The Stable Salt Reactor – Wasteburner (SSR-W) is simpler and smaller than other reactor designs, making it less expensive to build and operate.
Conventional large reactors have become expensive to build due to the systems needed to keep them safe, including backups, monitoring, active safety and containment. By contrast, the SSR-W is passively safe, which means that no human intervention is required to shut it down in the event of a problem. Much of the SSR-W safety case comes from not having hazards in the first place.
- the most dangerous fission products are salts, not gases, so there is no risk of these escaping into the atmosphere under any circumstances;
- there is no contained pressure in the reactor because everything happens at atmospheric pressure; and
- the fission reaction slows down as the temperature rises, so the system is self-damping.
Because the SSR-W is simpler than other reactors, it is also smaller. At a fraction of the size of a conventional reactor, the SSR-W requires fewer parts and less labour to build.