Pebble bed reactor history and future
At the request of several listeners and blog readers, Shane and I decided to focus this podcast on the graphite and heavy metal “pebbles” that form the basic fuel element for a number of currently proposed reactor types.
We talk a bit about the inventor of the pebble bed concept – Rudolf Schulten – and about the success of the demonstration and testing reactor built using his fuel elements – the German AVR. We spend a good deal of time talking about the follow-on to the AVR- the Thorium High Temperature Reactor (THTR) and about the circumstances that led to its early demise.
Then we move on to more contemporary versions – the South African PBMR, the Chinese HTR and the planned follow-ons to that prototype and the Adams EngineTM. If you want to see some good information on all kinds of high temperature gas reactors, check out Professor Andrew Kadak’s presentation at http://web.mit.edu/pebble-bed/Presentation/HTGR.pdf
Hope you enjoy the show. For those that were kind enough to suggest the topic, we hope that we answered your questions in our own geeky way.
Sorry we got a bit long winded, we plan to cut back down to about 40 minutes – unless, of course, we get really excited about another topic.