Nuclear Cogeneration Industrial Initiative

NC2I

ABOUT NC2I


The nuclear cogeneration concept: providing heat and power to industrial applications

HTR 2018

NC2I MISSION
Contribute to clean and competitive energy beyond electricity by facilitating the deployment of nuclear cogeneration plants.

Although strong efforts have been made by the European industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, industrial cogeneration remains heavily dependent on fossil fuels and emits around 700 MtCO2 every year in Europe. The price of fossil fuels and their insecurity of supply, as well as carbon taxation, has put a considerable risk on the European industry, especially for the energy-intensive sectors exposed to fierce global competition.

Nuclear cogeneration is an innovative energy solution for decreasing CO2 emissions and securing the energy supply of European industries. It is part of the EU’s Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) as a key low-carbon technology:

“The first cogeneration reactors could also appear within the next decade as demonstration projects to test the technology for coupling with industrial processes” (COM (2009) 519).

NC2I targets all non-electric applications of nuclear energy for lower temperature applications such as seawater desalination or district heating; and higher temperature industrial applications such as chemicals production, oil refining, hydrogen production or advanced steelmaking. The latter require higher temperature output which can be provided by the High Temperature gas-cooled Reactor, or HTR.

Nuclear cogeneration worldwide

Low temperature nuclear cogeneration is a reality in several European countries, e.g. for district heating or paper industry in Slovakia, Hungary, Switzerland and Norway.

Several EU countries such as Poland and The Netherlands have expressed at ministerial level their support for further development of nuclear high temperature cogeneration. Poland, currently a heavy consumer of coal, is financing the national project HTRPL paving the way for the demonstration of HTR cogeneration in the country to decrease its CO2 emissions and to enhance its competitiveness. Europe has a forefront competency in HTR technology that it can transform into a global leadership, re-invigorating both its nuclear and energy-intensive industries.

HTR technology is subject to a worldwide interest. They were successfully proven in Germany, the UK and the US, and test reactors are currently operated in Japan and China. China is also building an HTR demo plant to be commissioned in the next years.

In the US, the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) programme targets an objective of licensing an HTR first-of-a-kind in the next decade. The NGNP Industry Alliance gathers industrial companies interested in the technology. In 2014, the NC2I and NGNP Alliance have established a transatlantic cooperation framework called GEMINI.

International collaboration

NC2I evolves in an international environment. The initiative collaborates and contributes to the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) Very-High-Temperature Reactor (VHTR) System (more information) and to the OECD-NEA Nuclear Innovation 2050 (NI2050), the Roadmap to a Carbon-free Energy Future (more information) .
GOVERNANCE


NC2I is one of the three SNETP pillars and it is not a legal entity. The NC2I Task Force is the executive body of NC2I. It consists of representatives from NC2I members.

CHAIRMAN VICE-CHAIRMEN NC2I is represented in the SNETP Governing board by Grzegorz Wrochna, and in the SNETP Executive Committee by Tomasz Jackowski (NCBJ).

RELATED DOCUMENTS
Download the "NC2I Business Group Terms of Reference" here.
MEMBERS


The NC2I Task Force is open to SNETP members only. To join the NC2I Task Force, please contact the SNETP Secretariat at: secretariat@snetp.eu

The founding members are presented below.

Framatome

Framatome is a major international player in the nuclear energy market recognized for its innovative solutions and value-added technologies for designing, building, maintaining, and advancing the global nuclear fleet. The company designs, manufactures, and installs components, fuel and instrumentation and control systems for nuclear power plants and offers a full range of reactor services.

AGH

AGH is the University of Science and Technology located in Cracow. It is one of the largest technical universities of Poland. The main faculties devoted to nuclear engineering and energy technology are the Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science and the Faculty of Energy and Fuels. They cover wide range of research fields including high energy physics and applied nuclear techniques to reactor physics.

CVR

The principal mission of the Research organisation Centrum vyzkumu Rez (CVR) is to perform applied R&D in energy and neutron physics as well as act as Czech Technical Safety Organisation (TSO). For this reason it operates two research reactors located in Rez (10 MW LWR-15 and zero power reactor LR-0) and 2 loops devoted to advanced reactors R&D (supercritical water and high temperature helium loop). CVR represents the Czech Republic in the Executive Committee of European Energy Research Alliance (EERA).

Fortum

Fortum's activities cover the generation, distribution and sales of electricity and heat. Fortum provides sustainable solutions that fulfill the needs for low emissions, resource-efficiency and energy security. Fortum's operations focus on the Nordic countries, Russia, Poland and Baltic Rim area.


JRC-Institute for Energy and Transport

The JRC-Institute for Energy and Transport provides scientific and technical support for the conception, development, implementation and monitoring of community policies related to energy. JRC-IET carries out research (laboratory and desk top) in the fields of clean and sustainable energies addressing both nuclear and non-nuclear domains.


NCBJ

NCBJ is one of the largest institute in Poland. NCBJ research includes nuclear and non-nuclear energy production, energy-related ecology, radiation protection, radioactive waste management, material sciences, nuclear methods of condensed matter physics and model for risk assessment for industrial and nuclear installations. The entre's strategic tasks involve supporting Polish nuclear power programme, conducting basic research in physics in collaboration with world leading laboratories and constructing high-tech devices for research, industry and medicine.

NRG

NRG is the nuclear centre of competence in the Netherlands. NRG develops knowledge, processes and products for safe applications of nuclear technology in energy, environment and health. This includes products, services and technologies for safe and economic operation of existing nuclear power plants and future sustainable nuclear energy systems.


Preussen Elektra

PreussenElektra GmbH operates nuclear energy plants which produce electricity. PreussenElektra GmbH was formerly known as E.ON Kernkraft GmbH and changed its name to PreussenElektra GmbH in July, 2016.


PROCHEM

PROCHEM is one of Poland's largest and most renowned engineering companies with operations both at home and abroad. PROCHEM provides a full range of services for investment projects from pre-investment activities to design, project management, project supervision, procurement and contracting. PROCHEM operates in three key sectors: industrial plants and installations, environmental protection and public buildings.
ROADMAP


High temperature applications

Key target for 2030: Commissioning in Europe the first High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) as heat source for industrial plant

Actions: Cooperate with EC & authorities in target countries to facilitate:
  • preparing an appropriate licensing framework
  • defining the most suitable technical options
  • selecting an appropriate site
  • developing a robust business model
  • building a team for the project & gather available expertise
  • developing international collaboration
Long term Targets:
  • Prepare technologies for extending the heat market for high temperature nuclear cogeneration (preheating, advanced heat network technology, VHTR) and evolutions of heat applications
  • Cooperate with other GEN IV systems (SFR, LFR, GFR, SCWR, MSR) and share HTGR experience to support their future use in cogeneration
Actions:

  • Cooperate with EC and interested countries to have research activities launched for progressing towards these objectives
  • Support such activities
Low temperature applications

Current status:
  • District heating, desalination, a few industrial applications
  • Coupling with existing LWR reactors,
    • so far, limited deployment,
    • but with very positive records,
    • already for a long time.
Objectives of NC2I:
  • Identifying conditions for larger deployment
  • Supporting initiatives that will facilitate the growth of low temperature nuclear cogeneration
    • in particular application to cogeneration of LWR SMRs and other types of SMRs with enhanced safety features
See also SNETP Deployment Strategy 2015.
PROJECTS


EUROPEAN PROJECTS

GEMINI+
www.gemini-initiative.com
The research and development activities performed in the GEMINI+ project aim to support the GEMINI Initiative. During 36 months, GEMINI+ partners will work together towards the demonstration of high temperature nuclear cogeneration with a High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR).

Launched in September 2017, this European Horizon 2020 project funded under the Euratom programme will provide a conceptual design of a high temperature nuclear cogeneration system that supplies process steam to industry, a licensing framework for this system and a business plan for a full scale demonstration.

NC2I-R
NC2I is currently supported by the NC2I-R (Research) European project which ends in September 2015. NC2I-R gathers more than twenty partners including technology developers, research institutions, utilities, safety organisations and engineering companies.

The strategic objective of NC2I-R is to structure the European public and private capabilities for preparing a nuclear cogeneration demonstrator programme. To this end, NC2I-R will:
  • Identify clearly the status of Europe’s public and private R&D infrastructures and competences.
  • Define the safety requirements to prepare for the future licensing process for a cogeneration demonstrator and limit the associated risk.
  • Define clear and consensual specifications for the demonstrator, ensuring its economic viability, its market fit, its future replicability and its safety, in particular for the coupling scheme, and limiting all construction project risks.
  • Managing the knowledge from past projects on HTR and nuclear cogeneration with a comprehensive experience feedback in order to identify potential points of attention and success factors.
  • Prepare a joint roadmap paving the way for today’s European R&D capacities towards the commissioning of the specified demonstrator and identify potential gaps.
  • Prepare for and organise the cooperation with non-European similar programmes to possibly share the demonstrator risk in line with the European interest and to secure EU’s leadership position in the global competition for HTR.
  • Prepare a smooth and inclusive governance for the future of NC2I, engaging all stakeholders including civil society.


EUROPAIRS
www.europairs.eu
NC2I has built on the EUROPAIRS project that ended in March 2011. The main goal of EUROPAIRS was the identification of possible operating windows for the combined system of an (V)HTR connected to industrial processes. To this end, market needs and technical requirements were identified as well as safety issues. The project also initiated a dialogue between the nuclear and heat-intensive industries (e.g. Air Liquide, Solvay, ArcelorMittal, Saipem, etc.), which established the starting point to activate the Business Group (see Governance section).

ARCHER
www.archer-project.eu
The purpose of the ARCHER project is to extend the state-of-the-art European (V)HTR technology basis, with generic technical effort in support of nuclear cogeneration demonstration. The partner consortium consists of representatives of conventional and nuclear industries, utilities, Technical Support Organisations, R&D institutes and universities. They jointly propose generic efforts on:
  • System integration assessment of a nuclear cogeneration unit coupled to industrial processes
  • Critical safety aspects of the primary and coupled system
  • Essential HTR fuel and fuel back end R&D
  • Coupling component development
  • High temperature material R&D
  • Nuclear cogeneration knowledge management, training and communication
The activities proposed are imbedded in the international framework via Generation IV International Forum (GIF), direct collaboration within the project with international partners (US, China, Japan, and the republic of Korea) and cooperation with IAEA and ISTC.

NATIONAL PROJECTS

SYNKOPE
www.tu-dresden.de (in German only)
As an example for German-based research in HTR technology, SYNKOPE is one of the two projects (with STAUB II) that have recently been initiated by the Institute of Power Engineering at the Technical University of Dresden. The project SYNKOPE, funded by the Saxonian regional government and supported by E.ON was launched in August 2012 for 2.5 years. The objective of SYNKOPE is to implement nuclear process heat in chemical processes for the refining of regional coal resources. Four institutions with the lead of TU Dresden cooperate in developing and optimising the necessary technology with respect to HTR safety, adaption of a suitable chemical process and regional infrastructure.

STAUB-II
www.tu-dresden.de
STAUB-II is the second project (with SYNKOPE) initiated by the Institute of Power Engineering at the Technical University of Dresden, Germany.The project, funded by the German Ministry of Economics and Technology, started in August 2012 for 3 years. STAUB-II is concerned with the nuclear safety of HTR systems, in particular with dust particle transport phenomena during Loss-of-Coolant-Accidents (LOCA). During the project, experiments are conducted on a newly built high-temperature helium test facility for the subsequent enhancement and validation of state-of-the-art particle simulations.

HTRPL
www.htrpl.agh.edu.pl (in Polish only)
This Polish project HTRPL works towards the Development of high temperature reactors for idustrial applications. It was launched in September 2012 for 2.5 years by the National Research and Development Center (NCBiR) in Poland in the framework of the strategic programme "Technologies that support the development of safe nuclear power". The HTRPL project is implemented by a consortium of research and industrial partners:
  • AGH University of Science and Technology, leader of the project
  • NCBJ, INS, GIG, IChPW, PS, UW, PSSE - universities and research institutions (including nuclear, fertiliser & coal processing R&D)
  • PROCHEM S.A. - engineering company
  • KGHM PM S.A. - energy intensive industry
  • TAURON PE S.A. - power plant operator (utility)
The main objective of HTRPL is to strengthen scientific and technical potential necessary in the implementation of a nuclear power programme in Poland. To this end, specific tasks have been identified:
  • Analysis of the prospects for implementation of HTR in Poland in the near future, including the design, construction and commissioning of the first installation as well as safety issues
  • Theoretical studies in physics and nuclear engineering of HTR
  • Development of guidelines for the technologies that are necessary for the efficient and safe coupling between nuclear and industrial installations.
PHD POSITIONS OPENING IN NEW REACTOR TECHNOLOGIES AT NCBJ

The National Center for Nuclear Research is inviting candidates for a 5-year doctoral studies in reactor physics within the framework of the project “New reactor concepts and safety analyses for the Polish Nuclear Energy Program” POWR.03.02.00-00.I005/17-02. The project will be devoted to the research in the new high temperature reactor technologies: HTGR – High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactor and DFR – Dual Fluid Reactor, which were indicated in the report of the Polish Ministry of Energy Committee for Deployment of High Temperature Reactors. The studies will cover all the aspects of these Generation IV reactors such as the design, the neutronics and reactor physics, the heat processes as well as the safety analyses.

More information here

_________________________________________________________________________________

HTR AT IAEA GENERAL CONFERENCE

During the side event of the 61st IAEA General Conference entitled „Nuclear High Temperature Heat for Industrial Processes”, that was held on 19 September 2017 in Vienna, several countries expressed their interest in deployment of this technology.

Experts from China, Japan, Poland and the United States presented HTR reactors that are under construction at the moment (China) and discussed future deployment options of this technology including Poland’s plans for introducing HTR in its industry).

Józef Sobolewski, Director of the Nuclear Energy Department at the Polish Ministry of Energy pointed out that HTR will provide heat for chemical plants that use over 5 million tons of natural gas or oil per year. He recalled that, like in many industrialized countries, the Polish heat market is dominated by fossil fuel at 100% and that this can be successfully changed by introduction of HTR technology. Grzegorz Wrochna from the National Centre for Nuclear Research in Poland presented various initiatives concentrating on the development of HTR technology. Donald Hoffman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Next Generation Nuclear Plant Industrial Alliance, discussed future plans concerning HTR in the US. Xing Yan of the Japanese Atomic Energy Agency underlined that their High-Temperature Test Reactor can deliver high-temperature heat to a wide range of industrial applications.

Mikhail Chudakov, Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy confirmed that the IAEA will support its Member States in development and deployment of HTR technology. During the discussion, several other countries mentioned their interest in HTR in applications like water desalination or powering small islands.

_________________________________________________________________________________

IAEA REPORT “INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS OF NUCLEAR ENERGY”

IAEA recently published another extensive report on various non-electric applications of nuclear reactors. The foreword reads:

“Nuclear energy can be used for various industrial applications, including: seawater desalination; hydrogen production; district heating and cooling; process heat for industries; the extraction of tertiary oil resources; process heat applications such as cogeneration; coal to liquids conversion; and assistance in the synthesis of chemical feedstock. Owing to steadily increasing global energy consumption, the finite availability of fossil fuels and an increased sensitivity to the environmental impacts of fossil fuel combustion, the demand for nuclear energy for industrial applications is expected to grow rapidly.”

This publication analyses industrial energy demand based on current practices and provides an overview of the use of nuclear energy for industrial systems and processes which have a strong demand for power generation and process heat and steam. It describes the technical concepts for combined nuclear–industrial complexes that are currently being pursued in various Member States, and it presents some of the concepts developed in the past. The publication explores the potential that nuclear energy could have in major industrial applications such as process steam for oil recovery and refineries, hydrogen generation, and steel and aluminium production applications, and presents a number of examples for nuclear concepts with such industrial applications.”

Among 12 examples of reactor designed for process heat, 11 use HTR technology.

IAEA Nuclear Energy Series No. NP-T-4.3, 2017.

_________________________________________________________________________________

GIF – IAEA INTERFACE MEETING

The Generation IV International Forum (GIF) and the IAEA meet annually to coordinate and streamline their nuclear R&D and other activities, to maximize synergies and to prioritise work for the next years. The most recent meeting took place on 26-27 March 2018 in Vienna. HTGR technology, industrial process heat applications and energy system integration are high on the list of both organisations.

Within GIF, the HTGR is called the Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR) because of its long-term goal to reach temperatures closer to 1000°C. GIF VHTR partners have built four common projects. The contributions originate from Europe, Switzerland, France, Japan, South Korea, USA and China with smaller elements from Canada and Australia. Europe is participating for more than 10 years with results from different EU member states, from Euratom H2020 and JRC projects. The cooperation is mature and productive, for instance in the development and qualification of HTGR fuel and structural materials for components which are both key to the safety performance of an HTGR.

As a most recent example, a significant number of deliverables from the GEMINI+ project (see p. 4) will be shared with related GIF projects and the GEMINI+ partners expect a return of similar value. The IAEA in collaboration with its member states performs Coordinated Research Projects (CRP), it organizes Technical Meetings (TM), maintains databases and produces comprehensive documents, so called TECDOCs. CRPs relevant to HTGR and more generically SMR were presented:

Ongoing
  • Modular High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor Safety Design
  • HTGRs applications for energy neutral sustainable comprehensive extraction and mineral products development (NEFW-NFCM)
  • HTGR Reactor Physics, Thermal-Hydraulics and Depletion Uncertainty Analysis
New
  • Development of Approaches, Methods and Criteria for Determining Technical Basis for EPZ for SMR Deployment (2018 – 2020)
  • Non Electrical Applications
  • Assessing Technical and Economic Aspects of Nuclear Hydrogen Production for Near-term Deployment.
The IAEA is also very active in the safeguarding of HTGR knowledge, e.g. for the "Nuclear Graphite Knowledge Base", which gathers information in particular from the German legacy program. The IAEA also organises Technical Meetings, for instance on:
  • Knowledge Preservation for Gas Cooled Reactor Technology and Experimental Facilities (12-14 Nov 2018)
  • Research and Technology Needs to Enable Increased Operating and Accident Temperatures for High Temperature Reactors
  • Safety of High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactors (Nov 2018) in cooperation with GIF
More generically on SMRs, a specific Technical Working Group (TWG) for SMR (2018 – 2021) was established to address challenges associated with the assessment of technology readiness and deployability of SMRs. The first meeting will be held on 23 - 26 April 2018 in Vienna. There is also a new large regional TC project for Europe on SMR (2018-2019). The field of Non-electric Applications and Hybrid Energy Systems is of particular interest for NC2I. Here as well, the IAEA organizes Technical Meetings on:
  • the deployment of non-electric applications using nuclear energy for climate change mitigation (16-18 April 2018)
  • Nuclear-Renewable Hybrid Energy Systems for Decarbonized Energy Production and Cogeneration (22-25 October 2018)
  • assessing the prospects for coupling non-electric applications to high temperature nuclear reactors, (19-21 November 2018)
Further studies include "Options to Enhance Energy Supply Security using Hybrid Energy Systems based on SMR" and a "Global Review of Integration of Renewable Generation in the Electricity Markets". The IAEA has recently published several comprehen-sive documents (TECDOCS) of interest for NC2I:
  • Improving the Understanding of Irradiation-Creep Behaviour in Nuclear Graphite
  • Role of Nuclear-Grade Graphite in Controlling Oxidation in Modular High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactors
  • Industrial Applications of Nuclear Energy
  • Opportunities for Cogeneration with Nuclear Energy
  • Hydrogen Production Using Nuclear Energy
  • Generic Guidance on Nuclear Cogeneration (under review)
  • Technology Roadmap for SMR Deployment (under review)
  • Deployment Indicators for Small Modular Reactors (under review)
  • New release of the Booklet “Advances in Small Modular Reactor Technology Developments” (2018)
Publications are available at https://www-pub.iaea.org/books t or simply by typing the document title in an internet search engine.

_________________________________________________________________________________

OECD NEA NUCLEAR INNOVATION 2050 ENTERS THE THIRD PHASE

NI2050 was launched in July 2015 by a high level meeting gathering representatives of Nuclear Energy Agency Member Countries and heads of major laboratories and research organisations.

Phase 1 aimed at collecting information on national nuclear R&D activities and budgets through a survey. Phase 2 was initiated in 2016, starting with focussed Experts Meetings aiming at defining priority areas for innovation in nuclear fission. Using the outcomes, the Advisory Panel further elaborated the NI2050 concepts and goals. Using a list of agreed criteria, a more refined list of priority topics was established. This list is not exhaustive and so NI2050 is an open process for incubation of further topics. 2017 was mainly dedicated to draft the so-called “NI2050 templates (standard format)” for each of these topics. These are “R&D vision docs/roadmaps” on what should be done to accelerate development and market deployment of innovative technologies for the given topics.

The HTR “template” is considered as rather concrete, taking profit from the Polish HTR programme. The OECD NEA could support this project by building an international framework around it, focusing on:
  • safety and licensing framework, i.e. for the coupling between the reactor and the heat user process
  • network of test facilities for R&D and qualification
  • knowledge management, etc.
Phase 3 started in January 2018. It will involve the other stakeholders of innovation (industry and the regulators/TSOs). The aim will be to develop a detailed Programme of Action: projects scope, interactions, timeline, infrastructure needs, etc.

_________________________________________________________________________________

GEMINI+ PROJECT KICKS OFF

The GEMINI+ project was officially launched on 27-28 September 2017 in Warsaw during a kickoff meeting that gathered more than 40 partners and stakeholders.

Coordinated by the Polish National Centre for Nuclear Research, GEMINI+ is a European-funded project under the Euratom Horizon 2020 programme. It aims to support the GEMINI Initiative, which is a transatlantic partnership between the European Nuclear Cogeneration Industrial Initiative (NC2I) and the American Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) Industrial Alliance. Since 2014, their main objective is to work with their respective governments to carry out the design and regulatory requirements for the development of the first commercial High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR). The two-day meeting was the occasion for the 26 partner organisations to meet and start planning the research activities that are planned during the project.

During 36 months, the GEMINI+ partners will provide a conceptual design of a high temperature nuclear cogeneration system that supplies process steam to industry, a licensing framework for this system and business plan for a full scale demonstration that would take place in Poland. The international partners (American, Japanese and South Korean) involved in the project will also contribute to selecting the best options for the GEMINI+ industrial system configuration and demonstration, whilst bringing long-term perspectives. GEMINI+ builds on the knowledge, experimental data and modelling tools acquired in the numerous European R&D projects carried out in the last 18 years, such as RAPHAEL, PUMA, EUROPAIRS, ARCHER and NC2I-R, dedicated to the development of HTGR technology. It also builds on the legacy of national programmes and on the inputs of international cooperation, such as the Generation IV international Forum (GIF).

For more information, visit the GEMINI+ website: http://www.gemini-initiative.com

_________________________________________________________________________________

MINISTRY OF ENERGY IN POLAND PUBLISHED HTR REPORT

HTR deployment is listed among priority projects in the Polish governmental document “Strategy for Responsible Development”. Recently, the Polish Ministry of Energy published a report addressing the possibility of applying HTR technology prepared by the Committee for Analysis and Preparation of Conditions for Deployment of High-Temperature Nuclear Reactors (the HTR Committee. The Committee was appointed to collect and analyse data on the demand of energy in the form of heat with a temperature above 250°C and to investigate a possibility to meet these energy needs with HTR reactors.

The HTR Committee reviewed available reactor technologies recognizing HTR as the best option taking into account the unique features of inherent safety that prevent core degradation as well as technological maturity and technical parameters optimal to the needs of the industry.

The main advantages of introducing HTR technology in Poland, listed by the Committee are as follows:
  • reduction of Polish needs of gas import from one supplier to the level covered by own extraction, Nordic gas pipeline and gas terminal
  • increasing the pool available for coal-based energy by reducing CO2 emissions predictable costs of the heat sources to the domestic industry
The Report of the Committee was accepted by the Minister of Energy and was published on their website here, taking note that an attempt to deploy HTGR reactors in Poland is possible. The Minister of Energy nominated the Department of Nuclear Energy together with deputy ministers to be responsible for the implementation programme.

_________________________________________________________________________________

CANADIAN INTEREST IN HTGR

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has entered into pre-licensing Vendor Design Reviews (VDR) for 10 small reactor designs using different technologies (gas, molten salt, PWR, liquid metals), going from micro-modules of less than 10 MWe to Small Modular Reactors of 300 MWe.

The main market target is for most of the vendors the supply of energy by micro-reactors to remote communities and mines located in the North of the country. The energy needed by these sites is presently provided at very high cost by oil, brought by road or air only during a short period of the year in summer, which explains the attractiveness of nuclear solutions, and especially of modular HTGRs that can be easily operated remotely thanks to their unique intrinsic safety design concept. No more than one or two micro-reactors would be sufficient for most of the sites.

Among the 10 proposed designs, 3 are micro-modular High Temperature Gas Reactors, from Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC), U-Battery and StarCore Nuclear. USNC, together with Terrestrial Energy Inc. (Molten Salt Reactor), the most prominent of the 10 vendors in the review process and already completed phase 1 of the VDR, which is presently under evaluation by CNSC. Phase 2 will start in summer 2018. The process is yet to start for the other HTGR vendors.

More information can be found at: http://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/reactors/power-plants/pre-licensing-vendor-design-review/index.cfm

_________________________________________________________________________________

U.S. NGNP INDUSTRY ALLIANCE COMPANIES FORM AMERICAN PRIME NUCLEAR COMPANIES (APNC)

In 2017, companies from NC2I’s U.S. counterpart, the NGNP Industry Alliance (NIA) established the American Prime Nuclear Companies (APNC) that encompasses the complete line of skills necessary for the design, licensing, construction, training and operation necessary for HTGR deployment anywhere in the world. APNC comprises of the following companies: Framatome, AECOM, ATKINS, EXCEL Nuclear Services, SGL Carbon and Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation

Donald Hoffman, CEO of EXCEL Nuclear Services and APNC President, says the following: “APNC offers a unique combination of nuclear vendor, architect engineer, operator and specialist nuclear companies. Our collective experience spans over 50 years of support to nuclear facilities around the globe. Although the initial reason for APNC’s formation was to provide support for what we hope is a growing HTGR market, our collective skills are valuable to any nuclear reactor type.”

_________________________________________________________________________________

X-ENERGY PLANS TO BUILD TRISO FUEL FACTORY

Centrus Energy Corp. (NYSE American: LEU), an experienced nuclear fuel technology company, has signed a services contract with X Energy, LLC (X-energy) to support the design of a facility to produce advanced nuclear fuel.

The contract builds upon a memorandum of understanding the companies signed in September 2017 to collaborate toward production of fuel for advanced nuclear reactors. Under the agreement, Centrus will provide X-energy, a pioneering reactor technology and fuel company, with technical expertise and resources to support conceptual design of a facility to produce X-energy’s uranium oxycarbide (UCO) tristructural isotropic (TRISO) fuel forms.

This effort includes nuclear criticality safety analysis, manufacturing equipment layout and infrastructure design, and conceptual development of fuel form transport packages. Centrus will also provide facility space to X-energy at Centrus’ Technology and Manufacturing Center in Oak Ridge, Tenn. TRISO fuel forms can meet the requirements for the X-energy Xe-100 high temperature gas cooled reactor, as well as for other advanced nuclear reactor technologies being developed around the world.



_________________________________________________________________________________

JAPANESE HTGR TECHNOLOGY PRESENTED IN VIENNA

On 31 October 2017, a seminar on “Prismatic High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) for its Development and Deployment” was held in Vienna organized by Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA). The seminar was opened by Yukitoshi Miura, Executive Director of JAEA. Kunitomi from JAEA delivered a keynote speech about prismatic features and their use in various industries. He also described the broad experience of JAEA gained by the development of the 30 MWth High Temperature Test Reactor HTTR. JAEA plans to restart HTTR next year pending regulator authorization. The HTTR is planned to be used for the demonstration of its passive safety features at high power and high temperature. It should also be coupled to a nearby hydrogen production facility based on the Sulfur-Iodine thermochemical process.

Grzegorz Wrochna from NCBJ presented the deployment plan of HTGR in Poland aiming at process steam supply for industry. Benefits from HTGR deployment for economy and society in Poland were shown.

Experts from the USA and the UK presented the deployment plan of prismatic HTGR and a Frederik Reitsma from the IAEA summarized their significant related activities. Specific advantages of prismatic HTGR were also discussed such as easy maintenance and low generation of graphite dust. The necessity to prepare safety standards was underlined.

_________________________________________________________________________________

BIANNUAL INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON HTR TECHNOLOGY GOES TO WARSAW

The next international conference focusing on High Temperature Reactors Technologies (HTR) and its applications will take place on 8-10 October 2018 in Warsaw, Poland. The conference should mark a transition between development and deployment of this intrinsically safe technology which can soon become an important source of energy to provide heat for industrial processes and even households.

HTR 2018 aims to exchange information on research and development on HTR and to accelerate its wide application for industrial heat production. Contributions will cover the ongoing construction of HTR-PM in China, reactors proposed for Canadian mines, research results from all continents, the UK small modular reactor study, as well as the ambitious plans of Poland. The attendees include experts from research and industry as well as various decision makers

HTR 2018 is the 9th International Topical Meeting on High Temperature Reactor Technology. Successive meetings were inaugurated in 2002 by the European High Temperature Reactor Technology Network HTR-TN at Petten, The Netherlands. Then successive meetings were held in China (Beijing, 2004), South Africa (Johannesburg, 2006), USA (Washington DC, 2008), Czech Republic (Prague, 2010), Japan (Tokyo, 2012), China (Weihai, 2014) and USA (Las Vegas, 2016) and the main results are published in special editions of the Elsevier Journal Nuclear Engineering and Design.

HTR 2018 is hosted by the National Centre for Nuclear Research in Poland.

More information on the conference: www.htrconf.org

_________________________________________________________________________________

SMR Techno-Economic Assessment published by UK government

launched in 2015 a Small Modular Reactor Techno-Economic Assessment (SMR TEA) open to participation of nuclear vendors worldwide, invited to present their SMR technologies and design and to evaluate them against criteria concerning in particular the time and cost to deployment (taking into account the licensing challenges), the economic competitiveness, the flexibility and the potential for process heat supply. NC2I participated in this assessment together with the NGNP Industrial Alliance, as one of the first joint actions of the GEMINI initiative, with one of the HTGR models developed by members of the NGNP Industry Alliance. Other participants presented several Integrated Small Modular PWRs, different Fast Reactors and Molten Salt Reactors, as well as other HTGR models.

The full results of the SMR TEA can be found on the site of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/small-modular-reactors-techno-economic-assessment), which has taken over from DECC in the new government formed in 2016. The major conclusion of the SMR TEA is that the technology of Integrated Small Modular PWRs is mature and ready for industrial deployment before 2030, while, within more advanced reactor types, HTGR is the best positioned in terms of time and cost for deployment, economic competitiveness and potential for process heat supply, as well as easiness of licensing and of siting.

As a follow-up of the SMR-TEA, the BEIS decided to focus the government support on advanced innovative SMRs that require significant technology developments, contrary to Integrated Small Modular PWRs and launched, end of 2017 the Advanced Modular Reactor Competition (AMRC), with a first phase of feasibility assessment in 2018, with a budget of £ 4M, and a second phase of technology development of 2 years starting in 2019, for which a budget of £ 40M is planned (https://apply-for-innovation-funding.service.gov.uk/competition/80/overview).

_________________________________________________________________________________

HTGR at conferences

October 2016 NC2I was present at the European Nuclear Conference held this year in Warsaw on 9-13 October. During the first day’s Plenary Session, Dominique Hittner from NC2I delivered a speech on a US/EU joint effort to demonstrate industrial high temperature nuclear cogeneration with HTGR technology. On 12 October, together with Professor Grzegorz Wrochna from NCBJ, they chaired the session on High Temperature Reactors & Cogeneration. Papers submitted to the session covered a broad range of applications from district heating to space propulsion engines.

More information

On 18-19 October, the second annual SMR UK Summit gathered around 200 senior decision-makers and industry experts in London, including NC2I experts. This year’s edition was an opportunity to hear the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Environment Agency outline the government’s progress and objectives for the UK SMR industry, to meet with the leading UK and international SMR vendors, and to examine the cutting-edge Generation IV reactor designs. Several speakers reviewing different technologies pointed out that small PWR reactors seem to be the closest to practical realisation. However, HTGRs are considered to have technical readiness levels and a time to deployment that are very close to that of PWRs. Advantages of cogeneration in general and HTGR technology in particular were underlined in the presentation titled “HTGR – the SMR for UK, Poland and the World” given by Mr Wrochna on behalf of NC2I.

More information

_________________________________________________________________________________

Submission of GEMINI+ Project

5 October 2016 An international consortium, composed of over 20 members, presented the GEMINI+ project proposal under the Euratom Horizon 2020 programme. In line with the strategy defined with NC2I and the NGNP Industry Alliance in the GEMINI Initiative, the approach chosen for the project is based on the assumption that modular HTGR technology is sufficiently mature to design the first of a kind (FOAK) industrial system for high temperature nuclear cogeneration, without any need for an intermediate step. Indeed, several industrial prototypes have already been built and operated around the world. What still needs to be demonstrated is the viability of use of such an industrial HTGR system in a cogeneration mode, for supplying heat to industrial processed on top of power generation.

In this context, the GEMINI+ project aims to provide a conceptual design of a high temperature nuclear cogeneration system, based on modular HTGR technology, for the supply of process steam to industry, a framework for the licensing of this type of system and a business plan for a full scale demonstration.

_________________________________________________________________________________

HTR in Polish Strategy for Sustainable Development

29 July 2016 The Polish government published a strategic document which underlines the role of nuclear in the country’s modernisation. The “Strategy for Sustainable Development“ also known as “Morawiecki-Plan“, named after the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development Mateusz Morawiecki, is a detailed plan for the economic development of Poland.

Among the projects of strategic priority, it includes the nuclear cogeneration programme with an HTR project for energy efficiency and diversification (in addition to the basic programme for LWR of 6000 MWe), and a nuclear materials laboratory NOMATEN. The Plan is currently in a consultation phase. Govermnental support to HTRs will allow to speed up the work on the implementation of this technology in Poland.

More information
_________________________________________________________________________________

Establishment of Minister of Energy’s Advisory Committee for HTR in Poland

20 July 2016 Krzysztof Tchórzewski, Polish Energy Minister, established an Advisory Committee that will analyse and prepare the conditions for the implementation of high temperature nuclear reactors in Poland.

The first Committee meeting was held on 20 July. During this gathering, committee experts from valuable organisations, such as the National Centre for Nuclear Research (NCBJ), Energoprojekt-Warszawa S.A. and Prochem S.A, were officially nominated. Under the presidency of Professor Grzegorz Wrochna from NCBJ, they are expected to produce a roadmap for the most efficient use of national scientific and business potential in this enterprise, as well as analyse the domestic market needs and export potential.

More information

_________________________________________________________________________________

Signature of a letter of intent between NCBJ and U-Battery

25 May 2016 The first practical result of the Polish-UK cooperation on HTGR technology could be the construction of a U-Battery reactor at the National Centre for Nuclear Research (NCBJ) in Poland. U-Battery is a micro-reactor being developed by a British consortium including URENCO, AMEC FW, ATKINS, Cammell-Laird, Laing O’Rourke et al. It is designed to deliver 10 MWth of which 4 MW is converted to electric power.

The U-Battery at NCBJ will be equipped with advanced measuring apparatus to serve as a research reactor. It intends to be an important milestone in the Polish HTGR programme and should help speed up capacity building to develop skills and facilitate the licensing of a larger industrial HTGR.

The project was initiated with the signature of a letter of intent between U-Battery, represented by Dominic Kieran, URENCO CEO, and Professor Krzysztof Kurek, NCBJ Director General. The signature completed the visit of Polish Ministry of Energy officials in the UK.

In addition to the first research reactor, the U-Battery consortium is looking to commercially deploy the micro-reactors in the UK, Canada and other countries.

Read more: NCBJ is considering a project to deploy HTGR research reactor in Świerk
Read more: Agreement to investigate deployment of U-Battery in Poland

_________________________________________________________________________________

Poland-UK HTGR talks

25-25 May 2016 For the first time, possible cooperation between Poland and the UK on HTGR technology was discussed on 17 February 2016 at ministerial level during a visit of Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (now called BEIS), in Warsaw.

For Poland, HTGRs represent a reliable and clean source of process heat for industry. For the UK, HTGR is one of the technologies considered to fulfil the need for small modular reactors (SMR).

During a following visit in the UK in May, Deputy Ministers of Energy, Michał Kurtyka and Andrzej Piotrowski, met with Secretary of State Amber Rudd and her team, in order to discuss the details of the project. The Polish delegation described the progress achieved on the implementation of high temperature nuclear reactor technology and the Polish plans for nuclear energy, and emphasised the need for further bilateral cooperation.

The Polish delegation also visited a new High Temperature Facility in Warrington and met with the representatives of the British nuclear sector, including URENCO, AMEC Foster Wheeler, Rolls-Royce, U-Battery and the National Nuclear Laboratory.

Read more: Polish Energy Ministers visit UK

_________________________________________________________________________________

NC2I submits proposal to the UK SMR competition

April 2016 In April the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC, now BEIS) launched a competition for the design of a Small Modular Reactor (SMR) concept. The BEIS intends to publish an SMR Roadmap later this year, which will summarise the evidence so far, set out the policy framework, and assess potential pathways for SMRs to help the UK achieve its energy objectives while delivering economic benefits. GBP 250 million are foreseen to speed up the development of the most promising technologies.

NC2I submitted an HTGR proposal that was prepared jointly with the US NGNP Industrial Alliance under the GEMINI initiative. Entering this first phase of the competition enables NC2I to engage in discussions with the British government on the best value SMR design for the UK.

The GEMINI Partnership believes that the HTGR is the most suitable SMR for the UK’s needs. Indeed, it responds to all assessment criteria, ranging from financing feasibility to compatibility with UK regulations and the short deployment timescale.

The competition follows an earlier DECC action called SMR Techno-Economic Assessment (TEA), under which NC2I and NGNP IA also submitted a common proposal under the GEMINI label.
Other HTGR projects were proposed, confirming that this technology is very promising and represents a new opening for nuclear technology in Europe.

More information
_________________________________________________________________________________

Meetings in Washington DC on International HTGR Project

8-10 March 2016 The GEMINI initiative, created in 2014 by NC2I and its twin US organisation the NGNP Industrial Alliance, organised its fourth meeting from 8-10 March in Washington DC. High level governmental officials attended the meeting, including Michał Kurtyka, Deputy Minister of Energy from Poland, John Kotek from the US Department of Energy and James Gavigan, Minister-Counselor Research & Innovation, Delegation of the European Union to the US. This was a great opportunity for bilateral discussions to build cooperation between Europe and the US.

Special attention was given to the progress made in Piketon, Ohio, which is a potential site for the first HTGR (High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor) in the US. The site hosted a uranium enrichment plant which is now decommissioned and local authorities are looking for new ways to revitalise the area. Several HTGRs delivering low-cost electricity and heat could be very attractive to various industries. Steve Kuczynski, CEO of US-based utility Southern Company, presented the long-term plans of his company and expressed a strong interest in operating such an HTGR fleet.

Delegations from Korea and Japan also joined the meeting. HTGR programmes in these countries target very high temperature operations suitable for the supply of hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuel production. R&D on HTGR technology, in particular on materials, is a common interest encouraging intercontinental cooperation.

The meeting concluded with a plan to launch the PRIME international project which aims at designing a prismatic block HTGR with 750°C core temperature and power in the range of 300 MWth, with the first reactors to be built simultaneously in US and Europe.

More information
PAST EVENTS

Nuclear Days
11-13 April 2018, Prague
  • SNETP Technical Sessions: Presentations from the cogeneration session –DOWNLOAD ALL
  • NC2I Task Force
  • Gemini+ meeting
UPCOMING EVENTS RELATED TO NUCLEAR COGENERATION AND HTGR TECHNOLOGY

HTR 2018 Conference and side events, 5-12 October 2018, Warsaw
5-6 October (Friday and/or Saturday)
  • Side event: GIF VHTR Computational Methods, Validation and Benchmarking Project Management Board
8-10 October (Monday-Wednesday)
  • HTR 2018 Conference
11 October (Thursday)
  • 8:30-11:15 Gemini+ Transatlantic workshop
  • 11:30-13:00 Gemini+ Scientific Advisory Group Meeting
  • 13:00-14:00 Buffet lunch for 50 people
  • 14:00-15:45 HTR2018 Conference Committee meeting
  • 16:00-18:00 NC2I Task Force
12 October (Friday)
  • 8:30-11:30 Gemini+ Coordination Team meeting (20 seats room + 20 coffees)
  • GIF VHTR System Steering Committee
More information, abstract submission and registration: www.htrconf.org

GIF Symposium
16-17 October 2018, Paris, www.gifsymposium2018.gen-4.org

Gemini+ plenary meeting
13-15 November 2018, Katowice, Poland

GENERAL NUCLEAR EVENTS COVERING i.a. COGENERATION AND HTGR
SNETP documents
NC2I presentations
Related reports
IAEA TECH DOCS

Available at https://www-pub.iaea.org/books
  • Improving the Understanding of Irradiation-Creep Behaviour in Nuclear Graphite
  • Role of Nuclear-Grade Graphite in Controlling Oxidation in Modular High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactors
  • Industrial Applications of Nuclear Energy
  • Opportunities for Cogeneration with Nuclear Energy
  • Hydrogen Production Using Nuclear Energy
  • Generic Guidance on Nuclear Cogeneration (under review)
  • Technology Roadmap for SMR Deployment (under review)
  • Deployment Indicators for Small Modular Reactors (under review)
  • New release of the Booklet “Advances in Small Modular Reactor Technology Developments” (2018)
CONTACT

For further information, please contact:

Grzegorz Wrochna (NCBJ)
Chairman of the NC2I Task Force
g.wrochna@ncbj.gov.pl

Marek Tarka
Vice-Chairman of the NC2I Task Force

Harri Tuomisto
Vice-Chairman of the NC2I Task Force

To join NC2I, please contact the SNETP: Secretariat secretariat@snetp.eu

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with all of SNETP’s activities and latest news (and/or update your preferences)

SIGN UP HERE