Preprint / Version 2

The Holos Reactor: A Distributable Power Generator with Transportable Subcritical Power Modules




Gas Cooled Reactor, Nuclear Energy, Small Modular Reactor


Holos is a distributable modular nuclear power generator with enhanced safety features. Holos design objectives include production of affordable pollutant-free electricity and process heat with the safest melt-tolerant and proliferation resistant fuels. The design leverages commercial tech- nologies utilized for the conversion of thermal energy into conditioned electricity. Holos can op- erate as a stand-alone electric island at sites with no power grid infrastructure and can be scaled- up or clustered to meet local electric demands. Specialized configurations of Holos generators can be airlifted and timely deployed to supply emergency electricity and process heat to disaster areas and to inaccessible remote locations. The proposed distributable electric generator is com- prised within dimensions and weight requirements compatible with International Standard Or- ganization (ISO) transport containers, and is formed by subcritical power modules protected from shock stressors during transport. Holos coupled core becomes critical and enables power generation only when multiple subcritical power modules are positioned near one another. Cool- ing of Holos fuel relies only on environmental air during operations with passive decay-heat re- moval. Depending on configurations, Holos fuel cycle is 12-20 years, with 8%-15% enriched nuclear fuel sealed at all times and contained within replaceable fuel cartridges. At the end of the fuel cycle, the fuel cartridges fit within licensed transport and storage canisters for long term storage with low decommissioning cost. Holos power conversion components can be recondi- tioned when the fuel cartridges are replaced at the end of their fuel cycles and the generator can be re-licensed to resume operation for a total generator life-span of 60 years. In this design, the thermodynamic cycle utilized to convert the core thermal energy into electricity is based on the Brayton power cycle. In some configurations, the design integrates and couples a bottoming Rankine power cycle operating with organic fluids to enhance efficiency, convert decay thermal energy into electricity and support process heat applications. Holos waste heat recovery and con- version feature also relaxes thermal loading requirements at underground spent fuel repositories. The power conversion components utilized in this design are off-the-shelf, with power ratings comparable to those forming aviation jet engines and gas turbines commercially available worldwide. This approach simplifies the design and enables factory certification following the regulatory and quality assurance programs applied by the aviation industry. Holos innovative architecture provides the means to support a distributable power source satisfying various appli- cations’ requirements with enhanced safety and substantial cost reductions, thus making Holos generators competitive, and synergetic with technology sourced on renewable energy.


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2017-06-25 — Updated on 2017-06-25