Unveiled today (Jan 17), a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between Estonia-based Elcogen, Uljin-County and Next Energy Corporation to install an electrolyser with a nuclear plant for hydrogen production.

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Nuclear derived hydrogen being explored for UK gas grids

Under the terms of the MoU, a 200MW solid oxide electrolysis stack will be developed and implemented into the Hanul Nuclear Plant, regarded as ‘close to Korea’s largest’, with an estimated cost of around 75 MEUR, Elcogen said.

This could be used as an exhibit in showcasing the potential that nuclear power has in producing large quantities of hydrogen to support the increasing demand for hydrogen.

Whilst also growing demand for hydrogen, nuclear-based production will also enable more companies to transition to cleaner hydrogen practices with more entering the market.

Uljin-County has also signed an agreement with several organisations including Korea’s Atomic Energy Research Institute, Hyundai Engineering, and Pohang Institute of Industrial Sciences, to create a large-scale hydrogen production complex utilising nuclear power.

Enn Õunpuu, founder and CEO of Elcogen, said, “The signing of an MoU with Uljin-County and Next Energy further endorses and demonstrates the confidence in our technology to deliver large-scale hydrogen production.

“The emergence of hydrogen as a means to produce clean energy aligns closely with Elcogen’s mission – to enable efficient and emission-free distributed power generation and hydrogen production for a cleaner future.

“We are very proud that Uljin-County and Next Energy have selected Elcogen to supply the hydrogen- producing technology for the complex and we look forward to working with them in delivering this project.”

Nuclear energy plants could help accelerate hydrogen adoption with reduced costs

With the breakthrough of hydrogen technology in various decarbonisation strategies across the world, nuclear reactors could be given a new lease of life by providing almost perfect conditions to produce green hydrogen on a massive scale.

It is not often you find two products that, ethically, are at opposite ends of the spectrum but complement each other so significantly. The reputational facelift that nuclear power has needed since it was first introduced in the last century could be realised with the introduction of technologies that utilise by-products of nuclear power to generate alternative fuel sources such as hydrogen.

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