Thailand’s Global Power Synergy Public Company Limited (GPSC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Denmark's Seaborg Technologies to investigate the potential deployment of its compact molten salt reactor (CMSR) Power Barge in Thailand. Under the MOU, GPSC, a subsidiary of Thai state-owned oil and gas company PTT Group, and Seaborg will assess how the CMSR Power Barge could support Thailand’s transition to net-zero. The four-year assessment will be used to develop an initial project on whether deployment of the CMSR Power Barge is feasible and commercially viable.

When the project is investment-ready, both parties intend to attract foreign direct investments to realise the project. Based on the results of the studies, further collaboration, such as the development and deployment of a CMSR Power Barge with a capacity of between 200 MWe and 800 MWe, will be considered.

"GPSC is taking a leading role in exploring nuclear SMR technology in Thailand, and we are very excited to work with them," said Seaborg Technologies CEO Klaus Nyengaard. "Our expertise in nuclear will support GPSC development to strictly comply with the international requirements and both parties could exchange best practices for the joint feasibility. On top, we see new nuclear as a great addition to the Thai energy mix in transforming the future of energy in Thailand, setting a great example for newcomer countries to nuclear."

Seaborg's design is for modular CMSR power barges equipped with between two and eight 100 MWe CMSRs, with an operational life of 24 years. Instead of having solid fuel rods that need constant cooling, the CMSR's fuel is mixed in a liquid salt that acts as a coolant, which means that it will simply shut down and solidify in case of emergency. However, the low-enriched fluoride fuel salt is not yet commercially available, so Seaborg recently announced the initial power barges will be fuelled with low-enriched uranium (LEU).

In September 2023, Indonesian power company Pertamina NRE signed an MOU with Seaborg to investigate the deployment of Seaborg's CMSR Power Barge in Indonesia. The previous July, Seaborg signed a letter of intent with Norsk Kjernekraft to investigate the possible deployment of Seaborg's CMSR in Norway.

Seaborg has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Kepco Nuclear Fuel and GS Engineering & Construction to collaborate on investigating the feasibility of developing an LEU fuel salt production facility in South Korea. In 2022, Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and Seaborg signed a memorandum of understanding to manufacture and sell turnkey power plants combining SHI's ship-building expertise and Seaborg's CMSR. It also covered the development of hydrogen production plants and ammonia plants.

Seaborg, which was founded in 2014, is aiming for commercial prototypes of its CMSR to be built in 2026 with commercial production of Power Barges beginning from 2028.

Image: Worawat Pityasiri, Chief Executive Officer and President of Global Power Synergy Public Company Ltd with Klaus Nyengaard, Chief Executive Officer of Seaborg Technologies at the signing ceremony (courtesy of GPSC)