Partnership formed to deploy Seaborg's Power Barge

21 April 2023

Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP), Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and Seaborg Technologies have established a consortium to develop floating nuclear power plants featuring Seaborg's compact molten salt reactor (CMSR) technology.

The signing ceremony for the consortium agreement (Image: Seaborg)

"The consortium aims to enable timely commercialisation and a scalable export of factory-produced CMSR-based floating nuclear power plants worldwide, offering improved efficiency and inherent safety characteristics," Seaborg said. "With KHNP's extensive experience in nuclear power generation, SHI's offshore construction expertise and Seaborg Technologies' innovative technology, the consortium is well-positioned to meet the growing demand for clean and reliable energy."

Seaborg's design is for modular CMSR power barges equipped with two to 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. The timeline for Seaborg, which was founded in 2014, is for commercial prototypes to be built in 2026 with commercial production of Power Barges beginning from 2028.

The Power Barges are modular and can produce from 200-800 MW of electricity (Image: SHI/Seaborg)

The consortium's first project is expected to be a 200 MWe Power Barge.

In April last year, 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.

SHI announced in January that it had completed the conceptual design for the CMSR Power Barge and obtained the basic certification of the design from the American Bureau of Shipping.

"Floating nuclear power plants are a carbon-free energy solution which is efficiently responding to climate change issues and a next-generation technology expandable to floating hydrogen, ammonia plant that meets the vision of Samsung Heavy Industries," said SHI CEO Jintaek Jeong.

KHNP CEO Jooho Whang added: "KHNP's active effort will be aimed at fostering a mutually beneficial partnership between Korea and Denmark, with a focus on cooperation in the next generation nuclear power project, for a safer and cleaner future."

"This consortium is unique for deploying nuclear power at scale," said Seaborg CEO Navid Samandari. "We are proud to say we have partnered with the best for construction and operations as part of our shared mission to develop and deploy the power barges."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News