The high-temperature gas-cooled reactor technology is the only nuclear technology capable of achieving coolant temperatures as high as 950 °C and at the same time ensuring safe and efficient production of both electricity and hydrogen. OKBM and GA started independent research in this area in the 1990s. In 1995, OKBM in cooperation with GA started development of the GT-MHR design which combines a safe modular reactor and a power conversion unit based on the high-efficiency Brayton cycle. The power conversion unit in the GT-MHR design has integral configuration, with vertical arrangement of the turbomachine consisting of a synchronous generator and a turbocompressor. Active electromagnetic bearings are used as supports. In order to select optimal technical solutions, the effect of the following factors on the design was considered: vertical or horizontal arrangement, submerged or remote generator with oil bearings, and different turbomachine rotor speeds. Application of electromagnetic bearings and diaphragm coupling between the rotors, integral arrangement of the turbomachine inside the power conversion system vessel, and use of helium as coolant required performance of comprehensive analyses and experiments. For this purpose, the helium turbomachine technology demonstration program was developed and is currently being implemented. This technology demonstration program aims at validating the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of such turbomachine components as electromagnetic and catcher bearings, control system, computer codes, generator, diaphragm coupling, turbocompressor, etc. At the concluding stage of the technology demonstration program, a full-scale turbocompressor model will be tested at a helium test facility. The present paper lists the main parameters of the GT-MHR turbomachine and describes the status of experimental validation of its components.

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