Energy 2.0

Next generation nuclear and the best ideas in clean, safe power

Category Novel Nuclear Uses

International schemes hatch to tap nuclear for industrial heat

China, India, Russia others eyeing high temperature reactors for producing metals, hydrogen, fossil fuels, petrochemicals. Desalination too. Beijing targets 2017.

Temperature's rising: The early construction stage of China's high temperature (750-degree C) pebble bed reactor at Shidao Bay, due for grid connection in 2017. China broke ground in late 2012. Over the last month alone it has completed installation of fuel production machinery, and has successfully tested fuel pumps.

One of the most compelling reasons for the nuclear industry to start building novel reactors is that alternative designs could broaden nuclear’s clean energy appeal well beyond electricity generation and into a source of CO2-free heat that powers industrial processes. Nuclear could usher in tremendous environmental improvements if it were to replace the CO2-spewing fossil fuels that fire up steel and cement furnaces, and that process and refine materials like

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ExxonMobil: Nuclear power will double

Yes, ExxonMobil. Shell sees growth too. The oil companies know that nuclear is clean.

Nuclear nights: Nuclear will increasingly keep the world's lights on as countries like China continue to grow and turn to cleaner energy sources. Above, Shanghai's Pudong district.

Let’s start this week’s blog with a quiz. Identify the source of this global prediction: “By 2040, we expect that the use of nuclear power will approximately double.” Is it: a) a leading utility; b) a large nuclear company; c) one of those growing crop of greenies clamoring for nuclear to help staunch the spewing of environmentally ruinous carbon dioxide (we like those folks here at Energy 2.0); d) a

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Experts to Parliament: Small reactors can boost UK nuclear 

Deploy them in altogether new locations for huge leap in clean affordable energy they say, as House of Commons “SMR” hearings  continue

Industrial Strength: Dr. Fiona Rayment of the UK's National Nuclear Laboratory told a House of Commons select committee that small modular reactors could operate on an industrial user's site and thus reduce reliance on the grid and on fossil fuels.

Industrial electricity users who want to reduce their reliance on the grid and on volatile fossil fuels could install small modular nuclear reactors on their site to ensure a constant electricity supply, an expert has advised a UK Parliamentary committee that is investigating the potential uses for alternative nuclear power in Britain. The novel reactors would thus help significantly increase nuclear electricity’s share of the country’s energy mix said the

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Alternative reactors go to Parliament

Uses include district heating and hydrogen production, experts testify to a UK House of Commons committee

Stein's way: Testifying to a House committee, Rolls-Royce's Paul Stein noted that the nuclear industry does not exactly progress at the pace of “greased lightning.” But it could develop an SMR for Britain within 7 years if it initially sticks with shrunken conventional designs before trying advanced models, he said.

Small, alternative reactors could open up British nuclear power to entirely new uses such as district heating and hydrogen production, and thus buoy the country’s efforts to meet mandatory carbon reduction goals. So testified experts backed by Rolls-Royce, by utilities and even by the fossil fuel industry when asked by a Parliamentary committee about the potential for small modular reactors (SMRs). “We look at the question in the context of

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Nuclear will keep the home fires burning in China

Beijing practices what it preaches as it campaigns to export reactors

Raising the temperature: China's nuclear expansion includes the development of small high temperature reactors that will provide heat for industrial processes. Jiang Mianheng, who is the son of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin, heads a Shanghai high temperature project for the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

In recent blogs, we’ve pointed out how nuclear reactor companies are turning to seemingly unlikely geographies for growth. Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America – hardly traditional nuclear markets – look set to help revive the nuclear renaissance that stalled following the meltdowns at Japan’s Fukushima plant in March, 2011. We’ve also noted that China and its state-owned reactor companies are among the nuclear purveyors chasing business

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UK government-industry body seeks proposals for alternative nuclear

Public-private investment group including BP, Shell and Rolls-Royce says small reactors could trump large conventional designs and help meet CO2 reduction goals

The future of nuclear? Royal Dutch Shell is part of a British public-private investment group that is seeking proposals for small modular reactors.

A key low carbon public-private British investment group that includes oil and turbine companies BP, Shell, Rolls-Royce and Caterpillar is casting its net into nuclear, seeking proposals for alternative reactors that depart from conventional designs and that could serve as a source of both electricity and heat. The request for proposals (RFP) from the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) marks a widening of the group’s interests beyond the renewables and fossil-fuel

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New frontiers for nuclear include Africa – and not just for electricity

Could the continent start hosting novel reactors?

Lagos, Nigeria is Africa's largest city with about 21 million people. It and the rapidly growing country lack adequate electricity and clean water. Nuclear power looks poised to help.

It is becoming a trend: As countries from the developed world prevaricate over nuclear power, the technology is gaining favor in underdeveloped nations and other places where you might not expect it as a source of desperately needed clean, steady, low-carbon electricity. Want proof?  Just look at the last week’s headlines from Africa alone, where three countries – Nigeria, Kenya and Algeria – all made moves toward establishing their first

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Indonesia’s nuclear future: Electricity, clean water and – Bill Gates?

A low-CO2 model for other countries too

The greening of Kalimantan: Lush Indonesia generates close to 90 percent of its electricity from coal, oil and natural gas. It needs a lot more power to sustain its economic growth, and it's looking toward nuclear, which could power smelters and desalination in places like Kalimantan (above).

Nuclear energy developer Bill Gates – better known as software billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates – is reportedly mulling a proposal to build his novel reactor for Indonesia, and while a deal looks unlikely, the prospect underscores how nuclear is poised for a pivotal transition towards not only superior new reactor technologies, but also to new markets and innovative uses of the clean energy source. Gates, who is chairman of

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