US and Canadian Regulators Complete Joint Technical Review of IMSR

OAKVILLE, Ontario and CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Terrestrial Energy announced today that the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have completed a first joint technical review of Terrestrial Energy’s Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR), a Generation IV reactor system.

The agencies conducted the IMSR technical review as part a cross-border regulatory program established in August 2019 by a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between the CNSC and the NRC. This expands on a 2017 cooperative agreement between the agencies to review activities associated with advanced reactor and SMR technologies. It also strengthens the agencies’ commitment to share best practices and experiences through joint reviews of advanced reactor and SMR technology designs. The MOC’s collaborative technical reviews aim to increase regulatory effectiveness as well as reaffirm the agencies’ commitment to safety and security.

As part of the MOC, the agencies undertook a joint review of Terrestrial Energy’s Postulated Initiating Events (PIE) analysis and methodology for the IMSR. This work is foundational for further regulatory safety reviews and supports Terrestrial Energy’s regulatory program to prepare license applications required to operate IMSR plants in Canada and the United States.  

“The completion of the joint review is an important step in supporting Terrestrial Energy’s technology and regulatory programs. It is also clear evidence that international regulatory harmonization is possible. Reviews by independent national regulators provide confidence and credibility to the technologies involved as well as build momentum for global rollout,” said Michael Binder, former President of the CNSC.

“The joint review of the Terrestrial Energy IMSR represents a milestone in efforts of the CNSC and NRC to reduce regulatory duplication and is an important step in harmonizing the regulatory reviews of the two regulators. This is a very positive step for the advanced reactor community and efforts to deploy a new generation of nuclear facilities in North America,” said Jeff Merrifield, former NRC Commissioner.

“Careful and purposeful pre-licensing engagement is essential preparation that precedes the submission of licence applications. This review by the Canadian and U.S. regulators is a joint examination of the fundamentals of IMSR safety and is a cornerstone technical nuclear safety review that builds further confidence in IMSR technology and supports our national regulatory programs. Completing this joint review is an important step forward in the commercialization of the IMSR and paves the way for further cross-border collaboration,” said Simon Irish, CEO of Terrestrial Energy.

About Terrestrial Energy

Terrestrial Energy is developing for near-term commercial operation a zero-emissions cogeneration plant for global industry using its proprietary Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) fission technology in an innovative, small and modular plant design. The IMSR is a non-Light Water Reactor of the Generation IV class that operates at the high temperature required for broad industrial relevance with transformative economic potential. The IMSR plant is capable of grid-based electric power generation and industrial cogeneration in many energy-intensive industries, including petrochemical and chemical synthesis for hydrogen and ammonia production. The IMSR plant offers a near 50 percent improvement in efficiency of electric power generation compared to Light Water Reactor nuclear plants. Its industrial cogeneration capability delivers to today’s markets industrial competitiveness, security of energy, and zero-emissions industrial production. The IMSR plant’s use of existing industrial materials, components, and fuels supports its near-term deployment, setting the stage for a rapid global decarbonization of the primary energy system.


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