The Spanish company Empresarios Agrupados is participating in the world's first commercial molten salt reactor
Empresarios Agrupados, a member of Foro Nuclear, has signed a contract to develop the engineering of a IV Generation (GEN IV) nuclear power plant in Indonesia, with 500 MW of power and developed by ThorCon.
With this signature, the Spanish company will provide its workforce of 1,250 engineers and its 50 years of experience in nuclear projects, adding to the Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) technology developed by ThorCon.
The project managers said that TMSR-500, as this nuclear power plant is known, will solve Indonesia's energy needs with a non-intermittent source of power that is carbon-free, low cost and safe, which will prevent being dependent on fossil fuels with high price volatility.
Indonesia will solve its energy needs with a non-intermittent source of power that is carbon-free, low cost and safe. A new-generation nuclear power plant known as TMSR-500 that uses an innovative technology
As an engineering company, Empresarios Agrupados will suppport ThorCon across a broad range of activities, such as project management, document control, code compliance, site preparation, pre-construction activities and licensing agreements. Additionally, the company will also provide engineering services to ThorCon throughout the lifecycle of the project—from design engineering to construction, operation, exploitation and eventual decommissioning.
Empresarios Agrupados, with a workforce of 1,250 engineers and 50 years of experience in the nuclear sector, will participate across a broad range of activities and provide its services throughout the lifecycle of the project
The TMSR-500 will be built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) at its yard in Okpo (Sur Korea). The project managers assure that the use of a modern shipyard will achieve huge savings in time and cost. They add that only 24months will be required from the start of construction for the reactor to go into operation and produce electric power.
Another important advantage of this technology is its complete passive safety, meaning that no elecricity, valves, pumps or operation action will be required to shut down and cool down the reactor in the event of abnormal behavior. As long as gravity and some other basic laws of physics continue to operate, the plant will pasively manage shut down and the extraction of decay heat.
ThorCon's TMSR-500 will be the world's first xommercial-scale molten salt reactor. The first prototype of this type of reactor was built by the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory back in the 60s. This year, China's Shangai Institute of Applied Physics started to test its 2 MW MSR.
The TMSR-500 will be the world's first molten salt reactor to go into commercial operation. Some of its advantages are savings in cost, and construction time, as well as its passive safety system
María Teresa Domínguez, who will be leading the project in Empresarios Agrupados, commented that "it will be an excellent opportunity to work with ThorCon in a technology on which we have extensive experience through our involvement in the last 50 years in nuclear projects, including GEN IV reactors, as well as, in the last years, in renewables, where molten salt systems are also being implemented. Empresarios Agrupados has all the resoures and necessary experience to achieve ThorCon's vision in their support to the Indonesian government's goals.
Representatives of ThorCon have indicated that they are "delighted to join forces with Empresarios Agrupados. They are a world leader in nuclear engineering and have extensive experience in plant design, procurement, construction and operation that will be invaluable to the TMSR-500 program."
On molten salt reactors
Molten salt fast reactors are considered IV Generation (GEN IV). They encompass various designs, which are curently in progress with the intention to be used in commercial applications.
The main characteristic of the MSFR is a nucleus where the fuel is dissolved into molten fluoride salts. The technology, which is over 50 years old, originated at the US Oak Ridge National Laboratory and was then developed in Russia. It has the additional advantage that it burns actinides of the fuel unloaed from LWR reactor, and its potential to burn as a burner/breeder reator with possible thorium cycles. It requires technological development for the molten salt technology and nucleus contention.
Part of its interest is because the use of liquid salts as coolant could facilitate a better knowledge of the transference of heat for other applications, such as hydrogen production or heat storage in concentrated solar thermal power plants (CSP).