In the current climate, nuclear power plants find it difficult to compete with cheaper natural gas and renewable energy generation meaning that many are forced to retire early with no short-term way of destroying nuclear reactors.
However, the investigation conducted by AES-100 has revealed that nuclear plants could be used as a perfect component to produce green hydrogen whilst ensuring a stable power output and maximising efficiency.
The excess electricity and steam produced by the nuclear reactor could be used to produce hydrogen in times when the reactor would originally have to be turned down due to less demand from the grid.
The European Union imports 55% of its energy ($350bn) and has a goal to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels. Therefore, nuclear power will remain an important part of Europe’s Green Energy output and could transform into a major piece in the hydrogen strategy.
It is believed that nuclear energy currently supplies 19% of the energy consumed in the US, with around 25% in the European Union.
AES-100 will continue to investigate opportunities and markets for hydrogen.