New Construction

NRC to Issue Permit for Molten Salt Reactor at Abilene Christian University

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently announced its intention to complete a safety assessment and construction permit issuance by Sept. 30 for a Molten Salt Research Reactor (MSRR) funded by Natura Resources on the campus of Abilene Christian University, according to a news release. The MSSR is the first liquid-fueled molten salt reactor design that the NRC has ever reviewed, and an environmental assessment was completed in March.

The Nuclear Energy eXperimental Testing Lab (NEXT) Lab at ASU partnered with the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, and the Georgia Institute of Technology—alongside the Natura Resources Research Alliance—toward the licensing and deployment of the reactor.

“The environmental assessment and upcoming completion of the safety evaluation for a construction permit are significant steps forward in the first deployment of the Natura MSR-1 system,” said Natura Resources founder and president Doug Robison. “This deployment at ACU will not only demonstrate successful licensure of a liquid-fueled molten salt reactor but will provide critical operational data that will help us meet the world's growing energy needs.”

The construction permit, expected in September, will allow the team to move forward with construction and deployment. The reactor serves as the first deployment of the Natura MSR-1, a one-megawatt thermal molten salt reactor system.

“This groundbreaking research has applications not only for clean energy but for clean water and the production of needed medical isotopes. We're thrilled to see how this technology will bless people around the world,” said ACU president Dr. Phil Schubert.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].