The Simplicity of the Gas Turbine and the Helium Reactor Provide the Next Great Step in Nuclear Power
The GT-MHR power plant is essentially contained in two interconnected pressure vessels enclosed within a below-ground concrete containment structure. One vessel contains the reactor system and is based on the MHR, which was developed as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Modular High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor program.
The second vessel contains the power conversion system. The turbo-machine consists of a generator, turbine, and two compressor sections mounted on a single shaft rotating on magnetic bearings. The active magnetic bearings control shaft stability while eliminating the need for lubricants within the primary system. The vessel also contains three compact heat exchangers. The most important of these is a 95% effective recuperator, which recovers turbine exhaust heat and boosts plant efficiency from 34% to 48%.