IMSR® power plants are versatile. In addition to producing electricity, IMSR® power plants can produce clean, high-grade heat that can be coupled to many industrial heat processes.
The IMSR® supplies 600°C heat, a far higher temperature than that supplied by conventional reactors. This is a great advantage for power generation: the IMSR® can provide 50 percent more electricity than an equivalent conventional reactor.
The IMSR® method for delivering heat is also a strong commercial advantage for industrial users. It delivers heat using a pipe loop to circulate inexpensive, hot molten industrial salt. Molten salts are excellent heat-transfer fluids and are already in industrial use today.
This setup means that IMSR®-supplied heat can be efficiently transported to industrial sites up to 5 km, or more than 3 miles, away from an IMSR® power plant. It makes IMSR® power plants ideal not just for large-scale electric power generation and desalination, but also for suppling heat to many energy-intensive industrial processes, such as chemical production (e.g. hydrogen and ammonia), petrochemical refining, and clean synthetic transport fuels – applications not served at all today by current clean energy technologies.
The clean energy partner for variable renewables
IMSR® power plants are dispatchable and can easily load-follow, features that are increasingly prized by electric power utilities as they work to balance the variability of wind and solar power with demand loads.
This feature increases grid stability and makes grid-level energy storage unnecessary. It improves the operating and capital efficiency of the grid and supports the commercial value of wind and solar.
Together, it reduces system costs and increases grid reliability for the benefit of the electricity customer.
Flexible plant siting
An IMSR® power plant site has a small footprint: 6.8 hectares, or 17 acres.
Conventional nuclear power plants already have the smallest land footprint per unit of energy of any power source, because of nuclear energy’s immense energy density. IMSR® power plants improve on this advantage and allow for greater siting flexibility.
IMSR® power plants can be sited in locations remote from grid connections, from energy infrastructure or natural bodies of water. IMSR® power plants have low water requirements. Although desirable, a water supply is not essential to IMSR® power plant operation.