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The major growth in the electricity production industry in the last 30 years has centered on the expansion of natural gas power plants based on gas turbine cycles. The most popular extension of the simple Brayton gas turbine has been the combined cycle power plant with the air-Brayton cycle serving as the topping cycle and the Steam-Rankine cycle serving as the bottoming cycle for new generation of nuclear power plants that are known as GEN-IV. The air-Brayton cycle is an open-air cycle, and the Steam-Rankine cycle is a closed cycle. The air-Brayton cycle for a natural gas-driven power plant must be an open cycle, where the air is drawn in from the environment and exhausted with the products of combustion to the environment. This technique is suggested as an innovative approach to GEN-IV nuclear power plants in the form and type of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). The hot exhaust from the air-Brayton cycle passes through a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) prior to exhausting to the environment in a combined cycle. The HRSG serves the same purpose as a boiler for the conventional Steam-Rankine cycle [1, 2].
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- Why Nuclear Power Plant Energy
- Chapter 1