Korea Latest In Asia To Signal Interest In Floating NPPs

Staff: Tokyo & Taipei: The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) in Daejeon, South Korea along with globally renowned domestic shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) last week declared an interest in the joint development of molten salt reactors – MSR – used in marine propulsion as well as floating nuclear power plants.

A joint cooperation agreement was reportedly signed by KAERI and SHI on June 8th, albeit at the Shanghai Heavy’s Geoje Shipyard; Beijing several years ago signaled its own intent to moved into floating nuclear power plants with early reports in trade media claiming authorities in the Chinese capital were looking to add scores of floating NPPs over the next few decades.

MSR technology, according to Jin-taek Jeong, president of SHI “is a carbon-free energy source that can efficiently respond to climate change issues and is a next-generation technology that meets the vision of Samsung Heavy Industries.”

MSR tech too, in the possible future development of global shipping options, “can be a game changer in international logistics. MSR is a carbon-free energy source that can efficiently respond to climate change issues,” KAERI President Won-seok Park went on to add.

Samsung Heavy was earlier this year seen to be hedging its bets in future shipping propulsion options somewhat by also moving into increased research and development of both ammonia and hydrogen power to work towards alternative energy ship propulsion possibilities.

Floating nuclear options have become a significant talking point in atomic energy circles in recent years, particularly in East Asia, with KEPCO of South Korea and another South Korean shipping heavyweight, Daewoo, in 2020, agreeing an MoU on the development of probable small-scale floating NPPs.

Over 4000 km to the north east in the isolated East Siberian Sea town of Pevek, Russia too is now moving into floating NPP development, as is China by way of its state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation in Beijing, alongside another state-owned entity based in Shenzen near Hong Kong – China General Nuclear.

Image: Ant Rozetsky – Unsplash

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