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HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE) and Kepco Engineering & Construction Company (Kepco E&C) have received approval in principle (AIP) from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) for a new design of a floating offshore nuclear power barge. HD KSOE’s design involves a 240 MW SMR-powered ship, featuring four sets of 60 MW SMRs. The vessel would be a floating SMR facility on the sea, with the SMR placed on the bottom and a platform on top that produces carbon-free fuel such as hydrogen.

Project collaborators include ABS, HD KSOE, Kepco E&C and the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR). THE AIP presentation took place in Washington DC. The floating small modular reactor (SMR) barge is intended to serve as offshore power generation for remote communities and island electrification.

HD KSOE will provide basic designs for the marine systems. ABS and LISCR will complete design reviews based on class and statutory requirements while Kepco E&C works on risk assessments for future applications.

Patrick Ryan, ABS Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer. “Modern nuclear technologies are increasingly suggested as a potential solution to lower carbon emissions. Floating production platforms like this barge from HD KSOE have the possibility to scale more easily than what can be done on land. ABS is proud to apply our research and experience to innovative projects such as this one.”

Dr Moon Young-Tae, Senior Director of Kepco E&C noted that the company had developed the APR1400 NPP which had received design certification from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2019 and has designed more than 30 NPPs in Korea and abroad over the past 40 years. “In addition, we have our own marine SMR, ‘Bandi’, and we are making efforts to develop marine SMR technology as well as onshore SMRs,” he said.

“This barge design not only eliminates the inconvenience of selecting onshore sites by being installed at sea but also offers the advantage of an integrated design for thermal energy production. This increases the potential to support the production of eco-friendly ship fuels like ammonia or methanol,” said Dr Kim Sung-Jun, Director of Future Technology at HD KSOE. He also noted that HD KSOE has invested $30m in US-based TerraPower, and that the company plans to accelerate development of future nuclear-powered ships by establishing an SMR research team.

Image: (L) Dr Young-Tae Moon, Senior Director, Kepco E&C; (Middle) Patrick Ryan, Senior VP & CTO, ABS; and (R) Sang Min Park, Research Director of Marine Energy Technology Lab, HD KSOE at the AIP signing (courtesy of ABS)

Date: Friday, 06 October 2023
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