Any future for commercial marine nuclear propulsion?

With the comming environments regulations on fuel sulfur content and emissions everyone seems to be focusing on an LNG future. It’s been 40 years since NS Savannah left service and there have been significant improvements to nuclear technology. A ship with a small modular reactor (SMR) driving a turbine generator feeding an azipod seems very viable. Cost of ownership would be comparable over the life of the vessel plus I think the infrastructure needed to support this type of set up would be easier to establish compared to making major ports capable of refueling LNG vessels. Thoughts?

If the greenies are against oil and gas, they would soy-al themselves if a nukee came into their port. They would storm the port with their Prius’ and Birkenstocks. I’m all for it but you wouldn’t be able to go into most ports around the world without a private army as security. Don’t buy any stock in the Liquid Metal Fast Breeder Reactor Corp. yet. All the lithium has been bought by the Prius owners for their batteries.

There is plenty of lithium in Trashcanistan. CIA has known it was there since the 80’s. Now they’re in the drug and mining businesses. Got have plenty of the stuff to keep churning out all the fancy gadgets we buy. Can’t spy on us if the battery goes dead in your phone. If they won’t let the Iranians have a reactor to power their baby formula factory no chance some furen nuke ship ties up in any western country.

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Jimmy Carter pretty much banned the use of breeder reactors in the US because plutonium is produced during the recycling process. So, no, you will not see any US nuclear ships. The rest of the world utilizes breeder reactors, though. The newest aircraft carriers are being built with pelletized bed reactors which I hear are very resistant to melting down.

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There was a write up about the N.S. Savannah in Maritime Reporter earlier this year. I will take a look to see if I still have it and let you know what issue it’s in as it discusses using Nuke Power on Merchant Ships.

I’m all for bringing back Steamships! What a pleasure to operate compared to the dirty diesels! I left the industry because going to sea was never the same.

On a slightly different note - I’d say they’d need to ban all auto carriers like the Freemantle from any nuclear power. However, that may be something the Joe Biden admin might fund! It would be The Optimization of Green Energy all lumped into one!