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The Natrium™ Technology

345MWe reactor, with gigawatt-scale energy storage, available in the late 2020s, leading to faster, cost-effective decarbonization.

The Natrium technology will provide clean, flexible energy and stability for the grid.

Commercializing advanced nuclear technology is critical to solving the dual challenges of climate change and global energy poverty. The world needs more energy, not less, and it must be clean.

With a sodium fast reactor, integrated energy storage and flexible power production, the Natrium technology offers carbon-free energy at a competitive cost and is ready to integrate seamlessly into electric grids with high levels of renewables.

Natrium Technology by the numbers

345 MWe

Sodium Fast Reactor

500 MWe

Gigawatt hour scale energy storage for 5.5+ hours

4x

More fuel efficient than light water reactors

80%

Less nuclear-grade concrete per MWe

The Natrium technology is a 345-megawatt sodium fast reactor coupled with a molten salt-based integrated energy storage system that will provide clean, flexible energy and stability for the grid. The system can boost power output to 500 megawatts for more than five and a half hours to serve peak demand.

Advanced Nuclear Technology

Generation IV non-light water reactors offer many advantages, including potentially better economics, improved fuel utilization, higher operating temperatures for industrial process heat applications and integrated energy storage systems, and the ability to close the fuel cycle. Sodium-cooled fast reactors have the highest technology readiness levels of any advanced non-light water reactor that enables the technology to be commercialized fast enough to have an impact on decarbonization.

The Natrium reactor builds on existing nuclear energy plant technology on a number of fronts. It offers safety enhancements, reduces even further the risk of weapons proliferation, minimizes waste production, uses uranium fuel more efficiently and lowers costs.

This reactor will be fully licensed by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) – the strongest nuclear safety regulator in the world. The NRC will regulate both the construction and operation of the Natrium reactor, and their process provides ample opportunity for public review and comment.

Natrium Reactor

Natrium Benefits

  • The Natrium plant is much smaller than most conventional nuclear plants that are around 1,000 megawatts in size. It is easier and faster to construct, and more cost effective for utility customers. The entire size of the nuclear island is approximately 16 acres. The overall site area is approximately 44 acres. When normalized to power rating, the Natrium system has a smaller footprint compared to other Generation IV reactors.
  • The Natrium technology enhances safety by building on existing reactors’ already strong track record of safe operations. Instead of water, the Natrium reactor uses sodium as its coolant. This liquid sodium has a significantly higher boiling point, 882 degrees Celsius, than water used to cool conventional reactors. In addition, the Natrium reactor operates at atmospheric pressure and at a temperature hundreds of degrees below the point at which the sodium coolant would boil. This greatly reduces the likelihood of a significant accident. The design also relies on natural forces, like gravity and hot air rising, to cool the reactor if an unexpected shutdown occurs. The smaller size, low pressure, and ability of our coolant to absorb high levels of heat both reduces the chances of an accident and reduces the scale of any potential accident.
  • The Natrium technology has been designed to reduce cost and shorten typical construction schedules. The key innovation relative to past reactors is the novel architecture, which separates and simplifies major structures. The Energy Island, which comprises most of the plant, can be constructed and operated without the need for special nuclear requirements or nuclear regulatory approval. In addition, the compact atmospheric pool reactor system with passive vessel cooling significantly reduces the amount of space and nuclear-grade concrete required. In fact, on a per MWe basis, it uses 80% less nuclear-grade concrete compared to today’s large reactors.
  • A Natrium plant is specifically designed to integrate into a grid with high levels of variable renewables. The energy storage system can be optimized for specific markets. The Natrium technology will use the high temperature heat from the reactor to power a molten salt storage system that can store tremendous amounts of energy, levels of magnitude larger than the energy stored in typical battery storage facilities. That energy can be used to power the grid at peak demand when the wind isn’t blowing, or the sun isn’t shining.
READY TO PROVIDE CARBON-FREE ENERGY IN THE LATE 2020s

With significant private investment behind it, the Natrium technology has unmatched financial credibility and an achievable funding strategy. As a result, the Natrium technology will be available in the late 2020s. With leaders and policymakers setting ambitious carbon-free energy targets, the Natrium technology is ready to help the world achieve a clean energy future.

Natrium power cycle and salt storage system