Samsung forges ahead with CMSR power barge development

South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has completed the conceptual design for a CMSR Power barge, a floating facility for offshore nuclear power plants, and secured approval in principle from the U.S.-bassed ABS classification society.

Illustration; Image credit Seaborg

A compact molten salt reactor (CMSR) power barge is a relatively new concept for power generation. It is a facility that supplies electricity and thermal energy to land and sea connections produced by using small molten salt reactors.

It is much easier for the floating facility to get the necessary site and construction permits, and it takes around two years for it to be constructed at a much lower cost when compared to standard nuclear plants.

SHI said that its CMSR Power Barge can mount two to eight 100 MW class CMSR units depending on the power demand. The ‘nuclear power plant at sea’ is equipped with a steam turbine generator and transmission and distribution facilities.

It is designed as a turn-key product, ready to be moored at an industrial harbor.

Samsung Heavy Industries began developing floating nuclear power plants after signing a business agreement with Seaborg, a CMSR developer from Denmark, in January 2022.

The agreement includes the development of hydrogen production plants and ammonia plants, as the CMSR is said to be an ideal power source for the supply of stable, clean, and safe electricity.

The shipbuilder aims to commercialize the product by 2028 once it completes the detailed design and validates its feasibility.

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Samsung expects the demand for CMSR Power Barges to expand as the demand for cleaner energy for industrial production, heating, and power generation rises as an alternative to existing fossil fuel-based power generation facilities.