why not nuclear?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by ColJack, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. ColJack

    ColJack Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    May 7, 2003
    why don't they make cruise ships with nuclear reactors instead of the polluting diesel generators?

    they have 3 or 4 generators and the props are all electric nowadays..
  2. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    Ehm, they do.
    Found after 2 seconds of googling.
  3. chenw

    chenw First time out of the vault

    Jan 2, 2008
    If you are talking about not having them on civilian ships, here are a couple of reasons why:

    1. Nuclear ships are damn expensive to build and maintain, just like an ordinary nuclear power plant. It would be more economical to just stick to diesel ships.

    2. Nuclear waste isn't exactly man kind's best friend when it comes to waste disposal.

    3. A disaster with a Nuclear ship, especially if it happens in or near ports, would be a LOT worse than a diesel ship.

    Military ships would use Nuclear engines because they can run for a very long time without the need to refuel, a very important feature in very long engagements where having diesel supply cut off would be detrimental
  4. mor

    mor Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Jun 18, 2010
    he said cruise ships not cruisers or military vessels.

    i assume the usual culprits are cost, idiots who are afraid from nuclear energy, regulation regarding designs and safety operations. plus i assume that wide spread use of low enriched uranium will make it more accessible to unwanted.

    lets not generalize, its depends of the ship size, designation ans schedule.
    besides many would pay for faster bigger ships (remove the stacks) with less noise pollution and vibration(if you can feel those past the geo's).

    why? all of the newer designs are built with passive safety mechanism as well as active ones and iirc there is already few nuclear propelled ships on the bottom of the ocean with none of that A LOT worse, probably less considering they didnt leaked fuel.
  5. Aphyosis

    Aphyosis Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Nov 4, 2009
    Still not foolproof though and the stigma surrounding them cripples the ability to make them.

    I think they built a couple of Nuclear powered tankers in the 60's or 70's though.

    Edit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_civilian_nuclear_ships
  6. CloudlessDruid

    CloudlessDruid Not a Soviet Droid Orderite

    Oct 11, 2008

    Repeating Sander: Found after two seconds of searching.

  7. UncannyGarlic

    UncannyGarlic Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Feb 6, 2008
    Not sure about the fuel costs but construction and crew (a nuclear engineer) costs are way higher. Cost is probably a major factor in why they don't exist en masse.

    Modern failsafes are pretty fool proof, they certainly haven't failed yet (as far as I know). Waste disposal is a far bigger and more real issue. I agree with you about the stigma though, most people don't have any clue about nuclear power and the cold war did nothing to properly educate people in nuclear power.

    Here's a better question, if pollution is the issue then why the hell do we still have cruise ships, let alone person automobiles (far less fuel efficient)?
  8. They don't make more nuclear "Stuff" due to a few simple reasons.

    1. Nuclear technology has a fear effect on the public, and makes it harder for industry to be able to build nuclear based energy systems. 3 mile island and the Russian submarine disasters of the 70's-90's made the public skeptical.

    2. Nuclear energy tech is 5 seconds away from Nuclear weapons tech, and makes people/governments nervous.

    3. Nuclear tech is a very complicated field, and more specialists can be trained in petroleum engineering than nuclear engineering faster with less cost.

    4. Oil, and fossil fuels are the dominant market, and nuclear technology competes with it, and the market's wide-scale demands for Oil. This is in large part due to the proliferation of the internal combustion engine on the market.

    5. Resources for Nuclear Fission/Fusion are in lower supply than other alternatives. These resources are tapped by very large corporations and high-tech government offices first, and next to nothing is left after.

    6. The large amount of nuclear MUF "Material Unaccounted For" after the Cold War from the former USSR, the trickling small amount of MUF from U.S. military stockpiles, the SALT "Strategic Arms Limitation Talks", the problem of people outsourcing and selling these materials and scientists to third-world countries and terrorist organizations, and environmental hazards of radioactive waste make the U.N. start foaming at the mouth and biting people.

    That's about it. Case closed.
  9. mor

    mor Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Jun 18, 2010
    its suppose to be discussion regarding the viability of nuclear cruiser ship today and test who can type nuclear marine propulsion.
    especially with more mature efficient and safe designs, there is some very interesting micro plants out there.

    The Savannah part of who got the bigger dick contest its was designed as a showboat to demonstrate our technology ingenuity not so big luxurious conference and not enough cargo capacity and problematic loading
    and with political motivated port calls instead of economically and with almost a year out for dry out of its 4 years of operations because of a union strike, its was doomed from the start.
    besides its was first of the kind, thus everything was special order with with special cost attached, standardizing, using micro power plants etc will cut costs significantly.
  10. Aphyosis

    Aphyosis Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Nov 4, 2009
    Oh, they're really good. The odds of shit happening are minuscule. But the fact that shit HAS happened in the past means they can't do crap with it today and if they did and something DID go wrong, on that tiny chance, they'd cop monumental amounts of shit.

    The Stigma is annoying though. As an example, the Australian public is opposed to Nuclear Submarines to the stage the government discards designs for the new series we're looking at in favor of Diesel\Electric's, despite Nuclear having a number of clear advantages.
  11. mor

    mor Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Jun 18, 2010
    1. so true, today nuclear technology is the most efficient safe and environmental tech there is and because of so many ignorant idiots we are still stuck with far worse solutions.
    2. not exactly but it does gain you access to very useful tools, all of which you can get yourself like iran does (its not the 50s, most measurement tools are very common multipurpose tools now days)
    3. that why it should get standardized, much like the french did with its nuclear power industry.
    5. its called supply and demand and eventually there will be more demand with oil prices going as far as 0.70$ (depend on the fule price) when nuclear is only 0.15$
    6. there is a huge difference between low/high grade uranium and plutonium but yes regulation is in order.
  12. chenw

    chenw First time out of the vault

    Jan 2, 2008
    Until the time where Uranium is cheaper than oil, Standard petroleum will still win.

    Like the previous posters said, the stigma around nuclear power is still very strong amongst the general public, especially after the Chernobyl disaster (which rendered large amounts of land uninhabitable for decades, perhaps centuries).

    When petroleum starts to run out though, necessity will (and have to) overcome stigma.

    But I do hope that before petroleum runs out, Nuclear Fusion would be economically viable energy source, none of the side effects of Nuclear fusion is as devastating as the fission counterpart/
  13. mor

    mor Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Jun 18, 2010
    uranium was always cheaper, its construction costs, waste disposal etc.. here i googled, this Economics of Nuclear Power very informative presentation and is way better than me pulling outdated numbers from my crappy memory again. (btw its power plants comparison, ship engines has far worse efficiency and use less cost effective fuel)

    this should sum it up (its 2003 cost today due to fuel price rise its even more cost effective):
  14. Blakut

    Blakut Vault Senior Citizen

    Jan 9, 2008
    If only they discovered how to use uranium in a reactor in the 19th century. Then colonial powers would've used it without fear to make reactors using of course, slave labour in the mines and all that.

    Now we'd have a century or so of nuclear power, and no fossil fuel pollution or global warming. Just a few extra toes.

    Personally i'm all for nuclear power. Here in Germany the Anti-Nuclear movement is freaky powerfull. Then again, they are freaky all the way hear in Germany.

    1. With nuclear powerplants we would get cheaper and cleaner power. The experience gained from more and more plants build would make waste disposal an easily manageable problem.
    2. Nuclear propulsion for large ships and airplanes = same thing.

    Finally, with nuclear propulsion, human spaceships could reach 1-8% of the speed of light, using 1960's technology. (basically dropping bombs behind the ship, where there's also a shield, and detonating them at a relatively safe distance). This would mean the possibility of actually colonizing / mining other worlds asteroids withing the inner Solar System.
  15. Aphyosis

    Aphyosis Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Nov 4, 2009
    Why do that. They have electric propulsion in rockets. Have a reactor generate power and use that to power the propulsion rather than dropping nukes out your ass.

  16. Blakut

    Blakut Vault Senior Citizen

    Jan 9, 2008
    Because generating electricity from a nuclear reactor in space would mean basically a whole nuclear power plant in orbit: water, turbines, nuclear reactor shielding, nuclear reactor itself, all this made to work in zero G and shielded from the outside as well (water for cooling the reactor... now that would be tricky, since most nuclear power plants require a RIVER!).

    Also, electric ships go by using plasma propulsion, ion thrusters that is, which means a very low thrust. Considering that the nuclear powerplant weighs thousands of tons, it would be kinda tricky to make it move...

    Dropping nukes behind the ship is immediate and takes care of the nuclear sotckpile.

  17. Aphyosis

    Aphyosis Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Nov 4, 2009
    That's true, i hadn't considered the technical implementation of the reactor. Still, i'm sure something like that could be worked out in the future, especially if they're using a large ship.

    Once your in space weight has no problem. Besides, i'm not talking a power plant like 3 Mile island or Chernobyl (Only powerplants off the top of my head, for obvious reasons) Think Nuclear Submarine reactor's, although i'm not sure if their output is enough.
  18. mor

    mor Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Jun 18, 2010
    yet not all nuclear reactors requires water :wink: iirc none of the new designs use water as coolant.

    :shock: there is 'plasma propulsion' and here is thought its something from scifi movie :) interesting if they got some kind of "shielding" technology as well.

    anyway, according to wiki the whole point of those engines is trade off power for higher efficiencies = longer flight time... (you know no gas station beyond this point)
    so nuclear reactor can be a good alternative as its powerful and can fly for dozen of years without the need to refuel.

    btw the average cruiser ship can drink as much as 1000ton of fuel in two weeks.
    micro nuclear plants that available today weight 200-500tons and produce 10-100 megawatt, 100 megawatt is more than the biggest cruiser ship ships needs, i think.
    and shuttle can tale a load of ~25tons
  19. Blakut

    Blakut Vault Senior Citizen

    Jan 9, 2008
    Weight is no problem... but inertia is. The ship still has a huge MASS. I was wrong to say weight.

    Not as primary coolant. But water still spins the turbines - well steam.

    Yeah, but with nukes you get the same thing quicker, and in a simpler package.
  20. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    I think if it would have proved to be really viable and cheaper as solution for public transport I am sure there would have been more ships with nuclear power. But so far they work more or less with traditional fuel.

    I am no expert but I am sure it has some logic/technical reasons behind it