Press Release

Zachry Nuclear Engineering awarded Natura Resources Molten Salt Reactor Project

Posted: August 10, 2023

Zachry Nuclear Engineering (ZNE) has been awarded an Engineering Services Agreement for the completion of the Detailed Design Engineering (DDE) of Natura Resources’ first Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) system. ZNE will be responsible for the review and finalization of the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) report in addition to detailed design services supporting the eventual approval of the design by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for construction. This Natura Resources MSR design will be deployed at Abilene Christian University (ACU) as a university research reactor. ACU currently has a construction permit application under review with the NRC for this proposed system and completed construction in July on its Science and Engineering Research Center (SERC), which is intended to house, among other things, the aforementioned research reactor. The agreement also provides terms under which Zachry may execute the EPC phase of the project.

Natura Resources’ MSR design is on track to be one of the first advanced reactors licensed by the NRC and deployed for operation in the United States. This initial system will serve as a catalyst for Natura’s deployment of larger MSRs for commercial applications. Natura intends to deploy MSRs that are factory-built modular construction and fully walk-away safe. These reactors will produce firm, carbon-free energy with significantly less waste than conventional reactors due to the utilization of liquid fuel. Ultimately, Natura Resources’ line of MSRs will create safe, clean, on-demand energy that can produce carbon-free electricity, provide both electrical and thermal energy to support a range of applications that require high-temperature steam or process heat, such as water desalination and chemical/material production, and produce life-saving medical isotopes, all at a competitive price.

Quote from John Zachry, Chairman and CEO, Zachry Group:

“We are excited to embark on this journey with Natura and support the advancement of the nuclear industry, an industry where we have a rich history. This significant opportunity allows us to play a crucial role in accelerating decarbonization efforts. It will allow us to leverage our nuclear engineering expertise and apply our construction-driven mindset to an exciting new technology that can lead us to a more sustainable future.”

Quote from Douglass Robison, Founder and President, Natura Resources:

“Natura Resources is excited to partner with Zachry Nuclear for the detailed design engineering of our first Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) system. In just over three years Natura Resources and our four university partners have quickly become one of the leading advanced reactor projects in the country. Collaborating with Zachry, a company that will soon celebrate 100 years of engineering excellence, creates a one-of-a-kind working relationship that will further enhance this industry-leading project. We believe Zachry’s track record of excellence in both engineering and construction is going to make them a great addition to our team and are going to help move our MSR project across the finish line as we seek to be one of the first advanced reactor systems to be licensed and built in the U.S.”

About Zachry Group

Zachry Group is North America’s pacesetter in turnkey engineering, construction, maintenance, turnaround and fabrication services to the energy, chemicals, power, manufacturing and industrial sectors. We work with customers to plan, build, and renew their most critical facilities, so they can achieve their immediate and long-term goals, all at the highest safety standards. Since 1924, we have been a purpose-driven organization, united by a shared set of values and the desire to deliver the very best outcome for our customers. Visit for more information.

About Natura Resources

Natura Resources is an advanced reactor developer located in Abilene, Texas, committed to answering the world’s increased demand for reliable energy, medical isotopes, and clean water by developing commercially deployable molten salt reactors. To support this vision, Natura brought together Abilene Christian University, Texas A&M University, the University of Texas at Austin, and the Georgia Institute of Technology to form the Natura Resources Research Alliance. This revolutionary partnership between an advanced reactor developer and a team of universities has helped put Natura Resources at the forefront of MSR deployment. Visit for more information.

Zachry Group Contact:

Laura Goudge