US-based technical professional services provider Jacobs was selected by Moltex Energy to support the development of a new type of nuclear power plant, the Stable Salt Reactor.

Under the contract, Jacobs will be responsible to construct a experimental facility for thermal transfer testing at its Birchwood Park research and development facility in the UK.

The new Stable Salt Reactor is designed to generate low-cost power by burning processed spent fuel pellets.

As part of the contract, Jacobs’ chemistry, materials, engineering, instrumentation and modelling teams will collaborate to create a technically complex simulation to replicate the heat output of a fuel channel.

The company will also assist in validating computational fluid dynamics modelling of the thermal transfer across the fuel assemblies into the coolant.

At present, Moltex uses Jacobs’ ANSWERS software for radiation transport modelling and simulation of reactor performance.

Moltex secured more than $6m funding to develop the reactor

Jacobs Critical Mission Solutions International senior vice president Clive White said: “We’re looking forward to continuing our support for Moltex into this new phase of development as part of our strategy to be a solutions provider at the cutting edge of research into advanced reactors.

“The Stable Salt Reactor design is significant because of its potential to recycle waste in a clean, safe and economical way, generating electricity which will power communities while reducing carbon emissions.”

Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, a United States Department of Energy agency, has provided more than $6m in funding to Moltex to support the development of the reactor that is cooled using molten salt.

In May this year, Jacobs was selected by Radioactive Waste Management to study the release of radioactivity from irradiated graphite reactor cores sampled from reactor cores at the nuclear power stations in the UK.