Danish start-up Seaborg is working with Samsung shipyard to develop a floating power generation facility with a compact molten salt reactor


[Courtesy of Samsung Heavy Industries ]

SEOUL – Seaborg Technologies, a private Danish startup, has teamed up with Samsung Heavy Industries, a major shipbuilder in South Korea, to develop a floating power generation facility using a compact molten salt reactor that is relatively safe in using fuel mixed with a liquid salt whose boiling point is well above the temperatures produced by fission products.

Solid fuel rods used in conventional reactors require constant cooling with high pressure water. The low boiling point of water creates a potential point of failure. Instead of graphite as a moderator, a compact molten salt reactor (CMSR) uses molten sodium hydroxide contained in pipes, allowing for a more compact design. It also allows liquid moderator to be quickly removed from the core.

Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Seaborg for technical cooperation to develop a floating CMSR power generation model with a maximum output of 800 megawatts by the end of 2022. The goal goal is to develop hydrogen and ammonia production facilities using electricity. produced by floating power generation facilities.

“SHI focuses its capabilities on developing products that use carbon-neutral technologies ranging from renewable energies such as hydrogen and wind power to nuclear power,” said SHI CEO Jung Jin-taek, in a statement on April 7. Seaborg CEO Troels Schönfeldt expressed hope that the partnership with SHI would accelerate the commercialization of offshore nuclear power plants, citing CMSR as a new solution that can effectively respond to climate change.

SHI partnered with the 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 nuclear power plants floating. They see a molten salt reactor (MSR)-based ship that could produce electricity and hydrogen at the same time as a game-changer in international logistics.

MSRs are a class of small modular reactors (SMRs) that have been designed to meet the limitations of traditional light water reactors. MSRs can reduce costly containment structures and eliminate hydrogen as a source of explosion hazard and do not produce hazardous, radioactive fission gases under pressure.

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