U.K. group to explore nuclear’s role in hydrogen production

April 7, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News

With the aim of contributing to the United Kingdom’s effort to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (UK HFCA) has launched the Nuclear Enabled Hydrogen Working Group.

According to the UK HFCA—a trade organization for Britain’s hydrogen and fuel cell community—the new working group will assess opportunities for utilizing nuclear energy’s thermal heat and electricity to produce zero-carbon hydrogen. Members will include academics, experts from the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), and personnel from British law firm Burges Salmon and energy services provider Petrofac.

What they’re saying: “Hydrogen is too important a part of the U.K.’s journey to net zero for us to let up,” said Celia Greaves, chief executive officer of the UK HFCA, in an NNL news release. “The UK HFCA will continue to do all it can, leading coordination with relevant groups to ensure the government receives consistent, practical, and expert advice.”

Greaves added, “Nuclear power plants can produce hydrogen through a variety of methods that would greatly reduce carbon emissions while taking advantage of the constant thermal energy and electricity it reliably provides. In future, we could see nuclear power plants functioning as part of an energy system that is very different from the one that existed during the construction of the nuclear plants currently in use.”

Allan Simpson, chair of the working group, a technical lead at the NNL, and a specialist in low-cost hydrogen production, said, “We will look at evidence-based advice to widen the understanding of the role of nuclear hydrogen across the energy system, including in buildings, transport, and industry, as well as specific ways to remove barriers, support net-zero objectives, and accelerate use.”

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