Moltex Energy has participated in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Department of Safeguards’ Member State Support Programme (MSSP) to ensure international safeguards requirements are incorporated early in the design of Moltex’s Stable Salt Reactor – Wasteburner (SSR-W) and WAste To Stable Salt (WATSS) fuel recycling facility.
“We appreciate the opportunity to participate in the MSSP to ensure our designs meet the highest standards of safety and safeguards,” said Rory O’Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer, Moltex Energy Canada Inc.
“This is a voluntary step that demonstrates our commitment to transparency in the design of our reactor technology. We want everyone to know that Moltex reactors are a safe, reliable and effective way of producing clean energy, while supporting Canada in meeting its international obligations.”
Moltex’s participation in the MSSP project is under the auspices of the Canadian Safeguards Support Program (CSSP) for the IAEA Department of Safeguards.
The CSSP is managed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to support nuclear safeguards implementation in Canada. Seven IAEA Member States with Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) under development, such as Moltex, currently participate in this project, which the IAEA initiated in 2018.
“By working with the IAEA at an early stage in reactor design, safeguards considerations can be embedded into the design of these reactors,” said Jeremy Whitlock, Section Head, Concepts and Approaches, Department of Safeguards, IAEA, in a 2021 article on the IAEA’s website.
“This way, nuclear verification can be performed in the most effective and efficient way with minimal burden on the operator.”
The IAEA is an independent organization within the United Nations system that works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.
Through the application of nuclear safeguards, the IAEA provides independent verification that States are meeting their obligations under the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to use nuclear material for peaceful purposes only.
The CNSC is an independent federal government agency that regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials in Canada to protect health, safety, security and the environment.
It is also responsible for implementing Canada’s international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy and disseminating objective technical and regulatory information to the public.
In May 2021, Moltex completed Phase 1 of the CNSC Pre-Licensing Vendor Design Review (VDR) for Moltex’s 300 MW SSR-W.
The VDR is an optional service to verify the acceptability of a nuclear reactor design with respect to Canadian nuclear regulatory requirements and expectations, as well as Canadian codes and standards.
Moltex’s SSR-W is a molten salt reactor that uses nuclear waste as fuel. Its WATSS facility is where nuclear waste is recycled to create fuel suitable for the SSR-W.
In tandem, these technologies can significantly reduce the volume and radioactivity of nuclear waste across Canada and around the world, while providing carbon-free energy to help stop climate change.