An Assessment of Reactor Types for Thermochemical Hydrogen Production
Nuclear energy has been proposed as a heat source for producing hydrogen from water using a sulfur-iodine thermochemical cycle. This document presents an assessment of the suitability of various reactor types for this application. The basic requirement for the reactor is the delivery of 900 C heat to a process interface heat exchanger. Ideally, the reactor heat source should not in itself present any significant design, safety, operational, or economic issues. This study found that Pressurized
... d that Pressurized and Boiling Water Reactors, Organic-Cooled Reactors, and Gas-Core Reactors were unsuitable for the intended application. Although Alkali Metal-Cooled and Liquid-Core Reactors are possible candidates, they present significant development risks for the required conditions. Heavy Metal-Cooled Reactors and Molten Salt-Cooled Reactors have the potential to meet requirements, however, the cost and time required for their development may be appreciable. Gas-Cooled Reactors (GCRs) have been successfully operated in the required 900 C coolant temperature range, and do not present any obvious design, safety, operational, or economic issues. Altogether, the GCRs approach appears to be very well suited as a heat source for the intended application, and no major development work is identified. This study recommends using the Gas-Cooled Reactor as the baseline reactor concept for a sulfur-iodine cycle for hydrogen generation.