It is already 10 years since the (European) High Temperature Reactor Technology Network (HTR-TN) launched a program for development of HTR technology, which expanded through three successive Euratom framework programs, with many projects in line with the network strategy. Widely relying in the beginning on the legacy of the former European HTR developments (DRAGON, AVR, THTR, etc.) that it contributed to safeguard, this program led to advances in HTR/VHTR technologies and produced significant results, which can contribute to the international cooperation through Euratom involvement in the Generation IV International Forum (GIF). the main achievements of the European program, performed in complement to efforts made in several European countries and other GIF partners, are presented: they concern the validation of computer codes (reactor physics, as well as system transient analysis from normal operation to air ingress accident and fuel performance in normal and accident conditions), materials (metallic materials for vessel, direct cycle turbines and intermediate heat exchanger, graphite, etc.), component development, fuel manufacturing and irradiation behavior, and specific HTR waste management (fuel and graphite). Key experiments have been performed or are still ongoing, like irradiation of graphite and of fuel material (PYCASSO experiment), high burn-up fuel PIE, safety test and isotopic analysis, IHX mock-up thermohydraulic test in helium atmosphere, air ingress experiment for a block type core, etc. Now HTR-TN partners consider that it is time for Europe to go a step forward toward industrial demonstration. In line with the orientations of the “Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan)” recently issued by the European Commission that promotes a strategy for development of low-carbon energy technologies and mentions Generation IV nuclear systems as part of key technologies, HTR-TN proposes to launch a program for extending the contribution of nuclear energy to industrial process heat applications addressing (1) the development of a flexible HTR that can be coupled to many different process heat and cogeneration applications with very versatile requirements, (2) the development of coupling technologies for such coupling, (3) the possible adaptations of process heat applications required for nuclear coupling, and (4) the integration and optimization of the whole coupled system. As a preliminary step for this ambitious program, HTR-TN endeavors to create a strategic partnership between nuclear industry and R&D and process heat user industries.
HTR-TN Achievements and Prospects for Future Developments
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Hittner, D., Angulo, C., Basini, V., Bogusch, E., Breuil, E., Buckthorpe, D., Chauvet, V., Fütterer, M. A., van Heek, A., von Lensa, W., Verrier, D., and Yvon, P. (February 14, 2011). "HTR-TN Achievements and Prospects for Future Developments." ASME. J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. June 2011; 133(6): 064001. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4000799
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