The reactor bankruptcy - THTR 300 The THTR Circular
Studies on THTR and much more. The THTR breakdown list
The HTR research The THTR incident in the 'Spiegel'

research ethics

HTR research in Germany

even in the 3rd millennium:

Scientific nuclear elite deserve well from HTR funding!

A lot of money for HTR research institutions in Dresden, Rossendorf, Zittau, Görlitz, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Garching, Karlsruhe, Bochum, Aachen, Jülich ...

"Psst, not a single word about the embarrassing end of the planned high-temperature reactor in South Africa. Not a word about the pointlessly wasted 1,5 billion euros in the poor country!"

This is obviously the motto of the mouthpiece of the nuclear industry, the magazine "atw", which is persistently silent about the latest bankruptcy of the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR).

And on behalf of the entire industry, the future EU projects to be paid for to promote Generation IV reactors are presented in their July 2010 edition on 8 pages. Part two will follow in the next issue ...

Because in autumn the new energy concept of the federal government will be decided. And in addition to the mandatory term extensions, the nuclear industry has a few very special requests from its government for this. The previous research projects should continue and new things should be initiated.

The atomic leaf atw frankly presents the impressive research and development work for HTR technology over the past two years. Here is an overview of the details, categorized by city.



For the so-called "Competence Center East for Nuclear Technology", which also includes the Dresden-Rossendorf Research Center and the Zittau / Görlitz University of Applied Sciences, the atw describes the future focus in April 2010:

- "Based on simulation methods for the safety analysis of today's light water reactors, the focus is increasingly shifting to the development of methods for reactors of the 4th generation and accelerator-driven systems" (2010, p. 260).

- Here in Dresden-Rossendorf, the DYN3D reactor dynamics program is not only being further developed for light water reactors: "The area of ​​application is gradually being expanded to include Generation IV reactors" (2010, p. 260).

- Research into the material and component safety of nuclear reactors: "Chromium steels are considered to be potential construction materials for nuclear reactors of the fourth generation because of their advantageous combinations of properties" (2010, p. 261).

- "In the context of Gen IV there is currently a strong renaissance of investigations into sodium-cooled fast reactors in which the FZD is participating in the European projects ADRIANA and CP-ESFR" (2010, p. 261). A new experimental platform for liquid metal flows (DRESDYN) was created.

- Since the final disposal of the radioactive spherical fuel elements of HTRs still has to be regulated somehow for the next centuries, research is being carried out into reducing the volume of waste and radioactive radiation. "Transmutation" thus includes the conversion of long-lived radionuclides into short-lived or stable nuclides: "For the development of GenIV systems and dedicated accelerator-supported transmutation systems (ADS) precise cross-sections of reactions with fast neutrons are required" (2010, p. 261).

"With regard to the improvement of the safety properties of gas-cooled nuclear reactors, here especially high-temperature reactors, the development of innovative materials for high-temperature energy technology", the following research work is carried out by the Technical University of Dresden:

- Dust release from the HTR.

- "As part of the international F-Bridge project, the TU Dresden is pursuing the goal of developing a laser-based process for the high-temperature-resistant sealing of all-ceramic fuel element casings for advanced high-temperature reactors (VHTR) further developed by laser-induced soldering ... "(2009, p. 2010).

- Manufacture of ultra-dense diffusion barriers using innovative laser technology: "An essential component of the safety concept of high-temperature nuclear reactors is the gas-tight enclosure of the nuclear fuel particles in a multilayer ceramic coating ..." (2010, p. 264).

- Development of a high temperature heat exchanger.


Student attraction:
Making atomic energy "experienceable in the experiment": training nuclear reactor AKR-2 !!!

"The training nuclear reactor is an integral part of the professorship for hydrogen and nuclear energy technology at the TU Dresden and contributes significantly to maintaining competence - both in cooperation with other colleges and universities as well as with industry. (...) The AKR -2 is not only a real student attraction at the TU Dresden, but not least "(2010, p. 264) a contradiction to the exit decisions, but who cares?

Antonio Hurtado has been Head of the Professorship for Hydrogen and Nuclear Energy at the TU Dresden since 2007. He did his doctorate in HTR at RWTH Aachen University (2009, p. 204). Detailed information on this in THTR Circular No. 117.



As part of the RAPHAEL project, experimental investigations are carried out here on the FLP 500 magnetic bearing test stand. They serve to support rotating HTR components. "Numerous research and development work was carried out under the project title RAPHAEL within the 6th EURATOM framework program of the European Commission" (2010, p. 265).

The "Very High Temperature Reactor Project" (VHTR) is being worked on with the aim of using nuclear-generated energy to generate electricity, hydrogen and usable heat. In addition to AREVA (Erlangen), representatives of the Institute for Nuclear Energy Technology at the University of Stuttgart (W. Scheuermann) and the Jülich Research Center (W. von Lensa) also work on the RAPHAEL project. For more information, see the THTR Circulars 107 and 117.



"In recent years, TÜV Nord has specifically increased the number of employees in the field of nuclear technology. (...) TÜV Nord is also involved in projects in Finland, Sweden, Argentina or South Africa, for example. Foreign contracts increase the independence of the Experts, promote professional development and offer long-term prospects. TÜV Nord employees are increasingly taking part in international conferences and are actively involved in the further international development of the set of rules "(2010, p. 485). - As far as the PBMR in South Africa is concerned, one can hardly speak of "long-term prospects" (original sound atw in July 2010!).

The currently last "Framework Agreement ED 120" between ESKOM and TÜV Nord to work for the PBMR was concluded in December 2008. Already 3 weeks later the end came and the spherical fuel elements produced in South Africa were brought to the USA by ship to experiment with them there.



"Research areas of the Institute for Nuclear Energy Technology and Energy Systems (IKE) are in the field of accident simulation and model validation within the framework of national reactor safety research of existing reactors as well as in the analysis of design concepts for future nuclear power plants, especially the high-temperature reactor (HTR). (...) The work for the development and validation of coupled methods between neutronic and thermohydraulics of gas-cooled high-temperature reactors (HTR) will be continued. (...)

The IKE is involved in the development of the Chinese HTR-PM "(2010, p. 266). HTR-PM is a" High-temperature Gas-cooled Reactor - Pebble-bed Module ". According to the RWTH Aachen homepage" is a modular high-temperature reactor, the HTR-PM, is currently being planned in China.

The State Materials Testing Institute (MPA) is also involved in the "newly started theoretical and experimental work on thermal mixing" in Stuttgart (2010, p. 266).

Scientists are still tinkering with the screwed-up pebble bed (and the damage that goes with it) of the fuel elements, which is so typical of HTRs. A problem that no one has really gotten to grips with since the 50s. The balls just don't arrange themselves in the heap the way the engineer wants them to! "Both basic and application-oriented work is carried out. This is done in close connection with the development of advanced simulation models and measurement techniques "(2009, p. 328). - Have fun calculating!

"The work on the development and validation of coupled methods between neutrons and thermohydraulics of high-temperature reactors (HTR) will be continued. A 3-dimensional coupled computer program for the core container is under development Inclusion of HTR are the subject of several doctorates at the IKE "(2009, p. 329):

- "Extension of a thermohydraulic code for HTRs" by Kamal Hossain.
- "Plutonium and minor actinides as fuel in high-temperature pebble-bed reactors" by Astrid Meier (2009, p. 195).



HTR development: "In cooperation with the Society for Plant and Reactor Safety (GRS) Garching, a 3-dimensional computer program is being developed for core design and safety analysis" (2010, p. 266).



"Experiments have also started for reactors of the fourth generation and others are in preparation The HELOKA-VHTR plant will be expanded. The plant will then receive a high-temperature test track (...). The test stand is not only of interest for future gas-cooled reactors with fast neutrons, but can also be used for the high-temperature reactors that have already been largely developed. (...) )

The working group "Task on Advanced Reactor Experimental Facilities (TAREF) has the task of determining the needs (!!) and priorities for research for advanced gas-cooled and sodium-cooled fast reactors" (2010, p. 172)!

"Within the framework of the QUENCH project, the hydrogen source term and the high-temperature material behavior of reactor components in the early phase of a serious accident, especially during re-flooding, were investigated" (2010, p. 254). The flooding of a partially destroyed core is analyzed.

"In 2009, various EU programs in the 6th framework program such as EISOFAR, ELSY, Eurotrans etc. to investigate the transmutation possibilities in innovative critical and sub-critical systems were successfully completed" (2010, p. 256). For transmutation (reduction of the radioactive waste volume) see also under Dresden-Rossendorf.



"The focus of the working group on reactor simulation and safety at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum is on interdisciplinary research projects on the analysis of technology, simulation and safety of nuclear facilities. These are funded by the European Commission, the federal government, research centers and industry and are subject to international support Cooperations. (...)

Analyzes of accident control, the effects of internal emergency protection measures and the quantification of the radionuclide source term from the system into the environment are just as much a focus of interest as the evaluation of new system concepts (Gen III and Gen IV) "(2009, p . 329).



We have already reported a lot about the main actor in HTR development. Here are a few more important details:

"Safety investigations with regard to the containment integrity of today's reactors as well as reactor-theoretical work on the design and safety of gas-cooled reactors of the fourth generation are carried out at the Institute for Energy Research - Safety Research and Reactor Technology - IEF-6 at the Jülich Research Center. ...) For gas-cooled Gen IV reactors, the pressure relief accident with air ingress is considered "(4, p. 2010). The focus is on:

Transmutation and final storage of irradiated THTR and AVR fuel elements: One should not think that the nuclear power plant operators thought about what to do with the radioactive waste before the commissioning of nuclear power plants!


Decontamination of 1.000 tons of irradiated graphite.

"In Germany around 1.000 Mg (that's 1 million kilograms or 1.000 tons!) Of irradiated graphite have to be disposed of as radioactive waste. This essentially comes from the 2 high temperatures AVR and THTR. Investigations of the C-14 inventory of the AVR have showed that the disposal of the ceramic AVR components alone would take up about 3/4 of the approved C-14 inventory of the Konrad repository "(2009, p. 324)!

"In view of the long periods of final disposal of nuclear waste in deep geological formations, contact between waste and corresponding formation waters cannot be ruled out." Only now has IEF-6 "investigated the behavior of irradiated research reactor fuel elements in this water in the presence of iron (material of the fuel element container in a hot cell system" (2010, p. 258)!

Puma project: "For an effective reduction of the plutonium produced during nuclear power generation beyond MOX fuel elements, combustion in high-temperature reactors (HTR) is also being discussed" (2010, p. 259).

Standardization of the nuclear database in the VSOP computer program for the core design.

The NACOK trainer is still in operation: "It is used to simulate the process and consequences of an ingress of air into the helium cooling circuit of a high-temperature reactor (HTR). In the most recent experiment, graphite blocks were oxidized using the chimney effect" (2010, p. 259).

"In cooperation with the Chair for Reactor Safety and Technology (LRST) at RWTH Aachen University, a new test container (REKO-4) was built in which the role of natural convection is to be examined in more detail in the future. This project is the first of currently 4 planned Activities that are to be carried out in close cooperation with the LRST in the future. Planning activities are currently ongoing for jointly used experiments on the subjects of wall condensation, aerosol behavior as well as thermal hydraulics and graphite oxidation in VHTR "(2009, p. 322).

Finally, a particularly piquant detail of the research activities should be mentioned here:

"The chemical and mechanical long-term stability of HTR-FA (fuel assemblies) during direct disposal is being investigated in the FZJ. The studies carried out so far by our Dutch partner NRG (SiC and in the FZJ (PyC) as part of the EU project RAPHAEL have shown that at least for the period of the first 1.000 years a reliable containment of the essential part of the nuclear fuel by the coating can be expected "(2009, p. 323) !!!

The fuel element spheres contain highly radioactive substances and plutonium. And we hear from the scientific institution that is concerned with the long-term preservation of these highly dangerous time bombs, even in the smallest quantities, such vague and vague assumptions about the future as:

"the first 1.000 years (and after that?) ... substantial (incomplete !!) portion ... can be expected (!!) (!!) ..."

The only thing that is certain is that for at least the next 1.000 years, many people will have to pay for the irresponsible conduct of nuclear researchers and politicians in a double sense. With their health and a lot of money. Let's stop the greedy nuclear gang. For a hot autumn! 

Horst Blume


FZJ publications in 2010 on pebble bed reactor development
(without dismantling / disposal)

Allelein, H.-J .; Kasselmann, S .; Xhonneux, A .; Herber, S.-C.

Progress on the development of a fully integrated HTR code package

5th International Conference on High Temperature Reactor Technology, HTR 2010, Prague, Czech Republic, October 18-20, 2010 Article in a book (proceedings)

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Li, J .; Nünighoff, K .; Pohl, C .; Allelein, H.-J.

Investigating Spatial Self-Shielding and Temperature Effects for Homogeneous and Double Heterogeneous Pebble Models with MCNP

Annual Nuclear Technology Conference 2010, Berlin, 4.-6. May 2010, on CD-ROM, Deutsches Atomforum eV and Kerntechnische Gesellschaft eV, Berlin

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Nabielek, H .; Verondern, K .; Kania, MJ

HTR Fuel Testing in AVR and in MTRs

proc. of HTR 2010, Paper 064, Prague, Czech Republic, CD-Proceedings, 12 pages, 2010

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Nünighoff, K .; Druska, C .; Allelein, H.-J.

Code-to-code comparison between INK and MGT for transient scenarios

Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on High Temperature Reactor
Technology, HTR 2010, Prague, Czech Republic, October 18-20, 2010

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Pohl, C.

Temperature reactivity coefficient for plutonium fuel in a high temperature reactor

Proceedings PHYSOR 2010, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. May, 9th - 14th 2010

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Pohl, C.

Temperature Reactivity Coefficient for Plutonium Fuel in a High Temperature Reactor

Proceedings of the American Nuclear Society, LaGrange Park, IL (2010) so far only available on CD-ROM

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Pohl, C .; Allelein, H.-J.

Burning minor actinides in a HTR energy spectrum

5th International Conference on High Temperature Reactor Technology, HTR, 2010, Prague, Czech Republic, October 18-20, 2010

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Verondern, K .; from Lensa, W.

Nuclear Coal Gasification for Hydrogen and Synthetic Fuels Production

proc. 18th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering ICONE18, Paper 29176

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From Lensa, W .; Condemn, K.

Coal Gasification for Hydrogen Production Using Nuclear Energy

proc. 18th World Hydrogen Energy Conference WHEC2010, Paper C1004, Essen, Germany

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As well as two lectures from FZJ and one from RWTH at the Freiberg Conference on Coal Gasification 2010: (no longer available)

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