The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) President Won-Seok Park) and Samsung Heavy Industries CEO Jin-Taek Jeong are cooperating to develop a carbon-free nuclear power plant in response to the trend of strengthening international carbon emission regulations in the maritime transport sector.

The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) announced that it had signed a cooperation agreement with Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) at the Geoje Shipyard Support Centre on 8 June for joint research in the field of molten salt reactor (MSR) development with no risk of serious accidents.

According to the agreement, signed by KAERI President Won-seok Park  and SHI President of Jin-taek Jeong, the two organisations will continue:

  • small modular reactor-based offshore nuclear product design;
  • element technology/equipment development and performance verification; and
  • business model development and economic evaluation of offshore nuclear products, etc.

The fuel cycle of such a reactor is more than 20 years, which is the same as the life cycle of a ship, so there is no need to refuel. Moreover when an abnormal signal occurs inside the nuclear reactor, the molten salt will solidify, thus preventing serious accidents. MSRs can also be used for hydrogen production.

“MSR is a carbon-free energy source that can efficiently respond to climate change issues and is a next-generation technology that meets the vision of Samsung Heavy Industries. We plan to focus on R&D to become a future growth engine,” said SHI President Jintaek Jeong.

Image: Commemorative photo of the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute-Samsung Heavy Industries molten salt reactor product development agreement ceremony (Photo credit: KAERI)