Molten Salt Reactor | by Rudy Konings (EC-JRC)Westinghouse, Rue de L'Industrie 43, 1400 Nivelles @18:30
Molten Salt Reactors (MSR) have gained worldwide interest in recent years due their appealing characteristics with respect to safety and resource utilisation. In this reactor type the fuel is a liquid salt containing the fissile and fertile material to maintain the nuclear chain reaction. The liquid salt also serves as the primary coolant, and as confinement of the fission products. The MSR is often called the chemists’ nuclear reactor because of its dynamic fuel management that enables fuel clean-up and adjustment during operation using pyrochemical techniques. But the chemical characteristics of the fuel also make the conditions in which the core internal and vessel of the reactor must operate extreme; corrosive in a hot environment.
This presentation will address the history of the MSR and the current trends and designs, which are very diverse. Thermal systems, fast systems, actinide burners have all been proposed, with a variety of fuel salt compositions, comprising fluoride and chlorides. It will then focus on the fuel chemistry, the key to the safe operation of this type of reactor, and its influence on the performance of the reactor core materials.
About the speaker
Dr. Rudy Konings graduated from the Utrecht University with an MSc in Earth Sciences in 1985. He then joined the Netherlands Energy Research Foundation ECN as researcher in the field of thermodynamics of nuclear materials and defended his PhD at the University of Amsterdam in 1990. He stayed at ECN and subsequently at NRG (Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group) working on nuclear fuel-related issues. In 1999 he joined the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in Karlsruhe (Germany). There he currently is the head of the Nuclear Fuel Safety Unit. His research interests are nuclear fuels and actinide materials, with emphasis on high temperature chemistry and thermodynamics. He has an appointment as professor at the Delft University of Technology (Netherlands), holding the chair ‘Chemistry of the nuclear fuel cycle.’