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Small Modular Reactors

Updated: Feb 13, 2021

The basic principles of Small Modular Reactor (SMR) technology are simple. Heat is generated when nuclear fission takes place in tubes filled with molten salt fuel. This heat is then transferred to a primary salt coolant, where it circulates through heat exchangers and passes to a secondary salt coolant that sends the heat to storage tanks.

The heat can be used to produce clean electricity, green hydrogen, and water desalinisation, for district heating or in other industrial processes. The combination of revenues from these heat streams could expand the business case for advanced Small Modular Reactors.

Our efforts to redefine nuclear technology and set new standards have not gone unnoticed. Advanced SMRs – in our case, small by design – are attracting the attention of government officials, regulators, and energy leaders as a potential addition to the nation’s energy mix.

We seek to work with the best of the best in the industry in developing transformative nuclear technologies that will make the world a better place. Our vision is to provide clean, affordable, sustainable and safe energy to the world through the development and commercialisation of thorium as a fuel source, paving the way to deploy highly competitive, urban sited advanced modular reactors globally.

The European Nuclear Safety Principles in combination with United States requirements were adapted as design basis for our reactors. These reactors cannot melt-down, there is minimal production of long-lived waste, diversion to military use is very difficult, reserves of thorium are almost inexhaustible, and costs are expected to be lower than for uranium fuelled reactors.

Our advanced AR-100T Small Modular Reactor is an inherently safe, modular molten salt type fission reactor that burns thorium as fuel and produces considerable less waste compared to other nuclear power generation technologies, waste streams that are trivial compared to the waste produced by fossil fuel combustion.

The reactor can also use spent nuclear fuel from commercial light water reactors (LWR), as well as the stockpiles of uranium and plutonium, a major issue for several advanced economies which are also nuclear military powers. We are positioning the AR-100T to be one of the most sustainable sources of energy in the world.

AR-100T was designed as a 285MWt unit, with corresponding electricity production of 100MWe. It is ideally suited to be used as a standalone plant or in groups of module that can produce energy where and when it is needed, supporting variable renewables on windless, cloudy days. Furthermore, the favourable economic feasibility, ease of operation as well as the modular construction design, makes it a strong contender in the energy sector.

The basic reactor design is mature and it can be constructed in a relatively short time using shipyard-like assembly-line methods, shipped modularly, and assembled quickly at almost any location. It is predicted that the inherent, passive safety features of the reactor will simplify the licensing process significantly compared to other nuclear power generation technologies.

The AR-100T project aims to finalise the design, license and construct the first reactor in the next seven years. Yes, we know – the time lines are aggressive, at least by the standards of the slow-moving nuclear industry.

ABOVE – Dr. Alvin Weinberg and the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment at ORNL, in late 1960s.

Dr. Weinberg was an original Manhattan Project scientist who dramatically influenced the development of nuclear energy

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