The Pebble Bed Reactor is an advanced nuclear
reactor design. This technology claims a dramatically higher level of safety and efficiency. Instead of water, it uses
helium as the coolant, at very high temperature, to drive a
target=_blank title="Wikipedia: Turbine">turbine directly. This eliminates the complex steam management system from the design, and increases the
transfer efficiency (ratio of electrical output to thermal output) to about 50%.
The technology in various forms is under development by MIT, the
"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" target=_blank title="Wikipedia: South Africa">South African power utility Eskom, General
Atomic (U.S.), the Dutch company Romaha B.V., Adams Atomic Engines, a U.S. Company,
and the Chinese company Chinergy, working
with Tsinghua University.