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Reliability and Safety Assessment of a Conceptual Thermochemical Plant for Nuclear-Based Hydrogen Generation

[+] Author Affiliations
Yuepeng Zhang, Lixuan Lu, Greg F. Naterer

University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, ON, Canada

Paper No. ICONE16-48265, pp. 791-797; 7 pages
  • 16th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • Volume 1: Plant Operations, Maintenance, Installations and Life Cycle; Component Reliability and Materials Issues; Advanced Applications of Nuclear Technology; Codes, Standards, Licensing and Regulatory Issues
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, May 11–15, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4814-0 | eISBN: 0-7918-3820-X
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME


Hydrogen is a clean fuel that can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as its oxidation does not emit carbon dioxide (a primary greenhouse gas). Generation of hydrogen has attracted much recent worldwide attention. A promising method to generate hydrogen is to use heat from nuclear power plants. The advantages of using nuclear heat are capabilities of large-scale generation of hydrogen and zero greenhouse gas emissions. Nuclear energy is expected to have an important role for hydrogen generation in the future. In this paper, reliability and probabilistic safety assessments of a conceptual nuclear-hydrogen plant will be analyzed. There are two main methods to generate hydrogen from nuclear energy. They include: 1) thermochemical processes and 2) electrochemical processes. The conceptual plant of this paper is based on a Cu-Cl thermocycle developed by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) and the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). Using a flowsheet of the hydrogen plant created by an Aspen Plus simulation by ANL, four fault-trees are constructed for potential risk scenarios. Based on the results from the fault tree analyses (FTA), the risk levels of the hydrogen generation plant under different accident scenarios can be calculated. Based on the results, potential problems encountered in Cu-Cl cycle are identified and possible solutions will be recommended for future improvements.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME



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