Non Electric Applications of Nuclear Power

WCR

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.

For various information on the Agency's activities on hydrogen production using nuclear power, you can download the IAEA toolkit on nuclear hydrogen production.

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.


Recent Events

  • Technical Meeting on Technology and Economic Assessment of Nuclear Desalination, Vienna, March 2011

  • Release of new version of Desalination Economic Evaluation Program (DEEP) and Desalination Thermodynamic Optimization Program (DE-TOP), February 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
IAEA-TECDOC-1642

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
IAEA-CN-152

Economics of Nuclear Desalination: New Developments and Site Specific Studies Final Report of a Coordinated Research Project 2002-2006
IAEA-TECDOC-1561

Status of Nuclear Desalination in IAEA Member States
IAEA-TECDOC-1524

Optimization of the Coupling of Nuclear Reactors and Desalination Systems
IAEA-TECDOC-1444

Market Potential for Non-electric Applications of Nuclear Energy
Technical Reports No. 410

Design Concepts of Nuclear Desalination Plants
IAEA-TECDOC-1326

Safety Aspects of Nuclear Plants Coupled with Seawater Desalination Units
IAEA-TECDOC-1235

Introduction of Nuclear Desalination A Guidebook
Technical Reports No. 400

Examining the economics of seawater desalination using the DEEP code
IAEA-TECDOC-1186

Floating Nuclear Energy Plants for Seawater Desalination
IAEA-TECDOC-940

Potential for Nuclear Desalination as a Source of Low Cost Potable Water in North Africa
IAEA-TECDOC-917

Use of Nuclear Reactors for Seawater Desalination
IAEA-TECDOC-574

Guide to the Costing of Water from Nuclear Desalination Plants
Technical Reports No. 151

Storage and Transport of Water from Nuclear Desalination Plants
IAEA-TECDOC-141

Value to Agriculture of High-quality Water from Nuclear Desalination (Vienna, 30 Oct. - 3 Nov. 1967)
Panel Proceedings

Advanced Applications of Water Cooled Nuclear Power Plants
IAEA-TECDOC-1584

Hydrogen as an energy carrier and its production by nuclear power
IAEA-TECDOC-1085