Nuclear Gas Turbine Plant (GT-MHR) Performance Potential PUBLIC ACCESS

[+] Author Affiliations
Colin F. McDonald, Klaus T. Etzel

General Atomics, San Diego, CA

Paper No. 94-GT-416, pp. V003T08A006; 8 pages
  • ASME 1994 International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 3: Coal, Biomass and Alternative Fuels; Combustion and Fuels; Oil and Gas Applications; Cycle Innovations
  • The Hague, Netherlands, June 13–16, 1994
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-7885-9
  • Copyright © 1994 by ASME


With the current hiatus in the U.S. nuclear industry it is projected that by the year 2010 combustion gas turbines will be generating more electrical power than light water reactors. These units, operating at high firing temperature, and with advanced thermodynamic cycles, will have efficiencies of over 60%. In this era these gas turbines will operate with fossil-fuels (i.e., natural gas and gasified coal), but as environmental concerns intensisy there will be a quest for “greener technologies,” and this is where the gas turbine modular helium reactor (GT-MHR) will play a major role.

Utilizing a high temperature gas-cooled reactor and a closed helium Brayton cycle, a plant efficiency of 47% is projected based on the use of proven technology, and the initial unit could be in utility service by the year 2005. Following penetration of the market place, efforts will be expended to exploit the performance potential of the GT-MHR. In this paper the potential for efficiency advancement to 60% or higher is discussed, together with the technologies necessary for this to be realized, perhaps two decades after the operation of the pioneer plant. Such a power plant, that is compatible with the environment, and operating with an indigenous fuel source (i.e., uranium) could be in service through the first century of the next millennium.

Copyright © 1994 by ASME
Topics: Gas turbines
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