Role of Nuclear Cogeneration within the Context of Sustainable Development

Closed for proposals

Project Type

Coordinated Research Project

Project Code




Approved Date

23 March 2022


Active - Ongoing

Start Date

7 March 2023

Expected End Date

30 June 2026

Participating Countries

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


Although electricity production is the principal function of today’s operating nuclear reactors, some of them have been used for cogeneration (i.e. for electricity generation plus desalination, district heating or industrial process heat) achieving over 750 reactor year of operation in several countries around the world. The practice is currently limited to a very small fraction of the total available nuclear heat, but nuclear cogeneration is gaining momentum as further development has significant potential to transform current nuclear energy systems so that they are more versatile and sustainable. The proposed CRP will provide techno-economics examination and investigate competitiveness of various nuclear cogeneration options (considering several dimensions, such as technology, economics, environment, sustainability) in the context of the urgent actions to be taken to mitigate climate change, as well as the challenges to implement nuclear cogeneration projects (in terms of business model, licensing issues, economical and technical aspects, safety related issues) and envisage solutions to address these challenges and enable a faster deployment of nuclear cogeneration projects. The nuclear component will be represented by various technologies, including the existent operating nuclear fleet, advanced and Gen IV systems and small modular reactors under deployment or in the R&D phase.
The expertise gained in existent nuclear cogeneration projects has not been sufficiently transferred so far to Member States interested in considering use of nuclear energy for non-electric applications, and this CRP will foster such an opportunity while providing an assessment of the clear benefits and impacts that nuclear cogeneration can bring to the climate challenge. This CRP will address various nuclear cogeneration applications and why and how Member States can consider the nuclear cogeneration in their portfolio options to address the climate challenge.
The CRP is to be conducted by the Nuclear Power Technology Development Section, with support from the Planning and Economics Studies Section for the economics-related aspects of cogeneration.
The deadline for submitting proposals for this CRP is 31 October, 2022


The overall objective of this CRP is to enable Member States to assess technologies and integration schemes – considering several dimensions, such as technology, economics, environment, sustainability - that can increase the attractiveness and competitiveness of nuclear cogeneration, within their broader national energy context and objectives, including those related to climate change.

Specific objectives

Development of approaches, case studies, and supporting data for the techno-economics assessment of nuclear cogeneration schemes (in particular advanced thermal desalination using nuclear energy, advanced nuclear hydrogen production, district heating and industrial uses of nuclear heat) in the context of climate change mitigation, towards enabling their deployment by Member States.

Identification and development of technological aspects and advances related to increased competitiveness of nuclear cogeneration, including waste heat recovery, schemes for integration of hybrid desalination systems, integration in hybrid energy systems.

Development of methods and approaches to quantify the benefits of nuclear waste heat utilization on the water impact of nuclear installations and resulting environmental benefits for water bodies and climate change.

Identification of risk factors, uncertainties and best practices in nuclear cogeneration projects to guide Member States' informed decision on the deployment of such projects.

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