Southern Company Subsidiary and TerraPower Complete Installation of Integrated Effects Test, Key Milestone in Molten Chloride Fast Reactor Development

The project continues the path of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Reactor Concepts (ARC-15) program to promote the design, construction and operation of Generation IV nuclear reactors

ATLANTE, October 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Southern Company, through its subsidiary Southern Company Services, and TerraPower have completed the Integrated Effects Test installation, marking a critical milestone in the development of the world’s first molten chloride fast reactor (MCFR) from Terra Power. The test is the world’s largest salt chloride system developed by the nuclear industry. The project culminates years of separate effects testing and is expected to demonstrate how MCFR technology will work to provide a commercial-scale, cost-effective, carbon-free molten salt reactor power source by 2035.

“Southern Company’s research and development program is committed to advancing next-generation nuclear as part of a diverse technology portfolio supporting our goal of a net-zero future for customers,” said Dr. Mark S. Berry, Senior Vice President R&D of Southern Company Services. “We are honored to collaborate with TerraPower, the Department of Energy, and other team members to pursue this goal through integrated effects testing. Collaborations like this are essential to making transformational change to our energy system a reality.”

Located at the TerraPower laboratory in Everett, Washington, the integrated effects test is a non-nuclear, externally heated, multi-loop system up to 1 megawatt to support future deployment of a fast spectrum salt test reactor. The project continues work initiated in 2015 by Southern Company Services and TerraPower as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Advanced Reactor Concepts (ARC-15) Award, a multi-year effort to promote the design, construction and operation of generation IV nuclear reactors. The project team also includes CORE POWER, EPRI, Idaho National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Vanderbilt University. The program represents a $76 million total project investment with a public-private cost share of 60% to 40%.

“The completion and installation of the integrated effects test is an important step in advancing TerraPower’s Molten Chloride Fast Reactor technology,” said Jeff Latkowski, Senior Vice President of Innovation Programs at TerraPower. “MCFR will play a pivotal role in decarbonizing heavy industries, and we are proud to work with Southern Company, CORE POWER and other partners to develop the systems needed to bring new reactors to market.”

The next generation of nuclear reactors promises customers the same stable value that is derived from today’s operating nuclear fleet, can supplement intermittent renewable resources on the grid, and has the potential to provide heat and storage for energy-intensive industrial markets and maritime transport sectors currently dependent on fossil fuels. Nuclear energy will be at the heart of a sustainable and clean energy future – providing affordable, reliable, resilient and dispatchable carbon-free energy that is available around the clock, making the success of this project a critical component to achieving net saving zero by 2050.

The Integrated Effects Test signals significant progress in the technology demonstration roadmap for TerraPower’s MCFR. The operational data from the trial will help validate the thermal-hydraulic and safety analyzes needed for the MCFR. The system will also support the development and operation of the Molten Chloride Reactor experiment at the Idaho National Laboratory, a sub-200 kilowatt reactor intended to provide experimental and operational data. The integrated effects test and Molten Chloride Reactor experiment will inform the design, licensing and operation of an approximately 180 megawatt MCFR demonstration planned for the early 2030s.

A September 9 The groundbreaking ceremony included representatives from Southern Company, TerraPower, Idaho National Laboratory, the project and construction team, and technology partners. Construction of the built-in effects test was completed by McAbee Construction Inc., and all electrical support was provided by Gulf Electric Company.

In a message recorded at the event, Dr. Catherine HuffAssistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Power, said, “The IET facility is a huge step forward in the commercialization of molten salt reactor technology that will help the United States transition to a new clean energy economy and to position the United States as a leader in the development of advanced reactor technologies. »

TerraPower’s MCFR is one of the most advanced Generation IV nuclear technologies under development and is distinct from TerraPower’s Natrium™ reactor and integrated energy storage technology. The MCFR is a liquid salt-fed, salt-cooled fast reactor that will allow operation at low pressure and high temperature. It offers superior performance, inherent safety and lifecycle durability benefits, reduced capital investment and operating and maintenance costs, and has the ability to operate with a number of power sources. fuel, including depleted and natural uranium or even spent fuel from existing reactors.

About the Southern Company

Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is a leading energy company serving 9 million customers through its subsidiaries. The company provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through three-state electric utility companies, four-state natural gas distribution companies, a competitive generation company serving wholesale customers across America, a major distributed energy infrastructure, fiber optic and telecommunications network company. services. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and affordable prices below the national average. For more than a century, we’ve been building the future of energy and developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including carbon-free nuclear, advanced carbon capture technologies, natural gas, renewables, energy efficiency and storage technologies. Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation and a low-carbon future, Southern Company and its subsidiaries are developing the custom energy solutions our customers and communities need to drive growth and prosperity. Our uncompromising values ​​ensure that we place the needs of those we serve at the center of everything we do and govern our business for the benefit of our world. Our corporate culture and hiring practices have been nationally recognized by the US Department of Defense, GI Jobs magazine, DiversityInc, Black Enterprise, Forbes and the Women’s Choice Award. To learn more, visit www.southerncompany.com.

About Terra Power

TerraPower is a leading nuclear innovation company striving to improve the world through nuclear energy and science. Since its creation by Bill Gates and a group of like-minded visionaries, TerraPower has become an incubator and developer of ideas and technologies that deliver energy independence, environmental sustainability, medical advancement and other cutting-edge opportunities. He accepts and tackles some of the toughest challenges in the world. Behind each of its innovations and programs, TerraPower is actively working to bring together the strengths and experiences of the world’s public and private sectors to meet pressing global needs. Learn more at terrapower.com.

SOURCE Southern Company

Comments are closed.