South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries has announced that it has received approval in principle from the American Bureau of Shipping for a conceptual design of a floating offshore nuclear power plant.
The so-called CMSR Power Barge is a new concept for a power-generation facility that supplies electricity and thermal energy produced by a compact molten salt reactor. According to the company, the fusion of nuclear power and shipbuilding technology has the advantage of reduced constraints on site selection and facility condition, and could be built in less than two years at a reduced to cost to conventional reactors.
The conceptual design includes options for between two and eight 100 megawatt compact molten salt reactors depending on the power demands. The company described the proposed facility as a ‘nuclear power plant on the sea’ with steam turbine generators and transmission/distribution facilities within a floating body.
Samsung Heavy Industries signed a business agreement with compact molten salt reactor developer Seaborg, which has been working on projects relating to power generation in developing countries that lack constant electricity, in January last year to develop floating nuclear power plant products. The company plans to commercialise the floating reactors by 2028 after completing detailed designs of all of the power-generation facilities.
According to the company, the CMSR Power Barge will offer not only an alternative to existing fossil fuel power generation facilities, but also an electricity and thermal energy source for industrial heating systems, hydrogen production and seawater desalination facilities.
‘We will continuously develop technologies for floating nuclear power plants, which will lead a new market,’ said Yeo Dong-il, head of marine design at Samsung Heavy Industries.