Shell wants to use nuclear energy to generate hydrogen

Photo: ANP

Oil and gas group Shell wants to produce hydrogen with energy from small nuclear power plants. To this end, the British company has signed an agreement with NuScale Power. This is the only company approved in the United States for its design of small nuclear power plants. NuScale and Shell will look together to see if they can be used to produce cheap hydrogen.

Hydrogen is an important fuel for the green economy. Factories can run on it instead of gas, but ships, trucks, and even planes can also use hydrogen as a fuel. In addition, it can be used as a kind of battery. For example, energy from wind turbines and solar panels that cannot be used immediately can be converted into hydrogen, which can then be converted back into electricity later.

Because of the multiple application possibilities of hydrogen, many methods of making it are also being considered. Nuclear power is ideal according to proponents because it can produce hydrogen with no carbon dioxide emissions if there is no excess energy from green sources.

NuScale is one of the companies developing smaller nuclear reactors. They are cheaper to build than large reactors and would pose a much lower risk in the event of disaster. This also makes it easier to find locations. However, NuScale’s first small nuclear reactor won’t be operational until the end of the decade at the earliest.

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