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Why Molten Salt Reactors?

Molten Salt Reactors are demonstrated technology. They're flexible in design and purpose, they can be used to help close the nuclear fuel cycle, and they allow for effective utilization of our vast uranium and thorium resources. They can also be simpler reactors with fewer active components, which may significantly improve nuclear energy economics.


ORNL is the world’s leader in Molten Salt Reactor technology development. 


ORNL has historically led Molten Salt Reactor Technology development. We strive to:

  • Facilitate industry success in the deployment of commercial molten salt reactors.
  • Develop understanding and technology needed to design and license.
  • Have a workable path for licensing of commercial prototypes in the near-term.
  • Have a vendor well along the licensing path NLT five years from now.
  • Help with the first new MSR construction and monitor operation.


  • Develop a common understanding of licensing needs and expectations.
  • Facilitate the technology, data, and models that enable designs.
  • Be able to assist developers through modeling and experiments.
  • Develop monitoring technology for first reactors.


Molten Salt Reactor Diagram




Group Leader, Energy Systems Development Group, Nuclear Energy and Fuel Cycle Division
Kevin R Robb