Nuclear group selected to help develop new type of power reactor

CGI of a Moltex energy power plant

Jacobs has been selected by Moltex Energy to support its development of a new type of nuclear power plant – the Stable Salt Reactor.

The business will build a bespoke experimental facility for thermal transfer testing at its Birchwood Park research and development facility, near Warrington.

Based on breakthrough science, Moltex Energy’s Stable Salt Reactor is designed to generate low cost electricity by burning processed spent fuel pellets which would otherwise have to be stored as radioactive waste.

To assist with validation of thermal transfer modelling, the Jacobs chemistry, materials, engineering, instrumentation and modeling teams will collaborate to create a technically complex simulation to replicate the heat output of a fuel channel and to validate computational fluid dynamics modelling of the thermal transfer across the fuel assemblies into the coolant.

Moltex already uses the Jacobs ANSWERS software product for radiation transport modeling and simulation of reactor performance.

Clive White, critical mission solutions international senior vice president at Jacobs, said: “We’re looking forward to continuing our support for Moltex into this new phase of development as part of our strategy to be a solutions provider at the cutting edge of research into advanced reactors.

“The Stable Salt Reactor design is significant because of its potential to recycle waste in a clean, safe and economical way, generating electricity which will power communities while reducing carbon emissions.”

Moltex has been awarded more than $6m in funding from Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, a US Department of Energy agency, to help develop the reactor, which is cooled using molten salt.