Molten salt reactor is one of the types of nuclear reactors. Molten salt reactors are a class of nuclear fission reactors. Molten salt reactors primarily use molten liquid fluoride salt at low pressure. Salt can be used as fuel as well as a coolant. Several types of molten salt reactors are used to meet the rising demand for electricity. The most prominent type of molten salt reactors is Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR). In this type of molten salt reactor, thorium and uranium is dissolved in fluoride salt for electricity production. Molten salt reactors do not carry the risk of explosion, while other nuclear reactors carry that risk. In an emergency event, salt can quickly solidify due to the presence of liquid and reduce the risk of open environment contamination. Molten salt reactors provide exceptional benefits such as improved safety, security, and highly efficient waste management.
In 2016, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) pioneered a collaborative molten salt reactor development platform. This collaborative platforms have active programs for commercializing molten salt reactors. The platform has the presence of around 17 member countries including the U.S., Canada, Russia, China, India, France, Denmark, and Norway.
Rise in global population has boosted the global demand for electricity. Increase in demand for electricity owing to the rise in usage of electronic devices and equipment across the globe is projected to fuel molten salt reactor market during the forecast period. Major concerns of molten salt reactors include the production of highly radioactive material tritium, which is extremely mobile. These factors are projected to hamper the molten salt reactor market during the forecast period.
Molten Salt Reactor Market: Segmentation
In terms of nuclear fuel type, the global molten salt reactor market can be divided into thorium, uranium, and plutonium. The thorium segment is expected to hold dominant share of the market during the forecast period. Availability of thorium is higher than other nuclear fuel types such as uranium. This is projected to fuel the molten salt reactor market in the next few years.
Based on end-use industry, the global molten salt reactor market can be classified into power & energy, oil & gas, shipping, and others. The power & energy segment is projected to constitute prominent share of the market during the forecast period. Molten salt reactors are widely utilized in the production of electricity and power. Growth in demand for power and electricity across the world is likely to fuel the demand for molten salt reactors in the next few years.
Molten Salt Reactor Market: Region-wise Outlook
Based on region, the global molten salt reactor market can be split into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. In terms of consumption, Asia Pacific is expected to account for prominent share of the global molten salt reactor market during the forecast period. The market in the region is anticipated to expand at a faster pace compared to that in other regions in the next few years. In 2017, China announced plans to develop more molten salt reactors by using molten salts as fuel. The Government of India is also working on its ‘Three Stage Nuclear Power Program.’ It is anticipated to develop several molten salt reactors during the forecast period. The market in North America and Europe is projected to expand at a moderate pace. The molten salt reactor market in Latin America and Middle East & Africa is projected to expand at a sluggish pace due to the lower requirement for electricity and power compared to that in other regions.
Molten Salt Reactor Market: Key Players
Several companies operate in the global molten salt reactor market. Prominent companies include Moltex Energy Ltd, ThorCon USA, Inc, Terrestrial Energy Inc, TRANSATOMIC, and Flibe Energy, Inc.
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