Indonesian state-owned company, PT PAL Indonesia, which manufactures ships for military and civilian use, has signed an agreement with Thorcon International Pte Ltd, for a study and subsequent construction of a 500 Megawatt nuclear reactor.
The ThorCon reactor uses molten salt fission technology and it is a scale-up of the successful United States Oak Ridge National Laboratory Molten Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE). It uses liquid fuel, instead of the conventional solid fuel unlike current nuclear reactors. The complete ThorCon is manufactured in 150 to 500 ton blocks in a shipyard, assembled, and then towed to the site.
In October 2015 ThorCon and three Indonesian state-owned companies – PT Industry Nuklir Indonesia (INUKI), which is involved in nuclear technology; PT PLN which has a monopoly on electricity distribution; and PT Pertamina, the oil and gas firm – formed the Indonesia Thorium Consortium with the stated purpose of developing and deploying commercially thorium molten salt reactors based on the ThorCon design.
According to recent news reports, ThorCon could potentially invest USD 1.2 billion in building the thorium power plant in Indonesia. It is currently designed to be a 174 x 66 meters floating facility and is expected to be built by South Korea’s Daewoo Shipyard & Marine Engineering. PAL Indonesia will build the reactor and supporting components designed by Thorcon.
According to ThorCon’s website, after this first reactor is completed, it expects the Indonesian regulator to refine its regulations and issue a type license citing the design is safe for similar future power plants. Indonesia’s PLN will then sign a power purchase agreement with the company, which will build, install, and operate 3 GW of additional ThorCon power plants.