Crowley and BWX Technologies to develop vessel-based nuclear power station

Maritime and logistics services company Crowley has partnered with BWX Technologies to work together on a proposed ship concept that could generate nuclear power on board using a microreactor, to supply zero-carbon emission energy to shoreside locations.

The new memorandum of understanding with BWXT’s Advanced Technologies subsidiary will allow both companies to jointly pursue and develop opportunities relative to the design, engineering and development of the new shallow-draft hull ships, which would feature technology for factory fabricated microreactors, deployed into a shipyard configuration for installation on the 115m vessel.

According to the proposed design, the onboard power plant could supply energy to shore facilities, such as military bases in remote island locations, backup utility grids after disasters, and provide power in other scenarios where traditional electricity sources are damaged or not possible.

“Our cooperation with BWXT will move Crowley for the first time into the nuclear energy sector, a key part of our commitment to sustainable, alternative energy sources,” said Shiju Zacharia, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Crowley Government Solutions.

“This concept supports the US Department of Energy’s goal of maintaining US leadership in nuclear energy technology as well as many the US Department of Defense’s strategic goals for operational energy.”

The new vessel concept pairs traditional propulsion while carrying a modular reactor between 5 and 50 megawatts that can be activated upon arrival at the destination and be deactivated and transported after the power supply is discontinued. Buoyed power delivery cables will enable the ships to deploy energy connections to shore.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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