Nuclear Cogeneration Industrial Initiative



The nuclear cogeneration concept: providing heat and power to industrial applications

NC2I Information Session on 30 November 2016

The objective of the European Nuclear Cogeneration Industrial Initiative (NC2I) is to demonstrate an innovative and competitive energy solution for the low-carbon cogeneration of heat and electricity based on nuclear energy. The targeted outcome is the commissioning within 10 years of a nuclear cogeneration prototype to deploy this low-carbon energy technology in several energy-intensive industries.

Although strong efforts have been made by the European industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, industrial cogeneration remains heavily dependent on fossil fuels and emits around 700 MtCO2 every year in Europe. The price of fossil fuels and their insecurity of supply, as well as carbon taxation, has put a considerable risk on the European industry, especially for the energy-intensive sectors exposed to fierce global competition.

Nuclear cogeneration is an innovative energy solution for decreasing CO2 emissions and securing the energy supply of European industries. It is part of the EU’s Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) as a key low-carbon technology:

“The first cogeneration reactors could also appear within the next decade as demonstration projects to test the technology for coupling with industrial processes” (COM (2009) 519).

NC2I targets all non-electric applications of nuclear energy for lower temperature applications such as seawater desalination or district heating; and higher temperature industrial applications such as chemicals production, oil refining, hydrogen production or advanced steelmaking. The latter require higher temperature output which can be provided by the High Temperature gas-cooled Reactor, or HTR.

Nuclear cogeneration worldwide

Low temperature nuclear cogeneration is a reality in several European countries, e.g. for district heating or paper industry in Slovakia, Hungary, Switzerland and Norway.

Several EU countries such as Poland and The Netherlands have expressed at ministerial level their support for further development of nuclear high temperature cogeneration. Poland, currently a heavy consumer of coal, is financing the national project HTRPL paving the way for the demonstration of HTR cogeneration in the country to decrease its CO2 emissions and to enhance its competitiveness. Europe has a forefront competency in HTR technology that it can transform into a global leadership, re-invigorating both its nuclear and energy-intensive industries.

HTR technology is subject to a worldwide interest. They were successfully proven in Germany, the UK and the US, and test reactors are currently operated in Japan and China. China is also building an HTR demo plant to be commissioned in the next years.

In the US, the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) programme targets an objective of licensing an HTR first-of-a-kind in the next decade. The NGNP Industry Alliance gathers industrial companies interested in the technology. In 2014, the NC2I and NGNP Alliance have established a transatlantic cooperation framework called GEMINI.
NC2I Conference 14-15 September 2015 (click to open)


About the Task Force

To prepare for NC2I, a Task Force has been set up under the auspices of SNETP. The Task Force brings together technology developers, utilities, engineering companies and research institutions.

To assist and advise the NC2I Task Force on crucial issues such as energy requirements or financing solutions, a Business Group is set up to gather industrial actors from energy-intensive industries, utilities, engineering companies, banks and investors, and more generally all stakeholders potentially interested in the future prospects of nuclear cogeneration technology. Typical contributions include advice on energetic consumption data, system requirements, market inputs, and financing models.

In September 2015, Grzegorz Wrochna from the Polish national centre for nuclear research (NCBJ) was elected Chairman of NC2I, replacing Kajetan Rozycki. Marek Tarka, IMS & Marketing Manager at Polish chemical engineering firm Prochem, and Harri Tuomisto, leader of Nuclear Safety Oversight at Finnish utility Fortum, are Vice-Chairmen of the Task Force since January 2014.


Download the "NC2I Business Group Terms of Reference" here.

The NC2I Task Force is open to SNETP members only. To join the NC2I Task Force or Business Group, please contact the SNETP Secretariat at:

The list of current members is presented below.


Areva is dedicated to the design and the construction of nuclear power plants, from the design and manufacturing of their components, fuel and instrumentation to their maintenance and repairs. Areva is mainly focused on Pressurised Water Reactors (PWR) and Boiling Water Reactors (BWR), but is also involved in the development of Generation IV systems, HTR and Sodium Fast Reactors (SFR). Areva has built about 100 nuclear plants that provide about 30% of the world's total installed nuclear power capacity.


AGH is the University of Science and Technology located in Cracow. It is one of the largest technical universities of Poland. The main faculties devoted to nuclear engineering and energy technology are the Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science and the Faculty of Energy and Fuels. They cover wide range of research fields including high energy physics and applied nuclear techniques to reactor physics.


The principal mission of the Research organisation Centrum vyzkumu Rez (CVR) is to perform applied R&D in energy and neutron physics as well as act as Czech Technical Safety Organisation (TSO). For this reason it operates two research reactors located in Rez (10 MW LWR-15 and zero power reactor LR-0) and 2 loops devoted to advanced reactors R&D (supercritical water and high temperature helium loop). CVR represents the Czech Republic in the Executive Committee of European Energy Research Alliance (EERA).


E.ON is one of the world's largest investor-owned power and gas companies with facilities across Europe, Russia, and North America. The company operates six nuclear power stations in the German states of Bavaria, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, and owns share in a further five. The net installed capacity of their portfolio of plants totals about 8,560MW. In 2010, E.ON generated just on 63 billion kilowatt-hours of base-load electricity. E.ON’s diversified business consists of renewables, conventional and dezentralized power generation, natural gas, energy trading, retail and distribution.


Fortum's activities cover the generation, distribution and sales of electricity and heat. Fortum provides sustainable solutions that fulfill the needs for low emissions, resource-efficiency and energy security. Fortum's operations focus on the Nordic countries, Russia, Poland and Baltic Rim area.

JRC-Institute for Energy and Transport

The JRC-Institute for Energy and Transport provides scientific and technical support for the conception, development, implementation and monitoring of community policies related to energy. JRC-IET carries out research (laboratory and desk top) in the fields of clean and sustainable energies addressing both nuclear and non-nuclear domains.


NCBJ is one of the largest institute in Poland. NCBJ research includes nuclear and non-nuclear energy production, energy-related ecology, radiation protection, radioactive waste management, material sciences, nuclear methods of condensed matter physics and model for risk assessment for industrial and nuclear installations. The entre's strategic tasks involve supporting Polish nuclear power programme, conducting basic research in physics in collaboration with world leading laboratories and constructing high-tech devices for research, industry and medicine.


NRG is the nuclear centre of competence in the Netherlands. NRG develops knowledge, processes and products for safe applications of nuclear technology in energy, environment and health. This includes products, services and technologies for safe and economic operation of existing nuclear power plants and future sustainable nuclear energy systems.


PROCHEM is one of Poland's largest and most renowned engineering companies with operations both at home and abroad. PROCHEM provides a full range of services for investment projects from pre-investment activities to design, project management, project supervision, procurement and contracting. PROCHEM operates in three key sectors: industrial plants and installations, environmental protection and public buildings.

To prepare for the commissioning of a nuclear cogeneration prototype, a number of European projects have been carried out since the early 2000s. Following on from a cluster of smaller European HTR research projects, the larger RAPHAEL and ARCHER projects have integrated the various R&D tracks (fuel & fuel cycle, safety, materials, components, coupling and system integration). Visit the ARCHER website.

The EUROPAIRS project (2009-2011) has defined the boundary conditions for nuclear cogeneration, in terms of nuclear and industrial safety, economic viability, market analysis, and licensing requirements. Results were presented at an Open Workshop in 2011 (read here).

Launched in 2013, the NC2I-R project supports the NC2I initiative with strengthened international cooperation, business modelling / financing options, a Europe-wide analysis of industrial sites, and a survey on lessons learned from lower-temperature nuclear cogeneration projects worldwide. It is expected to deliver a set of generic requirements which can in turn be used as a basis for a specific design programme.

As an alternative to fossil fuel for different industries, nuclear cogeneration is also looking at future applications, such as new hydrogen production, advanced steelmaking & chemical processes, which are expected to appear in the next 10 to 20 years. The NC2I vision offers synergies with roadmaps from related European Technology Platforms such as ESTEP (steelmaking), SusChem (sustainable chemistry) or FCH-JU (hydrogen).

NC2I aims at the commissioning of a cogeneration prototype to produce heat and electricity for different industries within ten years.




NC2I is currently supported by the NC2I-R (Research) European project which ends in September 2015. NC2I-R gathers more than twenty partners including technology developers, research institutions, utilities, safety organisations and engineering companies.

The strategic objective of NC2I-R is to structure the European public and private capabilities for preparing a nuclear cogeneration demonstrator programme. To this end, NC2I-R will:
  • Identify clearly the status of Europe’s public and private R&D infrastructures and competences.
  • Define the safety requirements to prepare for the future licensing process for a cogeneration demonstrator and limit the associated risk.
  • Define clear and consensual specifications for the demonstrator, ensuring its economic viability, its market fit, its future replicability and its safety, in particular for the coupling scheme, and limiting all construction project risks.
  • Managing the knowledge from past projects on HTR and nuclear cogeneration with a comprehensive experience feedback in order to identify potential points of attention and success factors.
  • Prepare a joint roadmap paving the way for today’s European R&D capacities towards the commissioning of the specified demonstrator and identify potential gaps.
  • Prepare for and organise the cooperation with non-European similar programmes to possibly share the demonstrator risk in line with the European interest and to secure EU’s leadership position in the global competition for HTR.
  • Prepare a smooth and inclusive governance for the future of NC2I, engaging all stakeholders including civil society.


NC2I has built on the EUROPAIRS project that ended in March 2011. The main goal of EUROPAIRS was the identification of possible operating windows for the combined system of an (V)HTR connected to industrial processes. To this end, market needs and technical requirements were identified as well as safety issues. The project also initiated a dialogue between the nuclear and heat-intensive industries (e.g. Air Liquide, Solvay, ArcelorMittal, Saipem, etc.), which established the starting point to activate the Business Group (see Governance section).


The purpose of the ARCHER project is to extend the state-of-the-art European (V)HTR technology basis, with generic technical effort in support of nuclear cogeneration demonstration. The partner consortium consists of representatives of conventional and nuclear industries, utilities, Technical Support Organisations, R&D institutes and universities. They jointly propose generic efforts on:
  • System integration assessment of a nuclear cogeneration unit coupled to industrial processes
  • Critical safety aspects of the primary and coupled system
  • Essential HTR fuel and fuel back end R&D
  • Coupling component development
  • High temperature material R&D
  • Nuclear cogeneration knowledge management, training and communication
The activities proposed are imbedded in the international framework via Generation IV International Forum (GIF), direct collaboration within the project with international partners (US, China, Japan, and the republic of Korea) and cooperation with IAEA and ISTC.


SYNKOPE (in German only)

As an example for German-based research in HTR technology, SYNKOPE is one of the two projects (with STAUB II) that have recently been initiated by the Institute of Power Engineering at the Technical University of Dresden. The project SYNKOPE, funded by the Saxonian regional government and supported by E.ON was launched in August 2012 for 2.5 years. The objective of SYNKOPE is to implement nuclear process heat in chemical processes for the refining of regional coal resources. Four institutions with the lead of TU Dresden cooperate in developing and optimising the necessary technology with respect to HTR safety, adaption of a suitable chemical process and regional infrastructure.


STAUB-II is the second project (with SYNKOPE) initiated by the Institute of Power Engineering at the Technical University of Dresden, Germany.The project, funded by the German Ministry of Economics and Technology, started in August 2012 for 3 years. STAUB-II is concerned with the nuclear safety of HTR systems, in particular with dust particle transport phenomena during Loss-of-Coolant-Accidents (LOCA). During the project, experiments are conducted on a newly built high-temperature helium test facility for the subsequent enhancement and validation of state-of-the-art particle simulations.

HTRPL (in Polish only)

This Polish project HTRPL works towards the Development of high temperature reactors for idustrial applications. It was launched in September 2012 for 2.5 years by the National Research and Development Center (NCBiR) in Poland in the framework of the strategic programme "Technologies that support the development of safe nuclear power". The HTRPL project is implemented by a consortium of research and industrial partners:
  • AGH University of Science and Technology, leader of the project
  • NCBJ, INS, GIG, IChPW, PS, UW, PSSE - universities and research institutions (including nuclear, fertiliser & coal processing R&D)
  • PROCHEM S.A. - engineering company
  • KGHM PM S.A. - energy intensive industry
  • TAURON PE S.A. - power plant operator (utility)
The main objective of HTRPL is to strengthen scientific and technical potential necessary in the implementation of a nuclear power programme in Poland. To this end, specific tasks have been identified:
  • Analysis of the prospects for implementation of HTR in Poland in the near future, including the design, construction and commissioning of the first installation as well as safety issues
  • Theoretical studies in physics and nuclear engineering of HTR
  • Development of guidelines for the technologies that are necessary for the efficient and safe coupling between nuclear and industrial installations.
HTGR at conferences

October 2016 NC2I was present at the European Nuclear Conference held this year in Warsaw on 9-13 October. During the first day’s Plenary Session, Dominique Hittner from NC2I delivered a speech on a US/EU joint effort to demonstrate industrial high temperature nuclear cogeneration with HTGR technology. On 12 October, together with Professor Grzegorz Wrochna from NCBJ, they chaired the session on High Temperature Reactors & Cogeneration. Papers submitted to the session covered a broad range of applications from district heating to space propulsion engines.

On 18-19 October, the second annual SMR UK Summit gathered around 200 senior decision-makers and industry experts in London, including NC2I experts. This year’s edition was an opportunity to hear the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Environment Agency outline the government’s progress and objectives for the UK SMR industry, to meet with the leading UK and international SMR vendors, and to examine the cutting-edge Generation IV reactor designs. Several speakers reviewing different technologies pointed out that small PWR reactors seem to be the closest to practical realisation. However, HTGRs are considered to have technical readiness levels and a time to deployment that are very close to that of PWRs. Advantages of cogeneration in general and HTGR technology in particular were underlined in the presentation titled “HTGR – the SMR for UK, Poland and the World” given by Mr Wrochna on behalf of NC2I.


Submission of GEMINI+ Project

5 October 2016 An international consortium, composed of over 20 members, presented the GEMINI+ project proposal under the Euratom Horizon 2020 programme. In line with the strategy defined with NC2I and the NGNP Industry Alliance in the GEMINI Initiative, the approach chosen for the project is based on the assumption that modular HTGR technology is sufficiently mature to design the first of a kind (FOAK) industrial system for high temperature nuclear cogeneration, without any need for an intermediate step. Indeed, several industrial prototypes have already been built and operated around the world. What still needs to be demonstrated is the viability of use of such an industrial HTGR system in a cogeneration mode, for supplying heat to industrial processed on top of power generation.

In this context, the GEMINI+ project aims to provide a conceptual design of a high temperature nuclear cogeneration system, based on modular HTGR technology, for the supply of process steam to industry, a framework for the licensing of this type of system and a business plan for a full scale demonstration.


HTGR in Polish Strategy for Sustainable Development

29 July 2016 The Polish government published a strategic document which underlines the role of nuclear in the country’s modernisation. The “Strategy for Sustainable Development“ also known as “Morawiecki-Plan“, named after the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development Mateusz Morawiecki, is a detailed plan for the economic development of Poland.

Among the projects of strategic priority, it includes the nuclear cogeneration programme with an HTGR project for energy efficiency and diversification (in addition to the basic programme for LWR of 6000 MWe), and a nuclear materials laboratory NOMATEN. The Plan is currently in a consultation phase. Ministerial support to HTGRs will allow to speed up the work on the implementation of this technology in Poland.


Establishment of Minister of Energy’s Advisory Committee for HTGR in Poland

20 July 2016 Krzysztof Tchórzewski, Polish Energy Minister, established an Advisory Committee that will analyse and prepare the conditions for the implementation of high temperature nuclear reactors in Poland.

The first Committee meeting was held on 20 July. During this gathering, committee experts from valuable organisations, such as the National Centre for Nuclear Research (NCBJ), Energoprojekt-Warszawa S.A. and Prochem S.A, were officially nominated. Under the presidency of Professor Grzegorz Wrochna from NCBJ, they are expected to produce a roadmap for the most efficient use of national scientific and business potential in this enterprise, as well as analyse the domestic market needs and export potential.

More information


Signature of a letter of intent between NCBJ and U-Battery

25 May 2016 The first practical result of the Polish-UK cooperation on HTGR technology could be the construction of a U-Battery reactor at the National Centre for Nuclear Research (NCBJ) in Poland. U-Battery is a micro-reactor being developed by a British consortium including URENCO, AMEC FW, ATKINS, Cammell-Laird, Laing O’Rourke et al. It is designed to deliver 10 MWth of which 4 MW is converted to electric power.

The U-Battery at NCBJ will be equipped with advanced measuring apparatus to serve as a research reactor. It intends to be an important milestone in the Polish HTGR programme and should help speed up capacity building to develop skills and facilitate the licensing of a larger industrial HTGR.

The project was initiated with the signature of a letter of intent between U-Battery, represented by Dominic Kieran, URENCO CEO, and Professor Krzysztof Kurek, NCBJ Director General. The signature completed the visit of Polish Ministry of Energy officials in the UK.

In addition to the first research reactor, the U-Battery consortium is looking to commercially deploy the micro-reactors in the UK, Canada and other countries.

Read more: NCBJ is considering a project to deploy HTGR research reactor in Świerk
Read more: NCBJ experts in Minister of Energy’s Advisory Committee


Poland-UK HTGR talks

25-25 May 2016 For the first time, possible cooperation between Poland and the UK on HTGR technology was discussed on 17 February 2016 at ministerial level during a visit of Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (now called BEIS), in Warsaw.

For Poland, HTGRs represent a reliable and clean source of process heat for industry. For the UK, HTGR is one of the technologies considered to fulfil the need for small modular reactors (SMR).

During a following visit in the UK in May, Deputy Ministers of Energy, Michał Kurtyka and Andrzej Piotrowski, met with Secretary of State Amber Rudd and her team, in order to discuss the details of the project. The Polish delegation described the progress achieved on the implementation of high temperature nuclear reactor technology and the Polish plans for nuclear energy, and emphasised the need for further bilateral cooperation.

The Polish delegation also visited a new High Temperature Facility in Warrington and met with the representatives of the British nuclear sector, including URENCO, AMEC Foster Wheeler, Rolls-Royce, U-Battery and the National Nuclear Laboratory.

Read more: NCBJ experts in Minister of Energy’s Advisory Committee


NC2I submits proposal to the UK SMR competition

April 2016 In April the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC, now BEIS) launched a competition for the design of a Small Modular Reactor (SMR) concept. The BEIS intends to publish an SMR Roadmap later this year, which will summarise the evidence so far, set out the policy framework, and assess potential pathways for SMRs to help the UK achieve its energy objectives while delivering economic benefits. GBP 250 million are foreseen to speed up the development of the most promising technologies.

NC2I submitted an HTGR proposal that was prepared jointly with the US NGNP Industrial Alliance under the GEMINI initiative. Entering this first phase of the competition enables NC2I to engage in discussions with the British government on the best value SMR design for the UK.

The GEMINI Partnership believes that the HTGR is the most suitable SMR for the UK’s needs. Indeed, it responds to all assessment criteria, ranging from financing feasibility to compatibility with UK regulations and the short deployment timescale.

The competition follows an earlier DECC action called SMR Techno-Economic Assessment (TEA), under which NC2I and NGNP IA also submitted a common proposal under the GEMINI label.
Other HTGR projects were proposed, confirming that this technology is very promising and represents a new opening for nuclear technology in Europe.


Meetings in Washington DC on International HTGR Project

8-10 March 2016 The GEMINI initiative, created in 2014 by NC2I and its twin US organisation the NGNP Industrial Alliance, organised its fourth meeting from 8-10 March in Washington DC. High level governmental officials attended the meeting, including Michał Kurtyka, Deputy Minister of Energy from Poland, John Kotek from the US Department of Energy and James Gavigan, Minister-Counselor Research & Innovation, Delegation of the European Union to the US. This was a great opportunity for bilateral discussions to build cooperation between Europe and the US.

Special attention was given to the progress made in Piketon, Ohio, which is a potential site for the first HTGR (High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor) in the US. The site hosted a uranium enrichment plant which is now decommissioned and local authorities are looking for new ways to revitalise the area. Several HTGRs delivering low-cost electricity and heat could be very attractive to various industries. Steve Kuczynski, CEO of US-based utility Southern Company, presented the long-term plans of his company and expressed a strong interest in operating such an HTGR fleet.

Delegations from Korea and Japan also joined the meeting. HTGR programmes in these countries target very high temperature operations suitable for the supply of hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuel production. R&D on HTGR technology, in particular on materials, is a common interest encouraging intercontinental cooperation.

The meeting concluded with a plan to launch the PRIME international project which aims at designing a prismatic block HTGR with 750°C core temperature and power in the range of 300 MWth, with the first reactors to be built simultaneously in US and Europe.

More information

NC2I Information Session
Date: 30 November 2016
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
The NC2I Information session following the sixth SNETP General Assembly during the SET Plan Conference aims to provide updates on the latest progress achieved in the technical field and strategic interactions with international counterparts. All SNETP members representatives are invited to the session.
The agenda includes:
  • Information on non-electric use of nuclear power (including new initiatives)
  • Report on NC2I recent activities
  • Presentation of the NC2I Concept Paper
  • Discussion on current and foreseen NC2I governing structure (including Memorandum of Understanding)
Register online here

8th International Topical Meeting on High Temperature Reactor Technology in Las Vegas
Date: 6-10 November 2016
Location: Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NV
The Meeting is the sole international conference focused on high-temperature gas-cooled reactor including heat application technology. HTR2016 aims to accelerate research and development on HTGR and heat application technologies. The conference and technical sessions are intended to enable the practical use of HTGR systems and will discuss and provide information exchange on the latest results on associated technologies and future perspectives and plans.
More on HTR in Las Vegas

Small Modular Reactor UK Summit in London
Date: 18-19 October 2016
Location: The Waldorf Hilton, Aldwych, Westminster Borough, London, UK
The second annual SMR UK Summit will gather around 200 senior decision makers and industry experts in London. This year’s edition will constitute an opportunity to hear from the likes of BEIS and the Environment Agency as they outline the government’s progress and objectives for the UK SMR industry, to meet with the leading UK and international SMR vendors, or to examine the cutting edge Generation IV reactor designs.
More on SMR UK

European Nuclear Conference 2016 in Warsaw
Date: 9-13 October 2016
Location: Sofitel Warsaw Victoria, Krolewska 11, Warsaw, Poland
NC2I will be present at the European Nuclear Conference held this year in Warsaw. During the first day’s Plenary Session Dominique Hittner from French LGI Consulting will deliver a speech on “a US/EU joint effort to demonstrate industrial high temperature nuclear cogeneration with HTGR technology”. On Wednesday, together with Prof. Grzegorz Wrochna from NCBJ, they will chair the morning session on “High Temperature Reactors & Co-generation”.
ENC 2016 preliminary programme

For further information, please contact:

Grzegorz Wrochna (NCBJ)
Chairman of the NC2I Task Force

Marek Tarka
Vice-Chairman of the NC2I Task Force

Harri Tuomisto
Vice-Chairman of the NC2I Task Force

To join NC2I, please contact the SNETP: Secretariat