Moltex Energy receives $50.5m for small modular reactor

Moltex Energy has received $50.5m funding from the government of Canada to advance its molten salt reactor and spent fuel recycling technology.

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The funding has been offered by the Canadian government’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) and Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). 

Moltex plans to build the world’s first 300MW Stable Salt Reactor – Wasteburner (SSR-W) and Waste To Stable Salt (WATSS) facility at the Point Lepreau Generating Station site in Saint John, New Brunswick, and aims to generate electricity to the grid by the early 2030s.

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The aim of the SSR-W is to produce emissions-free energy through the WATSS process, which will recycle existing used nuclear fuel. The Canadian government said that the technology has potential to reduce storage needs for existing used nuclear fuel and could establish a ‘first-of-its-kind’ emissions-free energy system.

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“Our government supports the use of this innovative technology to help deliver cleaner energy sources and build on Canada’s global leadership in small nuclear reactors,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “The investment announced today will play a critical role in fighting climate change and will boost Canada’s economic stabilisation after the pandemic.”

The SIF funds represent $47.5m of the total federal government investment, and Moltex will match the funds. The full amount will be used to progress the SSR-W and WATSS designs and validate key assumptions to support the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s Pre-Licensing Vendor Design Review Phase 2.

Funds from the ACOA represent $3m of the total and will be used to further WATSS research. ACAO also provided nearly $5m to NB power and $561,750 to the University of New Brunwick to strengthen the region’s SMR (small modular reactor) cluster.