American Bureau of Shipping assesses Seaborg’s Compact Molten Salt Reactor

21 December 2020

Power module (photo credit: Seaborg)The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) said on 17 December that it had issued a Feasibility Statement for the Compact Molten Salt Reactor (CMSR) developed by Danish nuclear company Seaborg Technologies.

The Feasibility Statement is the first milestone in the ABS New Technology Qualification (NTQ) process, a five-phase process that aligns with product development phases.

“We are happy to have ABS assess our Compact Molten Salt Reactor. This is an important milestone towards our ambitious target to deploy the first commercial power barge by 2025”, said Seaborg co-founder and CEO Troels Schönfeldt.

Seaborg aims to deliver energy using floating power barges, with a market focus on growth regions such as South East Asia. The power barges will produce electricity or hydrogen. Alternatively, the power barge can deliver high-temperature steam which can be used for process applications.

The maritime assessment will enable shipyard serial production of these floating nuclear power barges, which can be towed to their final destination and plugged into the grid. Seaborg’s partners in this project include South Korean shipyards and nuclear industry. “The maritime approach reduces time, project risk and cost dramatically. We can leverage a highly efficient manufacturing industry with decades of experience, high safety standards and a production capacity unlike any other,”  Schönfeldt said.?

The first power barges will have two reactors installed delivering 200MWe and over the 24-year lifetime will offset 33,600,000 tons of CO2 compared with an equivalent coal power plant. Seaborg said it is  developing an inherently safe 4th generation nuclear Compact Molten Salt Reactor (CMSR) with an essential proprietary moderator.

With its uranium-based fluoride fuel salt, the CMSR has a number of prominent features: It cannot meltdown or explode, it cannot release radioactive gasses to air or water, and it cannot be used for nuclear weapons. The CMSR will be installed on modular power barges. The barge design enables configurations with two, four, six or eight CMSRs delivering up to 800MWe or 2000MWt.

Photo credit: Power barge (Credit: Seaborg)

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