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Old 08-10-2011, 03:55 PM   #1
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Default A Fully Nuclear Navy

I know that some of the forum members are ex-navy and have some experience with nuclear power. I am a nuclear engineer and have been fascinated with the discussions over the past six month to a year with regards to exchanging conventional power with nuclear power for the US naval surface fleet. The ever increasing price of oil combined with the foreign origin of this source of energy seems as though it should make the proposal of going Nuclear a no brainer. While we currently only build nuclear powered aircraft carriers and submarines, congress has placed a law on the books requiring future naval vessule procurement be nuclear powered unless the CNO can justify why not. Was curious what the public opinion on this matter is. At any give time ther may be an operating naval nuclear reactor in several US ports, yet anti-nuke protests seem to focus on the land based commercial units and the navy is forgotten. Since the accident in Japan, has the anti-nuclear sentiment increased or is this still considered a viable, clean, and green-friendly alternative to fossil fuels? Would the american people back a nuclear surface fleet?

...Discuss...

-JP
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:07 PM   #2
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JP
that is a real bucket of worms....going to a full up nuke navy is not only incredibly expensive just to manufacture the ships in the nuclear configuration...but in my mind incredibly short sighted.....there are several items i don't believe are being concidered.......the upkeep in maintenance.....the waste is still a major issue...yes...Naval Nuclear power plants are the safest in the world....yes the crew that mans them are the brightest and well trained...but increase that by another 300 ships and the price would skyrocket on those 2 factors alone.....

I worked Nuke testing for the navy for a yr ....trained in reactor plant ops....so...am I partial to the reactors on subs and other vessels...in a way....submarines ...no brainer....definitely worth the efforts and costs.....but for surface combat ships??...remember in the 60's we had the Truxton and bainbridge..big Cruisers .....they were scrapped and mothballed a number of yrs ago...they were so hot from radioactivity that they had to sit for 30 yrs to cool off before they could even start taking a torch to them......
with today's technology...it might be ok but then your still dealing with the waste....and we have no viable method of making radioactively contaminated material safe......
but....in my thinking ...as we have lots of destroyers with gas jet engines in them....those that are uninformed are missing out on bio fuels...which we have tested in everything from a 747 to a B52.....and it works....so that argument of alternative fuels for ships vs nuke pwr just doesn't hold water......

that's my 2 braincells firing off..

SP
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