Inherently Safe Nuclear Power For The 21st Century
Today, most of the electricity consumed in the U.S. and the rest of the world is being generated by the burning of fossil fuels. Even larger quantities of fossil fuels are being burned to meet other demands imposed by the residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation sectors.
Yet there is a cleaner, more economical and much safer way to generate electricity. The Gas Turbine-Modular Helium Reactor (GT-MHR) is a new turbine generating system powered by a passively-safe nuclear reactor. It eliminates the need to make steam to produce electricity, and frees us from the pollution and waste of fossil-fuel generating plants. It could also strengthen our energy security and help to reduce our 700 billion dollar a year deficit for foreign oil.
Why It Works
By capitalizing on the 21st century technologies, the GT-MHR achieves high efficiency with a compact operating system and elegant simplicity. The gas turbine power cycle is far superior to the century-old steam plant technology employed in all other nuclear plant designs. The super-safe GT-MHR power plant includes one or more modular units in underground silos, each containing a reactor vessel and a power-production vessel.
Because helium is naturally inert and single-phase, the helium-cooled reactor can operate at much higher temperatures than today's conventional nuclear plants. The higher the turbine's operating temperature, the more efficient the plant becomes mandated by the laws of thermodynamics. To this is added the efficiency of the helium directly driving the turbine, instead of having to go through a large heat exchanger to produce steam.
What It Offers
The combination of the gas turbine and the modular helium reactor, the MHR and the gas turbine represents the ultimate in simplicity, safety, and economy. The reactor coolant directly drives the turbine which turns the generator. This allows costly and failure prone steam generating equipment to be eliminated.
- No corrosion-caused leaks
- No corrosion-caused reduction in operating life
- No stress corrosion-caused structural failures
The result is a simplified power cycle with very high efficiency and reliability, and low power cost. Thermal efficiencies are increased by 50% relative to conventional nuclear reactor plants. The GT-MHR:
- produces 50% less high-level waste per kWh of electricity than current reactors.
- produces no carbon emissions
- creates no acid rain
- generates a 100,000 times less waste volume than coal
- conserves limited natural resources
- ensures safety through the laws of nature