‘Golden opportunity’ in nuclear-derived synthetic fuels

A new report says UK is uniquely placed to start national-scale production of nuclear-derived net-zero fuels, helping decarbonise sectors like aviation and shipping.

The UK has a ‘golden opportunity’ to become a world leader in the production of emissions-free synthetic fuels from nuclear hydrogen and captured CO, according to energy consultants Equilibrion and the Nuclear Industry Association.

With the transport sector responsible for almost a third (27 per cent) of global greenhouse gas emissions, with aviation and shipping two of the most challenging areas to decarbonise, the report details how nuclear, as a proven, weather-proof, low carbon energy source, could provide the primary energy needs of the future synthetic fuels market, projected to be worth $600bn globally by 2050.

The paper makes seven recommendations, including the inclusion of nuclear enabled synthetic fuels in the UK Government’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel Mandate, guaranteeing it equal status with other technologies such as renewable-produced synthetic fuels and bio-fuels.

Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said: “Immediate action to decarbonise hard to abate industries is now crucial if we are to reach net-zero and meet energy security targets. The UK must take this golden opportunity to be a global leader and we stand ready to provide the energy that the market needs.”

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