Gen-IV Demos: VHTR Technical Session Bridging GIF R&D community and Industry towards commercial deployment of VHTR/HTRs (Technical session)

Background Information

Date & Venue: Wednesday October 5 at 13:30-15:20, Room Mississauga, Delta Hotel, Toronto, Canada.

Objectives: The objective of this session is to discuss potential items and issues for multilateral collaboration programs that can benefit industry who are aiming to deploy VHTR/HTR. The session also aims to share thoughts on future directions to build bridges between GIF VHTR system R&D community and industry.


  • Gerhard Strydom (INL, US)
  • William Corwin (DOE, US)
  • Sam Suppiah (CNL, Canada)
  • Ben Cipiti (SNL, US)
  • Hiroyuki Sato (JAEA, Japan)
  • Tim Abram (U-battery, UK)
  • Neil Kemp (USNC, US)
  • Joshua Parker (BWXT, US)
  • Eben Mulder (X-energy, US)

Four HTR vendors aiming to deploy their system by the end of 2020s joined the session. The session was attended by approximately 80 attendees. Each speaker made a short presentation about the progress of collaborative activities in GIF VHTR system and their HTR concepts highlighting some areas of collaboration with GIF. This was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Hiroyuki Sato.

Key messages of the presentations

GIF VHTR system PMBs & PRPP/RS WGs: Each PMB is making good progress aiming to support deployment of HTRs through R&D on precompetitive issues including testing key components, obtaining data for design standards development, validation of computer codes, process evaluations, techno-economic assessment, etc. Areas of potential collaboration with Industry were suggested.

The PRPP WG has completed development of PRPP white papers and crosscut report. The WG is planning to focus more on the 3S (safety-safeguards-security) interfaces and PRPP issues related to the deployment of SMRs to aid inform decision by stakeholders including HTR designers. 

The RSWG has developed Integrated Safety Assessment Methodology (ISAM) as a technology-neutral toolkit to support the design efforts, and evaluate risk and safety. The WG collaborate with VHTR SSC to jointly develop safety design criteria.

HTR vendors (BWXT, U-battery, USNC, X-energy): All the vendors participate in the session are planning to deploy their concept by the end of 2020s (BWXT aims to deploy a microreactor by 2024 at INL). The range of reactor thermal power variates from 15MW to 250MW. The concept is developed based on High TRL technologies. Opportunities for cooperation under GIF were proposed.

Outcomes of the panel discussion

Potential collaboration items: Potential collaboration areas identified by GIF include benchmark studies for TRISO particle performance, FP transport fuel qualification method development, access to metallic and graphite data contained in the Materials Handbook and demonstration of H2 technologies. Industry showed interest in obtaining access to existing test facilities (MTR, helium loop, etc.), qualification of advanced design features, e.g. (helium/molten salt  HX, etc.), access to existing R&D data e.g. TRISO particle performance, graphite data, computer codes qualification, and HTR/VHTR operational data.

Items required further consideration: IP issues are still challenging for multilateral collaboration. Treatment of (their and others’) IP not yet fully understood in multilateral collaborations. If and how GIF measure “worth” of contributions is not clear. There is a good practice in GEMINI 4.0 under Horizon Euratom. Current GIF VHTR Materials Handbook access requests could be also used as test cases.

Conclusion: The industry representatives showed strong interest in GIF R&D. Potential collaboration topics were identified. Further considerations are needed regarding the treatment of IPs. GIF suggest reviewing good practices/lessons learned of existing multilateral collaborations which include industry as participants.

Actions and next steps

The following subjects will be further discussed towards practical collaboration with Industry:

  • Establish the legal basis how to valuate information and IP before transfer to SMR vendor companies.
  • How GIF can help SMR vendor companies to understand what topics have been dealt with in GIF. (For example, the PMBs can provide a sort of index of their production since their creation.)
  • How GIF can use the expertise to ensure good use of its IP by Industry.
  • How to obtain feedback from regulators and vendors to identify R&D gaps and accelerate demonstration and deployment.


Opening remarks by Hiroyuki Sato (JAEAJapan)
GIF VHTR Fuel and Fuel Cycle Project Management Board Overview by Gerhard Strydom (INLUnited States of America)
Overview of VHTR materials R&D by Bill Corwin (Advanced Reactor MaterialsUnited States of America)
Activities in RSWG by Hiroyuki Sato (JAEAJapan)
Overview of HTGR-related activities and potential collaboration with GIF by Tim Abram (U-BatteryUnited Kingdom)
Overview of HTGR-related activities and potential collaboration with GIF by Niel Kemp (USNCCanada)
X-Energy’s GEN IV Reactor Program Overview by Eben Mulder (X-EnergyUnited States of America)
BWXT Advanced Reactor Development by Josh Parker (BWXT TechnologiesUnited States of America)
Closing remarks by Hiroyuki Sato (JAEAJapan)