Nuclear power’s role in shipping’s decarbonisation journey explored in first LISW23 London Talks video

Nuclear solutions will play an essential role in maritime’s fast-paced journey towards decarbonisation and net zero, said Mikal Bøe, Chairman and CEO of CORE POWER. “It simply will not happen without it,” he stated.

Speaking in the first of a series of London Talks video presentations for London International Shipping Week 2023 (LISW23), Mr Bøe highlighted the limitations inherent in current alternative sources of fuel and advised that today’s ‘new’ nuclear power offers a safer, cleaner, affordable and viable solution to enable shipping to meet its green goals.

Mr Bøe, who has more than 30 years’ experience in technology, finance, transport and commodities, commented that the realisation that the world is likely to exceed 1.5 degrees of warming and will not reach net zero by 2050 is “a defining milestone in the chaotic nature of our energy transition” which has shocked the public and green energy markets.

“There is clear evidence of weather-dependent power generation’s inevitable failure to meet capacity targets and provide a low cost base,” he said, pointing out that intermittent power sources require a backup to cover power demand when capacity is not met. This is 80% in the case of solar power and 60% for wind, he said. And he highlighted that, when energy density is taken into account, fuels such as ammonia and methanol will need to be burned in twice the amount as oil and will produce twice as much waste, while nuclear power can generate four million times more power than these potential maritime alternative fuel sources.

“Every capesize bulker powered by new nuclear will prevent 1.5m tonnes of CO2 from being emitted in dry cargo transportation. Multiply by the fleet and the impact is substantial,” he said.

In his video presentation, which is available on the LISW23 website, Mr Bøe presents the case for modern nuclear power which he describes as “distinctly different” to conventional nuclear power. He explained that concerns regarding the safety, and insurance of nuclear-powered vessels are being addressed and new nuclear technology is being developed to meet the criteria needed to operate safely in offshore, near-shore and in-port environments. He highlights a range of potential uses including green shipping corridors, desalination, powering synthetic fuel production, and recharging electric port technology.

“We need to think differently because the future cannot look the same as it does today,” he emphasised.

View the video here

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