Nuclear plants could produce hydrogen


United KingdomAberdeen International’s recent acquired, AES-100, is researching the potential of hydrogen production from nuclear reactors.

AES-100 is investigating whether hydrogen production could, under the right conditions, offer a solution to U.S. and European nuclear reactors from retiring early as well as support newer reactors to run at their highest efficiency.

While nuclear energy supplies 19% of the energy consumed in the US and about 25% in the European Union, many nuclear power plants find it hard to compete with cheaper natural gas and renewable energy generation, later being often subsidized by government programs.

Perfect component

Nuclear plants appear to be a perfect component to produce green hydrogen, while ensuring the nuclear plants power output to be stable and therefore maximizing efficiency. Excess electricity and steam produced by the nuclear reactor could be used to produce hydrogen in times when a reactor would have to be tuned down due to less demand from the grid.

The European Union imports 55% of its energy ($350 billion) and has a goal to cut its GHG 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. AES-100 will continue to investigate opportunities and markets for hydrogen.