Sources for Atomic Energy Insights August 1996 (Power Barges)

Sources for Atomic Energy Insights August 1996 (Power Barges) Simpson, John Nuclear Power from Underseas to Outer Space, American Nuclear Society, La Grange Park, IL 1995. Valenti, Michael Power Plants to Go, Mechanical Engineering, May 1996. Raytheon and Westinghouse Consortium Awarded 382 Million for Pakistani Power Project, Press Release dated April 22, 1996. Floating N-Plants: […]

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First Nuclear Power Barge: Pioneer Barge Built in America

The Army Nuclear Power program recognized the potential benefits of putting a nuclear power plant on a water mobile platform in the early 1960s. In January, 1963, construction began on the Sturgis, a World War II vintage Liberty ship hull modified to accept installation of a 10,000 kilowatt pressurized water nuclear steam plant. Designated the […]

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New Nuclear Power Barges: Russians Build on Ice Breaker Lead

The northern coast of Russia is an area endowed with rich natural resources and vast mineral wealth but burdened with a limited infrastructure. Because of the extremely cold winters, transportation is difficult and infrequent. During the Soviet era, finding workers to exploit the riches was not difficult; they had little choice in the matter. Once […]

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Offshore Power Systems: Big Plants for a Big Customer

Most people associated with the nuclear industry, and many residents of Florida have some knowledge of the ill-fated Westinghouse/Newport News Offshore Power System project. Begun in 1970, this project was based on two ideas. The first was that a series of identical reactors produced in a factory type setting could be completed in a shorter […]

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Letter from the Editor: Electric Plants for Rapidly Growing Areas

Electric power sources are on or near the top of the wish list for many developing nations. Business, social and government leaders recognize that reliable sources of electricity are essential to a modern economy. Without electricity, computers do not compute, mass transit systems cannot function, air conditioners do not enhance productivity, dryers do not dry, […]

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Power Barges: Tools for Progress

The power barge market seems to be moving in several different directions depending on the specific needs of the potential customers and the business model of the various suppliers. There are complex, high tech projects that are aiming for higher and higher levels of efficiency and gains in scale economies. These projects are often slated […]

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In the News: July 1996

Russian Floating Power Stations (June 11, 1996: Source-NucNet, an Internet service of the European Nuclear Agency) – Officials at the Kurchatov Atomic Energy Institute in Moscow have announced that the technical design stage for a series of floating nuclear power stations is now complete. Each power plant will consist of two 70 Mwe pressurized water […]

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Accident Consequences: Design Added to Magnitude

The reactor was more reactive than planned due to problems with the aluminum-boron alloy burnable poison strips. Apparently, these strips had begun to rapidly deteriorate, causing some of the poison material to be lost from the core area.The SL-1 accident was initiated by the rapid withdrawal of the central control rod. Starting from a fully […]

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SL-1: Designed for Remote Power and Heat

SL-1’s mission was to provide power to radar stations along the northern perimeter of North America; a series of such stations was known as the DEW (Defense Early Warning) Line. The Army’s designation , SL-1, tells us that the plant was a stationary, low power reactor, and that it was the first of its kind. […]

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Letter from the Editor: Solving the SL-1 Mystery

Some of the sources that we interviewed suggested that there may have been unstated reasons for not releasing the report. While the term “cover-up” was not used, the phrase “let sleeping dogs lie” was used more than once. One common link in the training of most nukes is the viewing of a grainy, black and […]

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What Caused the Accident?: Plenty of Blame to Share

The root cause of the accident is well understood. Investigators found the central control rod lying across the top of the reactor vessel. All the other rods were clamped in their fully inserted positions. (Note from the editor: The following story is conjecture supported by interviews of first hand sources and a careful review of […]

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January 1961: SL-1 Explosion Aftermath

At 9:01 pm on January 3, 1961, the first indication of trouble at SL-1 was received at Atomic Energy Commission Fire Stations. The alarm, which was triggered by one of several measured parameters at the plant, was immediately broadcast over all National Reactor Testing Station radio networks. By 9:10 pm, fire trucks and security personnel […]

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