BOISE, Idaho — The U.S. government's primary nuclear lab is partnering with three energy utilities to find an economical way to use nuclear energy to produce hydrogen that can be stored and used to power everything from industry to personal vehicles.
The U.S. Department of Energy on Wednesday said the Idaho National Laboratory will work with Ohio-based FirstEnergy Solutions, Minnesota-based Xcel Energy, and Arizona Public Service.
Energy Department officials say the three first-of-a-kind projects are intended to improve the long-term competitiveness of the nuclear power industry by giving it another product to sell.
Officials also say nuclear-produced hydrogen is carbon-free. That's opposed to fossil fuels such as coal and oil that produce greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
Vehicles using hydrogen fuel cells produce only water vapor and warm air as exhaust.