One of the six Generation IV nuclear reactor concepts is a SuperCritical Water-cooled nuclear Reactor (SCWR), which is currently under development. The main objectives for developing and utilizing SCWRs are to increase the thermal efficiency of Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs), to decrease electrical energy costs, and possibility for co-generation, including hydrogen generation. Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) and Research and Development Institute of Power Engineering (RDIPE or NIKIET in Russian abbreviations) are currently developing pressure-tube SCWR concepts. The targeted steam parameters at the reactor outlet are approximately 25 MPa and 625°C. This paper presents a survey on modern SuperCritical (SC) steam turbine technology and a study on potential steam cycles for the SCWR plants. The survey reveals that by the time the Gen IV SCWRs are market-ready, the required steam turbine technology will be well proven. Three potential steam cycles in an SCWR plant are presented: a dual-cycle with steam reheat, a direct cycle with steam reheat, and a direct cycle with a Moisture Separator and Reheater (MSR). System thermal-performance simulations have been performed to determine the overall cycle efficiency of the proposed cycles. The results show that the direct cycle with steam reheat has the highest efficiency. The direct cycle with MSR is an alternative option, which will simplify the reactor design at the penalty of a slightly lower cycle efficiency.

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