- Canada’s national nuclear laboratory celebrates National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day, continues development of promising clean energy technology
CHALK RIVER, Ontario— Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, continues to make advances in research and technologies related to hydrogen, a versatile, clean energy solution that could help decarbonize Canada’s transportation sector.
As the world celebrates National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day, CNL is participating in a series of projects encompassing four areas of research that are critical to the successful development and adoption of hydrogen here in Canada, including hydrogen production, storage, safety and utilization.
Last year, CNL announced that it has been awarded a contract by Transport Canada to develop an assessment tool to examine clean energy technologies that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants from marine vessels. Using what is known as CNL’s Marine-Zero FuelTM (MaZeFTM) Assessment Tool, the objective is to help Canada assess and pursue the use of hydrogen and other technologies to transition away from traditional fuels that are contributing to marine pollution and climate change. CNL will also continue to work with the Canadian Coast Guard to provide an assessment of alternative fuel towards net-zero for the new fleet.
“While the Canadian public associates CNL with our decades of work in nuclear energy, hydrogen sciences is another area where we have decades of experience and a high degree of expertise,” commented Dr. Jeff Griffin, CNL’s Vice-President of Science and Technology. “Hydrogen has tremendous potential to serve as a viable clean energy solution here in Canada, particularly in transportation, which is why we are advancing research in hydrogen storage and production, including production using nuclear energy. On Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day, it is our hope that people will learn more about the many benefits that hydrogen has to offer.”
CNL has identified the research and development of hydrogen technologies as part of the clean energy initiatives the company is pursuing through its strategic plan, known as ‘Vision 2030.’ This research aligns with the Government of Canada’s carbon reduction commitments, which targets net zero emissions by 2050. CNL’s research also supports goals that are outlined in the Government of Canada’s Hydrogen Strategy, which lays out an ambitious framework for actions that aim to establish hydrogen as a tool to achieve Canada’s national emissions targets, and position the country as an international leader of clean, renewable fuel.
CNL has long recognized the synergies between hydrogen and nuclear energy. Under AECL’s Federal Nuclear Science and Technology Work Plan, CNL is conducting research in a number of areas, including exploring how the heat and energy produced from nuclear reactors could be leveraged to produce hydrogen through advanced electrolysis or high temperature processes; supporting decision-making and policy development related to hydrogen safety; and the development of new hydrogen storage technologies.
In fact, CNL recently achieved a major accomplishment in hydrogen storage. While it is typically stored as a liquid or a gas, it is also possible to store hydrogen as a solid within a metal hydride, which has the potential to be a safer and more cost-effective alternative. CNL has now developed a magnesium alloy that overcomes many of the challenges that have made this type of storage difficult in the past.
“Through these projects and others, CNL is conducting research that is needed to significantly increase hydrogen infrastructure here in Canada, which could help in the fight against climate change,” commented Dr. Ian Castillo, Head of CNL’s Hydrogen and Tritium Technologies Directorate. “In particular, we believe that there are natural synergies between hydrogen, nuclear energy, and hydrogen as a feed for cleaner fuels, which is why it has become a key focus of our research. Looking forward, we will continue to invest in our hydrogen sciences program, to ensure that we can meet the growing needs of both our government and private-sector customers.”
For more information on CNL, including its research in hydrogen sciences, please visit www.cnl.ca.
Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is a world leader in nuclear science and technology offering unique capabilities and solutions across a wide range of industries. Actively involved with industry-driven research and development in nuclear, transportation, clean technology, energy, defence, security and life sciences, we provide solutions to keep these sectors competitive internationally.
With ongoing investments in new facilities and a focused mandate, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is well positioned for the future. A new performance standard reinforced with a strong safety culture underscores every activity.