Terrestrial Energy and NRG Start Irradiation Testing of IMSR Moderator Graphite at Petten Reactor Research Facility
OAKVILLE, ON – November 12, 2020 – Terrestrial Energy and Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group (NRG) have started a graphite irradiation testing program at NRG’s Petten Research Centre’s High Flux Reactor (HFR) in the Netherlands. This work is part of broader program underway for confirmatory testing of components and systems in the Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR®) power plant. The IMSR® power plant uses Generation IV reactor technology for efficient and hence cost-competitive electric power generation, and heat for industrial heat applications. The HFR is one of the most powerful multi-purpose research and test reactors in the world.
The testing program at NRG is designed to confirm the predicted performance of selected graphite grades throughout the seven-year cycle of the IMSR® Core-unit. Its scope simulates IMSR® core conditions, encompassing the full range of IMSR® operating temperatures and of the neutron flux. NRG reports that the HFR has reached full power indicating the successful start of the test program. The test program involved many months of preparation, which included test design, characterization of the as-manufactured graphites, analysis and development of the loading matrix. This effort utilized the expert services of Terrestrial Energy’s engineering consultant, Frazer-Nash Consultancy.
“Our work with NRG at its Petten HFR facility is an important element of our overall IMSR® test program, now well underway. The start of in-core irradiation tests speaks to our progress and comes after many months of prior work,” said Simon Irish, CEO of Terrestrial Energy. “The NRG work also reflects an important feature of our testing strategy. That is to engage existing laboratories offering existing capabilities rather than build those in-house, a strategy that is essential for our early deployment schedule.”
“NRG operates a powerful test reactor and offers a world-class set of capabilities to support advanced reactor development,” said Vinod Ramnandanlal, Commercial Director of NRG. “We recognise the commercial capabilities of molten salt technologies and the growing interest in their development and deployment today. We are delighted to be supporting Terrestrial Energy as it moves forward with in-core irradiation testing, the first developer to commence such testing.”
NRG is an internationally operating nuclear service provider. It conducts nuclear technological research, is a consultant for the safety and reliability of nuclear plants and provides services in the field of radiation protection. NRG also conducts research for governments aimed at developing knowledge about nuclear technology. NRG operates the High Flux Reactor owned by the European Union. The production of medical isotopes is the primary activity of the reactor in Petten, which is managed by NRG. NRG is a global market leader in the production of medical isotopes. It strives for the development of new applications of medical isotopes used to treat life-threatening diseases. NRG performs this ambition in collaboration with University Medical Centers and radiopharmaceutical companies. All of NRG’s almost 600 employees possess expert knowledge and work in a highly innovative way. The company works for and with partners in the health sector, the energy market, the industrial sector, government and the science sector.
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About Terrestrial Energy
Terrestrial Energy is a developer of Generation IV advanced nuclear power plants that use its proprietary Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR®) technology. IMSR® technology represents true innovation in cost reduction, versatility and functionality of nuclear power plants. IMSR® power plants will provide zero-carbon, reliable, dispatchable, cost-competitive electric power and high grade industrial heat for use in many industrial applications, such as chemical synthesis and desalination, and in so doing extend the application of nuclear energy far beyond electric power markets. They have the potential to make important contributions to industrial competitiveness, energy security, and economic growth. Their deployment will support rapid global decarbonization of the primary energy system by displacing fossil fuel combustion across a broad spectrum. Using an innovative design, and proven and demonstrated molten salt reactor technology, Terrestrial Energy is engaged with regulators and industrial partners to complete IMSR® engineering and to commission first IMSR® power plants in the late 2020s.
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