The Very High-Temperature Reactor (VHTR) is a graphite-moderated, helium-cooled reactor. It will supply heat with high core outlet temperatures which will enable applications such as hydrogen production and process heat for the petrochemical industry. The reactor outlet temperature will be in the range of 850 to 950 degrees Celsius (1500 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit).
The VHTR system is designed to be a high-efficiency system that can supply process heat to a broad spectrum of high-temperature and energy-intensive, non-electric processes. The system may incorporate electricity-generating equipment to meet cogeneration needs. The system also has the flexibility to adapt uranium/plutonium fuel cycles and offer enhanced waste minimization. Thus, the VHTR offers a broad range of process heat applications and an option for high-efficiency electricity production, while retaining the desirable safety characteristics offered by modular high-temperature gas-cooled reactors.
Idaho National Laboratory (INL):
Very-High-Temperature Reactor (VHTR)
INL team helps pave the way to Generation IV reactor “Fourth generation nuclear reactors, the nuclear power plants of tomorrow will provide safer, less expensive and more environmentally friendly energy. A critical step in developing new Very High-Temperature Reactors (VHTR) is certifying the graphite that is used in many parts of the reactor’s core. In recent years, it has become necessary to develop new nuclear-grade graphite and certify it for use in the next generation of gas-cooled nuclear reactors… nuclear experts envision two different versions of gas-cooled VHTRs for next-generation use. Both designs will require large amounts of high-quality graphite.”