Modular High Temperature Reactor Finally Starting

The first of the two high-temperature gas-cooled pebble bed reactors of China’s HTR-PM reactor reached criticality. Two small reactors that will drive a single 210 MWe turbine. This uses nuclear fuel with twice the efficiency. The design burn-up will be 90GWd/tU, while the maximum fuel burn-up will not be in excess of 100GWd/tU. Normal new reactors are at about 50 gigawatts per day from a ton of Uranium.

Nextbigfuture has been covering the modular high-temperature reactors for 12 years. This new nuclear reactor technology took a long time to build. China usually builds nuclear reactors in 4-6 years.

The original completion date of the HTR-PM was supposed to be 2013. In 2010, the reactor site had been evaluated and approved. The procurement of long-lead components has already been started.

The HTR-PM has the advantages of inherent safety, a high equipment localization rate, modular design and adaptation to small and medium-sized power grids. It also has broad range of potential commercial applications, including power generation, cogeneration of heat and power, and high-temperature process heat applications.

They are planning to make 18 HTR-PM units are proposed for the Shidaowan site. Beyond HTR-PM, China proposes a scaled-up version called HTR-PM600, which sees one large turbine rated at 650 MWe driven by some six HTR-PM reactor units. Feasibility studies on HTR-PM600 deployment are under way for Sanmen, Zhejiang province; Ruijin, Jiangxi province; Xiapu and Wan’an, in Fujian province; and Bai’an, Guangdong province.

SOURCES- World Nuclear News
Written by Brian Wang,

10 thoughts on “Modular High Temperature Reactor Finally Starting”

  1. The HTR-PM has an evacuation area of “hundreds of meters” for a worst case scenario. That opens up a lot of siting possibilities. The 750C temperature makes it great for process heat as well as highly efficient next generation turbine designs.

    Here’s to hoping they demonstrate a robust cost reduction curve as they build them.

  2. I am pro-American. This is great news. If these reactors work out, it is good news for the whole world, not just China. Small, modular WORKING reactors in the real world (not just proposals or theoreticals) will be a kick-in-the-butt to get other nations going. Natural gas, wind energy, and solar will only get us so far. Fusion is still a couple of decades from significance. Let's see how economically these can be built going forward.

  3. Fission, small or otherwise, will remain a bit player for the foreseeable future.
    There are always easier and cheaper ways to get electrons onto the grid.

  4. Its not 90 gigawatts per day per ton of Uranium.  It is 90 gigawatt-days per ton.  Subtle to the non-science masses, but very, very real. 7.8×10¹⁵ joules per ton, or 7.8×10¹² joules per kilogram.  Better?  😉

    ⋅-⋅-⋅ Just saying, ⋅-⋅-⋅
    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅


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