The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently published a letter form Terrestrial Energy responding to the agency’s Regulatory Issue Summary (RIS) 2016-08. RIS 2016-08, published on June 7, 2016, is a NRC request for information regarding future nuclear reactor license filings.
Terrestrial Energy in its letter stated that it plans to submit an application to the NRC for a design certification or a construction permit “no later than October 2019.” Before filing either application, the agency will engage in pre-application consultations with the agency, including the submission of white papers and topical reports. The company indicated it will provide steps for moving forward these activities in 2017.
Terrestrial Energy is designing an “Integral Molten Salt Reactor” or IMSR. It describes its specific reactor design, the IMSR-400, as “a 400 MWth, small modular, high temperature, self-contained, pool-type, liquid fueled, thermal spectrum, graphite moderated, molten salt advanced reactor operating with a once through fuel cycle,” which “utilizes fluoride salts for both fueling (with low-enriched uranium) and for cooling.” It has applied to the U.S. Department of Energy for a loan guarantee for its reactor design. Terrestrial Energy is based in Canada, and has already engaged in pre-licensing reviews with the Canadian nuclear regulator. The entity to be applying for an NRC license is its US arm, Terrestrial Energy USA.
For more on Terrestrial Energy, the NRC, or the licensing process for advanced nuclear reactors in general, please contact the authors.