Reducing industrial carbon emissions is one of the most difficult challenges on the path to net zero by 2050 due to the magnitude of greenhouse gas emissions from the industrial sector and technical requirements for heat in addition to power. High-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs) are a promising Generation IV nuclear technology that can supply process heat for a variety of industrial applications.
The Nuclear Energy Agency investigated the potential and limitations of HTGRs for industrial heat applications. This study reviews the technical features and development status of HTGRs as a low-carbon heat source and explores how this technology could meet the process heat requirements of different industrial processes. It revealed the potential industrial applications of HTGR heat in the near term as well as further opportunities in the medium to long term while identifying the remaining challenges for the industrial deployment of this technology.