Nuclear Production of Hydrogen

Fourth Information Exchange Meeting, Oakbrook, Illinois, USA , 14-16 April 2009

image of Nuclear Production of Hydrogen

Hydrogen has the potential to play an important role as a sustainable and environmentally acceptable energy carrier in the 21st century. This report describes the scientific and technical challenges associated with the production of hydrogen using heat and/or electricity from nuclear power plants, with special emphasis on recent developments in high-temperature electrolysis and the use of different chemical thermodynamic processes. Economics and market analysis as well as safety aspects of the nuclear production of hydrogen are also discussed.



Alternate VHTR/HTE interface for mitigating tritium transport and structure creep

Nuclear Energy Agency

High temperature creep in structures at the interface between the nuclear plant and the hydrogen plant and the migration of tritium from the core through structures in the interface are two key challenges for the very high temperature reactor (VHTR) coupled to the high temperature electrolysis (HTE) process. The severity of these challenges, however, can be reduced by lowering the temperature at which the interface operates. Preferably this should be accomplished in a way that does not reduce combined plant efficiency and other performance measures. A means for doing so is described. A heat pump is used to raise the temperature of near-waste heat from the PCU to the temperature at which nine-tenths of the HTE process heat is needed. In addition to mitigating tritium transport and creep of structures, structural material commodity costs are reduced and plant efficiency is increased by 1%.


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