This short but excellent book, published in 2012, mostly addresses its subject at a level useful to engineers, and presents mathematical analyses of heat transfer, thermo-hydrodynamics and neutronics in a graphite-moderated molten salt reactor, such as the Molten Salt Breeder Reactor (MSBR) designed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The book reflects at least two basic aims. One is to analyse the MSBR. The other is to explicate what the authors term “multi-physics modeling” (MPM) strategy, in the expectation that MPM will be used to analyse other MSRs, such as the Molten Salt Fast Reactor (MSFR). (Indeed, MPM studies of the MSFR have been recently published.)

The first chapter provides an excellent overview of molten salt reactor technology, including not only the thermal-spectrum MSBR, but also fast-spectrum breeder reactors, fast-spectrum incinerator reactors, and others. The extensive list of references is another great feature of this book.

Let’s see what the authors have to say about the Molten Salt Fast Reactor (MSFR):

“Based on the TMSR concept and on extensive parametric studies in which various core arrangements, reprocessing performances and fuel salt compositions were investigated, an innovative Th-U MSFR… has been recently proposed and is currently under development of the EVOL (Evaluation and Viability of Liquid Fuel Fast Reactor Systems) Euratom Project (Renault et al., 2010). The MSFR can operate with widely varying fuel composition. Thanks to this fuel composition flexibilty, this reactor may use, as initial fissile load, 233U or the transuranic (TRU) elements currently produced by PWRs in the world. In terms of the fuel cycle, two basic options have been mainly investigated, i.e.: the 233U-started MSFR and the TRU-started MSFR… Last, but not least, the level of deterministic safety reached in both starting modes is excellent since the feedback loops are negative. Further information on the Th-U MSFR can be found in (Renault et al., 2010).”

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