What are Integrated Energy Systems?

Power plants exist to make electricity, but most also produce a lot of heat. What if they could use that heat for other processes that require thermal energy? Today, roughly 40% of all energy is wasted. More efficient energy use would be better for the environment and for the plant owner. A power plant being used for both electricity and heat is called an integrated energy system. Integrated energy systems could couple nuclear, renewable and fossil energy sources. Such systems offer efficiencies that can lead to energy independence, economic competitiveness, job creation and smarter use of resources.

What are national labs doing?

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy supports a national laboratory Integrated Energy Systems (IES) Program. The program conducts research, development and deployment activities to expand the role of nuclear energy beyond supporting the electricity grid. Expanded roles include supplying energy to various industrial, transportation and energy storage applications. Development of integrated energy systems may include multiple energy inputs (e.g., nuclear, renewable, and fossil), multiple energy users (e.g., grid consumers, industrial heat or electricity users, transportation fuel users), and multiple energy storage options (e.g., thermal, electrical and chemical).

Recent Technical Reports

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372 x 481312 KB 10/16/2020 1:48 PMCase Study: Integrated Nuclear-Driven Water Desalination— Providing Regional Potable Water in Arizona
372 x 48149 KB 10/14/2020 3:30 PMFlexible Nuclear Energy for Clean Energy Systems
342 x 44349 KB 10/16/2020 1:44 PMIES 2020 Roadmap
372 x 48152 KB 10/16/2020 1:48 PMProduction Feasability


​The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded just under $14 million for an attempt to build a hydrogen-energy production facility at a nuclear power plant in Minnesota with the help of a nuclear research lab in Idaho.

Regional Idaho nuclear lab partnering with utility to produce hydrogen11/11/2020

​This promotional video is part of the CEM11 2020 event to discuss the report, Flexibility in Clean Energy Systems: The Enabling Roles of Nuclear Energy.

Flexibility in Clean Energy Systems: The Enabling Roles of Nuclear Energy10/10/2020

​New research from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) identifies key opportunities for hydrogen to provide synergies for the U.S. energy system and quantifies their potential impacts on hydrogen markets.

Study shows abundant opportunities for hydrogen in a future integrated energy system10/9/2020

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced funding for three domestic projects that will accelerate advanced nuclear technology development. These projects, valued at $26.9 million including industry cost-share contributions, will allow industry-led teams to advance the state of domestic commercial nuclear capability.

U.S. Department of Energy Announces $26.9 million for Advanced Nuclear Technology10/8/2020

​As the growth of variable generators, like wind and solar, continue to gain traction around the world, it’s important to question the level of flexibility of an energy source.

Report: Nuclear, flexibility needed in future renewables-led powergen sector9/24/2020
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On December 2 and 3, Clean Air Task Force and Pillsbury Law will host a webinar on Unlocking Hydrogen Markets with Low-Cost Nuclear Production. For additional details and to register for the webinar, please go to https://www.pillsburylaw.com/en/news-and-insights/unlocking-hydrogen-markets-low-cost-nuclear-production.html. Dr. Shannon Bragg-Sitton (INL) will participate as a panelist. Registration is free and open to all.
Unlocking Hydrogen Markets with Low-Cost Nuclear Production
​INL will observe an annual curtailment for nonessential workers/operations from Wednesday, December 25, 2020, through Friday, January 1, 2021.
Virtual Conference2/8/2021
The Conference on Nuclear Training and Education: A Biennial International Forum (CONTE 2021) has an emphasis on the future of the nuclear industry and is aimed at training, education and workforce development.
Conference on Nuclear Training and Education: A Biennial International Forum (CONTE 2021)
Raleigh, NC4/11/2021
M&C 2021
M&C 2021
Yogyakarta Indonesia6/2/2021
​The International Topical Meeting on High Temperature Reactor Technology is the sole international conference focusing on high-temperature gas-cooled reactors and process heat application technology. 
International Topical Meeting on High Temperature Reactor Technology
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