Terrestrial Energy Inc. (TEI) is collaborating with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) to move the company’s integrated molten salt reactor (IMSR) to the engineering blueprint stage by late 2016, according to the New Energy and Fuel web site. CNL will provide research and development services on commercial terms.

ORNL is the site of one of the original molten salt reactor experiments (MSRE), where a 7.4-megawatt thermal test reactor operated from 1965 to 1969. TEI’s basic concept builds upon the MSRE operational data generated and then builds upon ORNL’s denatured molten salt reactor (DMSR) design, which is the basis of Terrestrial Energy’s IMSR.

The TEI IMSR design is different in that the entire reactor unit and its fuel are movable, replaceable and recyclable. TEI aims to achieve the lowest possible cost thermal power production.

TEI says that both online and centralized reprocessing of IMSR waste fuel are viable and will become standard for the next generation of IMSR power plants, possibly by the end of the next decade.

The TEI IMSR will use low enriched uranium, or slightly enriched uranium, each of which are broadly available and have a long regulatory history and a long-established supply chain.

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