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IPFS News Link • Netherlands

Major molten salt nuclear fuel test completed

•, By David Szondy

The first test of its kind since the ones carried out at Oak Ridge, Tennessee in the 1960s, its purpose is to learn more about the safe operation of a future Molten Salt Reactor (MSR).

First developed in the United States in the 1950s and '60s, MSRs differ from conventional light-water nuclear reactors in a number of significant ways that make them potentially a safer and more efficient alternative. This is because, though a light-water reactor and an MSR work on the same principle of nuclear fission, they have a fundamentally different engineering design.

In a light water reactor, nuclear fuel is enriched uranium or plutonium set in zirconium-alloy-clad rods immersed in water. This water acts as both the moderator and the coolant for the reactor.