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The potentials and features of High-Temperature Reactors (HTR) are making this concept a serious candidate for the IV generation of future nuclear power plants:

-Inherent safety: refractory coated fuel retaining fission products in severe accident conditions and incident mitigation by inherent passive features.

-Burning of plutonium: flexibility in fuel cycles via various fuel compositions based on uranium, thorium or plutonium with ultra high burn-up.

-Modularity: adaptation to the individual level of power at specific industrial sites.

-Industrial use: not only dedicated electricity generation with high efficiency steam and/or gas turbines but also high temperature process heat for chemical use and for decentralised combined heat and power generation.

Considerable active R&D on this concept is continued in the world. In Japan, a 30MW prototype reactor has started operation two years ago. In China a 10 MW test reactor has already reached first criticality. An industrial project on a 110MW(el) modular HTR with direct cycle gas turbine (PBMR) is under detailed design in South Africa. In Russia and USA, research focuses on the possibilities to burn military plutonium stocks (GT-MGR) in collaboration with other international partners. partners.

Additional information

Authors: VON LENSA W, Forschungszentrum Juelich, FZJ-ISR, Leo-Brandt-Strasse, (DE);GUIDEZ J, JRC-Institute for Advanced Materials, HFR unit, Petten (NL)
Bibliographic Reference: An oral report given at: CONE 9 Conference. Organised by: ASME, SFEN, JSME. Held in: Nice (FR), 8-12 April, 2001
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