The small reactor cooling solution developed and patented by VTT won third prize in the European Commission’s Nuclear innovation Prize competition.
The LDR-50 district heating reactor is being developed to generate low-carbon heat for district heating networks in small, medium and large cities.
Small reactors are being enthusiastically developed around the world for a variety of energy production solutions.
What is special about VTT’s reactor concept is that the reactor operates at low pressure and a temperature of about 150 degrees.
“Operating conditions are modest compared to conventional nuclear reactors, which significantly facilitates the implementation of technical solutions. The technology has the potential for large-scale commercial use in the 2030s, ”says the research professor Jaakko Leppänen VTT says in a press release.
The award-winning cooling solution is an integral part of the safety features of the LDR-50 reactor. The safety design of the reactor relies on passive systems, which make it possible to achieve the very high level of safety required of nuclear reactors with simple technology.
The reactor module consists of two nested pressure vessels, the space between which is partially filled with water.
In the event of a fault, the water begins to boil, causing heat to be efficiently transferred out of the reactor. The system does not include any moving parts whose failure could prevent it from operating. The invention was granted a patent in November 2021.