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Nuclear Navy

A presentation on the United States' "Nuclear Navy".

Lishra Splemi

on 27 November 2012

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Transcript of Nuclear Navy

The Nuclear Navy How It Works: Uranium Fission n U-235 U-235 U-235 n n -splitting of atomic nucleus releasing energy high
energy n n n n -neutron n n n n This process also produces an immense amount of heat. Hard water is used to create the steam with the boiling water. Hard water is simply water with a high mineral content. Nuclear power plants produce electricity by boiling water and creating steam that turns turbines creating electricity. The heat used to boil the water is created by a process of fission involving either uranium or plutonium. The fission occurs in a nuclear reactor. This fission occurs when uranium/plutonium are put as close together as possible and bombarded with neutrons, causing a chain reaction that produces more and more neutrons. ...And this powers our everyday lives. First, a synopsis of nuclear energy in general... Types of Reactors Used on Ships and Other Vessels History of the Nuclear Navy A nuclear reactor housed in a ship's primary purpose is propulsion, of course. Nuclear fission produces steam that then is streamlined to turn the ship's propellers. Different types of reactors are used for different vessels, and often, the type of reactor used depends on the best suited kind, and the place of creation. (Some reactor types are exclusive to certain countries.) Boiling-Water Reactors Pressurized-Water Reactors A plant that uses plain old, run-of-the-mill water as its primary coolant is called a light-water reactor. (As opposed to some that use heavy-water reactors.) There are two main types of light water reactors; boiling-water and pressurized-water. After World War II in 1946, Congress passed the Atomic Energy Act. This act established the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to succeed the Manhattan Project. The main charge of the AEC was the development of atomic energy. Water is heated in the core until it boils. What happens when water boils? Bubbles? Yes, but our important factor here is steam.
Steam rises, as everyone knows. This crucial fact allows the reactor to function.
The steam rises up into pipes that lead to the turbine, and this in turn pushes the propellers.
(Water boiling is a reversible change, a factor that makes this reactor even more efficient.)
When the steam cools, it condenses into water and travels back to the core. The beginning... Water is kept under intense pressure, preventing the formation of the steam that fuels other types of reactors.
The heated water, not steam this time, is pumped into something called a heat exchanger. There, it goes through a series of pipes that are themselves surrounded by water.
The hot water inside the pipe exchanges heat with the cooler water outside the pipe. Hence the name heat exchanger.
The water outside the pipe, which is not under nearly as much pressure, boils.
This results in that magic substance we dub steam, which, just as in the boiling-water reactor, can be condensed back into water as it cools and sent to start over.
The pressurized water inside the pipe performs a similar feat, circulating back to where it came from to be re-subjected to the heat and pressure in the beginning of the reaction. Other Types of Reactors There are several other types of reactors that go about creating energy through different means. Two of these are the CANDU, developed in Canada, which is a heavy-water reactor, and the advanced gas reactor (AGR) from Great Britain, which actually uses gas instead of water as its coolant. (carbon dioxide) In September of 1947, Captain Hyman Rickover was appointed to the Navy Bureau of Ships. The Navy Bureau of Ships is responsible for the designing of US naval vessels. Rickover saw the implications of atomic power use with naval ships and that it was necessary that the Navy and the AEC work together to develop a program for this application. Rickover and a select few others were sent to Oak Ridge Tennessee to study the fundamentals of nuclear reactor technology. 1946 The Atomic Energy Commission is established. 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 1954 U.S. passes the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, amending the Atomic Energy Act of 1946. This allowed the AEC to contract with private companies for resources. Nuclear Reactors; Safety and Preventative Methods. 1955 First nuclear powered submarine, USS Nautilus, goes underway. When you take into account the relatively short history of nuclear reactors, the number of tragic accidents and failures that have occurred (as displayed in the figure) are minute when compared to the rate of success. There have been more than 14,500 cumulative reactor-years of commercial operation, and only three major incidents of extreme failure. (To be fair, the accident at Fukushima had little to do with problematic design.) 1947 Captain Hyman G. Rickover is appointed to the Navy Bureau of Ships. The Atomic Energy Act of 1946 is passed. Rickover... It was not until the late 1970's, ironically a few years before the event at Three Mile Island, that wide-scale research and analysis began. Through countless years since of this, it has been proven that even the most severe of accidents (like a fuel meltdown) probably wouldn't pose an enormous threat to society. This isn't to say that it would be harmless, but events like Fukushima, wherein a triple meltdown occurred and no casualties ensued, have proven it to be a smaller threat than originally hypothesized. "It should be emphasized that a commercial-type power reactor simply cannot under any circumstances explode like a nuclear bomb - the fuel is not enriched beyond about 5%." (from http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf06.html The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) created in 1957 by the UN in attempts to better monitor nuclear safety. It helps to set into effect safety precautions and encourages the reporting of any and all incidents, no matter how small.
There are many organizations like the IAEA, working to ensure safe and positive results from nuclear reactors all over the world. When Rickover returned to Washington, he fought to create a Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. He succeeded, however there were many improbabilities. Because of this, Rickover suggested creating two parallel nuclear reactor development projects; a pressurized water cooled reactor and liquid metal cooled reactor project. Check This Out! On August 4, 1948, the Navy established the Nuclear Power Branch with Rickover as its head. And now, to the timeline... 1949 Rickover proceeded with both the pressurized water and liquid metal cooled reactor development projects. Rickover's new organization contracted with Westinghouse to develop a facility to work on the development of the pressurized water cooled reactor. All kinds of precautions are taken to ensure optimum performance when it comes to nuclear reactors. Stress tests that subject reactors to the extremest of the extreme conditions ensue, and consideration of the possibility of natural disaster as well as operator failure as well. Many criteria must be met for a reactor to get the seal of approval. "One mandated safety indicator is the calculated probable frequency of degraded core or core melt accidents. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) specifies that reactor designs must meet a 1 in 10,000 year core damage frequency, but modern designs exceed this. US utility requirements are 1 in 100,000 years, the best currently operating plants are about 1 in 1 million and those likely to be built in the next decade are almost 1 in 10 million." from site. Rickover formed a contract with General Electric to determine whether a liquid metal cooled reactor could be adapted for naval propulsion. 1957 This sub being powered by a pressurized water cooled reactor. Modern reactors are designed to shut themselves down and cool immediately following the first sign of any system failure or disaster.
Reactor safety works to cool, control, and contain possible hazards within the reactor. The USS Seawolf is put underway, powered by a liquid metal cooled reactor. After two years of observation pressurized water cooled reactors were found to suit better for naval usage. 1959 Any industry carries risk of negative side effects, and with this considered, nuclear energy is one of the safest forms of energy available. 1948 Nuclear Energy Branch established. In the 1970's, government restructuring moved the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Project from the "disbanded"AEC to the Department of Energy. 1961 First nuclear powered naval surface warship, USS Long Beach. First nuclear powered aircraft carrier; USS Enterprise. http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=104&t=3 The average energy generated by a plant in the US is about 12.2 billion kilowatt-hours. US reactors generate about 19% of the nation's energy. Capacity depends on things like size of the plant and number of reactors within the plant. The smallest in the US is located in Nebraska. The largest in the US is located in Arizona. 478-3,937 Megawatt range Random fact time! The oldest operating plant is housed in New Jersey, and had its license issued in April of 1969. Rickover is promoted to Vice Admiral. 1958 Many countries are working hard to up the average capacity of their reactors. In 2011, about 13.5% of the world's electricity was nuclear generated. 1982 Vice Admiral Rickover retires. 1986 The first commercial pressurized-water reactor in the US, Yankee Rowe, had a 250 MWe capacity. Vice Admiral Hyman G. Rickover dies on July 8. 2009 "As of 2009, the U.S. Navy's nuclear reactors have a combined operating time of over 5,400 years without a single accident. All U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and submarines are nuclear powered, with a total of over 80 nuclear-powered vessels in service." - http://www.ehow.com/about_5040511_navy-nuclear-power-history.html#ixzz2CiMsgB00 Ships in construction are set to have up to 2.5GWe capacity!
(USS Enterprise) So, how do vessels deal with all that old fuel? So, what else is there to do with it? You're hundreds of miles from any land, floating in the ocean, with a bunch of used up radioactive material. Of course they cant just dump it! That stuff is radioactive. You're in trouble if you don't think of something quick! Fortunately, nuclear navy vessel designers are just a little more informed than you or I. Nuclear powered vessels actually house separate containment chambers, just to put spent fuel in, until it can be carried off elsewhere. Special containers called spent nuclear fuel shipping casks are used to house and transport old fuel safely. Even though this fuel has been used, and is no longer radioactive enough to be used again, it can still be dangerous. Spent fuel can be sent to a number of different places. Nuclear reprocessing centers work to separate fissionable plutonium that can be used as future fuel.
The rest is probably going to be sent to a better containment facility, capable of housing fuel for longer periods of time. Bibliography http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=200&ct=4 http://www.navy.com/about/gallery/videos.html http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=6310 http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf06.html USS Nautilus http://www.euronuclear.org/info/encyclopedia/n/nuclear-power-plant-world-wide.htm http://www.bing.com/search?q=Naval+Nuclear+Reactors&qs=n&pq=naval+nuclear+reactors&sc=3-22&sp=-1&sk=&first=13&FORM=PORE website http://www.bing.com/search?q=Naval+Nuclear+Reactors&qs=n&pq=naval+nuclear+reactors&sc=3-22&sp=-1&sk=&first=13&FORM=PORE www.youtube.com http://nnsa.energy.gov/ourmission/poweringnavy Congress authorized the construction of the "world's first nuclear powered submarine" in July of 1951. On December 12 they announced the name, Nautilus. http://americanhistory.si.edu/subs/history/subsbeforenuc/revolution/nautilus.html http://www.ussnautilus.org/nautilus/index.shtml The USS Nautilus took 18 months to build. The Nautilus was finally launched January 21 and christened by First Lady, Mamie Eisenhower. The Nautilus became the first commissioned nuclear powered ship in the U.S. Navy. The USS Nautilus accomplished many things during it's service. It was the first ship to cross the North Pole and the first nuclear powered submarine assigned to the U.S. Sixth Fleet. In 1979, the Nautilus left from Connecticut on its last voyage to California. The USS Nautilus SSN 571 was decommissioned on March 3, 1980 after a service of 25 years and more than half a million miles under her belt. Correspondence Attempts: Nuclear Energy Institute -Hi, my name is Shane Steele-Pardue.

I am currently working on a group project for my chemistry class. We have to create a presentation on the nuclear navy. I have contacted you to ask if you could elaborate on how nuclear energy is created on US naval vessels. Also, who else would you suggest I contact for more information? Have a great day!
Sincerely, Shane.
P.S. - Here is a link to the presentation we are creating,
, if you would look at it to confirm the information within it is valid I would deeply appreciate it. President Barack Obama We attempted to contact President Barack Obama's election committee to get his views on nuclear power and its implementation in the Navy. We had no reply. USS Enterprise In 1954 Congress authorized construction of the first nuclear aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise. This carrier was the eighth ship in US history to be named Enterprise.
When the USS Enterprise was built the, engineers weren't sure if their design would work and weren't exactly sure just how the ship would work.
The USS Enterprise took 3 years and 9 months to construct. Then the ship was christened and left its home port, Naval Station Norfolk, for 6 days on trial.
The USS Enterprise was propelled by 8 nuclear reactors, two for each of the four propellers.
Materials used to build the ship:
60,923 tons of steel
1507 tons of aluminum
230 miles of pipes and tubing
1700 tons of 1/4" welding rods
The 50th birthday of the USS Enterprise was on November 25, 2011.
The ship retired this year having completed 25 deployments. http://www.enterprise.navy.mil/ Submarine Photos Aircraft Carrier Photos Reactors Submarines, Aircraft Carries, and Reactors Nuclear Navy Photos Nuclear Navy This is a digital image of the USS Gerald Ford Carrier. Its now under construction and it planned to be finished in 2015.
http://www.oilgear.com/EngineeredSolutions/USSGeraldR.FordAircraftCarrier.htm USS Gerald Ford Nuclear Navy The USS Nimitz is one of the largest aircraft carries in the world. Propelled by 2 nuclear reactors.
http://www.naval.com.br/blog/2009/03/27/os-navios-aerodromo-da-classe-nimitz/ USS Nimitz Nuclear Navy This was the first nuclear aircraft carrier. It was propelled by 8 nuclear reactors.
http://beforeitsnews.com/ckfinder/userfiles/0000000000081949/images/USS%20Enterprise.jpg USS Enterprise Nuclear Navy Nuclear submarine propelled by 1 nuclear reactor

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USS_North_Carolina_(SSN-777)_commissioning.jpg USS North Carolina Nuclear Navy Nuclear submarine propelled by 1 nuclear reactor.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12150610@N08/1228106508/ USS Norfolk Nuclear Navy One of the first nuclear submarines.

http://www.hullnumber.com/photos1.php?ct=SS&st=SSN&hn=575&n1=USS&n2=SEAWOLF&n3=&n4=&n5=&page_cur=1 USS Seawolf Nuclear Navy This was first submarine built, powered by 1 nuclear reactor

http://military.discovery.com/convergence/topten/subs/slideshow/slideshow_06.html USS Nautilus Nuclear Navy This is a diagram showing a nuclear reactor for submarines.

www.world-nuclear.org Nuclear reactor Nuclear Navy Propelled by 2 nuclear reactors

http://www.militaryfactory.com/imageviewer/shp/pic-detail.asp?ship_id=USS-George-Washington-CVN73&sCurrentPic=pic3 USS George Washington The Navy We tried contacting the navy via live chat, but they declined our request. They said you had to have an interest in joining the Navy. ...or plutonium
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