Samsung Heavy

Samsung Heavy kicks off project to develop nuclear-powered ships

South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has partnered up with Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) with an aim to develop nuclear-powered vessels.

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The partnership will also be focused on developing floating nuclear power plants based on molten salt reactors (MSR) — the technology which has been emerging as a “zero-carbon energy source”.

As explained, the MSR is a type of small module reactor that has been viewed by the industry as a carbon zero energy source able to respond to the recent climate crisis.

Through this agreement, SHI plans to tap into the market of MSR-based floating nuclear power generation plants and nuclear-powered vessels, the shipbuilder revealed on 9 June.

According to Jin-Taek Jung, CEO of SHI, the company intends to focus on R&D within the project targeting a new future growth engine based on the MSR technology.

A modular MSR for vessels is also being developed by Core Power, a UK-based development company specializing in scalable atomic power technology for ocean transport and heavy industry.

The reactor will be capable of propelling ships and providing energy for manufacturing blue and green fuels. The first prototype MSR reactor is due to start trials in 2025.