IMSR to be considered for ammonia production

10 June 2022

Terrestrial Energy - developer of the Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) - has signed an agreement with ammonia production technology supplier KBR to investigate the application of zero-emission thermal energy for the production of hydrogen and ammonia.

A cutaway of the IMSR and balance of plant (Image: Terrestrial Energy)

Through the collaboration, USA-headquartered KBR's energy advisory services team and Terrestrial Energy will analyse the integration of Terrestrial Energy's IMSR nuclear cogeneration technology for use in ammonia and hydrogen production. KBR's programme management and integrator solutions teams will further support the development of commercial frameworks for future deployment and routes to market for ammonia production technology with IMSR cogeneration.

Terrestrial Energy's IMSR uses molten salt as both fuel and coolant, with integrated components, that can supply heat directly to industrial facilities or use it to generate up to 195 MW of electrical power. The use of molten salt as both fuel and coolant also enables passive, or inherent, safety features to be built into the reactor design. Terrestrial's IMSR builds on 50 years of experience at the USA's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and integrates the primary reactor components, including the graphite moderator, into a sealed and replaceable reactor core unit with an operating lifetime of seven years.

"This agreement connects Terrestrial Energy and its sector-leading IMSR plant cogeneration technology to the world leaders in ammonia technology," said Terrestrial Energy CEO Simon Irish. "It represents a gateway industrial relationship to the production of affordable and zero-emissions ammonia. Its success will deliver a major global decarbonisation objective to a hard-to-abate industrial sector and drive affordable food supply. We're delighted to be collaborating with KBR to deliver on our shared technological, commercial and market vision."

"This agreement with Terrestrial Energy will leverage KBR's growing capabilities and aligns with our mission to develop new technologies and deliver solutions that help customers accomplish their most critical business objectives with sustainability at the core," said Andrew Barrie, president of KBR's Government Solutions EMEA business.

In January 2019, Terrestrial notified the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of its intention to seek US design approval for the IMSR, and in December 2019 the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and the NRC selected IMSR for the first joint technical review of an advanced reactor which does not use water as coolant. Earlier this week, Terrestrial announced the CNSC and the NRC had completed a joint technical review of its Postulated Initiating Events analysis and methodology for the IMSR.

Terrestrial Energy aims to commission the first power plants based on the small modular reactor within a decade.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News