The economic feasibility of merchant ship nuclear power and its relevance to the present state of crisis in the merchant marine of the United States is examined. A review is made of the origins and current status of United States maritime law, its system of direct and indirect subsidies which tries to maintain United States shipping interest on a competitive basis with foreign nations, and the results of this system as evidenced by the post-war decline and present state of the United States merchant fleet. An examination of the current state of world merchant ship nuclear power is conducted. The construction and operation of a mathematical model of a hypothetical, but realistically configured contemporary merchantman in which all costs of construction and operation are contained is described. The model is operated under identical conditions in both a conventional and nuclear mode and the results of operations are economically compared. A sensitivity analysis of realistic variables is conducted to determine those operational factors that control the competitive environment between nuclear propulsion and oil fired ships. It is suggested that a new concept in total transportation is emerging which sees the ship as a subsystem rather than an economic entity. A conditional merchant ship nuclear power program is recommended and described.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    American Society of Naval Engineers

    Suite 507, 1012 14th Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20005
  • Authors:
    • Thamm, T B
  • Publication Date: 1970-2

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Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00015009
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Engineering Index
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 7 1974 12:00AM