Compared to ships powered by oil or coal, nuclear propulsion offers the advantages of very long operating intervals before refueling. All fuel is contained within the nuclear reactor, so the fuel does not occupy cargo space or supplies, nor the space occupied by exhaust chimneys or combustion air intakes. In addition to fuel economy, nuclear-powered ships go approximately 50% faster than oil ships of the same size. For the shipping industry, the increase in the number of operations per year and the increase in profits seem to more than offset the increased operating costs of nuclear energy, according to an analysis by researchers at Penn State.
Nuclear power is particularly suitable for ships, which need to be at sea for long periods without refueling, or for powerful underwater propulsion. Today, more than 150 ships are powered by small nuclear reactors. U.S. Navy Operates About 100 Nuclear Vessels.
Although most nuclear-powered vessels are submarines, they range in type from icebreakers to aircraft carriers. Therefore, nuclear ships are much faster, need to carry much less fuel and do not need an oxygen source. The first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, went to sea in 1955, marking the transition from slow submarines to warships capable of withstanding between 20 and 25 knots, submerged for weeks. These ships have been used extensively in the military since the 1950s as submarines and aircraft carriers, but there are only a few experimental civilian nuclear ships, such as the N.
Currently, worldwide, there are 437 nuclear power reactors in operation, 25 reactors under construction and 79 reactors ordered or planned worldwide. CGN then signed an agreement with the National Marine Petroleum Corporation of China (CNOOC) apparently to provide energy for offshore oil and gas exploration and production, and to “boost the organic integration of the offshore oil industry and the nuclear power industry,” according to CNOOC. Cugle) operated as a floating nuclear power plant (FNPP), designation MH-1A, moored in Gatun Lake, Panama Canal area. The technical problems that come with nuclear power at sea are not easy for an amateur, such as a general manager, to understand, and unless he can talk about why Hyman Rickover didn't want reactors cooled with liquid salt in 1952, why the positive vacuum coefficient in an RBMK is so large, and how energy can be obtained nuclear weapons from a thorium reactor despite the modern myth otherwise, one does not begin to understand which projects are feasible and which ones sell snake oil.
The smallest nuclear submarines are the six French Rubis class attack submarines (2600 dwt) in service since 1983, and they use a CAS48 reactor, a 48 MW integral PWR reactor from Technicatome (now Areva TA) with 7% enriched fuel that requires refueling every 7-10 years. In an attempt to promote nuclear energy in shipping, Bill Gates launched an initiative that offers the possibility of adapting nuclear technology to future commercial maritime propulsion. With the increasing attention paid to greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels for international air and sea transport and the excellent safety record of nuclear-powered vessels, it is quite conceivable that renewed attention will be paid to marine nuclear propulsion. On the contrary, nuclear propulsion has proven to be technically and economically feasible in the Soviet Arctic.
The first nuclear-powered merchant ship was the NS Savannah, primarily as a demonstration vessel, commissioned in 1964 and withdrawn from service in 1972 (pictured above). In addition to fuel savings, nuclear-powered ships go approximately 50% faster than ships of the same size as those that run on oil. .