IAEA seeks to increase multilateral cooperation on molten salt reactor concept

Published on November 11, 2016 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

A group of nuclear power specialists from 17 countries recently made progress towards critical international cooperation on molten salt reactor technology at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“It is the first time a comprehensive IAEA international meeting on molten salt reactors has ever taken place,” Stefano Monti, head of the nuclear power development section at the IAEA said. “Given the interest of Member States, the IAEA could provide a platform for international cooperation and information exchange on the development of these advanced nuclear systems.”

Molten salt reactor technology offers improvements in both efficiency and safety, and the researchers currently working on concept models have received private funding in recent years. The IAEA meeting worked to lay a foundation for further cooperation between member nations in support of further technological development.

“While the United States is actively developing both technology and safety regulations for molten salt reactors, the meeting is an important platform to exchange knowledge and information with Member States not engaged in the existing forums,” Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s David Holcomb, one of the 35 participants at the meeting last week said. Experiments at Oak Ridge in the 1960s led to the development of molten salt reactor technology.

Participants called for increased multilateral cooperation, and collaboration between international researchers, designers, and industry representatives in the development of molten salt reactor designs.

“It is the first time China has the opportunity to share knowledge with India, Indonesia and Turkey on this technology,” Chen Kun from the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences said.