Hydrogen from Nuclear Energy

2023-2025
Task Manager: Gilles Rodríguez

Brief Description

The Energy world is changing and is fast moving towards an uncertain new Energy paradigm that is not based on Massive Crude Oil and coal Consumption: we need to pave the way towards the decarbonization of all energies and industrial process according to the net zero objective in 2050.

In this coming decarbonized society, the future energy model could be preferentially focused on two primary energy vectors: Electricity and Heat. However, the challenge of a decarbonized society is not based only on energy producers; it must also concern all energy end-users: industrial hubs, heavy industries, transportation… In this context, Hydrogen is appealed to get a promising future as energy vector in storage, energy regulator, and as based chemical product to decarbonize the society (fabrication of synthetic fuel or ammonia for instance). And Nuclear energy could provide a key position in this energy mix because it has the potentiality to supply all the future energy needs in particular due to its high energy density.

Thus, the future of nuclear energy cannot be only identified as a massive electricity supplier. Its portfolio shall significantly increase and must include for the future several energetic services, including hydrogen production, synthetic fuels and valuable chemical products (ammonia, urea…).

TASK 44’s WORKPLAN – Download it here

TASK-RELATED DOCUMENTS: IEA HyN WG44 paper on colours of hydrogen – Download it here

General Objectives

This Task will serve as a platform and framework for sharing and contributing information one the different possibilities of Hydrogen production from Nuclear Energy by:

  • Identifying the on-going and planned activities in this subject.
  • Providing an holistic analysis of the situation, context and constraints to identify all conditions to fulfill for this technology to be deployed.

Specific Objectives

Carry out technical and economic analysis and survey on the key points to develop a competitive hydrogen production from nuclear energy in different contexts:

  • Identify barriers and hurdles from of a rapid progress of hydrogen from nuclear energy systems.
  • Identify R&D needs, demonstrations and recent progresses.
  • Provide global analysis on the implementation of a nuclear system in a regional energy ecosystem (including the nuclear reactor, the hydrogen production process, storage, transport, and distribution as well as its final utilization, especially for heat and/or hydrogen consuming industries).

 

Deliver general guidelines and recommendations to both business developers and policymakers:

 

  • Comprehensive analysis, tools, guidelines to inform and facilitate decisions processes (investment decisions, policy measures…) and to propose also recommendations to allow current and future hydrogen deployment coming from nuclear energy.
  • Enhance HYNE (Hydrogen from Nuclear Energy) deployment on energy markets and the development of international trade.
  • Develop nuclear energy for hydrogen production as a key energy carrier for a sustainable and smart energy system.
  • The collected data and results would enable this task to deliver advices to policy makers, industrials, licensing authorities and investors in IEA member states as to which nuclear systems are best suited (i.e., affordable, efficient, reliable, resilient, timeline for deployment) for meeting specific policy goals; how much these options would cost, and how much economic benefit they would produce (from short to long term vision).

Task Structure

  • Subtask 1: State of the art / Data and Knowledge Acquisition

Subtask 1 intend to be organized as a shared community platform where recent progresses and relevant achievements will be shared regularly among all Task members. We will focus on the two following items:

  1. Identification of existing achievement and real case R&D progress,
  2. Definition of the level of feasibilty, and approach of the scaling up analysis.

This subtask is the way to follow online and regularly the worldwide initiative on Hydrogen from Nuclear Energy. It is also a social media that keeps the link with all Members between meetings.

  • Subtask 2: Process of hydrogen production systems from nuclear energy.

This Subtask will provide an updated portfolio of all the existing and in development processes of hydrogen from nuclear energy systems. We intend to provide a fair analysis of all listed solutions by identifying the maturity level (TRL / IRL / MRL ) and keeping in mind the review of the existing legal frameworks. The following family of nuclear reactors will be investigated:

  1. Existing and past reactor cases
  2. Gen III type nuclear reactor
  3. Gen IV type nuclear reactor
  4. SMR / AMR / MMR specific approach

In all these families we will identify their respective challenges and technological breakthrough. If relevant, a technico-economical analysis will be provided in connection with the Subtask 4.

 

  • Subtask 3 : Hydrogen production for high value products and services
    In numerous cases the hydrogen molecule could be considered as a media to produce other services or other high value molecules. This Subtask is considering all these solutions where hydrogen could be including or part of the transformation chain of other chemical products. We will mainly consider:
  1. Ammonia production
  2. Synthetic fuels
  3. Hydrogen as energy storage media (in interaction with the dedicated IEA/ H2 Task)

 

  • Subtask 4: Business case model analysis & scenarios.
    This Subtask will focus on the technico economical approach of several HYNE scenarios (HYNE for hydrogen from Nuclear Energy). We will particularly identify in these scenarios if there is a specific geographical or political context influencing the proposed solutions.
    Within this Task will be organized joint expert review of some relevant technical studies already provided by other international organizations (such as OECD/NEA or IAEA).

 

  • Subtask 5: Recommendations, stakeholder engagement, communication & dissemination.
    This Subtask is dedicated to all the communications aspects of the analysis and results provided be this Task. It is also the way provide the unique interface and network between this Task and the other organizations (IAEA, OECD, IEA / H2 TCP other Tasks). This Task will develop a dissemination plan of the Task recommendations to relevant intergovernmental organizations. It will work with all subtasks to ensure their knowledge dissemination and key messages and recommendations.

 

  • Subtask 6: Task management and coordination.
    The management and coordination of this Task is a crosscutting activity in interaction with all other Subtasks. There is a strong willing to provide an agile approach of this Task management.