Generates high-grade heat
In addition to electricity, IMSR® power plants supply high-grade heat (600°C) unlike conventional nuclear power plants that are limited to lower-grade heat (290°C), which is the direct and unavoidable consequence of using water as a coolant. Lower grade heat has limited industrial use and value.
The IMSR® method for delivering its heat has strong commercial advantages for industrial users. It delivers heat using a pipe loop to circulate inexpensive, hot molten industrial salt. Molten salts are excellent heat-transfer fluids and are already in industrial use today. As a result, IMSR®-supplied heat can be efficiently transported to industrial sites up to 5 km, or more than 3 miles, away from an IMSR® power plant. This allows IMSR® power plants to displace natural gas and heating oil across in a wide range of applications, such as chemical production (e.g. hydrogen and ammonia), chemical processing, and new applications such as clean synthetic transport fuels – energy intensive applications not served at all today by advances in current clean energy technologies.
IMSR® power plants are ideal not just for large-scale electric power generation, hydrogen production and desalination, but also for supplying heat to many other energy-intensive industries.
The clean energy partner for variable renewables
IMSR® power plants produce zero-emissions electric power and have impressive load-following capabilities, features prized by electric power utilities as they work to balance the variability of wind and solar power with demand loads. As a result, IMSR® power plants are the ideal clean-power partner for variable renewables.
Load following also increases grid resilience and stability and makes grid-scale energy storage unnecessary. It improves the operating and capital efficiency of the grid and supports the commercial value of wind and solar.
Flexible plant siting
An IMSR® power plant site has a small footprint: 7 hectares, or 17.3 acres, for a 195-megawatt power plant.
Conventional nuclear power plants already have the smallest land footprint per unit of energy of any power source due to nuclear’s immense energy density. IMSR® power plants improve on this advantage and allow for greater siting flexibility. This helps ensure that the natural beauty of the countryside is minimally impacted by industrial scale electric power generation.
IMSR® power plants can be sited in locations remote from grid connections, energy infrastructure, or natural bodies of water. IMSR® power plants have low water requirements. Although desirable, a water supply is not essential to IMSR® power plant operation.