Due to its high operating temperature (up to 850°C with present technologies, possibly higher in the longer term), and its power range (a few hundred MW), the modular HTR could address a larger scope of industrial process heat needs than other present nuclear systems. Even if HTR can contribute to competitive electricity generation, this potential for industrial heat applications is the main incentive for developing this type of reactor, as it could open to nuclear energy a large non-electricity market. However several issues must be addressed and solved successfully for HTR to actually enter the market of industrial process heat: 1) as an absolute prerequisite, to develop a strategic alliance of nuclear industry and R&D with process heat user industries. 2) to solve some key technical issues, as for instance the design of a reactor and of a coupling system flexible enough to reconcile a single reactor design with multiple applications and versatile requirements for the heat source, and the development of special adaptations of the application processes or even of new processes to fit with the assets and constraints of HTR heat supply, 3) to solve critical industrial issues such as economic competitiveness, availability and 4) to address the licensing issues raised by the conjunction of nuclear and industrial risks. In line with IAEA initiatives for supporting non-electric applications of nuclear energy and with the orientations of the SET-Plan of the European Commission, the (European) HTR Technology Network (HTR-TN) proposes a new project, together with industrial process heat user partners, to provide a first impetus to the strategic alliance between nuclear and non-nuclear industries. End user requirements will be expressed systematically on the basis of inputs from industrial partners on various types of process heat applications. These requirements will be confronted with the capabilities of the HTR heat source, in order to point out possible discrepancies and issues, to assess the feasibility of different coupling schemes and to identify development needs. Partners from nuclear regulatory organisations will also address the feasibility of licensing such coupling schemes. The issues they will raise will be taken into consideration for defining coupling design bases and identifying R&D needs. A detailed roadmap for designing an industrial demonstrator of a HTR coupled with process heat applications will be inferred from this analysis, as well as R&D actions required for supporting the development of the reactor, of the coupling system and of possible adaptations or innovations in industrial processes.
A New Impetus for Developing Industrial Process Heat Applications of HTR in Europe
Hittner, D, de Groot, S, Griffay, G, Yvon, P, Pienkowski, L, Ruer, J, Angulo, C, & Iaquaniello, G. "A New Impetus for Developing Industrial Process Heat Applications of HTR in Europe." Proceedings of the Fourth International Topical Meeting on High Temperature Reactor Technology. Fourth International Topical Meeting on High Temperature Reactor Technology, Volume 2. Washington, DC, USA. September 28–October 1, 2008. pp. 435-443. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/HTR2008-58259
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