Nuclear Power

28 Nov 2021

Nuclear Derived Hydrogen being Explored for UK Gas Grids

28 Nov 2021  by   

The introduction of nuclear derived hydrogen is being explored for UK gas networks to help support key up-coming government policy decisions on the role of hydrogen in buildings and for heating, scheduled for 2026.

The National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) and DNV have partnered on the effort as they believe that nuclear derived hydrogen could help to drive production at gigawatt scale and help buildout a UK hydrogen gas network.

As part of the effort a pilot at the Advanced Nuclear Skills and Innovation Campus (ANSIC), located at NNL’s Preston Laboratory on the Springfield’s nuclear licensed site, will be carried out with support from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Under the pilot, NNL is running three hydrogen workshops, with the first commencing on November 30. It is hoped the workshop will develop a common understanding of nuclear derived hydrogen and advanced nuclear technologies (ANTs), with second and final workshops taking place in January and March (2022).

Dr Paul Howarth, CEO at the National Nuclear Laboratory, said, “Innovation, specialist skills and expertise are recognised as fundamental to maximising the potential of ANTs to support decarbonisation and are a key focus of the ANSIC pilot programme. Nuclear offers the potential for large-scale, low-cost production of hydrogen with zero emissions and could be an ideal energy source to drive transition of our gas networks towards net zero.

“This project paves the way for nuclear to support climate change mitigation across home heating, industry and transportation and we are excited about how our collaboration with DNV can drive the pace of change required to meet our clean energy goals.”

Hari Vamadevan, Regional Director, UK & Ireland, Energy Systems, at DNV, added, “The pathway to 1.5 degrees requires the creation of a robust hydrogen economy. Hydrogen will account for 13% of energy demand by 2050 and crucially it is urgently needed for the decarbonisation of hard to electrify sectors.

“Our forecasts predict that one third of global hydrogen and synthetic-fuel demand by 2050 will be used for industrial heating.  We will need to consider multiple pathways to achieve the hydrogen economy, nuclear is one such path.”


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