Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Sign In

Molten Salt Reactor


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        BNL Graphic concept of the association of salts with crystals


Overview of Molten Salt Reactor Technology Training Materials
The NRC contracted with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to develop and present a training course on molten-salt reactors (MSRs). The course provides background on various MSR concepts presently under development, including a history of earlier MSR projects, descriptions of conceptual designs, and expected technical and regulatory challenges. 

Molten Salts in Extreme Environments (MSEE) - providing a fundamental understanding of molten salt bulk and interfacial chemistry underpinning molten salt nuclear reactor technology
The center for Molten Salts in Extreme Environments (MSEE) is building a fundamental and predictive understanding of molten salt bulk and interfacial chemistry, including the effects of solutes and impurities on those properties. MSEE brings to bear a wide array of advanced experimental and computational tools and methods that enable unprecedented understanding of fluids and interfaces on the atomic scale. We complement our team's expertise in high temperature molten salts with new methods and tools that we have successfully applied in the related field of low-temperature molten salts (a.k.a., ionic liquids).

MSEE coordinates the efforts of three national labs (Brookhaven National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory) having unique expertise and capabilities in experimental and theoretical research on molten salts and ILs, interfacial structure and corrosion, radiation chemistry, and interactions with actinide fuels, with four principal investigators at three universities (University of Iowa, University of Notre Dame, and Stony Brook University) having key expertise in molecular modeling, radiation chemistry, synchrotron imaging methods, and ionic liquid research. Central to the efforts, MSEE benefits from unique capabilities at DOE synchrotron, neutron, nanoscience and nuclear facilities, with the overarching goal to transform our understanding of the fundamental basis of molten salt behavior and interactions using 21st century tools.

 MSEE Link

​Transatomic Power Corporation Passes the Torch
December 18, 2018
Like many companies who work with the GAIN initiative to transform the modern nuclear landscape, Transatomic Power Corporation (TAP) accepted the risks associated with being a "start-up."   The tremendous technical work and social awareness that TAP contributed to the advanced nuclear industry should not be diminished.  It is clear that they were motivated in large part by the desire to make the world a cleaner, safer place through the development of their reactor concept. The hope of the GAIN initiative and TAP is that this fundamental work will continue to support the rapidly evolving nuclear community.  This is reflected in the TAP decision to open source their technology for all to use as announced by Leslie Dewan (TAP CEO) in the statement below.  The GAIN initiative is pleased to have the privilege of facilitating access to the TAP legacy in support of this ideal.

What follows are statements from Leslie Dewan and links to the TAP legacy documents available through GitHub.  

"Transatomic is extremely grateful to the GAIN initiative for supporting our technology development and the growth of the advanced reactor sector as a whole. Via GAIN, we’ve worked with the Oak Ridge National Lab to validate our reactor’s neutronics and fuel cycle performance, and with the Argonne National Lab to gather material property data for our fuel salt. One of the things we like best about our work with GAIN is that, once a project is completed, the results are openly published so that everyone in the advanced reactor community can learn from the research.

We saw firsthand the benefits of GAIN's collaborative and inclusive attitude – in a new and rapidly-developing sector like advanced reactor design, everyone wins when we can pool resources and share knowledge. Ultimately, GAIN inspired us to put our reactor design in the public domain, making it available for any researchers – private, public, or non-profit – who want to continue the work we've started.

It will take all of us working together to build a robust advanced nuclear sector and make better sources of carbon-free electricity." ~ Leslie Dewan, TransAtomic Power Corporation

Transatomic Final Post

Molten Salt Reactor Training Materials
November 7-8, 2017

The MSR presentations are available at The overall package number is ML17331B100, and the specific modules are listed in the following table. Click on the NRC Accession Number to go directly to the presentation.  View the MSR Training Modules here

Molten Salt Reactor Technology Information
The interim MSR Technology Information List provides access to the first set of cataloged MSR documents available on OSTI. By downloading the Excel spreadsheet, you will have access to individual links to each legacy file. The file will be updated periodically as we work through the continuing catalog process with OSTI.  Please direct questions through

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Published on Oct 4, 2017
Video shows a demonstration of replacing the major components of a molten salt reactor mock-up built by ORNL in the late 1950s - early 1960s using remote handling technology.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Published on Oct 14, 2016
This film was produced in 1969 by Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the United States Atomic Energy Commission to inform the public regarding the history, technology, and milestonesof the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE). Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Molten Salt Reactor Experiment was designed to assess the viability of liquid fuel reactor technologies for use in commercial power generation. It operated from January 1965 through December 1969, logging more than 13,000 hours at full power during its four-year run. The MSRE was designated a nuclear historic landmark in 1994. 

Thanks to Y-12 for the collection, preservation and digitization of this and other historic films.