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DOE Seeks Industry Proposals for Feasibility Study to Produce Greenhouse Gas-Free Hydrogen at Existing Nuclear Power Plants

April 13, 2006 - 10:19am

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WASHINGTON, DC - In support of President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI), Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman today announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will allocate up to $1.6 million this year to fund industry studies on the best ways to utilize energy from existing commercial nuclear reactors for production of hydrogen in a safe and environmentally-sound manner.  DOE is seeking industry proposals for these Federal Financial Assistance Awards, worth up to 80 percent of the total cost of each study; industry will be required to share a minimum of 20 percent of the cost.

"Using electricity from today's nuclear reactors shows potential for production of hydrogen without emitting greenhouse gases," Secretary Bodman said.  "Hydrogen is a key component of our energy future, and developing this clean source through our nuclear reactors will help reduce America's dependence on foreign sources of energy."

The feasibility studies are activities within DOE's Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative (NHI), developed in conjunction with the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  Beginning in Fiscal Year 2007, the President's Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 budget will fund the NHI as a component of the AEI.  The FY 2007 budget requests $19 million for the NHI to perform hydrogen production research, as well as 2.1 billion for the AEI, which is a 22 percent increase in clean-energy research at DOE to accelerate breakthroughs in the way we power our cars, homes and businesses.

The department proposes to partner with industry on the feasibility studies on hydrogen production using small-scale equipment at existing commercial nuclear reactors for up to three years to examine the economic implications of producing hydrogen in this way, the environmental effects, and the regulatory requirements.  This activity helps advance the goals for production of hydrogen using nuclear power, which were expressed in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Applicants must be U.S. companies who will conduct the feasibility study activities in the U.S.  The applicants should be the primary representatives of a project team and must include a nuclear utility company.  Proposals from the prospective participants are due June 5, 2006.

The DOE Idaho Operations Office will administer the solicitation and determine the Federal Financial Assistance Awards for the cost-shared feasibility studies for producing hydrogen with existing nuclear power plants.

The solicitation, entitled "Feasibility Study of Hydrogen Production at Existing Nuclear Power Plants" (#DE-PS07-06ID14759), is posted on the DOE Industry Interactive Procurement System (IIPS) Web site at: http://e-center.doe.gov/.  Additional information on the Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative is available at http://www.nuclear.gov/

Media contact(s):

Craig Stevens, (202) 586-4940

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