Terrestrial Energy Inc. ("TEI" or the "Company") announces that it has entered into a Letter of Intent for services with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, based in Ontario, Canada. This arrangement includes research and development work that is required to bring the company's Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) to the engineering blueprint stage, expected in late 2016. nextbigfuture.com/2014/12/integral-molten-salt-reactor-targeting.html
The question I posted up at NBF:
"I'm sad they're not trying to breed the fuel. My (admittedly humanities-background fanboi) understanding of the fuel cycle is that when nukes breed up through the fuel cycle, some waste products can be sold off for various purposes (medical, industrial, other) and then after breeding all the energy out of the nuclear warheads and waste, the *final* waste product only has to be stored for 300 years. Avoiding the breeder pathway seems to lose centuries of potential energy from the fuel. What am I missing?"
I note that TEI is claiming to get 6x the energy from the mined uranium than a LWR does & 4x better than a CANDU. This suggests to me that although they would not be reaching break even breeding with the 1st design they are closer than either of the currently running power reactor designs.
They are aiming for something that is cheap & safe to get commercial MSRs going & if it takes a few design iterations to get break even breeding on top of cheap & safe, that is probably better than aiming for perfection & not getting anyone to buy.