DNV believes that all fuel options for decarbonizing shipping should be explored, as there is no single solution that appears to be a clear winner. We have been monitoring technology developments in this field over the years.
The Molten Salt Reactor proposed by Core Power is a technology that has the potential to resolve many of the challenges with conventional designs and which is being actively promoted. It is our understanding that if everything goes according to plan, a demonstrator reactor will be ready in 2024, while a marinized reactor of 10‒20 MW will be available in 2028. This is a sign that there are still several technical challenges to be resolved, and we cannot still safely know when this technology will be commercially available for newbuildings. The question of public perception of such technology should also not be underestimated, even though it is radically different from conventional nuclear reactors.
Assuming that the technology’s development goes according to plan, we will not be able to conclude before the mid-2030s whether it’s a commercially feasible option, and even then it is reasonable to assume that this technology could be used in newbuildings only. Based on the above, we believe that penetration of such technology on a large scale can only start around 2035‒2040.
In brief, it is important to support exploration of such technologies, but we cannot take for granted today that they will be the solution to decarbonizing shipping. In the meantime, it is important to use fuels that are currently available for reducing GHG emissions.