CANADIAN nuclear technology company Terrestrial Energy has raised C$10m (US$7m) of investment to bring its integral molten salt reactor (IMSR) technology to industrial markets by 2020.
The next-generation IMSR technology involves using liquid fuel – in the form of molten uranium fluoride or chloride salts – rather than conventional solid fuel. The liquid salts produce heat, in the reactor core, and also act as a coolant, ultimately transporting heat away from the chamber. This technology will make nuclear energy safer as the reactor cannot suffer a meltdown or a loss of containment.
Simon Irish, Terrestrial’s CEO, said, “Funds will be used to support the company’s pre-construction and pre-licensing engineering. These programmes allow the company to demonstrate to industry the commercial merits of the IMSR design.”
Terrestrial is currently developing a commercial demonstration power plant of the technology in Canada, and has recently announced a collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to develop the IMSR design for wider distribution.
Terrestrial said IMSR is complementary to renewable power sources and is ideal for distributed power systems on existing grids. It claims that IMSR will be more environmentally friendly as many countries are redefining their climate change commitments following COP21.
James Reinsch, Terrestrial Energy shareholder, former president of Bechtel Nuclear and member of the board of directors of two large nuclear power utilities, said, “Market need has never been greater for true game-changing innovation. Nuclear power is recognised as probably the only energy technology today that has the scale to displace polluting energy sources without sacrificing cost-competitiveness.”
The company said it is continuing to make its case to commercialise the IMSR technology globally, continuing the trend of energy industries favouring small modular reactor (SMR) technologies.
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