United States: Shell and NuScale announce nuclear-hydrogen partnership

Dec 19, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

Shell has announced a partnership with US-based NuScale through which it aims to evaluate the production of hydrogen from small nuclear power stations inexpensively. This new deal is for the “Development and Demonstration of a Concept for an Economically Optimised IES” project, which will be completed in two phases, with assistance from Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS), Fuel Cell Energy, FPoliSolutions, and GSE Solutions. According to the two, the proposed integrated energy system would produce hydrogen using electricity and waste heat from a NuScale Voygr small modular reactor (SMR) plant. 

Small modular reactors (SMRs) are being turned to as an energy solution that avoids the delays of large-scale nuclear power station developments and are being primed as a clean energy provider for the likes of data center projects. Moreover, NuScale suggests that the hydrogen could be used to store excess energy to be processed through a Reversible Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (RSOFC) for electricity generation to balance the grid.

Speaking about the potential of hydrogen, John Hopkins, NuScale Power president and CEO, said it has been identified as a a pathway for global decarbonization and that NuScale’s SMR technology "complements this goal through low carbon hydrogen production."

“We are pleased to join this collaboration, which is in line with our efforts to explore technologies that have the potential to enable decarbonization and support the energy transition,” added Dirk Smit, Vice President of Research Strategy at Shell.

Hydrogen is increasingly being explored as a possible energy source for data centers, as a green solution to data center operations and cooling. Microsoft recently successfully tested a 3-megawatt generator using hydrogen fuel cells, while Amazon has also started utilizing green hydrogen, as well as IBM. 

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