THE ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY OF NUCLEAR TANKERS

The problem treated in this study is that of defining and establishing a suitable framework for the investigation of the competitiveness of nuclear power as applied to oil tankers of various sizes, and under different operating and financial environments. A group of twelve vessels, now on order in various parts of the world, with known design and weight characteristics, are chosen to form the basis of the investigation. Following the definition of suitable operating parameters, expressions are developed for the estimation of the capital and annual operating costs of the vessels, over a given range of speeds, under both nuclear and conventional (geared steam turbine) power. Using the minimum required freight rate as a suitable economic measure of merit, four vessels are selected for further, detailed examination. Sensitivity analyses are performed on certain key parameters and their effects on the optimum required freight rates determined. The computer program, written to facilitate the calculations, is presented and its features discussed. It is concluded, that while for the larger vessel sizes, nuclear propulsion becomes a more profitable alternative on the longer trade routes, the margin is small and fairly sensitive to the prevailing market and operating conditions. The additional, unresolved, safety hazard and licensing problems render the construction of a second generation of nuclear vessels, unlikely for at least the next decade or so.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Department of Ocean Engineering, 77 Massachusetts Avenue
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02139
  • Authors:
    • Caroussis, C I
  • Publication Date: 1974-12-12

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00099986
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Report/Paper Numbers: MS Thesis
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 18 1975 12:00AM