Canadian Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) developer Terrestrial Energy announced this the commencement of a feasibility study to explore siting the world's first IMSR for commercial purposes. The study is designed to choose a site at the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) at Chalk River in Ontario.
The company, which aims to deploy factory-built small modular reactors with meltdown protection inherent in the dynamics of the reactor, is also aiming to create a technology hub at CNL “to support the commercialization of small modular reactors, a potentially trans-formative technology.
“This is an important milestone for Terrestrial Energy. It maintains our momentum for the 2020s deployment of IMSR power plants,” said Simon Irish, Terrestrial Energy's chief executive officer. “We are pleased to be working with CNL to begin the process to identify a suitable location on the CNL site to build the first commercial IMSR power plant.”
The siting work is being carried out in conjunction with an industry wide Request for Expression of Interest (RFEOI) recently announced by CNL. Together with the siting feasibility study, the RFEOI seeks to widen the study base to include supply chain and reactor development potentials.
Terrestrial Energy and CNL are working together under a business framework set out in a 2016 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that facilitates a collaborative working relationship to conduct testing and validation activities to support Terrestrial Energy’s engineering program for IMSR deployment.
It covers a broad set of CNL’s nuclear services including reactor physics, thermal hydraulics, metallurgy, chemistry, waste management and decommissioning. The MOU is non-exclusive; CNL is not restricted from building other nuclear reactor systems at its facilities, and Terrestrial Energy is not restricted from building IMSR power plants at other locations.
Terrestrial Energy, reports the World Nuclear Association, is seeking out cooperative agreements and site studies applicable to development in the United States, including a siting option at the Idaho National Laboratory. The company plans to initiate its preliminary application interactions with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission by the end of the year.
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