Four of the nation’s nuclear power plants – Davis-Besse (OH), Nine Mile Point (NY), Prairie Island (MN), and Palo Verde (AZ) – are partnering with the DOE (Department of Energy) to demonstrate their ability to produce pure hydrogen while they simultaneously continue producing reliable base-load electricity.
Hydrogen will be produced at these four nuclear power plants through high- or low-temperature electrolysis, the process of splitting water into pure hydrogen and oxygen. High temperature electrolyzers use both heat and electricity to split the water into hydrogen and oxygen and are more efficient at it than other proven methods of creating hydrogen from water.
According to the DOE, a single 1000 MW (megawatt) nuclear power plant could produce more than 150,000 tonnes of hydrogen each year. If these four projects are fruitful, this could pave the way for using our nation’s nuclear power plants to help in the production of hydrogen. Just 10 nuclear power plants could provide 15% of the hydrogen we currently use in the U.S. Using nuclear power plants to provide hydrogen while still supplying our base-load electrical needs would provide another energy storage option for use when our renewables are inactive, providing energy system flexibility. Net Zero needs nuclear!