August 24, 2022 – The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), an independent nonprofit organization for energy research, development, and deployment, has publicly announced the launch of their Nuclear in District Energy Applications (NuIdea) Initiative to help decarbonize the district energy sector with nuclear power support. This initiative is part of EPRI’s Nuclear Beyond Electricity Initiative. Sargent & Lundy is a member of the NuIdea Initiative’s working group with other leading organizations in the energy industry and organizations across the higher education and healthcare markets.
The NuIdea Initiative’s goal is to introduce nuclear energy as an option for the direct energy market by 2026 and its working group is currently focused on developing a roadmap detailing how to accomplish this goal. When the roadmap is published, the group will begin tackling the issues related to utilizing nuclear energy as a solution for district energy, such as proposing nuclear microreactor development for heating, cooling, and power applications.
The Department of Energy characterizes district energy systems as one or more central plants producing hot water, steam, and/or chilled water, which then flows through a network of insulated pipes to provide hot water, space heating, and/or air conditioning for nearby buildings. Centralized energy production has many benefits including reducing costs and carbon emissions. Noted by EPRI, district energy has been used for over 150 years and is commonly used in airports and facilities for higher education, government, healthcare, military, and manufacturing.
Sargent & Lundy brings extensive engineering and design experience in the nuclear industry with leading-edge services that address today’s emerging issues with reliable, cost-effective solutions like decarbonizing the district energy markets with nuclear energy solutions. As part of its involvement with the NuIdea Initiative, the firm looks forward to continuing its investment in the people, training, tools, and technology needed to be a leader in a constantly changing world.