London Sees Founding of Nuclear Energy Maritime Organization

The city of London at sundown
Updated Published

The push for nuclear power's expansion into maritime uses is gaining momentum with the formation of the Nuclear Energy Maritime Organization (NEMO) in London.

NEMO intends to collaborate with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to develop worldwide norms and rules for the use, operation, and decommissioning of nuclear power within the maritime sector, as well as to facilitate the commercial use of nuclear energy at sea.

Among its founding members are significant industry players such as HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering from Asia, TerraPower (a prominent American company specializing in small modular reactors (SMR) founded by Bill Gates), Westinghouse EC, Lloyd’s Register, and Seaborg from Denmark, which is known for its work on molten salt reactors.

Mamdouh el-Shanawany, who previously led the safety division at IAEA and will be the first chair of NEMO, expressed enthusiasm for NEMO's potential impact, stating, “We are very excited about the launch of NEMO as it can serve as a cornerstone to advance the era of offshore nuclear power. We will expand the participation of global organisations that share vision and values with us.”

Park Sang-min, who leads the green energy research lab at HD KSOE and recently oversaw a $30m investment in TerraPower in November 2022, highlighted the importance of standardization for the future of maritime-applicable SMRs, saying, “Establishing global standards holds the key to the commercialisation of next-generation SMRs well suited to the maritime environment.”