Although various HTGR projects have been under development around the world over the years, China’s HTGR project is currently the closest to commercial realisation. Construction work began on two demonstration HTGR units at Shidaowan, Shandong province, in late 2012, with Tsinghua University-CNECC joint venture Chinergy the main contractor for the nuclear island. The plant’s twin HTR-PM units will drive a single 210 MWe turbine. Eighteen further units are proposed for the site.
US-European MoU on table
Meanwhile, the US-based Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) Alliance and the European Nuclear Cogeneration Industrial Initiative (NC2I) are working on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that would pave the way for collaboration on development, demonstration and deployment of HTGR systems.
Both groups aim to enable commercialisation of HTGR technology, and say they are setting targets to build and demonstrate installations in energy-intensive industries over the next ten years. Following a three-day meeting between the two bodies, they have said that they are to work on an MoU covering areas including the development of a joint vision, business plan and roadmap, establishing an international licensing framework, and supporting joint research beneficial to worldwide commercialisation of their units.
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