We would like to bring you up to date with progress on the value proposition of MSR powered ships and our work here at CORE-POWER, which involves: ‘decarbonizing deep sea shipping by commercialising molten-salt-reactor (MSR) technology and adding a strong competitive advantage to shipping at the same time.’

Here’s where we are now:

We are starting with a ‘one size fits all’ marine-MSR which is mass produced to be both very economical  and ultra-reliable. From this we have calculated the average lifespan of the fuel cycle for each vessel type, given ‘normal’ trading conditions of that ship type.

1. Both thermal and fast spectrum fluid fuelled reactors can provide all the power needed to run a ship for its entire lifespan on a single fuel load, NO refuelling.

Take a look here:

  • Please remember, MSRs are a radical departure from any atomic power technology in use today.
  • m-MSRs will be super-efficient machines which take up very little space but provide vast amounts of power using very little fuel.
  • They’re also walk-away safe, they cannot melt down, they cannot explode, they do NOT pollute the environment, and the bi-products from their fuel can be used again and again.

2. Every one of these ships would run an actually sustainable fuel cycle and be fully electric, ZERO-EMISSION ships.

3. Some vessel types could take advantage of substantial additional power to increase service speed providing the general arrangement, hull form and propeller configuration is optimised for the extra power. We envisage some very interesting newbuilding and retrofitting projects.

4. We have investigated how to arrange the electric power circuits on each vessel type to be able to ‘power the port’, providing clean electric power for shore based pumps, loaders, cranes, conveyors etc. We think this will help substantially reduce air pollution in ports as the need to generate shore power by burning fossil fuels is reduced.

5. We have calculated that running an m-MSR as the main power plant on all of the vessel classes listed above, would come in at about 20-30% less than the cost of fuel oil (using a $350-$450 p/MT fuel oil price over time).

In short, an m-MSR powered ship could likely sail for a lifetime without refuelling (though usual maintenance schedules will need to be kept), emitting no pollutants and helping ports do the same, at about 1/4 saving compared to fuel oil.

We’re getting a lot closer to selecting the design of the first m-MSRs to be built and hope to bring you news about that shortly.

We have set out how to use land based MSRs to produce 100% clean green hydrogen/ammonia based fuels for shipping, and I’ll come back to that in our next update.

If you would like to receive our calculations on the superior economics of the m-MSR over fuel oil, LNG and ammonia, please get in touch.