Evaluating the Nuclear Air-Brayton Combined Cycle: Alisha Kasam

Nuclear power, while a promising low-carbon energy source, currently has high capital costs and low operating costs so it is designed to operate at a full capacity that matches only base-load electricity Hybrid energy systems can enable us to use nuclear energy while meeting variable electricity demand and significantly improving nuclear plant revenues. The Nuclear Air-Brayton Combined Cycle (NACC) couples the heat output from a Fluoride-salt-cooled High-temperature Reactor (FHR) operating at base-load with a natural gas powered 'topping' cycle operating at intermediate and peak modes, achieving efficiency far above the best modern stand-alone natural gas cycles.

I am modelling the thermodynamic and economic performance of the NACC in order to compare its fuel efficiency and revenue potential under various operating scenarios with alternate methods of low-carbon, on-demand electricity generation.

Whether you are a nuclear energy skeptic, enthusiast, or undecided, I hope this talk will offer insight into the prospects and challenges associated with increasing our reliance on nuclear power over the next decades.


Presented at Churchill College, 28 May 2015.

Alisha Kasam

Alisha was a Churchill Scholar at Churchill College during 2014/15 reading an MPhil in Energy Technologies.

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