The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $1 million to the NGNP Industry Alliance Limited for a 50/50 cost shared contract (plus follow-on options) to continue business and economic analysis for using HTGR technologies and expanding the nuclear energy footprint from electricity production into the process heat and steam industry.
The HTGR can be deployed for numerous purposes including: highly efficient electric power generation; cogeneration of thermal energy and electricity at petrochemical and other processing facilities; and steam generation for oil sands recovery operations.
Don Halter, the Executive Director of the NGNP Industry Alliance said “We are very excited about continuing to work in partnership with the DOE on advanced energy opportunities while making a solid case for what we believe to be the nuclear technology for the future and a safe and clean energy option for generations to come.”
The NGNP Industry Alliance is an international consortium of firms aligned to promote the development of high temperature gas-cooled reactor technology (“HTGR”) and membership is growing. In 2012, The Alliance identified and selected the HTGR technology that fits industry needs and has implemented a plan to move forward. The Alliance is currently comprised of potential end users, owner operators and technology companies including: Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization (SRSCRO) and the Advanced Research Center (ARC), AREVA, ConocoPhillips, Dow Chemical, Entergy, Graftech International Ltd., Mersen, Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada, SGL Group, Technology Insights, Toyo Tanso Co. Ltd., and Westinghouse.
High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactor (HTGR) technology, built on a multi-decade development history, brings with it unique operating characteristics that provide a compelling case for its commercialization today including: a) substantially higher operating temperatures than light water reactors resulting in broader applications than just electricity production; b) unparalleled intrinsic safety ensuring no substantial releases even in worst case scenarios and enabling co-location with industrial processes; c) competitive economics with natural gas for the production of process heat in most regions of the world today; d) a modular design allowing very high levels of reliability; and e) a size equivalent to small gas turbine/steam turbine plant making it suitable for a wide range of applications and distributed energy generation.
SOURCE NGNP Industry Alliance
There is another HTGR under development that moves in an entirely unique direction - marrying fossil and nuclear energy in a single, highly efficient, power plant that relies on the inherent low capital cost structure of the Natural Gas Combined-cycle (NGCC) power plant. This hybrid-nuclear power plant is significantly more capable than a gas reactor alone because of the hybrid's inherent ability to easily operate as an Integrated Gasification Combined-cycle (IGCC) power plant fueled by coal and nuclear energy. IGCC plants can provide a wide variety transportation fuels and industrial chemicals created from coal.
Because the hybrid is fundamentally a variation on the NGCC power plant, the hybrid is much more competitive than an HTGR can ever hope to become.
Please see our website hybridpwr.com for more information.
Michael F. Keller
Hybrid Power Technologies LLC