Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Chemical Engineering

Professor of Clean Energy Technologies



+44 (0)20 7594 1601c.markides Website




404ACE ExtensionSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Denbow, C and Le, Brun N and Dowell, NM and Shah, N and Markides, CN},
doi = {10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.122873},
journal = {Journal of Cleaner Production},
pages = {1--18},
title = {The potential impact of Molten Salt Reactors on the UK electricity grid},
url = {},
volume = {276},
year = {2020}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - The UK electricity grid is expected to supply a growing electricity demand and also to cope with electricity generation variability as the country pursues a low-carbon future. Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) could offer a solution to meet this demand thanks to their estimated low capital costs, low operational risk, and promise of reliably dispatchable low-carbon electricity. In the published literature, there is little emphasis placed on estimating or modelling the future impact of MSRs on electricity grids. Previous modelling efforts were limited to quantifying the value of renewable energy sources, energy storage and carbon capture technologies. To date, no study has assessed or modelled MSRs as a competing power generation source for meeting decarbonization targets. Given this gap, the main objective of this paper is to explore the cost benefits for policy makers, consumers, and investors when MSRs are deployed between 2020 and 2050 for electricity generation in the UK. This paper presents results from electricity systems optimization (ESO) modelling of the costs associated with the deployment of 1350 MWe MSRs, from 2025 onwards to 2050, and compares this against a UK grid with no MSR deployment. Results illustrate a minimum economic benefit of £1.25 billion for every reactor installed over this time period. Additionally, an investment benefit occurs for a fleet of these reactors which have a combined net present value (NPV) of £22 billion in 2050 with a payback period of 23 years if electricity is sold competitively to consumers at a price of £60/MWh.
AU - Denbow,C
AU - Le,Brun N
AU - Dowell,NM
AU - Shah,N
AU - Markides,CN
DO - 10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.122873
EP - 18
PY - 2020///
SN - 0959-6526
SP - 1
TI - The potential impact of Molten Salt Reactors on the UK electricity grid
T2 - Journal of Cleaner Production
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 276
ER -