At once, several organizations and companies in the world are working on projects of nuclear cargo ships. This was reported by WIRED.
For example, a group of organizations based in South Korea signed a memorandum of understanding in February and aims to develop nuclear-powered merchant ships equipped with small modular reactors. However, the details of the project have not yet been announced.
“We believe it is too early to mention details on the tangible results of this partnership,” HMM, one of the shipping lines involved, tells. “We still have a long way to go to achieve the commercial viability of nuclear energy sources.”
Another project called NuProShip is being developed in Norway. Its leader, Jan Emblemsvåg of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, says the NuProShip team has compiled a list of six possible reactor designs that could work on the demonstration vessel.
“The progress is quite OK,” he adds.
The team aims to convert the liquefied natural gas tanker to run on nuclear power. However, they will not be able to “recycle” the first ship until at least 2035.
At the same time, specialists of the Nuclear and Energy Research Institute in Brazil pay attention to the obstacles on the way to the implementation of such projects. For example, the operational age of ships is inferior to the operating time of reactors. And people need to be convinced of the safety of nuclear energy.
We will remind that in 1962, the nuclear-powered ship Savannah was put into operation. Its reactor was hidden behind 4 feet of concrete as well as thick layers of steel and lead. It was the world’s first cargo-passenger nuclear-powered ship.