Molten Salt Reactor

A molten salt reactor (MSR) is a class of nuclear fission reactors in which the primary coolant, or even the fuel itself is a molten salt mixture. MSRs run at higher temperatures than water-cooled reactors for higher thermodynamic efficiency, while staying at low vapor pressure.

Operating at near atmospheric pressures reduces the mechanical stress endured by the system, thus simplifying aspects of reactor design and improving safety. It should be possible to construct and operate molten salt reactors more cheaply than coal power plants.

The nuclear fuel may be solid or dissolved in the coolant itself. In many designs the nuclear fuel is dissolved in the molten fluoride salt coolant as uranium tetrafluoride (UF4). The fluid becomes critical in a graphite core which serves as the moderator. Solid fuel designs rely on ceramic fuel dispersed in a graphite matrix, with the molten salt providing low pressure, high temperature cooling. The salts are much more efficient than water at removing heat from the core, reducing the need for pumping, piping, and reducing the size of the core.

The early Aircraft Reactor Experiment (1954) was primarily motivated by the small size that the design could provide, while the Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment (1965–1969) was a prototype for a thorium fuel cycle breeder reactor nuclear power plant. One of the Generation IV reactor designs is a molten salt-cooled, solid-fuel reactor; the initial reference design is 1000 MWe with a deployment target date of 2040.

Another advantage of a small core is that it has fewer materials to absorb neutrons. In a reactor employing thorium fuel, the improved neutron economy makes more neutrons available to breed thorium-232 into uranium-233. Thus, the compact core makes the molten salt design particularly suitable for the thorium fuel cycle.

Read more about Molten Salt ReactorAdvantages, Molten-salt Fueling Options, Molten-salt Cooled Reactors, Fused Salt Selection, Fissile Fuel Reprocessing Issues, Comparison To Ordinary Light Water Reactors, Disadvantages

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... Lithium containing salts will cause significant tritium production (comparable with heavy water reactors), even if pure 7Li is used ... Corrosion may occur over many decades of reactor operation and could be problematic ...
Generation IV Reactor - Reactor Types - Thermal Reactors - Molten-salt Reactor (MSR)
... Main article Molten salt reactor See also Liquid fluoride thorium reactor A molten salt reactor is a type of nuclear reactor where the primary coolant, or even the fuel itself is a molten salt mixture ... The early concepts and many current ones rely on nuclear fuel dissolved in the molten fluoride salt as uranium tetrafluoride (UF4) or thorium tetrafluoride (ThF4), the fluid would reach ... current concepts rely on fuel that is dispersed in a graphite matrix with the molten salt providing low pressure, high temperature cooling ...
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... The FUJI molten salt reactor is a molten-salt-fueled Thorium fuel cycle thermal breeder reactor, using technology similar to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Molten Salt ... It is being developed by the Japanese company International Thorium Energy Molten-Salt Technology (IThEMS), together with partners from the Czech Republic ... As a breeder reactor, it converts thorium into the nuclear fuel uranium-233 ...
Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor - Disadvantages
... LFTR's deviate strongly from today's operating commercial power reactors ... than high pressure), liquid fuel (versus solid fuel), use of molten salts (rather than water or gasses), online refueling and reprocessing using pyroprocesses (oppos ... Only a few MSRs have actually been built those experimental reactors having been constructed more than 40 years ago ...
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... ORNL successfully built and operated a prototype of an aircraft reactor powerplant by creating the world's first molten salt fueled and cooled reactor called the ARE (Aircraft Reactor Experiment ... to a civilian version of the meltdown-proof Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) away from the military's "daft" idea of nuclear powered aircraft ... That civilian pilot plant, the Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE), set a record for continuous operation and was the first to use uranium-233 as fuel, and also used plutonium-239, as well as the normal ...

Famous quotes containing the words molten and/or salt:

    And but for fancies, which aver
    That all thy motions gently pass
    Athwart a plane of molten glass,
    I scarce could brook the strain and stir
    Alfred Tennyson (1809–1892)

    Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?
    Bible: New Testament Jesus, in Matthew, 5:13.

    From the Sermon on the Mount.