Nuclear Reactor Barge for Sustainable Energy Production

Mateusz Pater

Emissions of greenhouse gases can be rapidly reduced if nuclear energy is deployed on a large scale. Conventional nuclear power plants are typically large (> 1000 MW) and capital intensive, and thus undesirable or unfeasible in many regions including those characterised by numerous, disconnected power grids such as islands. Seaborg Technologies’ Compact Molten Salt Reactor (CMSR) is an advanced, next-generation nuclear reactor based on molten salt reactor technology which cannot melt down, explode or be used for producing nuclear weapons. The reactor produces 250 MW of thermal energy in the form of superheated steam, and will be installed on a Reactor Barge vessel that can be equipped with several reactors. The produced steam can be used to generate electricity, desalinate seawater, or facilitate other industrial processes requiring high temperature. The reactor is of a modular construction to facilitate shipyard assembly, and the barge is towed to a site where the reactor can operate for up to 12 years without refueling. Due to its small size, inherent safety features, and modularized construction, the Reactor Barge is expected to produce low-carbon energy which is cost competitive with fossil fuels. The lifecycle of a Reactor Barge is discussed in this paper, with a special focus on sustainable energy production, applications of the CMSR, and market prospects for nuclear power barges.

KEYWORDS: nuclear, floating nuclear power plant, molten salt reactor, modularity, power barge

Mateusz Pater is a nuclear engineer working at Seaborg Technologies. He has an engineering degree from AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow, Poland, and graduated top of his class from the double degree program European Master’s in Nuclear Energy. He acquired his knowledge in the fields of nuclear engineering and nuclear reactor physics at Polytechnic University of Catalonia, University of Paris-Saclay, and INSTN/CEA. He is a core member of the engineering team at Seaborg, focusing on systems engineering, component specification, and equipment design and testing. He also is an industrial PhD candidate at Technical University of Denmark specializing in the development, prototyping and testing of molten salt valve systems.

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