General – Zero-Emission
The Thor ship concept uses a thorium molten salt reactor (MSR) to provide clean energy for tomorrow’s all-electric vessels.
“Thor may be the missing piece of the zero-emission puzzle for a broad range of maritime and ocean industry applications,” says Øyvind Gjerde Kamsvåg, Chief Designer at Ulstein International.
The race to decarbonise the shipping industry is on. But a frontrunner has yet to emerge in the industry’s search for low-carbon fuels. Contenders include hydrogen, methanol, ammonia and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Batteries, combined with such fuels, look promising as well.
“We need a long-term, sustainable power source, not an intermediate fix. By taking a whole new approach, we may have found the silver bullet for the maritime sector,” says Kamsvåg.
The design features a thorium MSR to generate vast amounts of clean, safe electricity. This will enable the vessel to operate as a mobile power station for a new breed of battery-driven cruise ships.
“THOR incorporates our ‘3R design’ – Replenishment, Research and Rescue,” explains Kamsvåg. “First and foremost, THOR is an enabler, providing a clean, continuous, on-site power source for electric cruise vessels. It can replenish supplies as well,” he says.
THOR itself would never need to refuel. As such, the vessel provides a blueprint for entirely self-sufficient vessels of the future.