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The Pebble Bed Modular Reactor
In conversation with Dr. Kelvin Kemm
Yesterday I was joined by Dr. Kelvin Kemm, head of Stratek Global to speak about the history and design of the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor. This historic journey has led on to the development of a derivative reactor the HTMR-100. This has been a private development in South Africa.
The HTMR-100 offers a unique solution for water scarce countries like South Africa. According to Dr. Kemm the project is ready for full commercialization, and if investors are willing to put their money in it tomorrow, the first working prototype will be in place in about 5 years.
The design can run on both thorium and uranium-based fuels, and therefore it is an ideal solution for keeping the energy dense benefits of nuclear power without adding to the risk of increased proliferation.
The HTR-100 design can be constructed rapidly and inexpensively. It can also essentially plug in and play into existing infrastructure. Therefore, one can potentially phase out coal-fired power stations and thus assist with a smooth energy transition.
The applications also stretch beyond electricity generation and into industrial heat, a crucial element that is necessary to decarbonize some industries such as cement and steel. This plus coal power accounts for almost 15% of all global C02 emissions.
The tragedy of this story is that as South Africa’s coal fleet is ageing and the country is running into electricity problems. A potential answer to addressing the problem might be sitting right under our nose.
I hope that you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did.
More information on the HTMR 100 design and investment opportunities can be found by contacting their administration.
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