Samsung Heavy Industries Co. (SHI) said on Wednesday that it has teamed up with the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) to develop nuclear-powered ships. Samsung Heavy’s plan revolves around molten salt reactors (MSR), a kind of small module reactor using molten fluoride salts as the primary coolant, at low pressure, which has been emerging as a carbon-zero nuclear energy source.
The life cycle of nuclear fuel is more than 20 years, which is the same as the life cycle of a ship, so there is no need to replace it after being installed. In addition, if an abnormal issue occurs in the reactor, it is designed to solidify the liquid nuclear fuel with the molten salt, to prevent serious accidents at the source, providing high safety and high-efficiency power and the hydrogen production at the same time, said the company release.
Through this agreement, SHI plans to pioneer the MSR-based floating nuclear power plant and nuclear-powered ship market as part of strengthening its capacity for future new business expansion… Samsung Heavy Industries will push ahead with the project to foster one of its future growth engines, including technologies related to ammonia and hydrogen, the company said.
The Biden Administration in the United States has designated SMR as the next-generation nuclear power plant to reduce carbon emissions. Currently, about 70 types of SMR are being developed in the US, Russia, and China.