The checkered operational history of high-temperature gas-cooled reactors

By M. V. Ramana, May 3, 2016

The high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) has long been considered a promising nuclear technology, and several countries are either considering the construction of new HTGRs or pursuing research into the field. In the past, both Germany and the United States spent large amounts of money to design and construct HTGRs, four of which fed electricity into the grid. Examining the performances of these HTGRs offers a useful guide to what one can expect from future HTGRs, if and when more are constructed, and reasons to reject that option altogether.


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