NEI Magazine: Growing interest in molten salt reactors
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Canada’s Terrestrial Energy said on 25 February that it is submitting its Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR®) design to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) for pre-licensing review – the first step towards an eventual licence application. Pre-licensing is not a required part of the licensing process for a new nuclear plant, but aims to verify the acceptability of a design with respect to Canadian nuclear regulatory requirements and expectations.
The review involves three phases: a pre-licensing assessment of compliance with regulatory requirements; an assessment of any potential fundamental barriers to licensing; and a follow-up phase allowing the vendor to respond to findings from the second phase. CNSC said the findings will be considered in any subsequent construction licence application, increasing the efficiency of technical reviews. Terrestrial Energy CEO Simon Irish said the review takes the company towards the submission of a formal licence application “to build and operate the first commercial demonstration Integral Molten Salt Reactor plant in the 2020s”. Earlier this year Irish told World Nuclear News that the conceptual design stage of Terrestrial Energy’s IMSR® is expected to be completed in 2017.