(ATTENTION – this is one week later than our when meetings are usually scheduled.)
After 40 years of quite, much is happening in the world of molten salt reactors (MSRs). The Chinese will have a small test reactor that is expected to shortly start operation. That reactor has the fuel dissolved in the salt. Kairos Power is designing and licensing a Fluoride-salt-cooled Test Reactor to be built in Oak Ridge. The FHR uses solid graphite-matrix coated-particle fuel with clean salt coolant. There are many other companies proposing different types of salt reactors. There are economic, fuel cycle and safety incentives to reconsider salt reactors. Salt reactors deliver the highest average temperature heat to the customer resulting in higher efficiency power plants and better coupling to heat storage and industrial users. This creates an economic advantage (https://doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2020.1743628) for salt reactors compared to other reactors assuming similar capital costs. The traditional fuel cycle for the MSR was the thermal-neutron-spectrum Thorium / Uranium-233 fuel cycle; however, today there is also work underway by TerraPower on a fast spectrum MSR using the Uranium / Plutonium fuel cycle with a once-through breeder fuel cycle. Last, there are potential safety advantages; but, these strongly depend upon advances in engineering.
Dr. Charles Forsberg
Principal Research Scientist
Director and PI, Fluoride Salt-Cooled High-Temperature Reactor Project
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dr. Charles Forsberg is a principal research scientist at MIT. His current research areas include Fluoride-salt-cooled High-Temperature Reactors (FHRs), hybrid energy systems and utility-scale 100-GWh heat storage systems. He is the PI for building a flowing molten salt loop in the MIT reactor. He teaches the fuel cycle and energy systems classes. Before joining MIT, he was a Corporate Fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Earlier he worked for Bechtel Corporation and Exxon.
He is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society (ANS), a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and recipient of the 2005 Robert E. Wilson Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers for outstanding chemical engineering contributions to nuclear energy, including his work in waste management, hydrogen production and nuclear-renewable energy futures. He received the American Nuclear Society special award for innovative nuclear reactor design and is a Director of the ANS. Dr. Forsberg earned his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota and his doctorate in Nuclear Engineering from MIT. He has been awarded 12 patents and published over 300 papers.
Lunch on your own at home. 😊.
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John E. Gunning
Dr. John E. Gunning
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