31 Oct - 03 Nov 2016

IAEA, Vienna, Austria

Technical Meeting on the Status of Molten Salt Reactor Technology


The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) Nuclear Power Technology Development Section fosters information exchange and collaborative research and development (R&D) in the area of advanced nuclear reactor technologies needed to meet increasing energy demands in the future. Currently the focus areas include (i) advanced water cooled reactors (WCRs); (ii) high temperature gas cooled reactors; and (iii) fast reactor systems. In addition to electricity production, the Section focuses on small and medium sized or modular reactors and non-electric applications related to seawater desalination, process heat and hydrogen production. The growing interest in a number of Member States in molten salt fuelled (and cooled) advanced reactor technology has been recognized.

Molten salt reactors (MSRs) have several benefits and include (somewhat dependent on the specific design, and relative to currently deployed WCRs): (i) higher operating temperatures leading to increased overall efficiencies; (ii) low coolant pressure; (iii) reduced volume and lifetime of high level waste; (iv) salient safety characteristics; (v) in the case of MSRs with molten fuel, elimination of technical challenges associated with solid fuel related to high burn-up effects; and (vi) flexibility of fuel cycles (uranium, plutonium, thorium). While the IAEA currently does not have focused activities on MSR technology, many countries have reported a growing number of development and near term deployment activities related to this type of reactor technology.

At a preparatory consultancy meeting held from 18 to 20 November 2015 in Vienna, Austria, information on the general technology status in the represented Member States was shared. Some technical research and technology development areas were identified where the IAEA may play a coordinating role. It was further recommended that the Nuclear Power Technology Development Section should pursue the organization of a larger, more representative Technical Meeting in 2016 to address some of the topics related to technology development. This will also provide more participants from more Member States with the opportunity to share their programmes and projects and shape possible future collaborative efforts under the IAEA’s auspices.

The purpose of the meeting is to exchange knowledge on the status of research, technological developments, reactor designs and operational experience in the area of molten salt fuelled and cooled advanced reactors.

This meeting aims to bring together all the important players and interested parties in the area of MSR technology development to present the status of their work and to explore the need for closer future collaboration among Member States within the framework of the IAEA. The meeting is also meant to initiate information exchange and sharing of experiences, with a view to:
1) Understanding the technology development challenges faced by current designers of MSRs; and
2) Facilitating a dialogue between interested Member States, the designers, researchers and technology holders to better understand each other's needs, requirements and capabilities.

Group Photo

Meeting Summary

Opening Session


Technical Session: Overview of MSR Technology and Activities in Member States



Poster Session:


Technical Session: Safety and Licensing

Technical Session: Safeguards

Technical Session: Overview of MSR Technology and Activities in Member States


Closing Session I: TECDOC and Proposals for Future Activities

Scientific Secretary

Mr Frederik Reitsma
Nuclear Power Technology Development Section
Division of Nuclear Power
IAEA Department of Nuclear Energy