Nuclear powered ships?

Did that include the one at SUNY Maritime?

Yes, the one at SUNY was before my time there. I do not know when it was active.

I’m not sure it was ever active. But it was capable of being put on line during my time there (late 70s) i think the program was discontinued when Dr Degani (Manahattan project alumni) retired. The reactor was said to be the same as the one at Columbia. During the height of the no nukes protests circa 1978 there were a few protesters outside the gate after the NY Times reported the existence of reactors in NYC. I was at Maritime last week, the ex nuke lab now houses a Wartsilla diesel lab.

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If you mean the General Public in the US. maybe not. (??)
What about visits by foreign nuclear powered Navy vessels visiting US ports? (If that have ever happened) (??)

In the rest of the world they do worry.(Some countries even ban such visits, others see big protests whenever a nuclear powered vessel visits, regardless of nationality, Navy or civilian.

When a Russian floating Nuclear Power Barge was towed from St. Petersburg to Murmansk it passed along the Norwegian coast at respectful distance and in international waters.
(But within Norwegian EEZ)

It still caused worries and protests:

PS> No nuclear fuel had been placed in the reactors yet, nor loaded on board the barge.

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There was a Liberty Ship that was converted into a “portable” nuclear power plant. It was scrapped a few years ago in Brownsville (and I have a picture or two of it there somewhere). Before it went to Brownsville, it spent time in Galveston having the reactor dismantled. I do know that there were some concerns that made it into the news, but I don’t recall any protests.

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Except those White rednecks are, on average, much more intelligent than the Sierra Leonians. Don’t get mad at me, it’s science.

@ormbugge. That was four years ago. Barge Akademik Lomonosov is since producing electricity in Siberia with no problems.

Yes it was 4 years ago and it is now on location producing power.
My point is; there were protests because a newbuild barge with no nuclear material onboard was towed through the Baltic, Oresund, Kattegat and well off the Norwegian coast.
The Navy and Airforce was called out in Sweden, Denmark and Norway to shadow the operation.

Why?? Because it was caller a NUCLEAR Power Barge, not because it posted any more risk than any other towed barge, and far less danger than the large number of ships in the same area at the same time, incl. loaded VLCC, ULGC coming from Russian Arctic and Finnmark, Norway. (Maybe the odd nuclear powered Aircraft Carrier, or Submarine too)

Are there any other kind??

Who’s Science? Are there anything called "White Redneck Sciences’??

Don’t know if this qualify as Science, but you can test yourself here too:

If you dare. (It MAY turn out you are not as smart as you think you are)

PS> No, Redneck does NOT appear as a “group”, nor does Sierra Leonians.

I have actually visited the Admirality/Lenin (or what they call it) shipyard in central Leningrad/St. Petersburg some times and once they were fuelling a nuclear powered submarine in it. It wasn’t dangerous. Nothing could explode. One of my friends a long time ago worked on the soviet icebreaker Lenin and adjusted the nuclear reactor by adjusting some valves on it.

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Was that before or after they had that little mishap and had to dump the reactors overboard by blowing the bottom open somewhere off Novaya Zemlya?

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I have no idea. The Russian engineer I met in the 90’s, just told me he had served on the Lenin.

Unless the person in question was chained to the reactor, my vote is “before”.

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Current op. vessels…

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The OP is about “developing a modular molten salt reactor to propel ships and provide energy for manufacturing synthetic green fuels from hydrogen”. The first prototype reactor is due to start trials in 2025:

It is not the same as traditional nuclear reactors presently used in Submarines, Russian Icebreakers, or by floating power stations.
Nor is anybody claiming that MRS Reactors are problem free, but the problems are not the same as with traditional hot core reactors.

Here is a detailed but understandable explanation of the MSR technology for those who are interested in learning more:

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The biggest problem is if they are used on commercial ships they will be hijacked by suicidal religious whackjobs who believe they have a herd of virgins waiting for them. They will be turned into raw material for use in dirty bombs to rid the world of infidels. The technical problems are comparatively insignificant. Welcome to the new world.


The authorities will probably stop by my house for all the search terms I just used read about the PWR on Savannah, the difference between High Enriched Uranium (used by the Navy) and Low Enriched Uranium (used in power generation and would-be commercial ships), and the national security risks thereof.

It is a big James Bond/Tom Clancy assumption that your whackjob infidels were highly sophisticated, could hijack a ship, could identify and successfully de-fuel the reactor of its fuel rods, handle and transport them without dying of acute exposure, and subsequently traffic their booty undetected and undeterred, in sufficient quantity, to a suitable location for causing terror and mayhem. Also, LEU is apparently not high on the list of ideal substrates for actual damage to a population (though the Pu might be?). And while I guess a zealotous fanatic could avoid all that by just blowing up a ship, they could already do that with an LNG tanker for a much more spectacular fireworks show.

I think the discussion for the US commercial shipping fleet is moot anyway, as the cost of building and crewing would be (as it already is for conventionally powered ships) ridiculously prohibitive. Crewing in particular, as you’d be paying for a licensing and certification scheme that would put the Nautical Institute to shame.


They have successfully hijacked many ships. Because we are not allowed to defend our ships they are very soft targets.

It doesn’t take a nuclear physicist to take a plasma cutter or an oxy-acteylene torch to the shielding. Because those who would perform that task either don’t know, don’t care, and probably look forward to dying as a martyr they have no reason to fear the consequences.

Considering that nuclear paranoia is more powerful than a split atom, the particular isotope dispersed by a dirty bomb is irrelevant. It doesn’t have to kill in hours, days, or weeks, it just has to happen to effectively destroy an entire city or region.

They don’t have to actually succeed at taking a reactor apart, just the threat of it is enough. There would be plenty of panic worldwide after a “Pirates make off with a nuclear ship” headline even if the pirates did nothing at all but cruise around.

List of ships hijacked by terrorists (non-state variety):???
This one comes to mind:

PS> Pirates are not necessarily terrorists, although some may do a bit of both