Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) technologies are currently drawing great attention from both the public and private sectors worldwide for various nuclear applications. At the international level, the primary focus is on reactor technology, with some emphasis given to safety and licensing. However, the importance of the chemistry of fuel cycles in MSR development and deployment has been recognized by experts in the field.
In response to these challenges, the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) jointly organized an international workshop on fuel cycles for MSR technologies in Vienna, Austria, from October 2-6, 2023. Over 40 participants from 13 countries and the European Commission attended this event, including developers of MSRs, research organizations, regulators, and industry experts.
The workshop’s program included several technical sessions on MSR concepts and nuclear fuel cycles, salt preparation, online and offline processing, and cross-cutting issues. Each session involved technical presentations followed by a “thoughts from the floor” session to address topics not covered by presentations and a panel discussion involving all presenters. During working sessions, participants engaged in further discussion and collaborated to identify gaps in experimental underpinning, irradiations monitoring operation irradiated fuel treatment (material waste streams). The participants also discussed potential ways to address these issues and made recommendations for future activities.
Overall, this event highlighted the growing global interest in molten salt technologies while emphasizing the value that international cooperation can bring to scientists