KSOE remains interested in nuclear power. Small modular nuclear reactors, which might power isolated locations and reduce carbon emissions, are being developed for power barges.
The power source will power KSOE’s floating alternative fuel production unit. South Korea’s largest shipbuilder’s parent announced a barge concept akin to offshore energy. KOSE is pushing a production barge powering multiple modular reactions with a potential capacity of 240 MW.
The research suggests KSOE use four 60 MW compact modular reactors in its first design. Hydrogen production would be powered by floating reactors. Others have considered floating hydrogen generation using wind farm or other power sources.
KSOE uses the processes to manufacture hydrogen cheaply. The shipbuilder earlier stated it would investigate nuclear power applications. TerraPower, created by Bill Gates, received $30 million of $830 in private equity financing last fall from them and other investors.
Last month, nine Korean organizations formed a similar collaboration to build and demonstrate offshore systems and ships powered by tiny modular reactors. The partners will build marine systems and produce hydrogen utilizing molten salt reactors (MSRs).
Samsung Heavy Industries with Seaborg Technologies and Washington state-based ThorCon with Indonesia’s electricity and research innovation authorities are developing compact reactor power concepts. Power barges would link to the grid to boost power generation in their floating configurations.
The U.S. Department of Energy wants to build safe, clean, and economical nuclear electricity via Advanced Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). They explained that US-developed advanced SMRs vary in size, technology, capabilities, and deployment scenarios. They’re investigating power generation, process heat, desalination, and other industrial applications. SMR designs may use light water, gas, liquid metal, or molten salt as coolants.
The International Atomic Energy Agency classifies SMRs as having 10–300 MW capacity and notes that their prefabricated nature and lower size make them suitable for these applications. The IAEA claims proposed SMR designs are simpler and rely more on passive systems and reactor safety characteristics like low power and operating pressure.
The world’s first floating nuclear power station entered commercial operation in Russia in May 2020, providing energy from two 35 MW(e) SMRs, according to the IAEA. They estimate that Argentina, Canada, China, Russia, South Korea, and the US are developing over 70 commercial SMR designs.