Independent studies of the world's shipping situation, projected to 2000 A.D., indicate a rising demand for total tonnage, larger ships, higher speeds, and therefore higher horsepower. The United States should share a substantial portion of these bottoms to maintain its world trade position. Increasing fossil fuel prices, which are not likely to be reduced, and decreasing nuclear fuel costs make large nuclear-powered merchantmen an attractive alternative. The NS "Savannah" has demonstrated the feasibility and acceptability of nuclear merchant ship propulsion. Although not designed as an economically competitive vessel, the "Savannah" has provided excellent economic information and invaluable operating experience during her nearly 500,000 miles of steaming. Under MARAD's leadership, the authors' company has continued to extend its study and evaluation of "Savannah" experience and to firm up the design for larger plants meeting the projected requirements of the future. The MARAD-sponsored studies show that the Consolidated Nuclear Steam Generating system (CNSG) design is now economically competitive in the 100,000 to 120,000 shp range and that its prospects for lower-powered plants are good. As a result, there is intense foreign interest in nuclear merchant ship propulsion. The German nuclear ship "Otto Hahn," which is based on the CNSG design, is an outstanding technical success, and the Japanese experimental nuclear ship "Mutsu" will become operational next year. Both Japan and Germany have announced plans for very large nuclear-powered merchantmen. The CNSG, a unitized plant utilizing proven technology, is uniquely adapted for ship propulsion; location of the steam generators within the pressure vessel reduces shipboard space requirements and increases safety. The present MARAD-led CNSG program can produce a high-speed, economically competitive operating vessel by mid-1977. Possible applications of nuclear power to various types of projected hulls and shipping requirements, although not limitless, are sufficient to make nuclear power an attractive consideration for today's ships requiring 100,000 shp or more, and for advanced merchantmen of the future.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Presented at Spring Meeting of SNAME, Williamsbrug, Va.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers

    601 Pavonia Avenue
    Jersey City, NJ  United States  07306-2907
  • Authors:
    • Dickinson, R W
    • Esleeck, S H
    • Lemon, J E
  • Publication Date: 1972-5

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 17 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00032702
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 21 1973 12:00AM