Nuclear-Powered Trans-Ocean Shipping – 3rd place in New York Advanced Energy contest

I received an update from Benjamin Haas, the SUNY Maritime student who has been working on nuclear powered ship designs from a complete systems perspective for the past three semesters. He and his team have not just focused on the technical aspects of designing a power plant and a ship that could take full advantage of that plant; they have also paid careful attention to regulations, politics, and economics.

Benjamin entered a poster summarizing their conclusions into a contest at the New York Advanced Energy Conference and earned 3rd place. Here is one of the most thought provoking graphics from the poster.

Nuclear-Powered Trans-Ocean Shipping

Fuel cost for ships compared to land-based power plants

Fuel cost for ships compared to land-based power plants

Benjamin sent me and Guilian Crommelin (a retired Dutch Navy Captain with whom I have been communicating since 1994 about our shared interest in nuclear heated gas turbines) a report on his experience at the conference. He gave me permission to share that report with you.

Please note the discussions with visitors to his poster display. There is a great deal of interest in nuclear energy; I hope more people are inspired by the effort Benjamin is making to share what he has learned about the value of nuclear energy as a tool for solving some of humanity’s most challenging problems.
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NS Savannah tours May 18, 2014

Press Release Historic Ship N.S. Savannah Open for Tours May 18, 2014 in Observance of Maritime Day N.S. Savannah Association, Inc. 4/17/2014 The unique, nuclear powered ship N.S. Savannah will be opened for tours at her pier in Baltimore, Md. on Sunday, May 18, 2014 as a part of the annual commemoration of Maritime Day. […]

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Trip report from visit to NS Savannah

About three weeks ago, I wrote an article about commercial nuclear ship propulsion. That post introduced Benjamin Haas, a student at SUNY Maritime, who has been leading a design team that is developing the conceptual design for a nuclear powered shipping system. Ben’s team is not just focused on the ship itself, but on all […]

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SUNY Maritime Student Advocates Commercial Nuclear Ship Propulsion

Stimulated by early atomic optimism, naval successes and Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace initiative, four nations built ocean going ships with nuclear propulsion plants. The US built the NS Savannah, Germany built the Otto Hahn, Japan built the Mutsu, and Russia built a series of nuclear powered icebreakers. For reasons that are beyond the scope of […]

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Antarctic misadventure failed to plan for resilience

I’ve been pondering the misadventures of the Akademik Shokalskiy for several days, thinking about the difference in result between an excursion planned on the cheap by people who depend on things going smoothy and a voyage planned by people who included contingencies and had access to more capable technology. In the summer of 1994, the […]

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Grand Opening of the Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding

Yesterday, on an unusually warm December day, I attended the grand opening of the new Apprentice School building in downtown Newport News, Virginia. It was an event that made me proud to be an American, proud to be a Virginian and proud to be a veteran of the US Navy. I was a member of […]

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Root cause of Naval Reactors policy of strict secrecy about nuclear propulsion plant design

As a Navy nuke, I was carefully taught to believe that everything we learned about atomic energy had to be strictly protected from release to anyone who was not “cleared”, especially anyone who was not a US citizen. I started to question that policy after I completed my tour as the Engineer Officer on the […]

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Naval Reactors should be empowered to show the way – again

President Obama should task John Richardson with a mission similar to the one that President Dwight Eisenhower gave Hyman G. Rickover. Richardson is the current leader of Naval Reactors (NR), the organization that Rickover built. If directed, NR could begin a new assignment to show others how to manufacture complete nuclear fission power systems starting […]

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Atomic Show #206 – Energy Education

We spent a lot of time on this show talking about energy-related education. It is important for people to have a better understanding of how they get energy, how humans use energy to enable better living, and how difficult life can be when there is no reliable, convenient source of delivered energy. We tipped our […]

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What happened to the NS Savannah?

OnceUponANuclearShip

One of the more frequent inquiries I have received during my years operating Atomic Insights is “What happened to the NS (nuclear ship) Savannah?”. I just learned about a recently completed documentary film by Thomas Michael Conner, a former member of the ship’s crew, that is designed to answer that question in detail using sea […]

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Forbes Clean Beta Advises “Forget Fukushima”. Think about nuclear ships.

NS Savannah, dressed out for 50th Anniversary celebrations

William Pentland at Forbes Clean Beta has an interesting take on a recently released Congressional Budget Office report titled The Cost-Effectiveness of Nuclear Power for Navy Surface Ships. Though he makes it clear that the CBO’s report only supports an economic argument for nuclear powered ships under certain oil price scenarios, he points out that […]

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Why Did The NS Savannah Fail? Can She Really be Called a Failure?

Savannah Waterside

(Post was originally published on July 1, 1995. It was updated on April 2, 2011 to include information and videos that were not available in when it was first written. The title has also been revised to open up a new discussion – was the NS Savannah a failure or a successful demonstration of a […]

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