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Hybrid-Nuclear Power: An Unexpected Energy Solution for the 21st Century

[+] Author Affiliations
Michael F. Keller

Hybrid Power Technologies LLC, Overland Park, KS

Paper No. IMECE2010-38325, pp. 353-368; 16 pages
doi:10.1115/IMECE2010-38325
From:
  • ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 5: Energy Systems Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; NanoEngineering for Energy; Engineering to Address Climate Change, Parts A and B
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4429-8
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME

abstract

America possesses hundreds of years of low-cost coal resources that are becoming increasingly unpopular due to climate-change concerns. The high cost of conventional nuclear power greatly hampers the building of new such facilities, while the promise of the nuclear gas reactor also remains out-of-reach as a result of technical and competiveness considerations. Hybrid-nuclear power is a breakthrough solution to the emerging energy and climate change dilemmas. This unique technology springs from the observation that roughly half the power produced by a combustion turbine is used to compress air. By using low-cost nuclear fuel and a highly efficient helium gas reactor system with a combustion turbine, power plant output is significantly increased, costs are appreciably lowered and emissions are dramatically reduced. The helium gas reactor marriage with the combustion turbine and coal gasification opens the door for the continued use of our most abundant and low-cost fuel resource, coal. This hybrid configuration dramatically reduces environmental impacts while also supporting the co-production of all manner of liquid transportation fuels, substitute natural gas, hydrogen, and process heat as well as industrial chemicals. Solar and energy storage applications are also readily supported by the hybrid’s inherent flexibility. Hybrid-nuclear energy relies on tried-and-proven technologies as well as the large body of knowledge developed over the 50 year history of nuclear reactors and combustion turbines. The unique characteristics of the hybrid-nuclear approach allow the technology to overcome the engineering, financial and regulatory obstacles that have long held back the full-scale commercial deployment of the high-temperature gas reactor. The emerging hybrid-nuclear technology readily supports energy independence and can simultaneously help revitalize the increasingly challenged US coal and nuclear industries.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME

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