ANSTO renews collaboration on next-generation nuclear reactors

Image source: ansto.gov.

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has renewed a strategic partnership with the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP) with a bilateral meeting and the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

A delegation from SINAP, which included the director of the Thorium Molten Salt Reactor (TMSR) Center, professor Hongjie Xu, travelled to ANSTO. Dr Xu signed the MOU on behalf of SINAP and shared highlights of developments at SINAP as well as progress on their advanced nuclear reactor research.

The MOU is a renewal of an agreement signed in 2012 and covers collaboration in a number of areas of nuclear science and technology including future energy sources, materials under extreme conditions and accelerator science.

Among other areas of applied nuclear physics, SINAP has expertise in the development of TMSRs, MSRs and the use of hybrid energy. SINAP has a longstanding collaboration with ANSTO scientists.

Xu provided an overview of the special role SINAP has in China through progress on the development, design and construction of the Generation IV reactor systems, the TMSR and MSR reactors, in meeting China’s energy needs.

SINAP is constructing TMSR-LF1, a 2MW test molten salt reactor in Western China.  It will be only the second molten salt reactor ever constructed, and the first since 1969.

The TMSR uses molten fluoride salts as a primary coolant at low pressure and thorium-uranium fuel. It incorporates online reprocessing of thorium for a fully closed nuclear fuel cycle.

CEO Adi Paterson welcomed the agreement as it was consistent with ANSTO and Australia’s interest in and support of Generation IV reactor systems, in particular, the MSR and TSMR systems. Dr Paterson introduced SINAP members to the Innovation Precinct, which is under development at ANSTO.

Presenters from SINAP included Dr Hefei Huang, Head, Division of Nuclear Materials Science;  Dr Yu Gong: Head, Division of Radiochemistry;  Dr Guiming Liu, Chief Engineer, Reactor Physics and Dr Xingtai Zhou, Chief Engineer Reactor Physics and Engineering.

ANSTO presenters include Dr Ondrej Muransky, Research Group Lead (Materials) and Gerry Triani, Technical Director ANSTO Synroc.

Senior Advisor Dr Richard Garrett coordinated all arrangements for the MOU and bilateral meeting.

Dr Xu and his associated also attended a meeting of the Generation IV International Forum while in Australia. Prof Lyndon Edwards of ANSTO represents Australia on this forum.