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(BBC-US)   55 years ago America launched NS Savannah, Earth's first nuclear-powered ocean liner / merchant ship, with mission of persuading the world that atoms could be used for peace. It didn't work   (bbc.com) divider line 59
    More: Fail, quoted-printable, nuclear power, Energy Institute, gas turbines, Will Davis, nuclear marine propulsion, engineering department, nuclear waste  
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4675 clicks; posted to Geek » on 26 Jul 2014 at 7:41 PM (31 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-26 04:44:32 PM  
That is a shame, tankers are just brutal for the environment. They're burning something pretty close to road tar and they burn a lot of it, for every one supertanker operating per it's about equal to 2.25 million cars.
 
2014-07-26 04:50:58 PM  
 
2014-07-26 04:55:43 PM  

change1211: That is a shame, tankers are just brutal for the environment. They're burning something pretty close to road tar and they burn a lot of it, for every one supertanker operating per it's about equal to 2.25 million cars.


Imagine an oil spill... just with plutonium


There's a reason they don't use these ships
 
2014-07-26 05:04:57 PM  

Doktor_Zhivago: change1211: That is a shame, tankers are just brutal for the environment. They're burning something pretty close to road tar and they burn a lot of it, for every one supertanker operating per it's about equal to 2.25 million cars.

Imagine an oil spill... just with plutonium


There's a reason they don't use these ships


How many times has the various navies of the world had spills of nuclear material?
 
2014-07-26 05:16:52 PM  

change1211: Doktor_Zhivago: change1211: That is a shame, tankers are just brutal for the environment. They're burning something pretty close to road tar and they burn a lot of it, for every one supertanker operating per it's about equal to 2.25 million cars.

Imagine an oil spill... just with plutonium


There's a reason they don't use these ships

How many times has the various navies of the world had spills of nuclear material?


How many nuclear powered ships/boats are there?

/Not many, in the grand scheme of things.
 
2014-07-26 05:24:44 PM  
How many aircraft carrier captains have gotten drunk and crashed one into Canada?
 
433 [TotalFark]
2014-07-26 05:37:08 PM  

iron de havilland: How many nuclear powered ships/boats are there?


Article says there have been 700, a chunk of that number are in service.
 
2014-07-26 05:42:36 PM  

433: iron de havilland: How many nuclear powered ships/boats are there?

Article says there have been 700, a chunk of that number are in service.


Aye, not many, basically, which is the point I was trying to make.
 
2014-07-26 05:47:13 PM  

iron de havilland: 433: iron de havilland: How many nuclear powered ships/boats are there?

Article says there have been 700, a chunk of that number are in service.

Aye, not many, basically, which is the point I was trying to make.


And the military tends to be better run than a Liberian flagged cargo ship owned by Germans with a Malaysian and Philippino crew and an upkeep budget of $12
 
2014-07-26 05:53:23 PM  

Doktor_Zhivago: iron de havilland: 433: iron de havilland: How many nuclear powered ships/boats are there?

Article says there have been 700, a chunk of that number are in service.

Aye, not many, basically, which is the point I was trying to make.

And the military tends to be better run than a Liberian flagged cargo ship owned by Germans with a Malaysian and Philippino crew and an upkeep budget of $12


That, too. It's not as if anyone in control of a ship has ever made poor decisions.

img.thesun.co.uk
 
2014-07-26 06:36:21 PM  

Doktor_Zhivago: How many aircraft carrier captains have gotten drunk and crashed one into Canada?


I don't know about aircraft carriers, but the Soviets dropped a fission-powered satellite on us in the 70s.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-07-26 06:47:49 PM  
 
2014-07-26 07:10:30 PM  

Doktor_Zhivago: change1211: That is a shame, tankers are just brutal for the environment. They're burning something pretty close to road tar and they burn a lot of it, for every one supertanker operating per it's about equal to 2.25 million cars.

Imagine an oil spill... just with plutonium


There's a reason they don't use these ships


It's the same argument for or against nuclear power plants - fossil fuel based plants and ships pollute predictably during normal operation, nuclear plants and ships have much lower pollution output during normal operation, but have the potential for cataclysmic failure that would pollute much more than a fossil fuel based example would be capable of.

I'm in the camp that says it's worth it to roll the dice - with solid safety protocols and modern reactor designs the chances for a disaster are pretty slim, and the current fossil fuel based plants and ships are the biggest polluters out there.
 
2014-07-26 07:19:19 PM  
i1182.photobucket.com
 
2014-07-26 07:45:21 PM  
Thorium or GTFO
 
2014-07-26 07:51:23 PM  

Doktor_Zhivago: change1211: That is a shame, tankers are just brutal for the environment. They're burning something pretty close to road tar and they burn a lot of it, for every one supertanker operating per it's about equal to 2.25 million cars.

Imagine an oil spill... just with plutonium


There's a reason they don't use these ships


Your right.  That reason is FUD.

Naval nuclear reactors are the most advanced and safest in the world.
 
2014-07-26 08:00:55 PM  

AngryDragon: Doktor_Zhivago: change1211: That is a shame, tankers are just brutal for the environment. They're burning something pretty close to road tar and they burn a lot of it, for every one supertanker operating per it's about equal to 2.25 million cars.

Imagine an oil spill... just with plutonium


There's a reason they don't use these ships

Your right.  That reason is FUD.

Naval nuclear reactors are the most advanced and safest in the world.


while true, that's based on strict controls that work in the military but probably wouldn't in a for-profit venture. (although I'd like to see an ORSE meet a corporation)
 
2014-07-26 08:05:24 PM  

AngryDragon: Your right. That reason is FUD


You're wrong, the reason is cost. You can put thousands of containers on a glorified barge with a small crew of numskulls.

Nuclear propulsion would be ridiculously expensive.

1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-07-26 08:09:57 PM  
So it's in Baltimore now...I remember seeing it when it was part of the Patriots Point exhibits in Charleston.
 
2014-07-26 08:11:17 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: I'm in the camp that says it's worth it to roll the dice - with solid safety protocols and modern reactor designs the chances for a disaster are pretty slim, and the current fossil fuel based plants and ships are the biggest polluters out there.


Even with rolling the dice, nuclear reactors have proven to be generally very safe. Of the three major nuclear accidents we've had (Chernobyl, Three-Mile Island, and Fukushima) only one of those has resulted in serious effects to human health, and surprise, only one of those was designed and operated by incompetent and criminally negligent communists.

Yes, there will be nuclear accidents, and those accidents will cause harm to human health and property. That said it's important to compare reasonable alternatives. You can't say that nuclear energy should have zero impact on human health, because coal and oil generation cause significant health effects by virtue of their pollution and the hazardousness of coal mining. On the balance, nuclear energy causes far fewer deaths and illnesses per megawatt-hour than fossil fuels.

The ocean is a great place to use nuclear technology, because if anything does go seriously wrong then you can just sink it to the bottom of the ocean, where it's not going to bother anybody. The quantity of nuclear fuel compared to the quantity of fossil fuel is mind-boggling.
 
2014-07-26 08:15:53 PM  

jaytkay: Nuclear propulsion would be ridiculously expensive.


I don't know any hard numbers, but I'm not convinced. Nuclear subs, for example, are fueled once in their entire service life (at the start) and then they're sealed up. You'd still need a nuclear tech onboard to operate the reactor, but once you install the nuclear reactor, there is no ongoing cost aside from maintenance and operation. With a hydrocarbon fired engine, you've got to burn a lot of fuel every single trip, and all that fuel is a lot of tonnage that could be better spent hauling more goods.
 
2014-07-26 08:18:19 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: Doktor_Zhivago: change1211: That is a shame, tankers are just brutal for the environment. They're burning something pretty close to road tar and they burn a lot of it, for every one supertanker operating per it's about equal to 2.25 million cars.

Imagine an oil spill... just with plutonium


There's a reason they don't use these ships

It's the same argument for or against nuclear power plants - fossil fuel based plants and ships pollute predictably during normal operation, nuclear plants and ships have much lower pollution output during normal operation, but have the potential for cataclysmic failure that would pollute much more than a fossil fuel based example would be capable of.

I'm in the camp that says it's worth it to roll the dice - with solid safety protocols and modern reactor designs the chances for a disaster are pretty slim, and the current fossil fuel based plants and ships are the biggest polluters out there.


Well I'm not going to get into the whole nuclear energy thing again, but I will say that you're in the camp that says it's worth it to roll the dice, because even if a disaster happens, a good chunk of your life is already lived, and it takes time for the full impact of the disaster to be felt, so yeah, overall, the odds are really highly in your favor.  You will probably just enjoy the benefit and not pay the cost.

Keep rolling the dice a few hundred years and *cough* Chernobyl *cough* Fukushima *cough* the disasters will inevitably happen (and this doesn't even bring up the eventual diffusion of all the waste), and sorry, next thousand/hundred thousand/several million years, you're boned, but it was good for us, all things considered.
 
2014-07-26 08:20:41 PM  

Kibbler: TuteTibiImperes: Doktor_Zhivago: change1211: That is a shame, tankers are just brutal for the environment. They're burning something pretty close to road tar and they burn a lot of it, for every one supertanker operating per it's about equal to 2.25 million cars.

Imagine an oil spill... just with plutonium


There's a reason they don't use these ships

It's the same argument for or against nuclear power plants - fossil fuel based plants and ships pollute predictably during normal operation, nuclear plants and ships have much lower pollution output during normal operation, but have the potential for cataclysmic failure that would pollute much more than a fossil fuel based example would be capable of.

I'm in the camp that says it's worth it to roll the dice - with solid safety protocols and modern reactor designs the chances for a disaster are pretty slim, and the current fossil fuel based plants and ships are the biggest polluters out there.

Well I'm not going to get into the whole nuclear energy thing again, but I will say that you're in the camp that says it's worth it to roll the dice, because even if a disaster happens, a good chunk of your life is already lived, and it takes time for the full impact of the disaster to be felt, so yeah, overall, the odds are really highly in your favor.  You will probably just enjoy the benefit and not pay the cost.

Keep rolling the dice a few hundred years and *cough* Chernobyl *cough* Fukushima *cough* the disasters will inevitably happen (and this doesn't even bring up the eventual diffusion of all the waste), and sorry, next thousand/hundred thousand/several million years, you're boned, but it was good for us, all things considered.


Do you work for BP and Exxon?
 
2014-07-26 08:23:43 PM  

Fubini: TuteTibiImperes: I'm in the camp that says it's worth it to roll the dice - with solid safety protocols and modern reactor designs the chances for a disaster are pretty slim, and the current fossil fuel based plants and ships are the biggest polluters out there.

Even with rolling the dice, nuclear reactors have proven to be generally very safe. Of the three major nuclear accidents we've had (Chernobyl, Three-Mile Island, and Fukushima) only one of those has resulted in serious effects to human health, and surprise, only one of those was designed and operated by incompetent and criminally negligent communists.

Yes, there will be nuclear accidents, and those accidents will cause harm to human health and property. That said it's important to compare reasonable alternatives. You can't say that nuclear energy should have zero impact on human health, because coal and oil generation cause significant health effects by virtue of their pollution and the hazardousness of coal mining. On the balance, nuclear energy causes far fewer deaths and illnesses per megawatt-hour than fossil fuels.

The ocean is a great place to use nuclear technology, because if anything does go seriously wrong then you can just sink it to the bottom of the ocean, where it's not going to bother anybody. The quantity of nuclear fuel compared to the quantity of fossil fuel is mind-boggling.


Chernobyl was a poorly designed reactor that the Russians were warned not to use.

Fukishima was the victim of unforeseen circumstances that the idiots with 20/20 hindsight criticize.

Three Mile Island was the victim of poor management.

Overall, nuclear is safe and reliable technology.

jaytkay: AngryDragon: Your right. That reason is FUD

You're wrong, the reason is cost. You can put thousands of containers on a glorified barge with a small crew of numskulls.

Nuclear propulsion would be ridiculously expensive.

[1.bp.blogspot.com image 500x350]


On the Nimitz class carriers, the nukes drill about every three days (at most).  A civilian company would have to invest a lot in its crew and hold frequent drills, the costs of which outweigh those of fuel fired ships.
 
2014-07-26 08:28:47 PM  
so that is where they keep the nuclear wessels
 
2014-07-26 08:30:30 PM  

Kibbler: TuteTibiImperes: Doktor_Zhivago: change1211: That is a shame, tankers are just brutal for the environment. They're burning something pretty close to road tar and they burn a lot of it, for every one supertanker operating per it's about equal to 2.25 million cars.

Imagine an oil spill... just with plutonium


There's a reason they don't use these ships

It's the same argument for or against nuclear power plants - fossil fuel based plants and ships pollute predictably during normal operation, nuclear plants and ships have much lower pollution output during normal operation, but have the potential for cataclysmic failure that would pollute much more than a fossil fuel based example would be capable of.

I'm in the camp that says it's worth it to roll the dice - with solid safety protocols and modern reactor designs the chances for a disaster are pretty slim, and the current fossil fuel based plants and ships are the biggest polluters out there.

Well I'm not going to get into the whole nuclear energy thing again, but I will say that you're in the camp that says it's worth it to roll the dice, because even if a disaster happens, a good chunk of your life is already lived, and it takes time for the full impact of the disaster to be felt, so yeah, overall, the odds are really highly in your favor.  You will probably just enjoy the benefit and not pay the cost.

Keep rolling the dice a few hundred years and *cough* Chernobyl *cough* Fukushima *cough* the disasters will inevitably happen (and this doesn't even bring up the eventual diffusion of all the waste), and sorry, next thousand/hundred thousand/several million years, you're boned, but it was good for us, all things considered.


Hundreds of more years burning fossil fuels are somehow better for the environment?  At least with nuclear disasters, if they happen at all, the severe effects are localized.  If we continue down our path of irresponsible greenhouse gas emissions almost every important city and landmark will be underwater within a couple of hundred years.  Climate change will shift global precipitation patterns causing more droughts and millions of deaths due to war, famine, and disease.

Embracing nuclear power and developing cleaner, safer, more efficient reactors could prevent all of that.
 
2014-07-26 08:33:25 PM  
Folks do realize that a number of nuclear powered subs have had accidents at sea, none of which seem to have come with massive environmental disasters.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sunken_nuclear_submarines

Most of them were also rickety Russian built vessels; not exactly a nation known for environmental or worker safety the way the Rickover Navy is.

Modern navel reactors are very small, highly contained and very quickly scrambled to shut down. They also have multiple cooling systems with multiple heat exchangers using a boatload of seawater. Worst case scenario; you flood the thing with seawater to cool it rapidly and seal it up in the middle of the ocean at 2-3 miles deep. While radiation would be released, it would diffuse into the ocean so rapidly as to be barely readable over naturally occurring radiation levels.
 
2014-07-26 08:58:05 PM  
My grandfather worked on the construction of this ship. I was just a toddler when it was launched, but judging from the newspapers that I saw years later it was a very, very big deal at the time. Thanks to subby for posting this.
 
2014-07-26 08:59:00 PM  
Apparently one can go on a cruise to the North Pole on a nuclear icebreaker. Trip costs upwards of $30k per person though.
 
2014-07-26 09:09:48 PM  
I'm of the opinion that technology never was the problem with nuclear plants, so much as oversight and management. I would be for nationalizing the nuclear power industry and having all the reactors run by trained Navy nuke operators, still commissioned in the service. Couple that with modern gen. 5 , hTGC, and thorium-based designs, and we'd have very stable and safe nuclear base-load power for this nation in abundance.
 
2014-07-26 09:14:24 PM  
Meh, the biggest issue with nuclear fuel is the dispersal and spread of the material more so than the radioactivity itself. If you could contain the fuel in one cohesive unit that would stay one cohesive unit even after catastrophic failure, I'd totally be behind nuclear energy.
 
2014-07-26 09:23:22 PM  

Kibbler: TuteTibiImperes: Doktor_Zhivago: change1211: That is a shame, tankers are just brutal for the environment. They're burning something pretty close to road tar and they burn a lot of it, for every one supertanker operating per it's about equal to 2.25 million cars.

Imagine an oil spill... just with plutonium


There's a reason they don't use these ships

It's the same argument for or against nuclear power plants - fossil fuel based plants and ships pollute predictably during normal operation, nuclear plants and ships have much lower pollution output during normal operation, but have the potential for cataclysmic failure that would pollute much more than a fossil fuel based example would be capable of.

I'm in the camp that says it's worth it to roll the dice - with solid safety protocols and modern reactor designs the chances for a disaster are pretty slim, and the current fossil fuel based plants and ships are the biggest polluters out there.

Well I'm not going to get into the whole nuclear energy thing again, but I will say that you're in the camp that says it's worth it to roll the dice, because even if a disaster happens, a good chunk of your life is already lived, and it takes time for the full impact of the disaster to be felt, so yeah, overall, the odds are really highly in your favor.  You will probably just enjoy the benefit and not pay the cost.

Keep rolling the dice a few hundred years and *cough* Chernobyl *cough* Fukushima *cough* the disasters will inevitably happen (and this doesn't even bring up the eventual diffusion of all the waste), and sorry, next thousand/hundred thousand/several million years, you're boned, but it was good for us, all things considered.


I'll leave it to you to google up the number of fatalities directly attributable to `radiological' incidents from both nuclear propulsion & commercial nuclear power over the past 60 yrs.

I'll just leave you with the info on the Nat.gas pipeline distribution system from 1994-2013
http://primis.phmsa.dot.gov/comm/reports/safety/AllPSI.html?nocache= 96 00
 
2014-07-26 09:42:22 PM  
The Savannah wasn't a victim of its nuke technology so much as it's a TINY ship, and it was not designed to handle containers, yet was launched right before containers took hold.

Technically, it ran very well, and had few surprises.  For a first-of-a-kind effort, it was by all means a success.

/Well worth going to Baltimore for a tour.
 
2014-07-26 09:45:08 PM  

jaytkay: AngryDragon: Your right. That reason is FUD

You're wrong, the reason is cost. You can put thousands of containers on a glorified barge with a small crew of numskulls.

Nuclear propulsion would be ridiculously expensive.

[1.bp.blogspot.com image 500x350]


Sadly, this really is the case.  Imagine a nuclear powered ship. The Captain, many of the officers in fact, would have to have special certifications.  On top of that the whole Engineering Dept. would need advanced training.  Reactors are safe as anything, as long as they are monitored and run by competent (read:expensive) personnel.  One of the reasons the US Navy stopped building nuclear powered surface ships aside from carriers was that they were so farking expensive to sun safely.  Extra people, extra training etc.

In the civil world profit is king, so until oil becomes so expensive that it is cheaper to hire a team of trained technicians to run a reactor vs. a bunch of guys dragged off the beach in some third world country and made to work in shiatty conditions...  we're gonna have oil powered container ships.
 
2014-07-26 10:17:09 PM  
DrunkWithImpotence:

Sadly, this really is the case.  Imagine a nuclear powered ship. The Captain, many of the officers in fact, would have to have special certifications.  On top of that the whole Engineering Dept. would need advanced training.  Reactors are safe as anything, as long as they are monitored and run by competent (read:expensive) personnel.  One of the reasons the US Navy stopped building nuclear powered surface ships aside from carriers was that they were so farking expensive to sun safely.  Extra people, extra training etc.

In the civil world profit is king, so until oil becomes so expensive that it is cheaper to hire a team of trained technicians to run a reactor vs. a bunch of guys dragged off the beach in some third world country and made to work in shiatty conditions...  we're gonna have oil powered container ships.


If it wasn't for nuclear hysteria, we could be actively developing and deploying nuclear reactors that require far less maintenance, far fewer people to operate and with much better risk profiles compared to today's reactors. As it stands, no major companies are willing to invest properly in nuclear energy because they see the market strictly limited due to NIMBY and regulatory conditions.

For example, FADEC - Full Authority Digital Engine Control - is a technology that basically runs every modern aircraft engine. Commercial airliners use to have a 3rd dude in the cockpit who would stare at lights and readouts and manually control every aspect of the operation of the engines. Replacing that dude with embedded computers not only got rid of the "flight engineer" position, but also is one of the cornerstones as to why modern aviation is an order of magnitude safer today than it was 30 years ago.

The most modern nuclear reactors are basically like a 1960s airliner in this respect. Entire crews sit in old-fashioned control rooms monitoring blinking lights and readouts, manually managing the system and breaking out massive 3 ring binders to follow procedures when something goes off-plan. Three Mile Island happened because the crew never noticed a readout in the corner of the big board. Chernobyl happened because the crew was running the system in an experiment, far outside the design parameters.

Modernize the reactor control systems, and you could literally have one person operating the entire power/propulsion system most of the time.
 
2014-07-26 10:20:01 PM  

dr-shotgun: Modern navel reactors are very small


They'd have to be, to fit in there.
 
2014-07-26 10:55:43 PM  
So, how about a pebble-bed media reactor? Helium as a working fluid, self regulating because the media expands below it's critical density level if it heats up. The helium doesn't carry anything but heat. Get the design right and you have a nuclear battery, a sealed device with no user serviceable parts.
 
2014-07-26 11:22:41 PM  
The Savannah toured the world and brought the public aboard.  Her galley is far larger than needed to feed the crew and passengers (also, it has one of the first microwave ovens: a huge water-cooled contraption, with no safety interlock on the door.), since she catered her own shoreside events.  She visited ports on the west coast of the US, and when you tour her, you realize that one of the tourists was Gene Roddenberry.  The most blatant clue is the Starfleet Logo on the ashtrays in the verandah.  There were also the automatic-opening doors (which no longer function, neither does the elevator), but mainly the super-futuristic look of the ship tells you that you're walking through the predecessor of the Starship Enterprise.  The timing on all this (early-mid 60s) is right too.  Roddenberry stole a lot to develop Start Trek, and he lifted a lot from the Savannah.

They've restored her beautifully.  The found a warehouse with enough original Naugahyde to reupholster the lounge.  If you get chance to tour her, do so, and be sure to visit the gift shop:  Their Polo Shirts are awesome, though the T-Shirts are pretty crappy and fall part after few washings.
 
2014-07-26 11:37:21 PM  

dr-shotgun: For example, FADEC - Full Authority Digital Engine Control - is a technology that basically runs every modern aircraft engine. Commercial airliners use to have a 3rd dude in the cockpit who would stare at lights and readouts and manually control every aspect of the operation of the engines. Replacing that dude with embedded computers not only got rid of the "flight engineer" position, but also is one of the cornerstones as to why modern aviation is an order of magnitude safer today than it was 30 years ago.

The most modern nuclear reactors are basically like a 1960s airliner in this respect. Entire crews sit in old-fashioned control rooms monitoring blinking lights and readouts, manually managing the system and breaking out massive 3 ring binders to follow procedures when something goes off-plan. Three Mile Island happened because the crew never noticed a readout in the corner of the big board. Chernobyl happened because the crew was running the system in an experiment, far outside the design parameters.

Modernize the reactor control systems, and you could literally have one person operating the entire power/propulsion system most of the time.


Maybe I'm oversimplifying, but from your description it sounds like operating a nuclear plant could be made much safer AND cheaper by replacing all but one member of the monitoring crew with an Arduino.
 
2014-07-27 12:11:04 AM  
Aesthetically, the SAvannah's interiors remind me of the design aesthetics in The Venture Bros. Same time period as Jonas Venture, same optimism. And run down in the new century, where people have lost their way.
 
2014-07-27 12:40:10 AM  

dr-shotgun: Modernize the reactor control systems, and you could literally have one person operating the entire power/propulsion system most of the time.


ONE

PERSON

coloradoindependent.com
 
2014-07-27 01:20:43 AM  

GardenWeasel: dr-shotgun: Modernize the reactor control systems, and you could literally have one person operating the entire power/propulsion system most of the time.

ONE

PERSON

[coloradoindependent.com image 346x193]


Dammit!  Beat me to it.

*shakes tiny yellow 4-digit fist*
 
2014-07-27 02:55:14 AM  

DrunkWithImpotence: In the civil world profit is king, so until oil becomes so expensive that it is cheaper to hire a team of trained technicians to run a reactor vs. a bunch of guys dragged off the beach in some third world country and made to work in shiatty conditions... we're gonna have oil powered container ships.


Here's the thing though, one load of nuclear fuel is good for a couple decades at least. Thing with cargo ships is they use huge amounts of fuel, and even when it's cheap, it's a significant cost.
 
2014-07-27 03:38:23 AM  

wildcardjack: So, how about a pebble-bed media reactor? Helium as a working fluid, self regulating because the media expands below it's critical density level if it heats up. The helium doesn't carry anything but heat. Get the design right and you have a nuclear battery, a sealed device with no user serviceable parts.


We're running into problems with helium extraction from the wells. That is, the wells are running low and we've blown off the old Strategic Reserve..
 
2014-07-27 04:34:26 AM  
img.fark.net
When you gotta go, you gotta go!
 
2014-07-27 05:17:19 AM  

Farty McPooPants: [img.fark.net image 624x468]
When you gotta go, you gotta go!


I'm gonna guess ashtray, with its liner removed.  If you've got 'em, smoke 'em.

I'm all for safe use of nuclear power where possible.  I'm dubious about the idea of using it for container ships, even though I suspect it would save a lot of money and environmental damage in the process, because as bad as it is when Somali pirates get ahold of a fuel oil powered ship, imagine a ragtag band of untrained AK-wielding pirates with their hands on even a small nuclear source.  We do not need another  Goiânia accident.
 
2014-07-27 05:24:40 AM  

wildcardjack: So, how about a pebble-bed media reactor? Helium as a working fluid, self regulating because the media expands below it's critical density level if it heats up. The helium doesn't carry anything but heat. Get the design right and you have a nuclear battery, a sealed device with no user serviceable parts.


And with a mass that would be preclude carrying any cargo, and an output that would rival an outboard motor. Sign me up.
 
2014-07-27 09:56:23 AM  

PsychoPhil: The Savannah wasn't a victim of its nuke technology so much as it's a TINY ship, and it was not designed to handle containers, yet was launched right before containers took hold.

Technically, it ran very well, and had few surprises.  For a first-of-a-kind effort, it was by all means a success.

/Well worth going to Baltimore for a tour.


This, though I'd suggest the problems with her carrying ability weren't so much due to lack of foresight as the fact she was more of a proof-of-concept ship.  Her design was also a problem - she's a stunningly beautiful ship, but that very design ended up restricting what she could carry.  TFA also didn't mention that labor problems (arguments over whether or not the nuclear staff could earn more than the other officers/crew, and the nuclear crew shutting her down and going on strike, as well as the comparatively excessive US crew labor costs) didn't do anything to help her profitability.

/Visited her several times at Patriot's Point, SC
 
2014-07-27 11:30:09 AM  

TuteTibiImperes: Doktor_Zhivago: change1211: That is a shame, tankers are just brutal for the environment. They're burning something pretty close to road tar and they burn a lot of it, for every one supertanker operating per it's about equal to 2.25 million cars.

Imagine an oil spill... just with plutonium


There's a reason they don't use these ships

It's the same argument for or against nuclear power plants - fossil fuel based plants and ships pollute predictably during normal operation, nuclear plants and ships have much lower pollution output during normal operation, but have the potential for cataclysmic failure that would pollute much more than a fossil fuel based example would be capable of.

I'm in the camp that says it's worth it to roll the dice - with solid safety protocols and modern reactor designs the chances for a disaster are pretty slim, and the current fossil fuel based plants and ships are the biggest polluters out there.


Even if we had a Fukushima like fark up every few decades, and with modern reactor designs there is no reason why we would... But even if we did, replacing the worlds coal burning power plants and replacing them for nuclear would be one of the best things we could do for the environment and would save millions of lives..

Yes, yes I heard Germany, on a perfect day, got 47 percent of their energy for a few hours.. Where did the other 53 percent come from, and where does the the 80+ percent come from at night or the winter? Well, now that they are shutting down their nuke plants, they're burning more of the worst kind of coal then they ever have..
 
2014-07-27 12:09:46 PM  

hotrod2001: So it's in Baltimore now...I remember seeing it when it was part of the Patriots Point exhibits in Charleston.


So did I, although IIRC most of the ship was off limits and the parts of the ship you could go on were in need of maintenance. I did wonder where the Savannah went after one year when we were in Charleston and the ship was gone though.
 
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