Multinational team to develop MSR-based marine reactor

04 November 2020

A team including Core Power (UK) Ltd, Southern Company, TerraPower and Orano USA has applied to take part in cost-share risk reduction awards under the US Department of Energy's Advanced Reactor Demonstration Programme to build a proof-of-concept for a medium-scale commercial-grade marine reactor based on molten salt reactor (MSR) technology.

Core Power sees the marine MSR as the answer to decarbonising marine propulsion (Image: Core Power)

Over the next few decades, as many as 60,000 ships must transition from combustion of fossil fuels to zero-emission propulsion, London-based Core Power said. The United Nations International Maritime Organisation has mandated that shipping must reduce emissions by 50% of the 2008 total, before 2050, it said, which will mean an actual emission reduction of almost 90% by that time. MSR technology being developed by the consortium could achieve that goal, by powering production of green sustainable fuels for smaller ships and providing onboard electric power for large ships, "with zero emissions as standard", Core Power said.

"The implications of the MSR for transport and industry could be transformational, as we seek to build scale-appropriate technology and broad acceptance of modern and durable liquid-fuelled atomic power to shape the future of how we deal with climate change," Core Power Chairman and CEO Mikal Bøe said.

The MSR can be the technology that forms the start of "a second atomic era, where climate change is the main driver of powerful, inexpensive, and safe new energy solutions", the company said.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News