Irradiation tests on a mixture of lithium and thorium fluoride salts are under way at the High Flux Reactor at Petten in the Netherlands. The results will yield new data on the safe operation of molten salt reactors (MSRs). Molten salt reactors use fuel dissolved in a molten fluoride or chloride salt. As an MSR fuel salt is a liquid, it functions as both the fuel (producing the heat) and the coolant (transporting the heat away and ultimately to the power plant). This means that such a reactor could not suffer from a loss of coolant leading to a meltdown. The basic technology is not new – it was first demonstrated at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1960s, where a 7.4 MWt test reactor, the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE), operated from 1965 to 1969.
World Nuclear News 6th Sept 2017 read more »