The U.S. Department of Energy announced Thursday that it has amended a funding opportunity to include development of a “nuclear and hydrogen industrial energy park” that would couple a thermal reactor with production of carbon-free fuel.
Applications are now due Oct. 11. Total expected funding for advanced nuclear under the opportunity is $250 million over a five-year period.
“It is anticipated that selected awardees could design and develop the heat-extraction infrastructure needed for a nuclear and hydrogen industrial energy park or develop hydrogen-coupled end uses for nuclear-produced hydrogen,” DOE said.
This is not the first time DOE has shown an interest in using nuclear energy to produce hydrogen. The agency has launched a Hydrogen Shot initiative to reduce the price of clean hydrogen over the next decade to $1 per kilogram. And in October, DOE unveiled plans to spend $20 million supporting a PNW Hydrogen project at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Phoenix.
The most recent announcement envisions proposals will lead to “an eventual demonstration of thermal energy extraction, distribution, and control at thermal power levels of 20 to 300 megawatts thermal.”