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Nuclear Science and Engineering

Molten Salt Reactors

Non-Conventional Liquid Fuels

In recent years, there has been a resurgence in interest in molten salt reactors (MSR) as indicated by many reactor vendor startups and established companies pursuing the development and deployment of these non-traditional reactor technologies. These reactors use molten fluoride or chloride salt mixtures at low pressure as the primary coolant, fuel, or both. To support this interest, Argonne has enhanced its advanced reactor modeling and simulation tools to capture the unique characteristics of MSRs with flowing fuels, applied these tools and subject matter expertise to analyze designs from literature and industry to inform DOE, and have partnered with MSR companies to help with the design, licensing, and commercialization of these technologies. Recently developed capabilities include the ability to calculate the impact of delayed neutron precursor drift in thermal and fast MSRs, multi-physics solutions using both design and high-fidelity tools, and validated approaches for transient analysis.


  • B. Feng, T. Fei, D. Shaver, Y. Jung, J. Fang, R. Rahaman, C. Lee, M. Smith, and E. Shemon, Multiphysics Modeling of Precursors in Molten Salt Fast Reactors using PROTEUS and Nek5000,” PHYSOR 2020, Cambridge, UK, March 29 – April 2 (2020).
  • T. Fei, T. Hua, B. Feng, F. Heidet, and R. Hu, MSRE Transient Benchmarks using SAM,” PHYSOR 2020, Cambridge, UK, March 29 – April 2 (2020).
  • T. Fei, B. Feng and F. Heidet, Molten salt reactor core simulation with PROTEUS,” Annals of Nuclear Energy (2019).
  • B. Feng, F. Heidet, E. Hoffman, T.K. Kim, and T. Taiwo, Core and Fuel Cycle Performance of a Molten Salt Fast Reactor,” ICAPP 2019, Juan les Pins, France, May 12-15 (2019).
Delayed neutron precursor distributions (families 1, 4, and 6) in an MSR core calculated with PROTEUS-NODAL