Think tank set to advance nuclear role in hydrogen production


A new working group is set to explore the role of nuclear power in the production of hydrogen for future energy systems.

Launched on 24 March, the Nuclear Enabled Hydrogen Working Group will assess opportunities to use nuclear thermal heat and electricity to produce zero carbon hydrogen. The group, set up by the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, includes leading academics and experts from the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), Burges Salmon and Petrofac. If their work is successful, producing hydrogen from nuclear could have a significant impact on the UK’s goal of reaching net zero by 2050.

NNL and DNV already undertook work last year to explore the potential of nuclear in supporting the conversion of UK gas networks to hydrogen through the Nuclear Derived Hydrogen to Gas Networks collaboration. This will provide deeper evidence, helping to support upcoming government policy decisions on the role of hydrogen in buildings and heating, and will also be fed into the work of the UK HFCA working group.

Allan Simpson, Chair of the group and NNL Technical Lead, explained: “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. This project is a key step in bringing nuclear enabled hydrogen into the public domain, demonstrating that a UK hydrogen network could have a wider range of options for hydrogen supply.”