Research

Fluoride salt-cooled high temperature reactors

Fluoride salt-cooled high temperature reactors (FHRs) under investigation at MIT offer a safer, potentially less expensive alternative to standard light water reactors. Since FHRs use a low-pressure coolant that does not boil off, and a robust ceramic fuel form that can withstand very high temperatures without leaking, they greatly reduce the risk of accidents and on-site releases of radioactivity. Made possible by recent advances in natural gas combined-cycle plants, FHRs can provide both baseload electricity and peak electricity via a topping cycle fueled either by natural gas or stored heat with incremental heat-to-electricity efficiencies higher than stand-alone natural gas plants. This makes FHRs an attractive new option for meeting the variable needs of a low-carbon world with improved economics.

FHRs deliver heat at 600 to 700°C that enables coupling to a Nuclear air-Brayton Combined Cycle (NACC) which can produce base-load and peak electricity. The NACC incremental heat-to-electricity efficiency is higher than in a stand-alone natural gas plant enabling these reactors to compete with natural gas.

Team

Researcher

Charles Forsberg Principal Research Scientist

Nuclear Science and Engineering

Research Team

Charles Forsberg Principal Research Scientist

Nuclear Science and Engineering

Lin-Wen Hu Director, Research and Services

Nuclear Reactor Lab