Developing safe, reliable sources of carbon-free energy will be the next decade’s greatest challenge for power producers in the U.S. Several U.S.-based companies are developing Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs), a type of advanced nuclear reactor, to help meet that energy challenge.

What are molten salt reactors?

Molten salt reactors produce high-temperature heat for efficient electricity production and for application in high-temperature industrial applications, including the production of hydrogen. Molten salt reactors are attractive because of their potential to operate at higher, more efficient temperatures for extended operational cycles. 

Molten salt reactors utilize low-pressure, high-temperature fluoride or chloride salts as liquid fuels and coolants. Molten salt reactors are different from most other advanced reactor concepts because of their ability to operate in a low-pressure environment, as well as at higher temperatures and for longer durations than other reactor types. Developers of this reactor offer increased safety, reduced proliferation risk, passive safety system features, and short-lived waste.

Molten salt reactors could play a significant role in closing the nuclear fuel cycle, increasing fuel utilization, and reducing long-lived waste products.

Readily apparent Safety

Due to the inherent characteristics of low-pressure, chemically-inert coolants and liquid fuel systems, molten salt reactors are easily coupled to passive safety systems that eliminate the need for many of the safety systems needed for other reactor types.

Molten salt reactors can be designed to be “walk away” safe and operate with low-pressure components and systems, which improve economic performance and enhance the safety of the reactor.


By employing molten salt reactors in an energy mix, a power producer is able to provide reliable energy to its customers while integrating with variable resources. Flexible-load following capabilities of molten salt reactors enable integration with intermittent renewable energy sources; moreover, the high-grade heat produced by molten salt reactors make thermal energy storage or integration with industrial processes possible and attractive during low electricity demand intervals.

Molten Salt Reactor Resources

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