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Inclusive Dates: 12/08/05 01/31/07
Background - This research was funded through a subscription to the Hydrogen Technology Information Service. The hydrogen technology information project provided a report describing and evaluating the status and future prospect for generating hydrogen for use as an automotive fuel using energy derived from fission nuclear reactors. The work focused on hydrogen generation and reactor technologies that have a reasonable likelihood of being deployed within the next 50 years in the United States. The work also considered international programs for developing the hydrogen economy in which the U.S. plays a major role.
Approach - Publicly available technical literature was reviewed to identify hydrogen generation technologies currently under consideration that would be compatible with or require energy from a nuclear reactor. The fission reactor designs and operating parameters that would be compatible with the various hydrogen generation technologies were then evaluated. The type of fission reactor was determined by the requirements of the hydrogen generating technology and the proposed deployment strategy. The evaluation focused on reactor designs that are judged to dominate the available and demonstrable technologies for the 50-year time horizon being evaluated. The work also considered the economic and societal conditions in the U.S. that could accelerate, limit, or delay deployment of the infrastructure for large-scale availability of hydrogen for automotive fuel. U.S. Department of Energy research programs that relate to nuclear power generators and hydrogen production were evaluated to determine how these programs might support realization of hydrogen automotive fuel infrastructure in the U.S.
Accomplishments - The final report, "Prospects for Generation of Hydrogen as an Automotive Fuel Using Nuclear Fission Reactors in the United States," was provided to external subscribers to the Hydrogen Technology Information Service in January 2007.