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Small Modular & Molton Floride Salt Reactors
We Should Be Building 50-of these  a Year

What is the industry up to?

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Seaborg plans to deploy the first floating nuclear power barges by 2025

A Danish nuclear company Seaborg Technologies is developing a new type of 200-megawatt mini-nuclear reactor to be installed on modular power barges. The Compact Molten Salt Reactors (CMSR) recently passed a feasibility test by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), an important milestone towards our ambitious target to deploy the first commercial power barge by 2025.


Seaborg’s Compact Molten Salt Reactor is designed to be installed on modular power barges, providing clean and affordable electricity worldwide. The power barge design enables configurations with two, four, six, or eight CMSRs delivering up to 800 MW-electric or 2000 MW-thermal. The first power barges will have two reactors installed, delivering 2 x 100 MW-electric for the 24-year lifetime of the power barge. And over that lifetime, they will offset a minimum of 33,600,000 tons of CO2 compared to an equivalent coal power plant.

Seaborg will deliver clean and affordable energy in the form of floating power barges, with a market focus on growth regions such as South East Asia. The floating nuclear power barges will produce clean electricity for electric grids or hydrogen production. Alternatively, the power barge can deliver high-temperature steam, which can be used for process applications.

“The maritime approach reduces time, project risk, and cost dramatically. We can leverage a highly efficient manufacturing industry with decades of experience, high safety standards, and a production capacity unlike any other,” says Seaborg co-founder and CEO Troels Schönfeldt.

Thanks to ABS’s feasibility approval, Seaborg can start shipyard serial production of these floating nuclear power barges, which can be towed to their final destination and plugged into the grid. The first power barges will have two reactors installed delivering 200 MW-electric; over the 24-year lifetime, it will offset min. 33,600,000 tons of CO2 compared to an equivalent coal power plant.

“The world needs energy, but we also need to decarbonize. With a highly competitive product, using existing production capacity, we can deploy hundreds of reactors yearly – we are geared for global impact,” says Troels Schönfeldt.

Although the feasibility test is an important milestone, it is only the first step in the ABS New Technology Qualification (NTQ) process. This five-phase process aligns with product development phases. ABS will continue to evaluate Seaborg’s technology through the engineering, construction, and operation phases before it is deemed fit for navigation.

Seaborg Technologies, Denmark


Terra Power, United States

TerraPower undertakes a large private capital fundraise in support of advanced nuclear deployment.

BELLEVUE, Washington – August 15, 2022 – TerraPower, a leading nuclear innovation company, announced today the close of an equity raise that yields a minimum of $750 million. This is one of the largest advanced nuclear fundraises to-date.  

The fundraise was co-led by SK Inc. and SK Innovation (collectively, “SK”) and TerraPower’s founder Bill Gates. SK invested $250 million. SK Group is among South Korea’s largest energy providers and the second-largest conglomerate. Additional funding will come from other investors.

This fundraise enhances TerraPower’s groundbreaking work in advanced nuclear energy technologies and nuclear medicine.

“TerraPower is committed to solving some of the toughest challenges that face this generation through innovation,” said TerraPower President and CEO Chris Levesque. “Whether it’s addressing climate change with carbon-free advanced nuclear energy, or fighting cancer with nuclear isotopes, our team is deploying technology solutions and investors across the world are taking note.”

TerraPower is experiencing terrific growth, partially driven by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP) award and the construction of the NatriumTM demonstration plant[1] at a retiring coal facility in Wyoming. Part of the ARDP award requires a match of 50% of project costs, up to $2 billion. This new fundraise further builds on the support of existing investors and will support TerraPower’s current implementation efforts.

The TerraPower Isotopes (TPI) program is supporting the transformation of the fight against cancer by advancing the next generation of isotopes. TPI has unique access to Actinium-225 and is working to provide this isotope to the pharmaceutical community for the development of drugs that target and treat cancer.

Moohwan Kim, Executive Vice President and Head of Green Investment Center at SK Inc. noted that “SK is excited to expand our energy, technology and bioscience investments with leading companies in the U.S. We are committed to supporting TerraPower’s global deployment of game changing products. We see important synergies in our businesses and this investment reinforces our strategic global carbon reduction goals.”

Credit Suisse acted as the exclusive placement agent to TerraPower. Perkins Coie LLP acted as outside corporate counsel to TerraPower. TerraPower will continue to be a privately held company. Further terms of the fundraise were not disclosed.

About TerraPower

TerraPower is a leading nuclear innovation company that strives to improve the world through nuclear energy and science. Since it was founded by Bill Gates and a group of like-minded visionaries, TerraPower has emerged as an incubator and developer of ideas and technologies that offer energy independence, environmental sustainability, medical advancement and other cutting-edge opportunities. It accepts and tackles some of the world’s most difficult challenges. Behind each of its innovations and programs, TerraPower actively works to bring together the strengths and experiences of the world’s public and private sectors to answer pressing global needs. Learn more at

About SK Group
SK Group, South Korea’s second-largest conglomerate according to the Korea Fair Trade Commission, is a collection of global industry-leading companies driving innovations in semiconductors, sustainable energy, telecommunications and life sciences. For more information, visit

About SK Inc.
Established in 2007, SK Inc. (formally known as “SK Holdings Co., Ltd.”) is a holding company of SK Group with specialization in investment activities, headquartered in Seoul and ranks 117th on the Fortune Global 500 list. The company’s investment principles and strategies target environmental, social and governance (ESG) priorities alongside financial returns to drive sustainable growth for its stakeholders and society. The strategic investment areas of SK Inc. include advanced materials, biopharmaceutical, green energy, and digital technologies. For more information on SK Inc., visit

About SK Innovation Co., Ltd.
Established as South Korea’s first and largest oil refining company in 1962, now leading the way toward ‘Green Energy & Materials Company’ with the ESG value. SK Innovation is a SK Group intermediate holding company in energy, petrochemical, lubricants, E&P, e-mobility battery, information and electronic materials businesses along with eight major subsidiaries. SK Innovation has established a value chain in its businesses with a vertical integration from E&P to producing petrochemical products and expanded the green portfolio through continuous investment in battery and materials sectors. SK Innovation and its subsidiaries are accelerating its future eco-friendly business such as plastic recycling, CCS (Carbon Capture & Storage) and BMR (Battery Metal Recycling) businesses. SK Innovation is also considering various new businesses to play the role of ‘Portfolio Designer & Developer.’ For more information, visit

ThorCon Company, United States


What is ThorCon? ThorCon is a molten salt fission reactor. Unlike all current nuclear reactors, the fuel is in liquid form. It can be moved around with a pump and passively drained. This 500 MW fission power plant is encapsulated in a hull, built in a shipyard, towed to a shallow water site, ballasted to the seabed. Visit Design.


Ready to Go. ThorCon requires no new technology. ThorCon is a straightforward scale-up of the successful United States Oak Ridge National Laboratory Molten Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE). A full-scale 500 MW ThorCon prototype can be operating under test within four years. After proving the plant safely handles multiple potential failures and problems, commercial power plant production can begin. Visit MSRE.


Cheaper than Coal. A ThorCon plant requires less of the planet’s resources than a coal plant. Assuming efficient, evidence based regulation, ThorCon can produce clean, reliable, CO2-free electricity at 3 cents per kilowatt-hour — cheaper than coal. Visit Economics.


Rapidly Deployable. The complete ThorCon is manufactured in 150 to 500 ton blocks in a shipyard, assembled, then towed to the site. This produces order of magnitude improvements in productivity, quality control, and build time. A single large reactor yard can turn out twenty gigawatts of ThorCon power plants per year. ThorCon is a system for building power plants. Visit Production.


Fixable. Everything in the fission island except the structure itself is replaceable with little interruption in power output. Every four years the entire primary loop is changed out, returned to a centralized recycling facility, decontaminated, disassembled, inspected, and refurbished. Incipient problems are caught before they can turn into casualties. Upgrades can be introduced without significantly disrupting power generation. Visit Fuel.


Walkaway Safe. ThorCon fuel is in liquid form. If the reactor overheats for whatever reason, ThorCon will shut itself down, and passively handle the decay heat. No power, no machinery, no operator action is required. This is built into the reactor physics. The operators can do nothing to prevent safe shutdown and cooling. ThorCon has at least three gas tight barriers between the fuelsalt and the atmosphere. The reactor operates at garden hose pressure. In the event of a primary loop rupture, there is no dispersal energy and no phase change. The spilled fuel merely flows to a drain tank where it is passively cooled. The most troublesome fission products, including Sr-90 and Cs-137, are chemically bound to the salt. They will end up in the drain tank as well. Visit Safety.


Indonesia project. ThorCon has been working with the Indonesian government to add reliable electric power to the grid. In 2019 the Ministry of Energy successfully completed a study of the safety, economics, and grid impact of the 500 MW prototype ThorConIsle. Phase 1 is to build and test it with step by step commissioning, ending in a type license for future power plants. Phase 2 is shipyard production of ThorCon plants to provide an additional 3 GW of cheap, reliable electric power. Visit Project.


Global impact. Powering up our world with ThorCon can impact developing nations’ prosperity while rescuing our environment. Visit Impact.

Russian Rosatom breaks ground on nuclear waste-eating “gen IV” reactor

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Rosatom breaks ground on nuclear waste-eating “gen IV” reactor

Russian nuclear engineer Rosatom has begun work on one of the world’s first fourth-generation nuclear reactors at a site owned by the Siberian Chemical Combine in the Tomsk region.

The 300MW Brest-OD-300 reactor will use "fast" neutrons, lead cooling, and a fuel mix of uranium and plutonium to create a unit that consumes most of its own waste.

Fast reactors are thought to be some 60 times more fuel-efficient than slow-neutron reactors; they generate less radioactive waste and can be used in a "closed cycle" system, in which waste is reprocessed into fuel.

They have not been widely commercialised yet because the faster neutrons travel, the harder it is to create and sustain a chain reaction. Previous generations of reactor used graphite "moderators" to slow neutrons and increase the likelihood that they would cause nuclear fission in fuel rods.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held last week at the Seversk site. It was attended by Alexey Likhachev, the director general of Rosatom, Sergei Zhvachkin, regional governor of Tomsk, and online by Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

In his speech at the opening, Likhachev said this design of "gen IV" reactor would mean that fuel for the nuclear power industry may become "practically inexhaustible", and that future generations would be spared the problem of dealing with toxic waste products with extremely long half-lives. 

"The successful implementation of this project will allow our country to become the world’s first owner of the nuclear power technology that fully meets the principles of sustainable development in terms of environment, accessibility, reliability and efficient use of resources," he said.

The Brest reactor is part of Rosatom’s "Breakthrough" programme, aimed at radically upgrading the nuclear industry’s technology. He said: "The implementation of this Breakthrough project embraces not just development of innovative reactors, but also introduction of the new generation technologies of nuclear fuel cycle."

If all goes according to plan, a fuel production facility will be built by 2023, work on an irradiated fuel reprocessing module will start by 2024 and the reactor itself will enter service in 2026.

According to Rosatom, the unit will be the world’s first nuclear complex to combine these three elements.

At present, no gen IV reactors have been built, although a number of projects are in development around the world. The most advanced is China’s CFR-600, another design of fast reactor that uses sodium as its coolant (see further reading).

Image: The groundbreaking ceremony was held last week (Rosatom)

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Source:  Terrestrial's Web Page 9-26-22 -

Terrestrial Energy began the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s Vendor Design Review process in 2016 and expects to complete the CNSC’s Vendor Design Review process in 2022.

IMSR® cogeneration plant pre-application U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission activities commenced in 2018 with the support of U.S. Department of Energy grant funding.

Procurement of components, engineering services and fuel are crucial to deployment. IMSR® plant deployment is supported by an industry wide supplier consortium consisting of: Siemens, BWXT, Aecon, Hatch, Westinghouse, Orano, KSB and others. Our IMSR® plant development program is supported by a consortium of laboratories including EU Joint Research Centre, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Argonne National Laboratory, Risktec, Kinectrics, McMaster University, ENGIE Laborelec, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory and others.

IMSR® cogeneration plants will use standard nuclear fuel, the only technology in its class to do so. For the last 65 years, civilian nuclear fuel has been “standard-assay” low-enriched uranium (less than 5 percent U-235) fuel; it is the only nuclear fuel commercially available today. Its use is a critically important for international acceptance and for near-term commercial deployment of IMSR® cogeneration plants.

IMSR® use of standard-assay low-enriched uranium is a distinguishing attribute in the high-temperature fission technology (Generation IV) sector today. All other reactors in this class require either “high-assay” low-enriched uranium, which is not commercially available, or the require reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel for plutonium. The IMSR® is the only high-temperature fission technology designed to use standard-assay low-enriched uranium, the only one that can practicable deliver a clean energy heat alternative to burning fossil fuels.

Building on Proven Prototyped Technology

Glenn Seaborg starting up the Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE) in 1968, with Chief Engineer J.R. “Dick” Engel at hand to assist. The MRSE was one of the most successful reactor technology demonstration programs at a U.S. national laboratory.

The IMSR® cogeneration plant incorporates prototyped, proven and demonstrated molten salt fission technology. This Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) technology is closely related to MSR technology pioneered at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee.

Oak Ridge has developed MSR technology over many decades, building and demonstrating two experimental MSRs: first the Aircraft Reactor Experiment (ARE) and next the Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE). Based on the successes of these operating reactor experiments, ORNL commenced a commercial power plant program for MSR technology, which led to the Denatured Molten Salt Reactor (DMSR) in the early 1980s. Terrestrial Energy’s IMSR® is a close relative to the DMSR.


Company Briefs being added:


  • NuScale Power LLC, Portland, OR - NuScale Power and KGHM Sign Task Order to Initiate the Deployment of First Small Modular Reactor in Poland

  • Moltex Energy, Saint John, New Brunswick, E2L 2B2 - Moltex is developing a suite of reactor technologies that can be deployed individually or jointly. Moltex’s Stable Salt Reactor – Wasteburner (SSR-W), WAste To Stable Salt (WATSS) recycling process, and GridReserve thermal energy storage tanks together allow the generation of inexpensive electricity that can be dispatched as needed, complementing intermittent renewable sources such as wind and solar.

  • GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (US)
  • Westinghouse Electric Corporation (US)

Some Indusrty Facts and Issues

Adherence to standards/regulations concerning the deployment of SMRs

The main regulatory issue that arises in the case of SMRs is the reduction in the size of the Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ). According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the EPZ is the area where preparations are made to promptly implement urgent protective actions based on environmental monitoring data and the assessment of facility conditions, the goal being to avert doses of radioactive particles specified in international standards. According to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), two EPZs surround the plant site. The first zone, called a plume exposure pathway, is designed to avoid or reduce the dose from potential exposure of radioactive materials from the plant and is traditionally about 10 miles (16.1 km) in radius for any nuclear plant. The second zone, the ingestion exposure pathway, is designed to reduce or avoid the dose from potential ingestion of food contaminated by radioactive materials and is about 50 miles (80.5 km) in radius for any nuclear plant. Thus, the size and shape of each Emergency Planning Zone are based on various factors, such as the nuclear plant's operating characteristics, the geographical features of the plant site, and the population areas surrounding the plant.

According to IAEA, for reactors with thermal power levels between 100 and 1,000 MWth, an EPZ radius of 5–25 km is preferred to eliminate radiation exposure to the public in the event of an accident. SMR developers and potential operators argue that the improved safety of SMRs is sufficient to lower the size of an EPZ to a radius below 5 km, as SMRs are smaller and safer than conventional nuclear power plants.

The set of potential sites for the deployment of SMRs comes down as the EPZ radius increases. Furthermore, SMRs would have to be constructed closer to population centers to serve applications such as desalinated water or industrial heat sources. A smaller EPZ enlarges the market of potential customers for SMRs. Potential operators of SMRs such as electric utilities are also interested in smaller EPZs, as the size of the zone directly impacts the overall complexity of the emergency plan. Utilities must pay for the various activities associated with the emergency plan to be implemented within the EPZ. These include the installation and maintenance of sirens, coordination with various local and state government offices during drill exercises, and the size of the staff associated with multiple emergency preparedness activities. Because utilities expect the facility's profits to be lower for an SMR compared with a traditional size nuclear unit, they seek to lower the cost and complexity of managing the emergency plan by reducing the size of the EPZ. The size of the EPZ has long been a source of conflict between the nuclear industry and federal and local governments. Such regulatory environments may hamper the growth of the small modular reactor market.

Challenges: Lack of standard licensing process

Licensing is a potential challenge associated with SMRs, as design certification, construction, and operation license costs are equivalent to that of large reactors. Current licensing regimes found within established nuclear markets are designed for large nuclear power plants and could challenge the potential deployment of SMRs, as they do not allow for the cost-efficient deployment of SMRs. The site-specific requirements, in particular, may be challenging for the repeat build of identical units based on a reference standard design.

The novel approaches in the conceptual design and deployment of small modular reactors can pose challenges to the existing licensing frameworks. The SMR designs and concepts that are currently being developed are simpler compared with existing large nuclear reactors. The safety of SMRs relies on passive safety systems and inherent safety characteristics of the reactor, such as low power and operating pressure. SMRs are less dependent on electrical safety systems, operational measures, and human intervention than large nuclear reactors. Therefore, the usual licensing approach, based on overlapping safety provisions to compensate for potential mechanical and human failures, may not be appropriate for SMRs, and regulatory bodies should consider new ideas for the licensing of SMRs.

Harmonizing different licensing approaches would likely be a fundamental determinant in the deployment of SMR technologies. The IAEA is establishing a technology-neutral framework for safety to help harmonize international approaches based on existing IAEA safety standards, as SMRs are technologically diverse. Such a technology-neutral framework consists of societal and health objectives, risk targets, and high-level safety principles and requirements, which then can be elaborated in national frameworks to address regulatory and technical elements depending on the specific technology used. According to the World Nuclear Association, there are two main approaches to licensing plants: prescriptive versus goal setting/performance-based. The prescriptive approach sets very detailed regulatory requirements that a nuclear facility and operator must meet to be licensed. The goal-setting approach sets out a safety target, usually in risk terms. In this approach, the licensee must show that the design and operation achieve the set target.

The licensing of SMRs is not likely to be straightforward. Licensing is time-consuming and costly, involving detailed analyses and reviews, especially in countries such as the US and Western Europe. In most countries, current licensing procedures would have to be adapted to fit SMRs. The unique characteristics of SMRs are not documented from a regulatory perspective, even in the case of SMR designs that use light water as the coolant and moderator. Light-water SMRs involve integrating primary system components into the reactor pressure vessel and the use of passive recirculation modes with low coolant flows under operational and accident situations. As regulatory provisions are not available to deal with some of these novel features, several of these design concepts would have to be justified by designers and accepted by regulators before generic licenses are issued and may cause

Source - Small Modular Reactor Market

Published Date: Aug 2022 | Report Code: EP 7975 

delays in licensing SMRs.

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