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30/01/15 The fourth ARCHER Newsletter was released on 30 January 2015. Read online here

21/01/15 The second ARCHER EUROCOURSE, hosted by NRG, was held in Petten from 19-20 January 2015. Click here for more info

26/11/14 The third ARCHER Newsletter was released on 26 November 2014. Read online here

28/10/14 The ARCHER final meeting was held on 21-22 Jan 2015 at NRG in Petten (NL).

27/10/14 The High Temperature Reactor (HTR) Conference was held from 27-31 October 2014 in Weihai, Shandong Province, China. Click here for more info

29/03/14 The second Newsletter was released on 28 March 2014. Read online here

Supported by

European Commission

Feasability of Nuclear Supported Coal-to-Liquid

North-West University, South AfricaFeasibility of Nuclear Supported Coal-to-Liquid

North-West University in South Africa, one of the international partners in the ARCHER project, has gathered a team of experts from industry and from the University of Stellenbosch to work with the European team on Work Package 1 – System Integration. The team focused on the opportunity of coupling a European-developed High Temperature Cogeneration solution to the Coal-to-Liquid (CTL) process currently in operation in Secunda, South Africa.

The approach taken was to create a techno-economic baseline for an existing CTL process using Aspen Plus chemical modelling software to determine mass and energy balances. The economic performance of a typical 80,000 barrels per day synthetic crude oil plant was determined from first principles. The techno-economic baseline model was validated with reference to published product output data and audited financial results of a CTL plant located at Secunda, as reported for the 2012 financial year.

A number of schemes were identified to couple the European HTR plant (as conceptualised by the European team in terms of task 1.1.3) to the CTL case study. Two schemes were studied in detail, while the remaining coupling schemes will be studied as part of ARCHER’s follow-on project, NC2I-R (Nuclear Cogeneration Industrial Initiative – Research).

Two Key Performance Indices were of interest, namely the Internal Rate of Return of a nuclear supported CLT plant and the reduction in CO2 emissions resulting from the introduction of nuclear energy.

The case where nuclear cogeneration replaced electrical power bought from the grid and all the steam currently produced by plant’s internal coal fired steam plant, revealed interesting conclusions:

  • The case study plant would need a total of 16 HTRs each with a capacity of 265 MWth.
  • This coupling scheme would reduce emission by approximately 1650 ton/hour CO2 (14.5 million ton/year) or 50 % of current emissions.
  • The economic feasibility challenge for large scale deployment of nuclear energy in a Coal-to-Liquid application - where steam and electricity are to be generated from nuclear energy, is to construct such a facility at an all -inclusive overnight cost not exceeding $ 3400/kWe.