Studies are currently on-going on the cycle performance of Generation IV (Gen IV) Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) for the purpose of determining optimum operating conditions for efficiency and economic reasons. For Gas-cooled Fast Reactors (GFRs) and Very-High Temperature Reactors (VHTRs), the cycle layout is predominantly driven by the choice of components, the component configuration and the coolant. The purpose of this paper to present and review the cycles currently being considered — the Simple Cycle Recuperated (SCR) and the Intercooled Cycle Recuperated (ICR). In all cases, the cycles utilise helium as the coolant in a closed Brayton gas turbine configuration. Comparisons between the cycles are made for Design Point (DP) and Off-Design Point (ODP) analyses to emphasise the benefits and drawbacks of each cycle. The paper also talks about future trends which include higher Core Outlet Temperatures in excess of 1000 degrees Celsius and the proposal of a simplified cycle configuration which eliminates the need for the recuperator.

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