The Gas Turbine – Modular Helium Reactor (GT-MHR) couples a High Temperature
Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) with a Brayton power conversion cycle to produce
electricity at high efficiency. It is based on HTGR technology developed over the past
40 years that includes the design, construction and operation of seven HTGR plants.
The GT-MHR satisfies the Gen-IV goals of passive safety, good economics, high
proliferation resistance, and improved environmental characteristics including reduced
waste and better fuel utilization than the current generation of nuclear power plants.
Because of its capability to produce high coolant outlet temperatures (at least 850°C
with potential for still higher temperature), the modular helium reactor system can also
efficiently produce hydrogen by high temperature electrolysis or thermochemical water
splitting. The technology embodied in the GT-MHR concept has high potential, with
modest further development work, to meet the requirements for the Next Generation
Nuclear Plant (NGNP) demonstration project planned to be built at the Idaho National
Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL). The NGNP objectives are to
demonstrate passive safety, licensing of new nuclear plants, use of the Brayton cycle for
high efficiency electricity generation and use of high temperature nuclear heat for
production of hydrogen.