A south-facing view of the Dillard Science and Engineering Research Center at Abilene Christian University, scheduled for completion in the summer of 2023. The new facility will provide space for ACU’s NEXT Lab, as well as for research in chemistry, physics, and engineering.
Abilene Christian University’s Nuclear Energy eXperimental Testing (NEXT) Lab continues to make progress toward building a molten salt research reactor (MSRR) on the university’s campus. NEXT Lab submitted an application for a construction permit to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission last August, and in November the agency announced it had docketed the application—the first for a new research reactor in more than 30 years.
The molten salt test loop at ACU’s NEXT Lab. (Photo: Jeremy Enlow/SteelShutter)
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has announced that it will review a construction permit submitted by the Nuclear Energy eXperimental Testing (NEXT) Laboratory at Abilene Christian University for the lab’s planned molten salt research reactor (MSRR). The NRC informed Rusty Towell, director of the NEXT Lab and professor in ACU’s Department of Engineering and Physics, about its acceptance of the construction permit review in a November 18 letter. The NEXT Lab had submitted the construction permit application on August 15; it was the first-ever university application for an advanced research reactor. On October 14, they provided the NRC with additional information about instrumentation and controls. (Nuclear News featured an article about the NEXT Lab and the MSRR in the November issue.)