Achieving 250 MW’s of electricity from such a compact reactor requires a moderately high power density of 16 MW per m3 of active core. This results in a short moderator life. We must be prepared to replace the core graphite every four years. Therefore, the Cans are arranged in pairs to make up a Power Module, as shown in this view and this sketch. At any one time, just one of the Cans of each module is producing power. The other is in cool down or stand-by mode. This is very much like a duplex filter. When one side needs to be taken out of service, you flip to the other side, transferring the fuelsalt from the old Can to the new. The old Can then remains in its silo for a little less than 4 years, at which point the Can’s decay heat will be down to less than 1 kW.
Most of ThorCon’s piping and wiring is in the Power Module grid formed by the yellow beams in the view on the right. This sketch indicates the main piping runs in the Power Module grid.