Floating nuclear power plants are under developmentS. Himmelstein | April 22, 2022
The future of energy will feature floating nuclear power plants. Samsung Heavy Industries and Seaborg have finalized an agreement to develop such facilities based on Seaborg’s inherently safe Compact Molten Salt Reactor (CMSR). The project includes development of hydrogen production plants and ammonia plants, as the CMSR is an ideal power source for the supply of clean, safe electricity.
The aim of the strategic partnership is to manufacture and sell turn-key power plants, ready to be moored at industrial harbors and connected to the electric grid onshore. The modular plants will be equipped to deliver up to 800 MW for a 24-year lifetime, whether connected to the grid in an existing coal port or to power production of hydrogen and ammonia.
In the CMSR, the fuel is mixed into a molten fluoride salt, which also functions as the coolant. If the fuel salt should come into contact with the atmosphere, it will simply cool down and solidify, encapsulating all the radioactive material within itself.
The fuel is chemically stable and the fission products are short-lived. The waste is radiologically similar to radioactive hospital waste and can be handled using conventional methods. The remaining fuel salt will be mixed into new CMSR fuel at the fuel supplying facility in a fuel chain process that avoids the challenges of long-term storage.
Commercial prototypes will be produced by 2024, with power barge serial production scheduled for 2026.