05 Jul 2019
US Department of Energy awards $2.55m grant to Moltex Energy
Moltex receives U.S. Department of Energy funding to help commercialise and scale up Stable Salt Reactor Wasteburner

Saint John, New Brunswick

Moltex Energy is delighted to announce that it has been awarded $2.55M in funding by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy to develop Composite Structural Technologies (COST) for the Stable Salt Reactor (SSR). These technologies will be capable of shortening the construction timeline for plants to below three years – bringing the Stable Salt Reactor Wasteburner (SSR-W) even closer to market and quickening its global roll out to help mitigate the effects of climate change. This award follows a promising year for Moltex Energy Canada, which is leading the project to build a first-of-a-kind (FOAK) SSR-W in collaboration with New Brunswick Power.  

Adam Owens, Principal Investigator of Moltex’s COST programme, says: “COST SSR shows that Moltex is really thinking about how to get SSR fleets deployed at an unprecedented rate and scale, beating fossil fuels at their own game: raw economics. If we are to displace fossil-fuelled generation fast, the entire plant – from reactor to final construction and operation – needs to consider the real-world financing, economic issues, operating practicalities and lead times of nuclear new build.  

“This project demonstrates SSR-W as an economically-practical solution to climate change in the urgent timeframes required, in the highest impact areas for global decarbonisation in the 2030s, rather than the 2040s or 2050s.” 

Rory O’Sullivan, Moltex Energy CEO for North America, says: “This project will allow us to access U.S. expertise in construction technology, design codes and design safety analysis to support Moltex Energy Canada which leads the licensing, plant design and deployment of a North American demonstration reactor. At the same time, the UK laboratory will drive the fundamental scientific research and experiments related to the Moltex SSR technology portfolio.” 

Rachel Slaybaugh, the Program Director at U.S. Dept. of Energy ARPA-E, for the release, says: “We look forward to working with Moltex Energy on development of COST technology, and showcasing some of the opportunities contemporary construction methods can bring to advanced nuclear.” 

Moltex will work in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Electric Power Research Institute, Purdue University and Vanderbilt University on the SSR, exploiting innovative technologies such as advanced structural composites and coatings to enable rapid construction. Many of these concepts have already been tried and tested – and shown transformative cost potential – in other industries.  

Moltex’s technical advisory committee for the project is comprised of leading international experts and utility customers, including its technology demonstration partner New Brunswick Power. Further details will be released soon.