HTR-10 is a 10 MWt prototype pebble bed reactor at Tsinghua University in China. Construction began in 1995, achieving its first criticality in December 2000, and was operated in full power condition in January 2003.
HTR-10 is modeled after the German HTR-MODUL. Like the HTR-MODUL, HTR-10 is claimed to be fundamentally safer, potentially cheaper and more efficient than other nuclear reactor designs. Outlet temperature ranges between 700 C to 950 C, which allows these reactors to generate hydrogen as a byproduct efficiently, thus supplying inexpensive and non-polluting fuel for fuel cell powered vehicles.
HTR-10 is a pebble-bed reactor HTGR utilizing spherical fuel elements with ceramic coated fuel particles. The reactor core has a diameter of 1.8 m, a mean height of 1.97 m and the volume of 5.0 m³, and is surrounded by graphite reflectors. The core is composed of 27,000 fuel elements. The fuel elements use low enriched uranium with a design mean burn up of 80,000 MWd/t. The pressure of the primary helium coolant circuit is 3.0 Mpa.
In 2005, China announced its intention to scale up HTR-10 for commercial power generation. The first two 250-MWt High-Temperature Reactor-Pebble-bed Modules (HTR-PM) will be installed at the Shidao Bay Nuclear Power Plant, near the city of Rongcheng in Shandong Province, and together drive a steam turbine generating 200 MWe.
Originally to be started in 2011, the project was postponed after the incident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan in March 2011. In 2009, it was planned to be finished in 2013. Construction finally began at the end of 2012, with the pouring of concrete basemat occurring in April 2014. The vessel was installed in 2016. It is expected to begin operating around 2017. An updated larger power plant, HTR-PM600, is planned with a capacity of 600 MWe using 6 HTR-PM reactor units.