices and experiences through joint reviews of advanced reactor and SMR technology designs. 

As part of the MOC, the agencies undertook a joint review of Terrestrial Energy’s Postulated Initiating Events (PIE) analysis and methodology for the IMSR. This work is foundational for further regulatory safety reviews and supports Terrestrial Energy’s regulatory programme to prepare licence applications required to operate IMSR plants in Canada and the USA.

“The completion of the joint review is an important step in supporting Terrestrial Energy’s technology and regulatory programmes. It is also clear evidence that international regulatory harmonization is possible. Reviews by independent national regulators provide confidence and credibility to the technologies involved as well as build momentum for global rollout,” said Michael Binder, former President of the CNSC.

“The joint review of the Terrestrial Energy IMSR represents a milestone in efforts of the CNSC and NRC to reduce regulatory duplication and is an important step in harmonising the regulatory reviews of the two regulators. This is a very positive step for the advanced reactor community and efforts to deploy a new generation of nuclear facilities in North America,” said Jeff Merrifield, former NRC Commissioner.

Terrestrial Energy CEO Simon Irish said completing this joint review “is an important step forward in the commercialisation of the IMSR® and paves the way for further cross-border collaboration”.