Gas-Cooled Reactor Opportunities in the 21st Century 929280
The renaissance of the high temperature gas-cooled reactor is largely based on its recognized inherent and unquestionable safety, and its versatility to meet many emerging opportunities for the 21st century. In this paper, applications for gas-cooled reactors are traced from the basic fuel particle through fuel element types, core geometry arrangements, and the various ways of utilizing the nuclear thermal energy for the ultimate end user. Reactor type and size are discussed in terms of applications as diverse as terrestrial power generation, high temperature process heat for synthetic fuel production, space power and propulsion systems, and for powering underwater vehicles. With unique versatility, the high temperature gas-cooled reactor will surely play a prominent role in thermal energy systems in the 21st century.