The nuclear options study that Nuclear-21 performed for the Dutch Province of Limburg in 2022 was presented by Ms. Aliki van Heek on 12 October 2023 at the IAEA International Conference on Climate Change and the Role of Nuclear Power.
The provincial government of the landlocked Limburg province commissioned Nuclear-21 a study to explore the feasibility of nuclear energy as low-carbon dispatchable power for the province. Integrating nuclear energy by 2030-2035 seems to be realistic, but large plants are hindered by cooling water limitations (at least until the resdiual heat would be valorised via f.i. heat networks), small modular reactors (SMRs) are considered essential options. Limburg’s energy needs include electricity, district heat, and process heat for its chemical industry. The study presents three scenarios: renewables-only with imports, larger SMRs as part of the national government’s strategy, and a mix of large and small SMRs driven by regional energy-intensive industry needs. Integrating nuclear energy will both strengthen the electrical network, provide sustainable heat to industries and residential areas, and enable new energy vectors like hydrogen. The research’s approach has broader relevance for other regions tackling energy challenges, particularly for energy-intensive industries.