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BOTTOM LINE: through using waste heat from cooling a 1 GW nuclear power plant instead of rejecting it to atmosphere or to a lake or river, roughly $750 million per year in H2 sales at the current wholesale market price $1.50/kg FOB at the pipeline tie-in could theoretically be realized.
A 1 GW power plant typically grosses $650-780 million in electrical sales per year. With the waste heat driving a chemical refinery providing a broad range of chemical feedstocks, these numbers could be jinked up an additional 50% to 75% given a thorough market analysis, chemically-prototyped product design plus a pilot plant, logistical planning and proper contractual arrangements.
Yes, supplementary firing will be required in the form of gas-fired steam superheater or better still a Benton boiler. 900 degrees C. is when the magic of chemistry kicks in.
Nothing says a dauntless entrepreneur cannot do the same with a combined-cycle gas turbine plant or conventional coal plant either. Hydrocarbon feedstock to the chemical plant? Captured CO2, naturally plus H2 via the electrolytic process described in the Idaho National Laboratory document given above. For conventional plants a retrofitted electrolytic process plant is also needed to be added plus the fired steam superheater.
The fired superheaters will be fueled by the generated hydrogen.
Nuclear power plants worldwide
Country Number Ratings total
USA 93 95.5 GW
EU 173 154.5 GW
RF 38 37.2 GW
PRC 50 49.6 GW
India 22 7.4 GW
Units 376 344.2 GW
Potential H2 Tonnage Output/Year
75.4 million zero-emission metric tonnes
Excerpted from .PDF page 74 of the Report “Technoeconomic Analysis of Product Diversification Options for Sustainability of the Monticello and Prairie Island Nuclear Power Plants, November 2021”