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Title: Gigawatt-year nuclear-geothermal energy storage for light-water and high-temperature reactors

Abstract

Capital-intensive, low-operating cost nuclear plants are most economical when operated under base-load conditions. However, electricity demand varies on a daily, weekly, and seasonal basis. In deregulated utility markets this implies high prices for electricity at times of high electricity demand and low prices for electricity at times of low electricity demand. We examined coupling nuclear heat sources to geothermal heat storage systems to enable these power sources to meet hourly to seasonal variable electricity demand. At times of low electricity demand the reactor heats a fluid that is then injected a kilometer or more underground to heat rock to high temperatures. The fluid travels through the permeable-rock heat-storage zone, transfers heat to the rock, is returned to the surface to be reheated, and re-injected underground. At times of high electricity demand the cycle is reversed, heat is extracted, and the heat is used to power a geothermal power plant to produce intermediate or peak power. When coupling geothermal heat storage with light-water reactors (LWRs), pressurized water (<300 deg. C) is the preferred heat transfer fluid. When coupling geothermal heat storage with high temperature reactors at higher temperatures, supercritical carbon dioxide is the preferred heat transfer fluid. The non-ideal characteristics ofmore » supercritical carbon dioxide create the potential for efficient coupling with supercritical carbon dioxide power cycles. Underground rock cannot be insulated, thus small heat storage systems with high surface to volume ratios are not feasible because of excessive heat losses. The minimum heat storage capacity to enable seasonal storage is {approx}0.1 Gigawatt-year. Three technologies can create the required permeable rock: (1) hydro-fracture, (2) cave-block mining, and (3) selective rock dissolution. The economic assessments indicated a potentially competitive system for production of intermediate load electricity. The basis for a nuclear geothermal system with LWRs exists today; but, there is need for added research and development before deployment. There are significantly greater challenges for geothermal heat storage at higher temperatures. Such systems are strongly dependent upon the local geology. (authors)« less

Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307 (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
American Nuclear Society, 555 North Kensington Avenue, La Grange Park, IL 60526 (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
22107903
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: ICAPP '12: 2012 International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants, Chicago, IL (United States), 24-28 Jun 2012; Other Information: Country of input: France; 8 refs.; Related Information: In: Proceedings of the 2012 International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants - ICAPP '12| 2799 p.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 15 GEOTHERMAL ENERGY; CARBON DIOXIDE; FRACTURES; GEOTHERMAL ENERGY; GEOTHERMAL HEATING; GEOTHERMAL POWER PLANTS; GEOTHERMAL SYSTEMS; HEAT; HEAT SOURCES; HEAT STORAGE; HEAT TRANSFER; HEAT TRANSFER FLUIDS; NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS; TEMPERATURE RANGE 0400-1000 K; THERMAL ENERGY STORAGE EQUIPMENT; WATER COOLED REACTORS; WATER MODERATED REACTORS

Citation Formats

Forsberg, C. W., Lee, Y., Kulhanek, M., and Driscoll, M. J. Gigawatt-year nuclear-geothermal energy storage for light-water and high-temperature reactors. United States: N. p., 2012. Web.
Forsberg, C. W., Lee, Y., Kulhanek, M., & Driscoll, M. J. Gigawatt-year nuclear-geothermal energy storage for light-water and high-temperature reactors. United States.
Forsberg, C. W., Lee, Y., Kulhanek, M., and Driscoll, M. J. Sun . "Gigawatt-year nuclear-geothermal energy storage for light-water and high-temperature reactors". United States.
@article{osti_22107903,
title = {Gigawatt-year nuclear-geothermal energy storage for light-water and high-temperature reactors},
author = {Forsberg, C. W. and Lee, Y. and Kulhanek, M. and Driscoll, M. J.},
abstractNote = {Capital-intensive, low-operating cost nuclear plants are most economical when operated under base-load conditions. However, electricity demand varies on a daily, weekly, and seasonal basis. In deregulated utility markets this implies high prices for electricity at times of high electricity demand and low prices for electricity at times of low electricity demand. We examined coupling nuclear heat sources to geothermal heat storage systems to enable these power sources to meet hourly to seasonal variable electricity demand. At times of low electricity demand the reactor heats a fluid that is then injected a kilometer or more underground to heat rock to high temperatures. The fluid travels through the permeable-rock heat-storage zone, transfers heat to the rock, is returned to the surface to be reheated, and re-injected underground. At times of high electricity demand the cycle is reversed, heat is extracted, and the heat is used to power a geothermal power plant to produce intermediate or peak power. When coupling geothermal heat storage with light-water reactors (LWRs), pressurized water (<300 deg. C) is the preferred heat transfer fluid. When coupling geothermal heat storage with high temperature reactors at higher temperatures, supercritical carbon dioxide is the preferred heat transfer fluid. The non-ideal characteristics of supercritical carbon dioxide create the potential for efficient coupling with supercritical carbon dioxide power cycles. Underground rock cannot be insulated, thus small heat storage systems with high surface to volume ratios are not feasible because of excessive heat losses. The minimum heat storage capacity to enable seasonal storage is {approx}0.1 Gigawatt-year. Three technologies can create the required permeable rock: (1) hydro-fracture, (2) cave-block mining, and (3) selective rock dissolution. The economic assessments indicated a potentially competitive system for production of intermediate load electricity. The basis for a nuclear geothermal system with LWRs exists today; but, there is need for added research and development before deployment. There are significantly greater challenges for geothermal heat storage at higher temperatures. Such systems are strongly dependent upon the local geology. (authors)},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {7}
}

Conference:
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