Among other fluids like water, sodium and gases, liquid salts score high in terms of heat transport and heat transfer properties (large heat capacity, high boiling point, good conductivity).
In the Generation IV programme built on behalf of the MSR (Molten Salt Reactors) Steering Committee, more attention is given to:
- Heat transport between a heat source and specific processes (hydrogen production,...);
- Liquid salts as efficient coolants for solid fuel reactors, in alternative to sodium and helium in fast or thermal reactors;
- Molten salts acting both as fuel and coolant in MSR concepts operated either as breeders in thorium cycle, or as actinide burners for LWR spent fuel recycling.
Liquid salts also present a generic interest as solvents in pyrochemical techniques. Molten salts were investigated in USA in the 60's and 70's in the frame of programmes dedicated to the development of MSR breeders. The ORNL considerable amount of results forms a reference set of data on liquid salts properties and behaviour.
The MOST project, supported by the Euratom 5th FWP, revisited the potential of MSR technology. Since the termination of the project in 2004, the collaborative effort conducted by the MOST partners has remained vivid. This network involves today 15 partners in 9 countries and includes Russia, therefore keeping a tight link with the ISTC-1606 project.
The ISTC-1606 training programme is provided to Russian experts by scientists belonging to the European network on molten salts. The main objective of the ALISIA action is to strengthen, within an official European framework, the existing network on molten salts technologies, and to prepare future activities in the 7th FWP.
Planned for 12 months, ALISIA will produce a review report making recommendations on the best adequate salts for applications in the context of innovative fission reactors. ALISIA is part, in the short term, of the Euratom contribution to Generation IV on the MSR system.
Fields of science
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Funding SchemeSSA - Specific Support Action