Executive Summary

This paper summarizes the evaluation of siting an HTGR plant in a remote area where it could supply steam, electricity, and high temperature gas for the recovery and upgrade of unconventional crude oil from oil sands in Alberta, Canada. This plant was designed to cover an area of ~43,000 hectares and recover up to 50% of the bitumen reserves in this area. The application of an HTGR based central energy facility in the Alberta oil sands addresses potential long term issues associated with recovering and upgrading bitumen; principally greenhouse gas emissions and price instability associated with the large quantities of natural gas used currently as the energy supply. The central energy facility design developed in this evaluation addresses these issues by reducing natural gas consumption by ~205 million standard cubic feet per day (~4.5 trillion cubic feet over the life of the plant), and reducing CO2 emissions by ~13 thousand tons per day (~285 million tons over the life of the plant).

Final Report