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Nuclear Production of Hydrogen

Second Information Exchange Meeting -- Argonne, Illinois, USA 2-3 October 2003

image of Nuclear Production of Hydrogen

Hydrogen has the potential to play an important role as a sustainable and environmentally acceptable source of energy in the 21st century. Present methods for producing hydrogen are mainly based on the reforming of fossil fuels with subsequent release of greenhouse gases. To avoid producing greenhouse gases, the possibility to use heat and surplus electricity from nuclear power plants to produce hydrogen by water cracking is being investigated. This report presents the state of the art in the nuclear production of hydrogen and describes the scientific and technical challenges associated with it.

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Hydrogen Production with Fully Integrated Fuel Cycle Gas and Vapour Core Reactors

Nuclear Energy Agency

This paper presents results of a conceptual design study involving gas and vapour core reactors (G/VCR) with a combined scheme to generate hydrogen and power. The hydrogen production schemes include high temperature electrolysis as well as two dominant thermochemical hydrogen production processes. Thermochemical hydrogen production processes considered in this study included the calcium-bromine process and the sulphur-iodine processes. G/VCR systems are externally reflected and moderated nuclear energy systems fuelled by stable uranium compounds in gaseous or vapour phase that are usually operated at temperatures above 1 500K. A gas core reactor with a condensable fuel such as uranium tetrafluoride (UF4) or a mixture of UF4 and other metallic fluorides (BeF2, LiF, KF, etc.) is commonly known as a vapour core reactor (VCR)....

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