Bureau Veritas joined forces with ThorCon for Technology Qualification and subsequent development of a molten salt nuclear power barge.
Organization Bureau Veritas (BV) collaborates with nuclear power technology developer ThorCon on the qualification and development of the 500MW molten salt nuclear power barge for operations in Indonesia.
BV was chosen to support ThorCon through the Technology Qualification process for both the nuclear reactor and its encapsulation and integration with the hull systems.
“The scope of the agreement also includes the potential development and deployment phases once the Technology Qualification is completed.
At this stage, it is anticipated that the Technology Qualification process will take a minimum of three years and if successful, the deployment phase would require an additional two years,” ThorCon stated.
Bureau Veritas Senior Vice President Technical & Operations Laurent Leblanc emphasized that nuclear power is seen as one of the ways to attain global decarbonization.
“Nuclear power is increasingly seen as one of the means to achieve global decarbonization and the 1.5°C objectives. New technologies, such as molten salt reactors, open opportunities for the deployment of nuclear energy, power generation in the marine environment being an example.
At BV we are proud to be at the forefront of safe innovation, supporting pioneers like ThorCon, by helping them assess the feasibility of new nuclear technology development up to their industrial application.”
Leblanc noted that their role is to “assess and address risks to ensure such technologies can be deployed with the highest safety standards.”
“This project is very exciting as it can be a stepping stone to other applications such as the generation of hydrogen offshore and even nuclear ship propulsion,” Leblanc added.
According to ThorCon, the concept it developed is a molten salt fission reactor. The company explained that the ThorCon reactor operates at low pressure and uses liquid fuel. Moreover, it said that the liquid fuel enables a much higher operating temperature.
With the capability to operate in high temperature, it leads to greater efficiency while also enabling completely passive safety. The 500MW fission power plant is said to be integrated within a floating barge hull, then towed to a shallow water site before being ballasted on the seabed.
Based on the company, the technology will deliver the energy to the power grid to “meet land-based energy needs.” It added that the plants will be designed to be mass produced in order to support the transition to zero carbon emissions and reliable energy.
Furthermore, ThorCon CEO Dave Devanney explained that “ThorCon has developed a 4th generation advanced nuclear reactor design that solves the most perplexing problem of conventional nuclear power: excessive cost.”
“ThorCon is initially implementing its technology in Southeast Asia where the need for low-cost dispatchable carbon-free energy is urgent. Providing a practical clean solution to Southeast Asia’s growing energy needs will significantly slow global warming and climate change,” he added.