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Title: Tera of gas turbine high temperature reactor for next generation nuclear power plants
Author: Gad-Briggs, Arnold Ayanate
ISNI:       0000 0004 7968 8716
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2017
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As a clean and non-greenhouse gas-emitting energy source, nuclear plants are not fully explored due to high costs, low efficiencies and complex designs of incumbent technologies. However, studies indicate high efficiencies and simpler designs are achievable if developed under the Generation IV (Gen IV) framework. The Gen IV framework offers sustainable energy that reduces and recycles the waste at a reduced cost, which is safer and reliable and improves the control in securing nuclear material through features that eliminate proliferation. The objective of this research work was to develop a Nuclear Techno-Economic and Risk Assessment (NuTERA) conceptual tool known as HYPERION under the Gen IV framework, based on constructed algorithms that enable better understanding of the technology for investment purposes. It concentrated on: component and cycle design, Design Point (DP) and Off-Design Point (ODP) performance, control systems, economics, risk assessment and the Levelised Unit Electric Cost (LUEC). The research focused on the Gen IV Gas-cooled Fast Reactor (GFR) and the Very High- Temperature Reactor (VHTR) using helium and considered 3 cycles: Simple Cycle Recuperated (SCR), Intercooled Cycle Recuperated (ICR) and the simplified and novel Intercooled Cycle without recuperation (IC). The HYPERION technical model quantified aspects that affected efficiency, whilst utilising a comprehensive calculation method to derive the ODPs. The HYPERION economic and risk models quantified the Specific Overnight Cost (SOC) including risks which were incorporated as contingencies into the LUEC. The economically optimised results showed that the ICR is the most efficient cycle (53%), followed by the SCR (50%) and then the IC which had an optimised efficiency of 41%; compared to 46% (DP). However, the IC has the best economics at US$5.57ct/kWh compared to the ICR (US$6.97ct/kWh) and the SCR (US$6.98ct/kWh). In fact, the IC is the cheapest clean energy solution in comparison to other generating sources such as solar and wind. It is the 2nd best option whilst coal without carbon capture is the cheapest option. It is important to note that this individual work resulted in 16 publications, comprising 11 journal papers, 4 conference proceedings and 1 book chapter.
Supervisor: Pilidis, Pericles Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Nuclear ; Gen IV ; efficiency ; cycle ; performance ; simple ; intercooled ; recuperated ; gas turbine ; economics ; electricity ; reactor