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Energy Department Completes Salt Coolant Material Transfer to Czech Republic for Advanced Reactor Research

May 20, 2013 - 12:52pm

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PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC — The U.S. Department of Energy recently joined with the U.S. Embassy in Prague and the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Industry and Trade to complete the transfer of 75 kilograms of fluoride salt from the Department’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to the Czech Nuclear Research Institute Řež for experiments at Řež’s critical test facility.  This partnership builds on a strong history of U.S.-Czech energy collaboration and follows President Obama’s speech in Prague in April 2009, where he laid out the importance of international civil nuclear cooperation for the safe, secure, and peaceful use of nuclear energy around the world. 

With this transfer, the United States and the Czech Republic are reaffirming their commitment to strengthen cooperation between U.S. and Czech universities and national laboratories, inspire the next generation of nuclear engineers and scientists, and advance nuclear energy technologies that can lead to economic growth and job creation in both countries. As part of this commitment, the two countries will share results from the salt coolant material testing by Řež and in other technical areas of mutual interest.  

“The United States is committed to working closely with the Czech Republic to advance our shared energy goals and to support the development of safe and secure nuclear energy resources,” said Acting Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman. “We have a long history of peaceful nuclear cooperation with the Czech Republic, as demonstrated by the recent conversion of the Řež reactor and subsequent removal of all remaining highly-enriched uranium from the Czech Republic this past April, and look forward to further strengthening this important partnership.”

Data resulting from the testing of this coolant material will be instrumental in advancing U.S. and Czech research and development on a new generation of more efficient, high temperature, and passively-safe reactors, such as liquid fluoride salt-cooled high temperature reactors. ORNL Director Thom Mason noted, “The experiments using the fluoride salt coolant in Řež’s critical test facility will provide valuable data that can verify our understanding of the physics and help strengthen analysis tools needed for conceptual design of advanced reactors that might utilize molten fluoride salt coolants.”

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