Launched in September 2017, GEMINI+ aimed to prove the industrial feasibility of nuclear high temperature cogeneration. A demonstration in Poland took place to apply the project’s results.

The research and development activities performed in the GEMINI+ project aimed to support the GEMINI Initiative. Over the course of 36 months, GEMINI+ partners worked together towards the demonstration of high temperature nuclear cogeneration with a High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR).

Launched in September 2017, this European Horizon 2020 project funded under the Euratom programme provided a conceptual design of a high temperature nuclear cogeneration system that supplies process steam to industry, a licensing framework for this system and a business plan for a full scale demonstration.

GEMINI+ built on the knowledge, experimental data and modelling tools acquired in the numerous European R&D projects carried out in the last 18 years, such as RAPHAEL, PUMA, EUROPAIRS, ARCHER and NC2I-R, dedicated to the development of HTGR technology. It also built on the legacy of national programmes and on the inputs of international cooperation, such as the Generation IV international Forum (GIF).

The international partners (American, Japanese and South Korean) involved in the project also contributed to selecting the best options for the GEMINI+ industrial system configuration and demonstration, whilst bringing long-term perspectives.

The American NGNP Industry Alliance for instance provided scientific data and knowledge on the safety aspects of the HTGR technology. In Europe, the history of the UK, France and Germany with HTGR development was useful to the demonstration programme.

A Polish willingness

As one of the key strategic objectives in the GEMINI+ project, the industrial demonstration of a cogeneration HTGR power plant took place in Poland. Members of the Polish government sent support letters to welcome the GEMINI+ proposal while the HTGR technology itself was placed among the national top priorities projects in their 2016 ‘Strategy of Responsible Development’, with perspectives of considerably reducing natural gas imports, which represent the basic heat source for the chemical industry.

In addition, Tauron Polska Energia showed interest for the HTGR technology. Supplying over 50TWh of electricity to over 5.5 million customers per year, Tauron is the largest distributor of electricity in Poland, and the second largest electricity generator and supplier at the national level.

Polish and international engineers and scientists were trained to handle the industrial demonstration with minimised risks.


GEMINI+ organisation

The GEMINI+ project was organised into 6 work packages.

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About the GEMINI Initiative

The GEMINI Initiative is a transatlantic partnership that aims to develop the first commercial High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR).

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Latest news

Access all news about the GEMINI Initiative, GEMINI+ and GEMINI 4.0.


A licensing framework

GEMINI+ laid the foundations of a licensing framework for the development of a new nuclear cogeneration modular HTGR. It aimed to address both the requirements of Europe’s nuclear safety directives and other recent safety requirements, and the safety impact of the interactions between nuclear power plants and industrial applications.

A safe nuclear high temperature cogeneration system

The project defined the technical specifications for a safe nuclear HTGR cogeneration system, compliant with the highest safety standards, and able to provide energy to citizens and industry at a competitive cost.

A nuclear solution to address Europe’s energy objectives

GEMINI+ proposed a nuclear solution that addressed the industrial heat process, thus contributing to the Energy Union, which is Europe’s plan towards a transition to a low-carbon society, and the Strategic Energy Technology Plan objectives: to decarbonise Europe, ensure safe and efficient use of nuclear energy, secure Europe’s energy supply and keep industrial jobs in Europe.

A reference HTGR configuration for export

GEMINI+ sought to establish a reference HTGR configuration acceptable for licensing both in Europe and in the USA, with a future objective to develop this technology in other countries.

A plan for an industrial demonstration

The project set the basis for an industrial demonstration of nuclear cogeneration with an HTGR and verified that all conditions were met: acceptable site, appropriate funding and business schemes, industrial and technological readiness, ensuring supply chain for components, spent fuel management…

Strategic objectives

The success of the GEMINI+ project depended on the achievement of five strategic outputs.

Expected impacts

Establishing nuclear safety standards that comply with international regulatory requirements (including the amended Euratom Safety Directive and post-Fukushima recommendations)
Providing science-based knowledge to support EU decision-makers
Exploiting the HGTR’s flexibility properties to develop nuclear installations in arid regions, densely populated areas, large industrial platforms, coastal locations…
Reinforcing Europe’s industry competitiveness and encourage its reindustrialisation
Preparing a first industrial demonstration in Poland before large-scale development
Environmental benefits: reducing C02 emissions and developing low-carbon nuclear energy technologies like the cogeneration HTGR
Preserving industry and jobs in Europe, which will end the ‘carbon-leakage’ effect (relocation of the industrial production into countries with less stringent financial and environmental conditions)
Ensuring the EU’s security of energy supply, reducing imports of gas, coal and chemicals
Engaging in a strong trans-Atlantic programme and a win-win international partnership and dialogue between the EU, USA, Japan and South Korea
Preparing the long-term development of the HTGR technology
Improving innovation capacity for end-users and governments (supporting countries to remain attractive for heavy industry)

GEMINI+ partners

Coordinated by the Polish National Centre for Nuclear Research (NCBJ), the GEMINI+ consortium gathered 26 partners from across Europe and included partners in Japan, South Korea and the United States.