Development of Molten Salt Reactor technology in the Czech Republic. Generation IV International Forum GIF. GIF selected 6 advanced reactor systems. Very-High-Temperature Reactor (VHTR) Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (GFR) Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor (SFR)
Development of Molten Salt Reactor technology in the Czech Republic
Author: Jan Uhlíř
Very-High-Temperature Reactor (VHTR)
Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (GFR)
Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor (SFR)
Supercritical-Water-Cooled Reactor (SCWR)
Led-Cooled Fast Reactor (LFR)
Molten Salt Reactor (MSR)
Existing interest of GIF members in individual reactor systems development
(EURATOM activities in MSR are represented mainly by R&D in the Czech Republic)
Non-classical reactor system:
(MSR operated in thorium – uranium fuel cycle does not produce any transplutonium elements, which cause the main problem of current spent nuclear fuel)
The basics of MSR technology were verified in 1965 – 69 by successful operation of MSRE in ORNL (USA).
Czech Republic and France were leaders of MSR technology development within the frame of GIF.Czech Republic takes part in GIF activities under the EURATOM membership(EURATOM representative in GIF System Steering Committee MSR is Dr. M. Hron from NRI Řež plc)
Czech republic had the most extensive experimental program in the area of MSR technology development
Czech R&D was supported mainly by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT), partially by the Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (RAWRA); international co-operastion was based on R&D grants of EC-EURATOM (Framework program 5 and 6).
R&D in the Czech Republic was realized in the frame of special consortium constituted by:
NRI Řež plc, Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering of Czech Technical University, ŠKODA JS (SKODA Nuclear Machinery), Institute of Nuclear Physics of CAS, Energovýzkum Ltd.
(NRI Řež plc was the leading company and coordinator of the R&D)
Inserted zone with fluoride molten salt in the LR-0 reactor (NRI Řež plc.)
Special nickel alloy MONICR developed by ŠKODA JS
Processing of fluoride fuel (NRI Řež plc)
The main aim of Phase 1 is building of MSR mock-up technology – molten salt loop, which looks like a real MSR. However the nuclear (chain) reaction is simulated by electrical heating, other systems are similar as in real MSR. (Mock-up technology is inevitable step before constructing real nuclear reactor.)
Individual work-packages of the project devoted to the R&D of MSR system:
Preliminary proposal of subsequent R&D project of MSR technology :Phase 2: (2014 – 2020) „Realization of experimental MSR (2 – 5 MWth MSR)“
The aims of Phase 2 are realization of experimental MSR, full verification of the reactor system, verification of all structural materials, processing of liquid fuel and radioactive waste management, reactor safety (reactor control systems), proliferation resistance and physical protection and finally to create suitable conditions for full MSR technology testing by manufacturers of nuclear technologies. Successful operation of the experimental MSR is inevitable for subsequent design and deployment of power MSRs.
A necessary requirement for successful realization of Phase 2 is collaboration with some “nuclear power”, preferably with USA and broad collaboration of Czech and international companies producing nuclear reactor components. The collaboration with USA will be necessary for arrangement of fissile material (nuclear fuels) and for fuel tests of MSR with all proposed fuel types (uranium, thorium, transuranium).
Experimental MSR can be realized by reconstruction of LR-O reactor in the NRI Řež plc.