Birchwood testing facility supports new type of nuclear power plant


AN experimental facility is to be built at Birchwood Park, Warrington to support development of a new type of nuclear power plant.

It will be built by high-tech engineering group Jacobs at its research and development facility at Birchwood for Moltex Energy’s breakthrough Stable Salt Reactor.
Based on breakthrough science, the 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, Jacobs’ chemistry, materials, engineering, instrumentation and modelling 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 Jacobs’ software for radiation transport modelling and simulation of reactor performance.
“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,” said Jacobs Critical Mission Solutions International senior vice president Clive White.
“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 $6 million in funding from Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, a United States Department of Energy agency, to help develop the reactor, which is cooled using molten salt.


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