What happens if a nuclear powered ship sinks?

Nuclear power has a pretty good safety record. However, people don't recognize the times when power plants operate safely. Instead, they recall tragic accidents that caused enormous ecological catastrophes. Some submarines have nuclear reactors and some of them, unfortunately, are already sunk.

Are they a source of harmful radiation? Nine nuclear submarines have sunk, either by accident or by sinking. The Soviet Navy has lost five (one of which sank twice), the Russian Navy twice and the United States Navy (USN) two. Of the nine sinks, two were caused by fires, two by weapons explosions, two by floods, one by bad weather and one by subsidence due to a damaged nuclear reactor. Meanwhile, the nuclear cores of these torpedoes, which are made of uranium and plutonium, are likely to oxidize and are now not soluble in water.

Dr. Octopus is about to drown out the nuclear reaction in the river to prevent it from swelling further. It currently rests on the floor of the Barents Sea, a mile deep, with its nuclear reactor and two nuclear warheads still on board. Any vessel powered by a nuclear reaction takes all possible precautions and deploys the best safety measures to ensure that the reactor is properly “secured”.

The K-278 Komsomolets nuclear submarine sank in 1989 and immediately had cracks in its titanium hull. Needless to say, losing a nuclear submarine is not a situation that any navy would want to be in, but if it does, nuclear material on board is not as serious a risk to humans as it would have been if it had been lost somewhere on earth (or even in the air). This is done to ensure that the ship's crew is not in danger of radiation poisoning due to the nuclear reaction that is constantly driving the vessel. This is not a hypothetical question: several nuclear submarines have already been destroyed in terrible accidents.

Three were lost with all hands, two by the United States Navy (129 and 99 lives lost) and one by the Russian Navy (118 lives lost), and are among the largest loss of life in a submarine (along with the non-nuclear USS Argonaut (SM, with 102 lives lost and Surcouf with 130 lives lost). The second USS Thresher, a nuclear-powered attack submarine of the United States Navy, sank in 1963 during deep dive tests about 220 miles east of Boston, causing more than a hundred casualties. Scorpion is getting a lot of attention, because not only does it have a powerful nuclear reactor with a lot of fuel, but it is also equipped with two Mark 45 torpedoes with a nuclear tip. The Soviet submarine K-129 was carrying nuclear ballistic missiles when it was lost with all hands, but since it was a diesel-electric submarine, it is not included in the list.

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