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FIGES to Design New Generation Thorium-Fueled Molten Salt Nuclear Reactor with company resources

April 26, 2021

Taking a step forward in the new generation nuclear reactor research, FİGES has started the “Molten Salt Reactors Conceptual Design Development Project,” by committing its own resources. The company expects to complete the Thorium-fueled MSR design project in the medium term.

Having recently strengthened the company’s human resources in all branches of engineering, especially in the field of artificial intelligence, FİGES (abbr. Computer Simulation in Physics and Geometry) intends to increase the focus on the company’s nuclear technology studies, which was first started in 2017. The company has committed its own resources into the “Molten Salt Reactors Conceptual Design Development Project” in an attempt to take a step forward in the new generation nuclear reactor research.

Noting that various private/public enterprises, especially in the pioneering countries like EU-member states, the USA, China, and India, have already made significant investments in the Molten Salt Reactors (MSR), Dr. Tarık Öğüt, the Founder and Chairman of FİGES, said “Our goal is to develop the MSR conceptual design by using our national and domestic resources. In addition to generating electricity, the MSR technology can put Turkey’s thorium-rich resources into use and is capable of generating high-temperature heat energy and cheap hydrogen, as well as meeting the industrial and urban demand for the heat energy, and it can also generate the necessary resources to produce low-cost drinking water from sea water. We expect that the conceptual reactor design will have been achieved by the medium term.”

Expressing the company’s intention to focus on learning and developing the technology by committing its own resources in order to improve the MSR technology in Turkey, Tarık Öğüt alluded to FİGES’ participation in the EU-funded SAMOFAR project of 2019 as an active observer along with the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK), in which the company successfully delivered the heat exchanger design works of the MSR-type EVOL reactor with 3 thousand MW thermal power developed by the EU organizations. Öğüt, added that his company leads the transfer of technological information by maintaining close relationships with this consortium, which includes several prominent players in the nuclear technology (CEA CNRS, Areva, and EDF of France, PSI of Switzerland, TU-Delft of the Netherlands, CIRTEN of Italy, and EU Joint Research Centre).  

Cooperation for a pilot plant in the separation of rare earth elements

Mentioning the company’s studies in the separation and purification of the rare earth elements by using solvent extraction methods, Tarık Öğüt emphasized that they have provided the “rare earth elements, baryte, fluorite and thorium” separation pilot plant, which is in the foundation stage under the supervision of the Directorate General of Eti Mine Works of Turkey, with consultancy services in the licensing application process before the Nuclear Regulatory Authority. 

Noting that the company’s technical support and consultancy services in the maritime and automotive industry, as well as other sectors, have been continued with the same degree of determination, Öğüt said, “Our R&D projects in all these areas were conducted with the company’s resources. In the meantime, we have provided hundreds of new-grad engineers with professional training on R&D technologies through Build-Up Academy.” 

A brand of telescopic handling systems

Expressing that FIGES has recently founded MILMAST AŞ as a brand of telescopic handling systems, the national and domestic products completely designed and developed by FİGES with the company’s analysis and testing capabilities, Tarık Öğüt revealed that SSTEK, a publicly-owned corporation affiliated with the Department of Defense Industry, is a shareholder of MILMAST AŞ. Mr. Öğüt declared the company’s intention to conduct studies to develop national and domestic technologic/strategic systems in Turkey and to assume some kind of direct or indirect role in the development of such systems.

Emphasizing that each of these products is customized and developed according to customer specifications by using unique engineering calculations and optimization methods for each configuration and working condition, Mr. Öğüt said, “The most important variances from the similar products in the market are that these products are based on our 30-year advanced engineering experience and our ability in providing fast solutions with the integrated logistics support and offering fast, specialized engineering solutions to meet Turkey’s demand.”

Mentioning the company’s other ongoing project, the Additive Manufacturing System, Tarık Öğüt noted that this system, which is also known as the 3D printer technology, incorporates the laser metal sintering technology, which is directly involved with the manufacturing methods of the future generations.

Stating that the project is currently in the second prototype phase, Öğüt said, “This product will be extensively used in the defense, aviation, medical, and nuclear industries. Compared to the similar technologies around the world, it embodies multiple innovations like more advanced sub-unit mechanisms, air conditioning systems, and sensor systems. We are working on various patent protections. Our goal is to commercialize the project of additive manufacturing system in the near future and found an autonomous company to solely focus on this technology.”

Micro mobility production plant to be established in Bursa

Admitting that they have gained a better perspective on the importance of air, water, and soil quality during the pandemic, Tarık Öğüt announced the company’s objective to focus on developing the technology and products oriented at reducing the carbon emittance to protect the environment.

Promising to concentrate on the projects to reduce carbon dioxide emission and develop alternative fuel technologies in the future, Mr. Öğüt said, “Our national focus should be on catching up with the progress in the high-safety next-gen thorium-fueled nuclear reactors, which have already been started by most developed countries 10 years ago. It is necessary for our universities, our public institutions such as TÜBİTAK and TENMAK, as well as the private sector companies to join their forces to deliver in this regard.

Continuing to talk about the company’s works on micro mobility within the scope of the environmental protection, Mr. Öğüt said, “We are closely cooperating with other companies in this field. We are conducting the feasibility studies for building a plant in Bursa to start production in 2021.”

Domestic production bionic hand to minimize the impact of function loss

In addition, Tarık Öğüt underlined their intention to produce smart, myoelectric-controlled hand prosthesis which is developed to be used in the cases of function deficiency caused by an upper arm loss. Pointing out that this product is not being produced in Turkey, Mr. Öğüt said, “The supply of this product from abroad is expensive for people with disabilities. Our goal is to technologically develop this product beyond its global counterparts and deliver on this promise in Turkey with national and domestic resources. In addition to providing the user with hand control, the objective of this product is to convey the sense of touch and temperature for minimizing the impacts of function loss. Our R&D studies towards achieving the final bionic hand product are currently continuing at the third prototype phase.”

*Article by Hasan Kuş, Dünya Newsroom.