Holtec International’s SMR-160 (Small Modular Nuclear Reactor) can be a drop in replacement of the boilers at coal plants. Most of the existing coal plants physical assets can be saved and they just replace their boilers with Holtec’s SMR-160 nuclear steam supply system. They will use multi-stage compressors which are capable of uprating SMR-160’s relatively low enthalpy steam (700 psi @ 595 Deg F) to the elevated pressure and superheat needed to run the turbogenerator of a fossil power plant.
The needed enthalpy boost can be modified to support the continued operation of any plant’s turbogenerator, and in most cases would not require any external energy input. A provisional patent application has been filed for this innovation which opens the pathway to repurpose any coal-fired plant by replacing its coal-fired boiler with clean steam from the SMR-160 plant. Thousands of coal-burning plants around the world presently consigned to premature decommissioning can instead be re-purposed as productive clean energy generating assets. Significantly, this approach preserves the jobs associated with the operation and maintenance of the existing plant’s turbogenerator and downstream systems, while creating new, high-paying jobs associated with the SMR-160 nuclear power plant.
SMR-160 can deliver steam at any desired pressure also opens new vistas to use clean energy, such as for high-pressure steam as feedstock for industrial applications or providing low-pressure steam for district heating to cities and municipalities wishing to eliminate their current use of methane and CO2-producing fossil fuels, whether to meet clean energy goals or to protect against a forced scarcity of fossil fuels due to geo-political tensions.
In a recent meeting with the Indian Ambassador, the Honorable Amarjit S. Sandhu, Holtec CEO Dr. Kris Singh characterized the ability to replace coal with nuclear power available from Holtec’s SMR-160 as a “game changer for India and the global environment stressed by massive emissions from coal-fired plants by reconfiguring them to switch from fossil fuel to uranium as the source of energy. Most of the existing coal plants’ assets will be preserved and re-deployed to produce clean energy from Holtec’s SMR-160 nuclear reactors,” he said.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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