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MARVEL Microreactor Prototype Preps for Testing

By District Energy posted 05-23-2023 15:10


An electric-powered prototype of one of the nation’s first microreactors has successfully been installed at a manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania and is gearing up for testing.

Measuring 12 feet tall and weighing 2,000 pounds, the non-nuclear prototype is a full-scale replica of the U.S. Department of Energy’s MARVEL microreactor.

MARVEL will be the first new test reactor at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in more than four decades and promises to advance research and development of microreactor designs.

MARVEL is a sodium-potassium-cooled microreactor that will generate 100 kilowatts of power.  

The microreactor technology is expected to begin operation at INL’s Transient Reactor Test Facility by the end of 2024. It will also be connected to the lab’s first nuclear microgrid.  

MARVEL will be used to develop regulatory approval processes, test microreactor applications, evaluate systems for remote monitoring, and develop autonomous control technologies.  

It will also explore and test microreactor capabilities for various electrical and non-electric applications, such as thermal storage, water purification, and district heating. 

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