Title: On the potential of water desalination as a proxy for energy storage systems in nuclear power plants

Authors: Bassam Khuwaileh; Ahmed Ishag

Addresses: Nuclear Engineering Department, University of Sharjah, P.O. Box 27272, Sharjah, UAE ' Nuclear Engineering Department, University of Sharjah, P.O. Box 27272, Sharjah, UAE

Abstract: Nuclear energy is a promising source of power, proven viable in the cogeneration of electricity and water alike. However, a major challenge for (but not limited to) nuclear power generation is the maximisation of the power plant efficiency. Operating power plants with high to maximum efficiency has a profound effect on energy prices and environmental conditions for obvious reasons. One proposed strategy is to utilise energy storage systems for later discharge of power. However, this option entails transmission losses and a considerable capital cost. Therefore, this work explores the potential of water desalination as a proxy for energy storage systems in nuclear power plants. The current work explores various water desalination technologies and compares their performance in terms of the economics, water quality and production capacity. Three case studies have been adapted including APR1400, SMART and NuScale technologies. On the desalination side, Reverse Osmosis (RO), Multi-Stage Flash (MSF), Multi-Effect Distillation (MED) and hybrid combinations were studied. Results indicate that various desalination techniques can replace energy storage systems with justifiable capital cost and yet provide fresh water with acceptable quality. Specifically, RO can use the excess power produced via nuclear reactors during low demand periods with relatively low costs, without introducing new radiation release pathways.

Keywords: water desalination; nuclear power; energy storage systems; nuclear water desalination; APR-1400; NuScale; SMART.

DOI: 10.1504/IJNEST.2019.100761

International Journal of Nuclear Energy Science and Technology, 2019 Vol.13 No.2, pp.138 - 162

Available online: 08 Jul 2019 *

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