ThorCon US has been awarded $400,000 for cost-shared research and development for advanced nuclear technologies, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced.
ThorCon US is developing a thermal thorium/uranium molten salt fueled ThorConIsle fission power plant. The approach uses shipyard production to build a complete 500 MWe power plant which is towed to a site and ballasted to the sea bottom. The plant will generate electric power cheaper than coal, after completing testing which begins in 2023.
The ThorCon US – Argonne technology demonstration project is titled Electroanalytical Sensors for Liquid Fueled Fluoride Molten Salt Reactor. A key feature of the ThorConIsle is limited onsite fuel treatment consisting of adding make-up fuel in the form of uranium fluoride to the reactor and beryllium to maintain the desired chemistry in the fuel salt. ThorCon US has requested Argonne National Laboratory to assist in the development of multi-function sensors to monitor fuel salt chemistry and provide nuclear safeguards information. One sensor is needed to perform high concentration measurements of species such as uranium fluoride in the fuel salt. Another sensor is needed for low concentration measurements of the fission and corrosion products produced during reactor operation. The proposed sensors will support successful deployment of the ThorConIsle demonstration power plant.
“Promoting early-stage investment in advanced nuclear power technology will support a strong, domestic, nuclear energy industry now and into the future,” said Secretary Perry in the Department of Energy announcement here.
“Argonne has contributed to the development of civilian nuclear power for over 50 years”, described here.
ThorCon US has published descriptions of ThorConIsle at ThorConPower.com.