Moltex Clean Energy has announced the concept design for its molten salt reactor and spent fuel recycling technology has been finalized and the engineering design is in progress.
In a recent virtual update attended by more than 1,000 people, the company said its stable salt reactor – wasteburner (SSR-W) will be installed at Point Lepreau and is expected to be producing carbon-free electricity by the early 2030s.
The company received $50.5 million in federal funding in March.
“The concept design has been finalized and we’re going through the exciting transition to the engineering design process,” Andy Ballard, project director at Moltex, said during the webinar.
“One of the things that helped us conclude the concept design is that we have a very high expectation of having successful results on the vendor design process and we’ll be racing forward to get to phase two as soon as possible.”
The company says its Canadian partners – Canadian Nuclear Labs, the University of New Brunswick, Kinectrics, SNC Lavalin & WorleyParsons – have been instrumental to the project.
Moltex was chosen by the New Brunswick government in 2018 to exclusively develop wasteburner technology at Point Lepreau. The company established an office in Saint John and matched provincial funding of $5 million to start its operations.
Moltex is developing two technologies: a stable salt reactor, which is a 300-megawatt small modular reactor, and its waste-to-stable-salt technology. The waste-to-stable-salt technology would convert spent fuel into new fuel for the reactor.
Moltex also announced that a new study it commissioned indicates strong public support for nuclear waste recycling in New Brunswick.
“The results show the public’s interest in reducing the nuclear waste in New Brunswick and their preference to use this waste to generate more clean energy,” said Rory O’Sullivan, Moltex’s CEO for North America.
According to the study, conducted by Narrative Research:
- 87 per cent of residents believe it is either critically important or important to recycle nuclear waste stored at the Point Lepreau site so it can be used to generate clean energy.
- 84 per cent of residents believe it is either critically important or important to reduce the volume of nuclear waste stored at the Point Lepreau site.
- 81 per cent of residents believe the best way to deal with the nuclear waste stored at the Point Lepreau site is to recycle it so it can be used to generate clean energy.
Moltex’s reactor technology is specifically designed to use recycled nuclear waste to produce low-cost, carbon-free electricity. Moltex says it is currently the only company with the patented technology and a plan to recycle Canada’s nuclear waste.