The role of nuclear power in meeting current and future industrial process heat demands



Peakman, A ORCID: 0000-0002-1109-4781 and Merk, B
(2019) The role of nuclear power in meeting current and future industrial process heat demands. Energies, 12 (19).

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Abstract

© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). There is growing interest in the use of advanced reactor systems for powering industrial processes which could significantly help to reduce CO2 emissions in the global energy system. However, there has been limited consideration into the role nuclear power would play in meeting current and future industry heat demand, especially with respect to the advantages and disadvantages nuclear power offers relative to other competing low-carbon technologies, such as Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). In this study, the current market needs for high temperature heat are considered based on UK industry requirements and work carried out in other studies regarding how industrial demand could change in the future. How these heat demands could be met via different nuclear reactor systems is also presented. Using this information, it was found that the industrial heat demands for temperature in the range of 500 ◦C to 1000 ◦C are relatively low. Whilst High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactors (HTGRs), Very High Temperature Reactors (VHTRs), Gas-cooled Fast Reactors (GFRs) and Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) have an advantage in terms of capability to achieve higher temperatures (>500 ◦C), their relative benefit over Liquid Metal-cooled Fast Reactors (LMFRs) and Light Water Reactors (LWRs) is actually smaller than previous studies indicate. This is because, as is shown here, major parts of the heat demand could be served by almost all reactor types. Alternative (non-nuclear) means to meet industrial heat demands and the indirect application of nuclear power, in particular via producing hydrogen, are also considered. As hydrogen is a relatively poor energy carrier, current trends indicate that the use of low-carbon derived hydrogen is likely to be limited to certain applications and there is a focus in this study on the emerging demands for hydrogen.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2019 09:15
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2019 10:13
DOI: 10.3390/en12193664
Open Access URL: https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/12/19/3664
URI: http://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3057574
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