National Nuclear Laboratory


Tuesday 17 August 2021

Response to UK government’s hydrogen strategy

In reaction to the publication of the Government’s Hydrogen Strategy today, Dr Fiona Rayment, Chief Science and Technology Officer (CSTO) at the National Nuclear Laboratory, said:

“Achieving net zero by 2050 means we need to decarbonise our entire energy system, not just in terms of electricity but through heat and hydrogen too. While nuclear energy is already the UK’s single largest source of clean electricity, we know that current and advanced nuclear technologies hold considerable potential for generating zero carbon hydrogen affordably and at the scale required.

“With the publication of the government’s new Hydrogen Strategy today, therefore, we are pleased to see the role of nuclear reflected in the creation of a low and zero carbon hydrogen economy for the UK. We fully support the government’s ambitions for achieving this and for building credible pathways to net zero; as the UK’s national laboratory for nuclear fission, we are clear that nuclear can and must play a pivotal role in enabling this.

“There are three key routes for generating zero carbon hydrogen from nuclear, including those that are ready to be commercialised now: high temperature electrolysis, high temperature steam and thermochemical production. The benefits and opportunities that stem from all three routes were recognised as part of the Nuclear Sector Deal’s recent Nuclear Hydrogen Roundtable, which we were proud to be involved in alongside many key experts and influencers across the energy space. We will be continuing to work with partners across industry and academia – both within the nuclear sector and beyond – to enable these routes in the short, medium and long term and to help unlock the myriad opportunities for nuclear hydrogen in the UK.

“In the wake of the latest landmark publication from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the urgency of meeting the net zero challenge here in the UK and globally has never been starker. At NNL, we take seriously our role in this mission: ensuring nuclear is part of the solution and enabling our sector to deliver what is required. In doing so, we will be helping to support investment in the UK supply chain and the creation of many more high-skilled, high-value green jobs across the country.”

Read the full BEIS release here: UK government launches plan for a world-leading hydrogen economy – GOV.UK (