Nuclear—Pass the salt

Nuclear—Pass the salt

ORNL’s new salt purification lab offers tools to make and purify the salt and perform corrosion testing, which are essential steps in qualifying molten salt reactor technologies for commercial use. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy
ORNL’s new salt purification lab offers tools to make and purify the salt and perform corrosion testing, which are essential steps in qualifying molten salt reactor technologies for commercial use. Credit: Carlos Jones/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy (hi-res image)

Media Contact

Jason Ellis, Communications
ellisjk@ornl.gov, 865.241.5819

June 1, 2018 – Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed a salt purification lab to study the viability of using liquid salt that contains lithium fluoride and beryllium fluoride, known as FLiBe, to cool molten salt reactors, or MSRs. Multiple American companies developing advanced reactor technologies are considering FLiBe—the coolant for the lab’s famed Molten Salt Reactor Experiment—as a reactor coolant or as part of the fueled salt within their designs. The new lab offers tools to make and purify the salt and perform corrosion testing, which are essential steps in qualifying MSR technologies for commercial use. “This is a foundational capability,” said ORNL’s Kevin Robb. “We’ve had significant advancements in materials since the MSRE, and this lab is a big step in helping industry move their next-generation MSR designs forward,” ORNL plans to add a pumped FLiBe loop to further testing capabilities, including how new alloys, graphites and silicon carbons interact with the salt.

Share