Nuclear Techniques ›› 2020, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (5): 50603-050603.doi: 10.11889/j.0253-3219.2020.hjs.43.050603

• NUCLEAR ENERGY SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Conceptual design of Mars molten salt reactor

Shihe YU1,Qiang SUN1,Heng ZHAO1,Rui YAN1(),Yang ZOU1,Bing LAN2()   

  1. 1.Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201800, China
    2.Nuclear and Radiation Safety Center, Beijing 100082, China
  • Received:2019-07-22 Revised:2020-03-02 Online:2020-05-15 Published:2020-05-07
  • Contact: Rui YAN,Bing LAN;
  • About author:YU Shihe, male, born in 1984, graduated from Harbin Engineering University with a master’s degree in 2012, focusing on reactor physics
  • Supported by:
    Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA02010000);Thorium Uranium Fuel Cycle Characteristics and Key Problem Research Project(QYZDY-SSW-JSC016)

Abstract: Background

Mars exploration has recently become a mainstream trend in space research. The establishment of a Mars base is an inevitable choice for human to study and develop Mars. Compared with the solar energy storage system, the nuclear reactor as a Mars base energy system has significant advantages in terms of system mass, operational flexibility, and environmental robustness.


This study aims to propose core design scheme of Mars molten salt reactor (M2SR-1) and calculation model in aspects of reactor physics, critical safety and thermal.


The Monte Carlo N Particle Transport Code (MCNP) and Oak Ridge Isotope Generation and Depletion Code (ORIGEN) were employed to establish core physical calculation model. Calculation and analysis were performed in aspects of physical, safety, thermal and so on.


Computational results reveal that the scheme of M2SR-1 meets the requirement of 8-year-life under full power operation. Under different hypothesis falling environments, the effective multiplication factor of nuclear reactor is less than 0.98, satisfying the criticality safety requirements.


This study provides basic theoretical reference for the design of planet surface molten salt reactor.

Key words: Molten salt reactor, Thorium molten salt reactor nuclear energy system, Mars surface, Criticality safety

CLC Number: 

  • TL3