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K Temperature Characteristics of High-Temperature Gas Reactors The high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) is promising for the production of high-temperature process heat. The present version has an outlet coolant temperature of about 700C and can be applied to the genera- tion of electricity and steam at high pressure. The high pressure facilitates the transport of steam to remote locations, which potentially increases the application of nuclear energy to enhanced oil recovery operations, and to the "mining" of heavy oils and tar sands. In the future the HTGR outlet coolant temperature can be increased (eventually to 950C and higher), so that HTGRs become very high tem- perature reactors (VHTRs) and become a potential source of high-tempera- ture process heat. VHTRs show potential for application to fossil fuel conversion processes (e.g., steam reforming of methane at 850C beyond the year 2005 and steam gasification of coal at higher temperatures beyond the year 2010~. At 900C and above, steam gasification of coal produces synthesis gas for the production of transportation fuels. The use of VHTRs as the energy source in coal gasification could reduce coal use by about 35 percent relative to using coal as the process energy source. VHTR use in the reforming of methane to synthesis gas could reduce natural gas use by about 40 percent relative to using natural gas as the process energy source. 200