- NUCLEAR FISSION
- A COMPLETELY CLOSED FUEL CYCLE
- SAFETY AND SECURITY
- DISPATCHABLE GENERATION
NAAREA’s XAMR® combines three major innovations that have been the focus of extensive research in the nuclear sector: molten salt, fast neutrons and small modular reactors (SMRs).
NAAREA opted to develop a nuclear reactor to take advantage of the exceptional energy density of the atom and its capacity for dispatchable power generation.
Based on exploitation of the strong nuclear force, the fission of heavy atoms releases extraordinary quantities of energy. One gram of uranium generates two million times more energy than the combustion one gram of petrol. This energy density allows for a much smaller material footprint (less land use) than any other energy source. Nuclear fission does not release greenhouse gases and the chain reaction can be adjusted to reduce or increase the power generated. To solve the energy trilemma, NAAREA looks to the future of nuclear energy that can now become sustainable thanks to major innovations.
A COMPLETELY CLOSED FUEL CYCLE
NAAREA is completely closing the fuel cycle and promoting the circular economy. NAAREA’s XAMR® is a fast neutron reactor that offers the advantage of producing electricity and heat from nuclear spent fuel.
NAAREA is developing an innovative microreactor concept that uses long-lived nuclear waste. Fast neutron reactors offer real advantages in terms of managing radioactive waste. The spent radioactive material stored in France will provide a reserve lasting for at least several hundred years. Without reprocessing, it will need to be stored underground until neutralized by time (over 10,000 years).
SAFETY AND SECURITY
The XAMR® will be deployed in compliance with the requirements imposed by safety authorities and will meet the highest security standards in effect.
NAAREA’s microreactor consists of a molten salt reactor operating at close to atmospheric pressure and salt-cooled, in which an inherently auto-regulated fission reaction takes place at a high temperature (around 700° C). The inherent dynamic of molten salt reactors is more favourable from a safety point of view than that of a solid fuel reactor. NAAREA’s small-sized molten salt microreactors use no water, which also excludes the risk of explosion. Lastly, the liquid state of the fuel allows for a quick response to power demand, and can be emptied if necessary in the event of an emergency shutdown. Together, these features give this technological solution a high passive safety profile, with a direct impact on the system’s design that boosts the competitiveness of NAAREA’s solution.
Molten salts offer exceptional advantages in terms of flexibility. They provide an optimal complement to renewable energies and industrial applications.
NAAREA’s XAMR® is a compact microreactor capable of producing several dozen megawatts.
By opting for small nuclear reactors, NAAREA is able to considerably reduce the land footprint of energy production systems, thereby limiting the impact on surrounding natural ecosystems. Their small size also allows them to be produced in series in a manufacturing plant. NAAREA’s production facility could produce the first microreactors by 2027 and increase production gradually over five years. NAAREA’s microreactors are also designed to be installed close to consumers to best meet their needs, thus enabling the decentralization of energy production. This enhances sovereignty by providing autonomy, offers an undeniable operational asset that promotes performance and resilience, and significantly contributes to the achievement of the goals for the energy transition and sustainable development.