Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) Industry Alliance last week announced that it had received a $1 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for a 50/50 cost-shared contract to continue business and economic analysis for using high-temperature gas-cooled reactor technologies (HTGR).

The international consortium of firms that includes potential end users, owner-operators, and technology companies was established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to have a prototype HTGR and related facilities operational by 2021.

The alliance in February 2012 selected AREVA’s prismatic core , 625-MW thermal, steam cycle modular HTGR (SC-HTGR), a Generation IV reactor, as the reactor design concept to provide high-temperature process steam for industrial applications and electricity production.

The body’s members include: Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization and the Advanced Research Center, AREVA, ConocoPhillips, Dow Chemical, Entergy, Graftech International Ltd., Mersen, Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada, SGL Group, Technology Insights, Toyo Tanso Co. Ltd., and Westinghouse.

According to the NGNP, the HTGR is an inherently safe, modular, underground helium-cooled nuclear reactor technology. The reactor and the nuclear heat supply system (NHSS) comprises three major components: the reactor, a heat transport system, and a cross vessel that routes the helium between the reactor and the heat transport system. The NHSS supplies energy in the form of steam and/or high-temperature fluid that can be used for the generation of high-efficiency electricity and to support a wide range of industrial processes requiring large amounts of heat or steam. The project is managed by the Idaho National Laboratory with funding through the DOE.

Sources: POWERnews, NGNP