Opportunity for cogeneration in nuclear power plants


Current thermal efficiency of electric power generation from nuclear power plants is about 33%, which is rather low since the rest of the energy is dissipated to the environment as heat. Such efficiency could be increased up to 80% through cogeneration of electricity and other applications such as seawater desalination, hydrogen production, district heating or cooling, or any energy-demanding industrial application. The development of innovative reactors and fuel cycles with further enhanced safety features, improved economics and reduced generation of waste, the need for prudent use of fossil energy sources and increasing requirements to curtail the production of greenhouse gases (GHGs), and the benefits of cogeneration provide additional reasons for the revival of nuclear power in the years to come. These reasons are also expected persuade the public in favour of nuclear power. Despite the fact that no energy conversion system is free from risk, nuclear power production has demonstrated high standards of safety, low impact on health and the environment. It is also a reliable, clean, and economic energy option with a variety of possibilities beyond electricity production. This paper discusses benefits of cogeneration of nuclear power and aspects of exploiting nuclear energy for non-electric applications aiming at drastic reduction of GHG, hence combating global warming. The paper will argue on how cogeneration for different non-electric applications could enhance further the role of nuclear energy not only to encounter global warming but also to improve quality of life allowing industrial, social and economic development.

The 2013 World congress on advances in nano, biomechanics, robotics and energy research (ANBRE13)