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UK set to adopt regulations for nuclear-powered ships in merchant shipping

29 Aug 2022

The UK Department for Transport (DfT), through its UK Maritime Coastguard Agency (UKMCA), has set a target date for passing the Merchant Shipping (Nuclear Ships) Regulations into law, according to UK-based maritime and technology innovation company Core Power on Wednesday (24 August). 

The current legislative timetable will see the regulations enter force on 22 November 2022.

The Regulations will transpose Chapter VIII in the Annex to the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (‘SOLAS’) together with the Safety Code for Nuclear Ships (res. A.491.XII) into UK law.

“This is an important milestone in the regulatory progress for New Nuclear in Maritime,” said Mikal Boe, Founder and CEO of CORE POWER.

The regulations will be discussed at the CORE POWER ‘New Nuclear for Maritime’ Conference on the 19 September in London. 

The UKMCA conducted an extensive consultation with members of the UK maritime sector during 2021 and concluded that there is an appetite for nuclear ships over the next 10 years with growing interest for nuclear propulsion for large ocean-going vessels.

The potential for nuclear propulsion for commercial vessels has been widely discussed with growing interest recently. 

Manifold Times recently reported that the US Government awarded a contract to classification society ABS to research barriers to the adoption of advanced nuclear propulsion on commercial vessels. 

Manifold Times also featured an article by the Institute for Energy Technology elaborating on the potential for thorium, a source of nuclear power, as an alternative fuel for ships to propel shipping towards a zero emission future. 

Note: The full text of the new regulations can be found here while the results of the UKMCA consultation can be found here.

Related: U.S. government awards ABS with contract to study advanced nuclear propulsion for ships
Related: Research centre: Thorium could be the most feasible alternative future fuel for ships
Related: Ammonia bunker fuel from nuclear power ‘cost competitive’ with VLSFO and carbon taxes


Photo credit: Aleks Marinkovic on Unsplash
Published: 29 August, 2022

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