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Big boasts for small nuclear reactors on ships – but a recipe for disaster?

Floating ‘mini-nukes’ could power countries by 2025, says startup, Danish company plans to fit ships with small nuclear reactors to send energy to developing countries,  Guardian, Jillian Ambrose, 18 Dec 2020 
Floating barges fitted with advanced nuclear reactors could begin powering developing nations by the mid-2020s, according to a Danish startup company.Seaborg Technologies believes it can make cheap nuclear electricity a viable alternative to fossil fuels across the developing world as soon as 2025……..

Seaborg has raised about €20m (£18.3m) from private investors, including the Danish retail billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen, and received the first of the necessary regulatory approvals within a four-phase process from the American Bureau of Shipping this week. ….

Seaborg hopes to begin taking orders by the end of 2022 for the nuclear barges, which would be built in South Korean shipyards and towed to coastlines where they could be anchored for up to 24 years, he said. ……….

Seaborg’s design would be one of the first examples of a commercially available nuclear barge used to provide electricity to the mainland.

Chris Gadomski, a nuclear analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said: “The concept of a floating nuclear power plant has been around for a long time, and makes a lot of sense. But there are concerns.” There was inherent risk involved with nuclear reactor technologies and floating power plants, so combining to two could raise serious questions for investors and governments, he said.

“In places like the Philippines and Indonesia it makes a lot of sense. But it wasn’t so long ago that the Philippines was the site of a major tsunami, and I don’t know how you would hedge against a risk like that,” he added.

Jan Haverkamp, from Greenpeace, said floating reactors were “a recipe for disaster” including “all of the flaws and risks of larger land-based nuclear power stations”. “On top of that, they face extra risks from the unpredictability of operation in coastal areas and transport – particularly in a loaded state – over the high seas. Think storms, think tsunamis,” he said. ……..https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/17/floating-mini-nukes-could-power-countries-by-2025-says-startup

December 19, 2020 - Posted by | Denmark, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

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