Non Electric Applications of Nuclear Power
The use of nuclear energy for non electric applications is of broad interest in Member States especially in areas such as seawater desalination, hydrogen production, district heating, tertiary oil recovery and other industrial applications.
Nuclear power is expected to move in future beyond its historical role as solely a producer of electricity to such non-electric applications which have tremendous potential in future ensuring worldwide energy and water security for a sustainable development.
The IAEA Project on non electric application is gearing up on the short and medium term promising applications such as desalination and hydrogen production. The Agency's role as stated in its Statue and Medium Term Strategy is to "To support and facilitate the development of new and emerging applications of nuclear technologies by co-generation and heat applications, including seawater desalination". For more than two decades, the support for nuclear desalination has been repeatedly stressed at the General Conference (Committee on the Whole) and supported by many Member States including most members of Group-77 including the latest GC resolution GC(53)/RES/13/Tab A.4 September 2009.
For various information on the Agency's activities on seawater desalination using nuclear power, you can download the IAEA toolkit on nuclear desalination.
The Agency tool DEEP Desalination Economic Evaluation Program has become one of the most widespread and internationally used tool for the economic assessment of nuclear desalination.
With over than 200 reactor-years of operating experience worldwide especially in Japan, India, and Kazakhstan, nuclear desalination is a demonstrated option which could help meet the growing demand for potable water and provide hope to area with acute water shortage issues in many arid and semi-arid zones.
In the higher-temperature heat/steam range, a significant potential for the applications of nuclear energy exists in areas of hydrogen production and the petro-chemical industries including the production of liquid fuels for the transportation sector. Production of hydrogen by nuclear electricity and / or nuclear heat would open the application of nuclear energy for the transportation sector and reduce the reliance of the transportation sector on fossil fuel with the associated price volatility, finite supply and greenhouse gas emissions.
The IAEA also provides to Member States the newly developed and released the Hydrogen Economic Evaluation Program (HEEP) tool which freely available by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Other potential area of process heat applications of nuclear power which of interest to Member States and supported by the Agency is the oil sand/oil shale extraction and enhancement of oil recovery (such industrial applications have been applied in Canada, Switzerland and in India).
The IAEA also provides to Member States the newly developed and released Water Management Program (WAMP) which can be used for the estimation of water needs during all phases of nuclear power plant construction and operation. WAMP is a powerful tool especially for water cooled nuclear power plants and can be freely downloaded from the International Atomic Energy Agency website.
Technical Meeting on Technology and Economic Assessment of Nuclear Desalination, Vienna, March 2011
Technical meeting on hydrogen production using low and high temperature electrolysis, Vienna, May 2010
Technical Meeting of the Technical Working Group on Nuclear Desalination (TWG-ND), Vienna, Oct 2010
Consultant Meeting on Efficient water use/consumption in new water cooled reactors, Vienna, Vienna, May 2010
Technical Meeting on Research Coordination Programme CRP on new technologies for seawater desalination using nuclear energy, Vienna, Oct, 2010
Consultant Meeting to prepare a CRP on HEEP Benchmarking, Vienna, June 2010
TM on non-electric applications of nuclear energy, Rep of Korea, March 2009
Joint ICTP/IAEA Training Workshop on Technology and Performance of Desalination Systems, Italy, May 2009
Consultant Meeting on Efficient Management for Water Use and Consumption in Water Cooled NPPs, Vienna, May 2009
Technical Meeting of the Technical Working Group on Nuclear Desalination (TWG-ND), Vienna, Oct 2009
First Technical Meeting on Research Coordination Programme CRP on new technologies for seawater desalination using nuclear energy, Vienna, Oct, 2009
Technical Meeting on Research Coordination Programme CRP on Advances in Nuclear Power for Process Heat Applications, Vienna, July 2009
Technical Meeting on Status of Hydrogen Production Using Nuclear Energy, India, Oct 2009
International Conference on Non Electric Applications of Nuclear Power: Desalination, Hydrogen Production and other Industrial Applications, Japan, April 2007
Related publications (on desalination and hydrogen production)
Environmental Impact Assessment of Nuclear Desalination
Proceedings of an International Conference on Non Electric Applications of Nuclear Power: Desalination, Hydrogen Production and other Industrial Applications, Oarai, Japan, 16-19 April 2007
Economics of Nuclear Desalination: New Developments and Site Specific Studies Final Report of a Coordinated Research Project 2002-2006
Status of Nuclear Desalination in IAEA Member States
Optimization of the Coupling of Nuclear Reactors and Desalination Systems
Market Potential for Non-electric Applications of Nuclear Energy
Technical Reports No. 410
Design Concepts of Nuclear Desalination Plants
Safety Aspects of Nuclear Plants Coupled with Seawater Desalination Units
Introduction of Nuclear Desalination A Guidebook
Technical Reports No. 400
Examining the economics of seawater desalination using the DEEP code
Floating Nuclear Energy Plants for Seawater Desalination
Potential for Nuclear Desalination as a Source of Low Cost Potable Water in North Africa
Use of Nuclear Reactors for Seawater Desalination
Guide to the Costing of Water from Nuclear Desalination Plants
Technical Reports No. 151
Storage and Transport of Water from Nuclear Desalination Plants
Value to Agriculture of High-quality Water from Nuclear Desalination (Vienna, 30 Oct. - 3 Nov. 1967)
Advanced Applications of Water Cooled Nuclear Power Plants
Hydrogen as an energy carrier and its production by nuclear power