Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) technologies are currently drawing significant interest from both the public and private sectors for a wide range of nuclear applications worldwide. At the international level, the primary focus is on reactor technology, with some attention also being given to safety and licensing. The importance of the chemistry of the fuel cycle in the development and deployment of MSRs has been recognized by experts in the field.
To address the challenges of chemical processes and technologies in MSR fuel cycles, a joint workshop was organized by the NEA (Nuclear Energy Agency) and IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) on the chemistry of fuel cycles for molten salt reactor technologies in Vienna, Austria, on October 2-6, 2023. Over 40 participants from 13 countries and the European Commission attended the event, including MSR developers, research and development organizations, regulators, and industry experts.
The workshop’s program included several technical sessions on MSR concepts and nuclear fuel cycles, salt preparation, online and offline processing, and cross-cutting issues. Each session consisted of technical presentations followed by a “thoughts from the floor” session to address topics not covered by presentations. A panel discussion involving all presenters concluded each session. During working sessions, participants engaged in further discussion and collaborated to identify gaps and research and development needs in areas such as experimental underpinning, irradiations, monitoring and operation, irradiated fuel treatment (material streams), potential ways to address these issues, made recommendations for potential future activities.
The event confirmed that there is growing worldwide interest in molten salt technologies and emphasized that international cooperation can bring significant benefits to scientific communities