Keywords: hydrogen production plants, nuclear energy, safety, water splitting, nuclear power, nuclear hydrogen, heat transfer, coupling circuits, heat exchangers
Coupling a hydrogen production process to a nuclear reactor
Work is currently underway to define a pre-conceptual design of a hydrogen production plant. The reference case is a VHTR dedicated to hydrogen production using the sulphur-iodine process. The chemical part of the plant is based on a very detailed flow-sheet where all components are listed. Considering the volume and flow-rates of the circulating products, a detailed image of the chemical plant is drawn with several shops in parallel. A coupling circuit using gases was also studied with two intermediate heat exchangers at very high temperature. A specific heat transfer circuit is added inside the chemical part to distribute heat at the correct temperature. Optimisation of this circuit should lead to an increase in the overall efficiency of the process. Finally a methodology is proposed for the safety of the hydrogen production plant.