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China's HTR-PM Achieves Milestone in Nuclear Energy

China has achieved a milestone in its nuclear energy ambitions with the successful 168-hour demonstration run of the High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor - Pebble-bed Module (HTR-PM) in Shidao Bay. The HTR-PM, utilising helium as a coolant and graphite as a moderator, features two small reactors driving a single 210 MWe steam turbine. Notably, it uses over 400,000 spherical fuel elements, demonstrating inherent safety characteristics even at temperatures exceeding 1,620°C. If commercialised, it could substantially boost helium demand in China. We see small scale nuclear as a potential major growth area for helium demand.

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