Seaborg Technologies, a private Danish startup, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) to develop a floating power generation facility using a compact molten salt reactor.
A compact molten salt reactor (CMSR) uses molten sodium hydroxide contained in pipes, enabling a more compact design. It also allows the liquid moderator to be rapidly removed from the core. The MOU is for technical cooperation to develop a floating CMSR power generation model with a maximum output of 800MW by the end of 2022. The final goal is to develop hydrogen and ammonia production facilities using electricity produced by floating power generation facilities.
"SHI is focusing its capabilities on developing products that utilise carbon-neutral technologies from renewable energy such as hydrogen and wind power and nuclear power," SHI CEO Jintaek Jeong said in a statement. Seaborg CEO Troels Schönfeldt expressed hope that the partnership with SHI would accelerate the commercialisation of offshore NPPs, citing CMSR as a new solution that can effectively respond to climate change.
SHI partnered with the state-run Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) in June 2021 for the development of a small carbon-free fission reactor based on molten salt that would be used for ships and floating NPPs. They consider a ship based on a molten salt reactor (MSR) that could produce electricity and hydrogen at the same time as a game-changer in international logistics.
MSRs seek to address the limitations of traditional light-water reactors. MSRs can reduce expensive containment structures and eliminate hydrogen as a source of explosion risk and do not produce dangerous and radioactive fission gases that are under pressure.
Photo: Seaborg CEO Troels Schönfeldt and Samsung Heavy Industries CEO Jintaek Jeong mark signing of MOU (Credit Samsung Heavy Industries)