USA-based Jacobs Engineering Group has been selected by Moltex Energy to support its development of the Stable Salt Reactor (SSR), a 300 MWe small modular reactor design. Jacobs will build a bespoke experimental facility for thermal transfer testing at its Birchwood Park research and development facility near Warrington, UK.

An artistic impression of a power plant based on the SSR reactor (Image: Moltex Energy)

UK-based Moltex's SSR uses fuel dissolved in a molten fluoride or chloride salt, which also functions as the reactor's coolant and operate at atmospheric pressure. In its SSR design, molten salt fuel is held in vented tubes bundled into fuel assemblies which make up the reactor's core modules. Each 150 MW module is factory built and contains a support structure for the fuel assemblies, heat exchangers and all other pumps and controls. The rectangular core modules are held in a larger tank, which is filled with a molten salt coolant. A second similar coolant salt system takes heat from the primary coolant salt.

To assist with validation of thermal transfer modelling, Jacobs' chemistry, materials, engineering, instrumentation and modelling teams will collaborate to create a technically complex simulation to replicate the heat output of a fuel channel and to validate computational fluid dynamics modelling of the thermal transfer across the fuel assemblies into the coolant.

Moltex already uses Jacobs' ANSWERS software for radiation transport modelling and simulation of reactor performance.

"We're looking forward to continuing our support for Moltex into this new phase of development as part of our strategy to be a solutions provider at the cutting edge of research into advanced reactors," said Clive White, senior vice president of Jacobs Critical Mission Solutions International. "The Stable Salt Reactor design is significant because of its potential to recycle waste in a clean, safe and economical way, generating electricity which will power communities while reducing carbon emissions."

Moltex has been awarded more than USD6 million in funding from Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy, a US Department of Energy agency, to help develop the SSR reactor. Moltex is part of the UK government's Advanced Modular Reactor initiative and, through collaboration with NB Power, is progressing with plans to demonstrate the first operational Stable Salt Reactor in New Brunswick, Canada.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Date: Friday, 07 August 2020
Original article: