Progress on the Design and Licensing of the Molten Salt Research Reactor
Scott Lab E141
201 W. 19th Avenue Columbus, OH 43210
Columbus, OH 43210
Seminar Speaker: Tyler Gates, Department of Nuclear Engineering, Texas A&M University
Abstract: Molten salt reactors provide new and exciting possibilities for the nuclear industry including high-temperature operation, online refueling, simplified medical isotope production, and improved load following capabilities. Despite this, no molten salt reactors have been built in the U.S. since the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE) in the 1960s. The Nuclear Energy eXperimental Testing Research Alliance (NEXTRA) is made up of Abilene Christian University, Texas A&M University, The University of Texas, and Georgia Tech and funded by Natura Resources. NEXTRA seeks to bring the molten salt technology developed by the MSRE into the 21st century by constructing a university research reactor on the ACU campus. The Molten Salt Research Reactor (MSRR) will serve as a testbed for molten salt related technologies and demonstrate the licensing and safe operation of a molten salt reactor on the road to commercialization of this technology. The MSRR design is currently under review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in pursuit of a construction license and future operating license with a target in-service date of late 2025. The facility which will house the MSRR is currently under construction and detailed engineering and design of the reactor is moving forward quickly.
Bio: Tyler Gates is a graduate researcher at Texas A&M University’s Advanced Energy Systems Laboratory. He received his Bachelor’s in Nuclear and Radiological Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2018 and his M.S. in Nuclear Engineering from Texas A&M in 2022. He has a wide range of experience related to nuclear thermal propulsion, isotope production, instrumentation and control systems, and human factors. His current research is focused on human factors and human machine interfaces for advanced reactors including micro and small-modular reactors, space reactors and university research reactors.