Nikolay Ponomarev-Stepnoy, scientific advisor to the director general of Russian nuclear utility Rosenergoatom, said on 7 May that Russia “may take a leading position in the global atomic-hydrogen energy".
In an interview published in Rosatom Country, he recalled that research on nuclear-hydrogen energy began in the USSR in the 1970s at the Kurchatov Institute in collaboration with many research, design and technological enterprises of the nuclear industry and the USSR Academy of Sciences.
“Significant results were obtained, unique installations were created, a knowledge base was accumulated, but due to historical circumstances, we lost time and are now forced to make up for lost time. The work on atomic-hydrogen energy resumed at Rosatom five years ago and has good prospects, but we need to work quickly to get ahead of countries working on this subject," he noted.
Earlier it was reported that state nuclear corporation Rosatom are proposing to create an infrastructure at the Kola nucler plant for testing technologies related to nuclear-hydrogen energy.
Recently, experts in various countries have been exploring options for using excess electricity from nuclear power plants to produce hydrogen and use this to fuel trains, cars and other hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
"Russia, having unique reserves of raw materials - natural gas, nuclear fuel, highly qualified personnel and a knowledge base accumulated in the process of research and development of atomic-hydrogen energy technologies, is able to take a leading position in the global production of hydrogen and deliver this high-tech product with high value added," said Ponomarev-Stepnoy. He believes nulcear plants can be used to produce hydrogen on an industrial scale in an environmentally friendly and economically acceptable way.
Referring to the Kola project he said this will make it possible in the coming years to increase the efficiency of using the installed capacity of nuclear power plants, diversify the product line, develop hydrogen technologies based on megawatt hydrogen production, its storage, transportation and use.
"It is important to note the social significance of such a project. The development of high technologies will make it possible to include highly educated specialists in nuclear cities in this work. This project must be started today, without delay," he insisted.