After nearly a year of extensive collaboration and study, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Idaho National Laboratory, and the NGNP Industry Alliance have issued a comprehensive report entitled “Options for Kentucky’s Energy Future”. The evaluation both expands on and updates the assessment of the underlying technologies described at a summary level in Intelligent Energy Choices for Kentucky’s Future issued by Gov. Beshear in 2008, reflecting the subsequent substantive changes in the global energy landscape.
According to the report, the deployment of a carbon conversion industry for producing synthetic transportation fuels and chemicals can provide a long-term and stable growth market and add considerable value to Kentucky’s indigenous coal and natural gas resources while providing additional economic benefit to the Commonwealth and a substantial contribution to increased energy independence of the United States.
The study also addresses a strategy for the transformation of Kentucky’s electricity generation industry to a more diverse mix of generating technologies that will allow Kentucky and its industries to adjust to the evolving global energy picture.
Fred Moore, the executive director emeritus of the NGNP Industry Alliance says, “The alliance is very pleased that Kentucky recognizes the unique potential for high temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs) to help transform the energy future for Kentucky. The high temperature output of these reactors can ultimately be a non-carbon emitting substitute for the heat and hydrogen required for the creation of synthetic liquid fuels from coal. Further, the intrinsic safety of HTGRs allows for their co-location with industrial facilities and would also be a great virtue in Kentucky, a state that has no previous experience with commercial nuclear power plants.”
Len Peters, the Secretary of Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet says, “This report’s analysis on utilizing advanced nuclear technologies for converting Kentucky’s abundant coal resources to high-value liquid fuels is very compelling and deserving of broader discussion within the state. It supports the state’s comprehensive energy plan by illustrating the variety of possible technological solutions available to meet our energy needs and reduce carbon emissions while doing so.”
The Kentucky study is the latest of a series of studies examining how the unique properties of HTGRs can help revolutionize energy production and provide substantial environmental and economic benefits to different regions of the U.S. and to other countries.