This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

August 16, 2006

DOE to Fund Studies of Hydrogen Production from Nuclear Power

Could a future "hydrogen economy" be fueled with nuclear power? That's the question that two industry teams will investigate with the help of about $1.4 million in DOE funds. Hydrogen has many advantages because it burns cleanly and could allow our vehicles to run without producing any pollution, but ultimately hydrogen is just an energy carrier: it needs to be produced from some other form of energy. While renewable energy may be the cleanest and most sustainable source of hydrogen, it would have to compete with other energy sources, including natural gas, coal, and nuclear power.

DOE announced on August 14th that industrial teams led by Electric Transportation Applications and GE Global Research will investigate ways to produce hydrogen from nuclear energy. Electric Transportation Applications will study the feasibility of producing hydrogen at today's nuclear plants using commercially available hydrogen production technology, while GE Global Research will study the use of a low cost alkaline electrolyzer developed by GE. Electrolyzers apply a current to water to split it into its constituent elements, hydrogen and oxygen. See the DOE press release.