Unlike Generation III reactors, which need to be shut down to remove spent fuel rods, a pebble bed reactor
continuously cycles the pebbles through the core.
In addition to Egypt's decision to restart its nuclear power programme, there has been some discussion of Morocco building a nuclear power reactor, while South African power company Eskom still hopes to develop a string of pebble bed reactors
, so could nuclear have a place in the African generation mix of the future?
In fact, says Gunter, the pebble bed reactor
is not new; it's just "old wine in a new bottle.
The Xe-100 will benefit from decades of research and safe operation in pebble bed reactors
internationally, and X-energy plans to bring the remarkable features and benefits of pebble fuel to the United States for the first time.
Pebble bed reactors
, for instance, are now in the planning stages in China and South Africa, and supporters say a meltdown is nearly impossible with that design.