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Encyclopedia > Nuclear marine propulsion
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Nuclear marine propulsion is propulsion of a merchant ship powered by a nuclear reactor. Naval nuclear propulsion is propulsion that specifically refers to naval warships (see Nuclear navy). Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Core of a small nuclear reactor used for research. ... Nuclear navy, or nuclear powered navy consists of ships powered by relatively small onboard nuclear reactors known as naval reactors. ...

A nuclear fuel element for the cargo ship NS Savannah. The element contains four bundles of 41 fuel rods. The uranium oxide is enriched to 4,2 and 4,6 percent of U-235
A nuclear fuel element for the cargo ship NS Savannah. The element contains four bundles of 41 fuel rods. The uranium oxide is enriched to 4,2 and 4,6 percent of U-235

Contents

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1095x353, 50 KB) A nuclear fuel element for the cargo ship NS Savannah. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1095x353, 50 KB) A nuclear fuel element for the cargo ship NS Savannah. ...

Power plants

Naval reactors are pressurized water, liquid-metal-cooled, or boiling water types, which differ from commercial reactors producing electricity in that: Core of a small nuclear reactor used for research. ... Pressurized water reactors (PWRs) (also VVER) are generation II nuclear power reactors that use water under high pressure as coolant and neutron moderator. ... A Liquid metal cooled nuclear reactor is nuclear reactor where the primary coolant is a liquid molten metal. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... Lightning strikes during a night-time thunderstorm. ...

  • they have a high power density in a small volume; some run on low-enriched uranium (requiring frequent refuelings), others run on highly enriched uranium (>20% U-235, varying from over 96% in U.S. submarines {no refuelings are necessary during the submarine's service life[1]} to between 30-40% in Russian submarines to lower levels in some others),
  • the fuel is not UO2 (Uranium Oxide) but a metal-zirconium alloy (c15%U with 93% enrichment, or more U with lower enrichment),
  • the design enables a compact pressure vessel while maintaining safety.

The long core life is enabled by the relatively high enrichment of the uranium and by incorporating a "burnable poison" in the cores which is progressively depleted as fission products and Minor actinides accumulate, leading to reduced fuel efficiency. The two effects cancel one another out. One of the technical difficulties is the creation of a fuel which will tolerate the very large amount of radiation damage. It is known that during use the properties of nuclear fuel change; it is quite possible for fuel to crack and for fission gas bubbles to form. In engineering, specific power (sometimes also power per unit mass or power density) refers to the amount of power delivered by an energy source, divided by some measure of the sources size or mass. ... General Name, Symbol, Number uranium, U, 92 Chemical series actinides Group, Period, Block n/a, 7, f Appearance silvery gray metallic; corrodes to a spalling black oxide coat in air Atomic mass 238. ... Enriched uranium is uranium whose uranium-235 content has been increased through the process of isotope separation. ... German UC-1 class World War I submarine A model of Günther Priens Unterseeboot 47 (U-47), German WWII Type VII diesel-electric hunter Typhoon class nuclear ballistic missile submarine USS Virginia, a Virginia-class nuclear attack (SSN) submarine A submarine is a watercraft that can operate underwater... General Name, Symbol, Number zirconium, Zr, 40 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 4, 5, d Appearance silvery white Atomic mass 91. ... In a nuclear power plant, the reactor vessel is a pressure vessel containing the coolant and reactor core. ... This diagram demonstrates the defense in depth quality of nuclear power plants. ... General Name, Symbol, Number uranium, U, 92 Chemical series actinides Group, Period, Block n/a, 7, f Appearance silvery gray metallic; corrodes to a spalling black oxide coat in air Atomic mass 238. ... For information on radioactive toxins see Radiation poisoning A nuclear poison is a substances with a large neutron absorption cross-section in applications, such as nuclear reactors, when absorbing neutrons is an undesirable effect. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The minor actinides are the actinide elements in spent fuel other than uranium and plutonium, these are termed major actinides. ... Fuel efficiency sometimes means the same as thermal efficiency, that is, the efficiency of converting energy contained in a carrier fuel to kinetic energy or work. ... Nuclear Fuel Process A graph compairing nucleon number against binding energy Nuclear fuel is any material that can be consumed to derive nuclear energy, by analogy to chemical fuel that is burned to derive energy. ... Look up Crack in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In general fission is a splitting or breaking up of any substance into parts. ...


Long-term integrity of the compact reactor pressure vessel is maintained by providing an internal neutron shield. (This is in contrast to early Soviet civil PWR designs where embrittlement occurs due to neutron bombardment of a very narrow pressure vessel.) In a nuclear power plant, the reactor vessel is a pressure vessel containing the coolant and reactor core. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Soviet redirects here. ... Neutron radiation consists of free neutrons. ... In a nuclear power plant, the reactor vessel is a pressure vessel containing the coolant and reactor core. ...


Reactor sizes range up to 190 MW in the larger submarines and surface ships. The French Rubis class submarines have a 48 MW reactor which needs no refueling for 30 years. (Redirected from 1 E8 W) This page lists examples of the power in watts produced by various different sources of energy. ... MW could refer to (in alphabetical order): Lintilla - the original multiple worlds talker Maintenance of way Malawi (ISO 3166-1 country code) Master of Wine Maya Island Air IATA airline designator MediaWiki Mediumwave Megawatt Mens Wearhouse Merriam-Webster The Midwest region of the United States Microwave Miss World Molecular... The Rubis type is a class of first-generation nuclear attack submarines of the French Navy. ... (Redirected from 1 E7 W) This page lists examples of the power in watts produced by various different sources of energy. ...


The Russian, US and British navies rely on steam turbine propulsion, the French and Chinese use the turbine to generate electricity for propulsion (turbo-electric propulsion). Most Russian submarines as well as all surface ships since USS Enterprise (CVN-65) are powered by two reactors. US, British, French and Chinese submarines are powered by one. The United States Navy (USN) is the branch of the United States armed forces responsible for naval operations. ... A rotor of a modern steam turbine, used in a power plant A steam turbine is a mechanical device that extracts thermal energy from pressurized steam, and converts it into useful mechanical work. ... UP 18, a locomotive with a turbo-electric drivetrain A turbo-electric transmission uses electric generators to convert the mechanical energy of a turbine (steam or gas) into electric energy and electric motors to convert it back into mechanical energy to power the driveshafts. ... Enterprise Logo The supercarrier, USS Enterprise (CVN-65), formerly CVA(N)-65, is the worlds first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the eighth U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name. ...


Decommissioning nuclear-powered submarines has become a major task for US and Russian navies. After defuelling, US practice is to cut the reactor section from the vessel for disposal in shallow land burial as low-level waste (see the Ship-Submarine recycling program). In Russia, the whole vessels, or the sealed reactor sections, typically remain stored afloat, although a new facility near Sayda Bay is beginning to provide storage in a concrete-floored facility on land for some submarines in the Far North. The Ship/Submarine Recycling Program (SRP) is the process the United States Navy uses to dispose of decommissioned nuclear vessels. ...


Russia is well advanced with plans to build a floating nuclear power plant for their far eastern territories. The design has two 35 MWe units based on the KLT-40 reactor used in icebreakers (with refueling every 4 years). Some Russian naval vessels have been used to supply electricity for domestic and industrial use in remote far eastern and Siberian towns. The KLT-40 reactor is a nuclear fission reactor used in pairs to power Arktika-class icebreakers and singly to power the Soviet merchant ship Sevmorput and all Taymyr-class icebreakers. ... US Coast Guard icebreakers near McMurdo Station, February 2002 An icebreaker is a special purpose ship designed to move through ice covered marine environments. ...


Harold Wilson the then British Prime Minister considered, but did not deploy, nuclear submarines to power Belfast during the Ulster Workers' Council Strike. James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, KG, OBE, FRS, PC (11 March 1916 – 24 May 1995) was one of the most prominent British politicians of the 20th century. ... A prime minister is the very most senior minister of a cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. ... WGS-84 (GPS) Coordinates: 54. ... The Ulster Workers Council (UWC) Strike was a general strike which took place between Wednesday 15 May 1974 and Tuesday 28 May 1974 in Northern Ireland. ...


History

Work on nuclear marine propulsion started in the 1940s, and the first test reactor started up in USA in 1953. The first nuclear-powered submarine, USS Nautilus (SSN-571), put to sea in 1955. Much of the early development work on naval reactors was done at the Naval Reactor Facility on the campus of the Idaho National Laboratory. 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday. ... USS Nautilus (SSN-571) was the worlds first operational nuclear-powered submarine and the first vessel to complete a submerged transit across the North Pole. ... 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Naval Reactors Facility (NRF) is a US Government facility where the three prototypes A1W, S1W and S5G were located. ... The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is an 890 square mile (2,300 km²) complex located in the Idaho desert between the towns of Arco and Idaho Falls. ...


This marked the transition of submarines from slow underwater vessels to warships capable of sustaining 20-25 knots (37-46 km/h) submerged for many weeks. A knot is a unit of speed, abbreviated kt or kn. ... Kilometres per hour (American spelling: kilometers per hour) is a unit of both speed (scalar) and velocity (vector). ...


Nautilus led to the parallel development of further (Skate-class) submarines, powered by single reactors, and a cruiser, Long Beach, followed in 1961 and was powered by two reactors. The aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CVN-65), commissioned in 1962, was powered by eight reactor units in 1960. Enterprise remains in service. USS Nautilus (SSN-571) was the worlds first operational nuclear-powered submarine and the first vessel to complete a submerged transit across the North Pole. ... The Skate-class submarines were the United States Navys first production run of nuclear powered submarines. ... USS Long Beach (CGN-160/CLGN-160/CGN-9) was the first all-new cruiser designed and constructed after World War II (all others were completions or conversions of cruisers begun or completed during the war). ... 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1961 calendar). ... Enterprise Logo The supercarrier, USS Enterprise (CVN-65), formerly CVA(N)-65, is the worlds first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the eighth U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name. ... 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ...


By 1962 the United States Navy had 26 nuclear submarines operational and 30 under construction. Nuclear power had revolutionized the Navy. The technology was shared with the United Kingdom, while French, Soviet, Indian and Chinese developments proceeded separately. The United States Navy, also known as the USN or the U.S. Navy, is a branch of the United States armed forces responsible for conducting naval operations. ... Soviet redirects here. ...


After the Skate-class vessels, reactor development proceeded and in the USA a single series of standardized designs was built by both Westinghouse and General Electric, one reactor powering each vessel. Rolls Royce built similar units for Royal Navy submarines and then developed the design further to the PWR-2 (pressurized water reactor). Westinghouse logo (designed by Paul Rand) The Westinghouse Electric Company, headquartered in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, is an organization founded by George Westinghouse in 1886. ... GE redirects here. ... Rolls-Royce plc is a British aircraft engine maker; the second-largest in the world, behind General Electric Aviation. ... The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services (and is therefore the Senior Service). ... Pressurized water reactors (PWRs) (also VVER) are generation II nuclear power reactors that use water under high pressure as coolant and neutron moderator. ...


The largest nuclear submarines ever built are the 26,500 tonne Russian Typhoon class. The Typhoon class submarine is a type of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine deployed by the Soviet Navy in the 1980s. ...


Civil vessels

Development of nuclear merchant ships began in the 1950s, but has not been commercially successful. The US-built NS Savannah, was commissioned in 1962 and decommissioned eight years later. It was a technical success, but not economically viable. The German-built Otto Hahn cargo ship and research facility sailed some 650,000 nautical miles on 126 voyages in 10 years without any technical problems.[citation needed] However, it proved too expensive to operate and was converted to diesel. The Japanese Mutsu was the third civil vessel. It was dogged by technical and political problems and was an embarrassing failure. All three vessels used reactors with low-enriched uranium fuel. NS Savannah, the first nuclear powered civilian ship NS Savannah, named for SS Savannah, the first steam-powered vessel to cross the Atlantic Ocean, was the first nuclear-powered cargo-passenger ship, one of only four nuclear-powered cargo ships ever built. ... 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar). ... Mutsu is a nuclear powered merchant ship constructed in Japan. ...


In contrast, nuclear propulsion has proven both technically and economically feasible for nuclear powered icebreakers in the Soviet Arctic. The power levels and energy required for icebreaking, coupled with refueling difficulties for other types of vessels, are significant factors. The Soviet icebreaker Lenin was the world's first nuclear-powered surface vessel and remained in service for 30 years, though new reactors were fitted in 1970. It led to a series of larger icebreakers, the 23,500 ton Arktika class, launched from 1975. These vessels have two reactors and are used in deep Arctic waters. NS Arktika was the first surface vessel to reach the North Pole. Nuclear icebreaker Yamal on its way to the North Pole in August 2001 A nuclear powered icebreaker is a purpose-built ship for use in waters continuously covered with ice. ... Soviet redirects here. ... The red line indicates the 10°C isotherm in July, commonly used to define the Arctic region border Satellite image of the Arctic surface The Arctic is the region around the Earths North Pole, opposite the Antarctic region around the South Pole. ... Icebreaker Lenin Lenin was the first nuclear surface ship in the world. ... Tonnage is a measure of the size or cargo capacity of a ship. ... The Arktika class icebreaker is a class of nuclear powered icebreaker operated by the Russian Murmansk Shipping Company. ... 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday. ... The NS Arktika was the first surface ship to reach the North Pole on August 17, 1977. ... North Pole Scenery When not otherwise qualified, the term North Pole usually refers to the Geographic North Pole – the northernmost point on the surface of the Earth, where the Earths axis of rotation intersects the Earths surface. ...


For use in shallow waters such as estuaries and rivers, shallow-draft Taymyr class icebreakers with one reactor are being built in Finland and then fitted with their nuclear steam supply system in Russia. They are built to conform with international safety standards for nuclear vessels.


Naval nuclear accidents

Two US nuclear submarines, the USS Thresher (SSN-593) (sank) and USS Scorpion (SSN-589) (sank) had issues unrelated to their reactor plants and still lie on the Atlantic sea floor. The Russian or Soviet Komsomolets K-278 (sank), Kursk K-141 (sank), K-8 (sank), K-11 (refueling criticality), K-19 (loss of coolant), K-27 (scuttled), K-116 (reactor accident), K-122 (reactor accident), K-123 (loss of coolant), K-140 (power excursion), K-159 (sank recently), K-192 (loss of coolant), K-219 (sank after collision), K-222 (uncontrolled startup), K-314 (refueling criticality), K-320 (uncontrolled startup), K-429 (sank twice), and K-431 (reactor accident) submarines have all had problems of some kind. The Soviet icebreaker Lenin is also rumored to have had a nuclear accident. The second USS Thresher (SSN-593) was the lead ship of its class of nuclear-powered attack submarines in the United States Navy. ... USS Scorpion (SSN-589) was the sixth ship of the United States Navy to be named for the scorpion, (hence the Scorpius constellation on her insignia). ... The Atlantic Ocean is Earths second-largest ocean, covering approximately one_fifth of its surface. ... K-278 Komsomolets was the only Project 685 Плавник (Plavnik, meaning fin, also known by its NATO reporting name of Mike-class) nuclear-powered attack submarine of the Soviet Navy. ... K-141 Kursk was a Russian nuclear cruise missile submarine which was lost with all hands when it sank in the Barents Sea on August 12, 2000. ... K-8 was a November class submarine of the Soviet Northern Fleet. ... The Soviet K-11 nuclear-powered K-11 was a November-class Project 627 submarine that had at least two reactor accidents, perhaps three. ... A criticality accident (also sometimes referred to as an excursion or power excursion) occurs when a nuclear chain reaction is accidentally allowed to occur in fissile material, such as enriched uranium or plutonium. ... K-19 was a Hotel class submarine which suffered several severe accidents. ... A Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA) is a mode of failure for a nuclear reactor; in a nuclear reactor, the results of a LOCA could be catastrophic to the reactor, the facility that houses it, and the immediate vicinity around the reactor. ... K-27 was the only submarine built by Projekt 645ZhMt of the Soviet Navy. ... A Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA) is a mode of failure for a nuclear reactor; in a nuclear reactor, the results of a LOCA could be catastrophic to the reactor, the facility that houses it, and the immediate vicinity around the reactor. ... A criticality accident (also sometimes referred to as an excursion or power excursion) occurs when a nuclear chain reaction is accidentally allowed to occur in fissile material, such as enriched uranium or plutonium. ... K-159 was a Projekt 627 Kit (NATO reporting name November) class submarine of the Soviet Navy. ... A Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA) is a mode of failure for a nuclear reactor; in a nuclear reactor, the results of a LOCA could be catastrophic to the reactor, the facility that houses it, and the immediate vicinity around the reactor. ... K-219 was a Navaga-class ballistic missile submarine (NATO reporting name Yankee I) of the Soviet Navy. ... The K-162 (which was later renamed to K-222) was a nuclear-powered attack submarine which was built and operated by the Soviet Union in the cold war period. ... A criticality accident (also sometimes referred to as an excursion or power excursion) occurs when a nuclear chain reaction is accidentally allowed to occur in fissile material, such as enriched uranium or plutonium. ... K-314 was a Project 671 Ерш (Yersh, meaning scorpionfish; also known by its NATO reporting name of Victor-I class) nuclear submarine of the Soviet Navy. ... A criticality accident (also sometimes referred to as an excursion or power excursion) occurs when a nuclear chain reaction is accidentally allowed to occur in fissile material, such as enriched uranium or plutonium. ... The nuclear-powered Charlie-I Soviet submarine K-320 had a reactor accident prior to commissioning while under construction. ... A criticality accident (also sometimes referred to as an excursion or power excursion) occurs when a nuclear chain reaction is accidentally allowed to occur in fissile material, such as enriched uranium or plutonium. ... K-429 was a Project 670-A Скат (Skat, meaning ray; also known by its NATO reporting name of Charlie-I class) nuclear submarine of the Soviet Navy. ... Originally the Soviet submarine K-31, the K-431 was a Soviet nuclear-powered submarine that had a reactor accident on January 13, 1986. ... Icebreaker Lenin Lenin was the first nuclear surface ship in the world. ...


While not all of those were nuclear-related accidents, since they happened to nuclear vessels, they have a major impact on nuclear marine propulsion and the global politics.

See also: List of military nuclear accidents

This article lists notable military accidents involving nuclear material. ...

See also

The following are ships that are or were in commercial or civilian use and have nuclear marine propulsion. ... List of United States Naval reactors is a comprehensive annotated list of all naval reactors designed, built, or used by the United States Navy. ... Naval Reactors was founded by Tyrone Weeks under the direct supervision of Adm. ... Nuclear navy, or nuclear powered navy consists of ships powered by relatively small onboard nuclear reactors known as naval reactors. ... United States Naval reactors are given three-character designations consisting of a letter representing the ship type the reactor is designed for, a consecutive generation number, and a letter indicating the reactors designer. ... The US Army Nuclear Power Program (ANPP) was a program to develop small PWR and BWR nuclear power reactors for use in remote sites. ... Naval Nuclear Power School is a nuclear engineering school operated by the U.S. Navy to train both enlisted sailors and officers for shipboard nuclear power plant operation and maintenance on surface ships and submarines in todays nuclear navy. ... Echo I and Echo II designate two classes of Soviet nuclear powered guided missile submarines. ...

References

  1. ^ NTI: Issue Brief: Global Submarine Proliferation: Emerging Trends and Problems. Retrieved on Mar 7, 2007.
  • AFP, 11 November 1998; in "Nuclear Submarines Provide Electricity for Siberian Town," FBIS-SOV-98-315, 11 November 1998.
  • ITAR-TASS, 11 November 1998; in "Russian Nuclear Subs Supply Electricity to Town in Far East," FBIS-SOV-98-316, 12 November 1998.
  • Harold Wilson's plan BBC News story

March 7 is the 66th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (67th in Leap years). ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the Anno Domini (common) era. ...

External links

  • The Uranium Information Centre provided some of the original material in this article.
  • Naval Nuclear Power Training Command

  Results from FactBites:
 
Nuclear marine propulsion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1045 words)
It is known that during use the properties of nuclear fuel change, it is quite possible for fuel to crack and for fission gas bubbles to form.
A marine reactor was used to supply power (1.5 MWe) to a US Antarctic base for ten years to 1972, testing the feasibility of such air-portable units for remote locations.
Work on nuclear marine propulsion started in the 1940s, and the first test reactor started up in the United States in 1953.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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