09-07-2017: Is Nuclear Fueled Supercritical Water a Step Forward?

One cutting-edge development in electricity generation is the concept of employing nuclear reactors for heating water to supercritical temperatures, that is, above 374 °C; to drive steam turbines, in turn driving generators producing electricity.

This potential use of nuclear energy in Supercritical-Water-Cooled Reactors (SCWR’s) has been studied for more than fifteen-years, in ten countries around the world including the United States.   Per U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), SCWR’s are high-temperature, high pressure, water-cooled reactors operating above the thermodynamic critical point of water (374°C, 22.1 MPa or 705°F, 3,208 psia).

Image taken from 2002 Gen. IV Report as cited.

This technology is explained (see above image) in the December 2002 paper prepared jointly by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Nuclear Energy Research Advisory Committee (NERAC) and the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) entitled, A Technology Roadmap for Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems.[1]  This research was updated by the working group in 2014[2].

Basically, SCWR’s employ nuclear reactors to heat water above supercritical temperatures.  Though an interesting idea, I wonder if more nuclear waste to produce supercritical water is a full step forward.  It feels a bit like one step forward, three steps back.

Why have ten countries been researching costly, nuclear waste generating technologies for more than fifteen years to produce supercritical water for electricity generation, among other things, when they could simply visit the Z Group Energy (ZGE) website at https://zgroupenergy.com/ to learn how cost-effectively this patented manufacturing of supercritical water can be accomplished with no reactor, no nuclear waste and in fact, no waste of any kind other than clean water?

We already have a patented method for manufacturing clean, supercritical water for use in electricity generation and we are certain it can be produced using a patented, geothermally sealed system for less than half the cost of any of today’s technologies and much less than nuclear.  The only thing needed for work to move forward is a knowhow agreement with the inventors.

[1] “Generation_IV – Gen_iv_roadmap.Pdf,” 49, accessed September 5, 2017, http://nuclear.inl.gov/gen4/docs/gen_iv_roadmap.pdf.

[2] “Technology Roadmap Update for Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems – Gif-Tru2014.Pdf,” 40, accessed September 6, 2017, https://www.gen-4.org/gif/upload/docs/application/pdf/2014-03/gif-tru2014.pdf.