PT PAL Indonesia signed agreement US$1.2 billion with nuclear power firm Thorcon International Pte Ltd to conduct development study and construction of a 500-megawatt reactor - Photo: Privacy.

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesia’s state company PT PAL Indonesia signed an agreement US$1.2 billion with nuclear power firm Thorcon International Pte. Ltd., to conduct development study and construction of a 500-megawatt reactor, the company said. The projects will be completed in 2026.

“The study of the development of the Thorium Power Plant (TPP) is being carried out with the Research and Development Agency of the Energy and Mineral Resources ministry. By the end of July the plan will be completed,” said Chief Representative of ThorCon Bob S. Effendi in Jakarta on Thursday (07/18).

If the assessment runs smoothly, the Test Bed Platform TMSR500 will be built in 2020. Its projected that construction and testing will each take one year. If all goes according to plan, then in 2023 this project can be built and in 2026 will be completed and ready to operate, said Sutrisno, PAL Indonesia’ director on the same occasion.

The thorium molten salt power plant is currently designed to be 174×66 meters floating facility which PAL said is expected to be built by Daewoo Shipyard & Marine Engineering in South Korea. PAL Indonesia, which produces warships and commercial vessels, will build the reactor and supporting components designed by Thorcon.

“The thorium molten salt power plant can produce clean energy cheaper than coal, which could be a reliable energy system toward a low-carbon economy,” Sutrisno said.

The Thorcon reactor can be mass-produced at 100 Gigawatts of nuclear power per year. This would be the entire United States (US) supply of nuclear reactors that currently exist.

Every 5 years, the entire current world supply of nuclear reactors could be equaled. Within 14 years the entire US electricity production could be converted to nuclear power. All of the coal and natural gas in the US could be replaced in ten years (5 years for the first and completing 100-gigawatts per year).

The molten salt nuclear reactor will be built onto a floating ship. The 174×66 meters floating facility is expected to be built by Daewoo Shipyard & Marine Engineering in South Korea.

ThorCon is a graphite-moderated thermal spectrum molten salt reactor that will produce 250 MWe power. It will be cheaper than coal energy. Coal is 5 cents per kilowatt-hour and Thorcon will be 3 cents per kilowatt-hour. The basic concept is similar to the MSRE (Molten Salt Reactor Experiment) in ORNL which was built and operated in the 1960s.

Thorcon is working with Indonesia and could have its first 1 GW commercial unit in 4-6 years. ThorCon is a liquid-fuel fission power plant, under development in the US, to be built in a far-east shipyard, then floated to Indonesia, with testing starting in 2023-2025.

It generates emission-free electric power, cheaper even than from a coal-fired plant. Its full-time electric power will improve developing nations’ economies and lifestyles, while also dissuading them from burning fossil fuels which emit CO2.

New energy is being mainly built in Asia (China, India, South and Southeast Asia) and the developing world. There is very little net new power being built in the USA, Europe, and Japan. Thorcon logically will focus on certification for markets where power is actually being built.

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com