The aim is to deploy the first Moltex SSR-W at the Point Lepreau nuclear reactor site before 2030. The agreement provides $5m of financial support to Moltex for its immediate development activities and Moltex will open its North America headquarters in Saint John and build its development team there.
"The Moltex SSR is a physically small, but grid scale power, modular reactor and is able to store energy at low cost, so can double or treble its output at peak demand times during the day. Most importantly, the SSR technology produces very low cost, clean energy and can reduce the cost of electricity to consumers while achieving low carbon targets."
-Stephen Haighton, CEO of Moltex Energy.
Just some weeks ago, Moltex was selected as a winner in the UK government's Advanced Modular Reactors competition and awarded a £300k contract by the UK government as part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy's Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) scheme. The funding will be used to develop a feasibility study for deploying the SSR in the UK, including a technical review, business case, and safety and environmental considerations. The scheme will explore options to ensure the UK has a secure, long-term energy supply that is reliable, affordable and clean, as well as providing opportunities for the UK economy and ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of the science, research and innovation in AMR technologies. The 2nd phase of the scheme, providing a share of up to £40m, is expected to be announced in early 2019.
"We are delighted to have received this contract from BEIS to participate in an 'apples to apples' comparison of the SSR technology. We firmly believe that the SSR is the way in which the UK can move away from fossil fuel power generation while lowering consumer bills. The world now needs a combination of intermittent wind and solar energy partnered with clean, very cheap and dispatchable nuclear energy – such as Moltex technology can deliver."
-Stephen Haighton, CEO of Moltex Energy.
The Moltex SSR technology has thus been competitively selected, and is being financially supported, by two expert, experienced government organisations as a particularly promising advanced nuclear technology deployable at grid scale (300 to 3000 MW).
The SSR is based on a simple globally patented breakthrough in reactor technology requiring only modest R&D. The SSR-Wasteburner version of the reactor is fuelled by the long lived radioactive waste from existing spent nuclear fuel, leaving a residual radioactive waste that is hazardous for only 300 years instead of 300,000 years. The SSR-Uranium/Thorium version is fuelled by enriched uranium, in which technology the UK is a world leader, and itself produces spent fuel which can be used to fuel the SSR-Wasteburner leaving a similarly short lived radioactive waste output.
The SSR technology is able to store grid scale energy so that the power plant can output peak power to the grid for several hours at 3x the reactor power at times of peak demand, effectively compensating for the intermittency of wind and solar power.
The projected cost of electricity of the SSR is under £35/MWhr when operating as baseload and £40/MWhr when operating as a peak demand plant – less than half the cost of competing Pressurised Water Reactors (which cannot economically operate as peak demand plants). Operating as a peak demand plant, the capital cost per kW of the SSR is similar to a modern gas powered plant but with far lower operating costs.
"As the costs of nuclear energy and of renewables converge to a level well below todays fossil fuel power costs, the era of burning coal and gas for electricity production will draw to a close." - Moltex Energy
Moltex sees an exciting future for global electricity generation with the cost of intermittent solar and wind energy continuing to fall while SSR technology provides “available on demand” power to complement the renewables.
Come meet Moltex and hear more about their technology and the latest at ThEC18 in Brussels!
Moltex at ThEC15 in Mumbai