Martin Leurent, Science Trends
Nuclear thermal plants could remain used in the long term due to their low carbon profile and ability to provide flexibility to the power grid. The most widespread operation of nuclear plants, however, implies the rejection into the environment of the heat that cannot be converted to electricity.
In Pressurized Water Reactors (the most commonly-used reactors today and which should remain so up to at least 2050 ), only one-third of the heat is converted, meaning that two-thirds of the energy is rejected into the environment. It is, however, possible to use part of this heat for e.g. industrial applications, district heating (DH), or seawater desalination. PWR can be designed to provide both electricity and heat (or only heat) without jeopardizing nuclear safety .