The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has completed phase one of its pre-licensing vendor design review (VDR) for Moltex Energy’s 300-MW Stable Salt Reactor–Wasteburner (SSR-W)—a molten salt reactor that uses nuclear waste as fuel. CNSC entered into an agreement with Moltex in November 2017 to conduct the initial phase of the review.
An optional service, the VDR is a high-level review of a proposed reactor technology’s design information against Canadian regulatory requirements and guidance. The service does not involve the issuance of a license and is not part of the licensing process. A phase-one VDR determines whether, at a general level, the vendor’s reactor design and design processes demonstrate implementation of CNSC regulatory requirements.
According to the CNSC’s May 25 executive summary of the SSR-W’s VDR, Moltex has a clear understanding of the Canadian regulatory requirements and expectations.
On to phase two: “Completing phase one of the VDR is a major achievement,” said Rory O’Sullivan, chief executive for Moltex Energy, North America. “This demonstrates that our technology is progressing in the right direction and gives current and future customers confidence in our design of advanced nuclear reactors.”
Offering governmental congratulations on the accomplishment was Mike Holland, natural resources and energy minister for New Brunswick, one of several Canadian provinces that have expressed an interest in advanced reactor development. “This is a significant milestone, and I look forward to your continued success as you move through the CNSC’s regulatory process,” Holland said.
In case you missed it: In March of this year, the Canadian government awarded C$50.5 million (about $40.2 million) to Moltex Energy Canada to support small modular reactor research and technology development in New Brunswick. The investment was provided by the government’s Strategic Innovation Fund and its Regional Economic Growth Through Innovation program, part of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
In a press release on the funding, Moltex said it plans to build the world’s first SSR–W and Waste to Stable Salt facility at the site of the Point Lepreau nuclear plant in Saint John, New Brunswick, and to provide electricity to the grid by the early 2030s.