Here's America's NUCLEAR Aircraft Carrier Kept In Secret

Despite aircraft carriers' enormous cost, the Navy believes there is no replacing a well-armed, aircraft-equipped, sovereign piece of US territory managed by dual nuclear reactors. 


Why the Navy around the world places a huge bet on nuclear-powered carriers? How are they better than non-nuclear ones? Make sure to watch 'till the end to find out!

Why the Navy around the world places a huge bet on nuclear-powered carriers?

First, the study confirmed that because nuclear ships can travel at high speeds for long periods without refueling, they can surge to theater quickly and spend more continuous time on-station after arriving. The study also drew several important 
conclusions when considering acquisition and life-cycle costs. I would like to discuss these in terms of costs to build the ship and power demand of the ship.
First, nuclear ships have overall lower operating and support costs because of their fuel independence, but are more expensive to build. The study found that this procurement premium ranged from between $600 million and $800 million per 
ship for the fifth ship of a class. Also, when focusing on the life-cycle costs or the break-even point aspect of a ship power decision, it was clear that the energy requirements of a ship, not its physical size, as one might imagine, are the major driver in the selection of power systems. These energy requirements are dependent on the power demand of the combat system and also on how much time the ship will spend at sea, and at what speeds.

About Nuclear Submarines and Aircraft Carriers 

In 1954, the Navy launched the first submarine that used radioactive material as a power source. Its name was the USS Nautilus and it was the first submarine to travel to the North Pole in 1958. Before then, submarines used diesel engines and had to go into port for fuel. Nuclear power allowed submarines to run for about twenty years without needing to refuel. Food supplies became the only limit on a nuclear submarine’s time at sea. Since then, similar technologies have been developed to power aircraft carriers.

Nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers are powered by onboard nuclear reactors. Atoms in the nuclear reactor split, which releases energy as heat. This heat is used to create high-pressured steam. The steam turns propulsion turbines that provide the power to turn the propeller. Additional turbines also make electricity for the ship. As the steam cools and condenses back into water, the water is directed back through the system, and the process starts again.

The nuclear reactor compartment is shielded to protect the crew from the radiation released by the reactor and crew access is prohibited during reactor operation. Reactor engineers wear radiation monitors that are checked regularly. They follow strict safety procedures, work in shifts and carefully plan the work to limit radiation exposure.

When the nuclear reactors used to power submarines and aircraft carriers are disposed of, the Department of Defense maintains and monitors the radioactive parts. When submarine and aircraft carrier nuclear reactors are no longer being used, the compartments are shipped to the final disposal site on barges. During shipment, the Coast Guard or the Navy will provide an escort vessel to ensure the security of the barge. The Coast Guard may periodically inspect the barges. The Navy must comply with Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations when shipping the reactor compartments. Radiation levels must not exceed DOT limits. These limits are in place to protect workers, the public and the environment while shipping and managing the reactor compartments and components. The Department of Energy (DOE) disposes of some types of contaminated reactor parts from nuclear vessels at the Hanford facility in Washington State. These contaminated reactor parts are stored in specially designed waste storage cells.

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