We are pleased to announce a new innovative power plant design which melds the benefits of nuclear (high energy density, non-polluting, base load) with those of solar (zero fuel cost, minor regulatory barriers) that is entirely carbon-free and is adaptable for deployment in any country. Called CNSP, an acronym for Combined Nuclear/Solar Plant, this design employs Holtec’s SMR-300 small modular reactor and the Company’s HI-THERM HSP, solar thermal system, along with Holtec’s Green Boiler to provide base load or on-demand power while eliminating the intermittency drawback of solar plants. The Green Boiler is a three-in-one device that: 1) can store vast amounts of heat, 2) receives high temperature heat conveyed to it from the solar collector, and 3) can make motive steam at the required pressure and superheat to power the turbine.
The most immediate application of the CNSP technology is to facilitate the much-needed inflection in the world’s power generation from “coal to clean.” The coal-fired plants typically have sufficient land area to house the CNSP, which would use the coal plant’s power block minimizing the cost of transition. The steam production portion of the coal plant will be decommissioned, freeing up most of the plant’s land area where the solar plant would reside. Holtec plans to offer the CNSP technology principally in those regions of the world where solar radiation level is adequate to be harvestable.
In summary, our CNSP technology seeks to make the Sun a valuable source of fuel and a major contributor to the global drive for clean energy generation led by the renascent nuclear energy. Our SMR-300 small modular reactor is premised on the most proven type of light water technology used in most land-based reactors and in submarines and aircraft carriers. SMR-300 has added defense-in-depth features that are gravity-actuated that confer fail-safe emergency recovery capability to the nuclear plant qualifying it for the moniker “walk away safe.” The energy contribution of the Sun to the power plant will occur through the HI-THERM HSP hybrid solar plant, which is considerably more efficient than its predecessor technologies, yielding as much as 8 MWH of solar heat per acre in equatorial and subtropical locales. The nuclear reactor’s steam supply system and the heat from the solar thermal plant are conjugated in the Green Boiler which is a multi-function device engineered to produce steam at the desired pressure and superheat to run the coal plant’s existing turbogenerator. Where the site is virgin, i.e., it has no pre-existing fossil plant, the solar thermal plant can be as large as the available land area will accommodate. Experts in power plant cycle design would appreciate that 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 of 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.
“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,” says Holtec’s President and CEO, Dr. Kris Singh.