Nuclear Energy as a way of providing low carbon, secure heating services for the UK

New nuclear power plants are being discussed as part of the solution to climate change and energy security problems in the UK. The large, light water reactors being considered for construction can only convert ~35% of the thermal energy generated into electricity, with nearly two thirds lost as waste heat.

This is within the context of a heat supply and demand system that currently accounts for around three quarters of non-transport energy consumption in the UK almost entirely through fossil fuel combustion. This project explores the potential scenarios for heat utilisation at Hartlepool and Oldbury reactor sites. Particular focus is given to non-technical barriers through case study analysis and applying innovation and transition theoretical approaches.

Duration: Oct 2008-Oct 2011

Funder: EPSRC/ESRC

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