Holtec International has taken their SMR-300 and added their Hi-Therm Solar Plant (HSP) along with their Green Boiler to the design, calling it the Combined Nuclear/Solar Plant (CNSP). This plant design offers not only baseload capability but also on-demand power capability with the utilization of their solar-powered Green Boiler.
The solar-powered Green Boiler is a three-in-one device. It can receive heat from the solar collector or from the SMR’s steam supply system and store it for use on-demand by providing steam at the required pressure and superheated for the turbine. The specific solar energy contribution is variable based on the available land area to accommodate the HSP and Green Boiler. The HSP is considerably more efficient than other similar technologies, yielding as much as 8 MWH (megawatt hour) of solar heat per acre in equatorial and subtropical locales.
Holtec says, “The CNSP will have a much higher thermodynamic efficiency than the nuclear plant alone and would make solar power an integral part of base load supply. It should be noted that the CNSP does not use any batteries, which have been the Achilles heel for the renewable energy industry. In fact, CNSP contains no fragile parts or materials that may limit its service life, which is expected to exceed 60 years.”
Holtec believes the most immediate application of their CNSP is to repower coal-fired power plants, which typically have sufficient land area to house the CNSP, and would use the coal plant’s existing power block, thereby minimizing the cost of transition. Since, the steam production portion of the coal plant would not be utilized, that could free up most of the plant’s land area where the solar plant would reside.
While it says the CNSP is adaptable for deployment in any country, the company plans to offer the technology principally in those regions of the world where “solar radiation level is adequate to be harvestable”.
“We believe that an adroit combination of nuclear and solar embodied in the CNSP provides a compelling solution for nations seeking to move past fossil fuels,” said Holtec President and CEO Kris Singh.