The 2019 edition of the Economist's annual look-ahead to the coming year features a discussion piece by editor and writer Benjamin Sutherland on floating nuclear power plants.
The article on p.124 of The World in 2019 highlights the opportunities and challenges of taking nuclear power plant offshore and examines the geo-political developments as both Russia and China deploy the technology.
LR’s nuclear experts Vince Jenkins and Xuhong He, were both interviewed for the article explaining about the work we are doing in China, reinforcing LR's position in the nuclear energy mix.
Earlier in the year, the Economist looked at ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to which Vince and Xuhong also contributed and highlighted the importance of cleaning up ship exhausts to support international emissions targets. The matter is made more urgent by the decision of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the United Nations body responsible for the world’s shipping, to reduce the amount of sulphur allowed in bunker fuel from 3.5% to 0.5% by 2020.
Vince explains that if the IMO target is to be met, then some radical thinking is needed, including nuclear propulsion, which releases no carbon dioxide and shipboard reactors are already an established technology with some 140 icebreakers, warships and submarines propelled using nuclear propulsion. A nuclear-powered shipping fleet is capable of faster speed, and could move more goods with fewer vessels.