Concepts of nuclear reactors cooled with water at supercritical pressures were studied as early as the 1950s and 1960s in the USA and Russia. After a 40-year break, the idea of developing nuclear reactors cooled with SuperCritical Water (SCW) became attractive again as the ultimate development path for water cooling. The main objectives of using SCW in nuclear reactors are: 1) to increase the thermal efficiency of modern Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) from 30–35% to about 45–48%, and 2) to decrease capital and operational costs and hence decrease electrical energy costs. SCW NPPs will have much higher operating parameters compared to modern NPPs (pressure about 25 MPa and outlet temperature up to 625°C), and a simplified flow circuit, in which steam generators, steam dryers, steam separators, etc., can be eliminated. Also, higher SCW temperatures allow direct thermo-chemical production of hydrogen at low cost, due to increased reaction rates. To achieve higher thermal efficiency Nuclear Steam Reheat (NSR) has to be introduced inside a reactor. Currently, all supercritical turbines at thermal power plants have a steam-reheat option. In the 60’s and 70’s, Russia, the USA and some other countries have developed and implemented the nuclear steam reheat at subcritical-pressure experimental boiling reactors. There are some papers, mainly published in the open Russian literature, devoted to this important experience. Pressure-tube or pressure-channel SCW nuclear reactor concepts are being developed in Canada and Russia for some time. It is obvious that implementation of the nuclear steam reheat at subcritical pressures in pressure-tube reactors is easier task than that in pressure-vessel reactors. Some design features related to the NSR are discussed in this paper. The main conclusion is that the development of SCW pressure-tube nuclear reactors with the nuclear steam reheat is feasible and significant benefits can be expected over other thermal-energy systems.

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