Small Modular Reactors
Small modular reactors (SMRs) are nuclear fission reactors that are smaller than conventional reactors. The term “small” in the context of SMRs refers to design power output.
Small modular reactors have a power output of less than 300 MWe. The term “modular” in the context of SMRs refers to its scalability and to the ability to fabricate major components of the nuclear steam supply system (NSSS) in a factory environment and then transported them to the site.
See also: www.nuclear-power.com
HTR-PM – A high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) design that uses helium as a coolant and graphite as a moderator. The HTR-PM is designed to be safe and reliable, with a capacity of up to 210 MW.
The Chinese HTR-PM (High Temperature Reactor – Pebble-bed Module) is a type of small modular reactor being developed by the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). Some of the characteristics of the HTR-PM include:
- Size and power output: The HTR-PM is designed to produce up to 210 MW of thermal power and 60 MW of electricity, which makes it suitable for small-scale power applications.
- Modular design: The HTR-PM has a modular design, which allows for flexible deployment and easy maintenance. The modular design also makes it possible to add or remove units as needed to meet changing energy demands.
- High-temperature operation: The HTR-PM operates at high temperatures (up to 750°C), which makes it suitable for a range of industrial applications, including hydrogen production, desalination, and process heat.
- Passive safety features: The HTR-PM incorporates several passive safety features, such as a natural cooling system and a pebble bed design that limits the release of radioactive material in the event of an accident.
- Fuel technology: The HTR-PM uses spherical fuel elements, known as pebbles, which contain thousands of coated fuel particles. The fuel particles are designed to withstand high temperatures and to be highly resistant to failure or damage, which makes them suitable for high-temperature operation.
- Low carbon emissions: The HTR-PM is designed to produce low levels of carbon emissions and to be a reliable and cost-effective source of low-carbon energy.
- International collaboration: The development of the HTR-PM has involved collaboration with international partners, including South Africa, the United States, and Germany.
The HTR-PM is currently being tested at a demonstration plant in Shidaowan, China, with plans to build additional units in the future. The technology has also generated interest in other countries, including South Africa, where plans are underway to build a similar pebble bed reactor.