Samsung Heavy partners with the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute to develop nuclear-powered ships

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kenneal - lagger
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Samsung Heavy partners with the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute to develop nuclear-powered ships

Post by kenneal - lagger »

The fact that Samsung Heavy and the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute are developing nuclear-powered ships has me very worried indeed especially as, on average, one large ship a year just disappears and another one hundred are lost or founder (sink to you and I).

Unless there are very stringent automatic shut down procedures we would soon know if a nuclear powered ship had foundered as the resultant nuclear explosion and tsunami would soon let everyone around the ocean basin know that something had gone wrong somewhere nearby.

The fact that there are a number of nuclear powered aircraft carriers and submarines doesn't do much for my peace of mind either but if one of those goes down we are probably going to be at war anyway and there is the likelihood that nuclear explosions would be popping off all over the globe so one more wouldn't make much of a difference. One would hope that the US and other Navies have taken suitable precautions in case of sinking as well. Ensuring cooling shouldn't be a problem in a sunken vessel!
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BritDownUnder
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Re: Samsung Heavy partners with the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute to develop nuclear-powered ships

Post by BritDownUnder »

I don’t think it is true that a nuclear reactor can explode like a nuclear weapon.

The criticality of a piece of uranium is dependent upon the fraction of fissile uranium U-235 as opposed to non-fissile U-238. As far as I know natural uranium as mined is only 0.7% U-235 and you need about 70% U-235 to get a bomb. That is what those lovely Iranians are currently trying to do now - enriching uranium - allegedly to make a bomb to blow us all to hell, or at least deter an attack on them.

From what I know ships are mostly powered by pressurised water reactors which need enriched uranium of about 4% U-235, still not enough to make a bomb but enough to get hot and make steam when suitably moderated.

There are at least two wrecks of nuclear submarines, one American and one Russian on the seabed and while they are probably not desirable they have not caused widespread destruction.

I think a nuclear powered commercial ship will not be viable for far more boring reasons. It will be unviable economically and it will be treated as a pariah by a lot of countries. I think the Japs had one in the 1970s and it was not used very much for the two reasons given above.
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Re: Samsung Heavy partners with the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute to develop nuclear-powered ships

Post by adam2 »

There was a nuclear powered cargo ship years ago, called the "mutsu" or "mitsu".
It suffered from various radiation leaks and other breakdowns, ISTR that repairs involved socks filled with rice ! AFAIK the ship never carried a fee paying cargo but was turned into a research ship. I think that it still exists as a museum, but defueled.

"A bit of a mitsu" became a slang term for improvised repairs, especially if they involved unsuitable materials, such as rice to repair a nuclear reactor.
Jokes circulating at the time that featured "emergency rice supplies in case of radiation leaks" at UK nuclear power stations.
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kenneal - lagger
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Re: Samsung Heavy partners with the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute to develop nuclear-powered ships

Post by kenneal - lagger »

Has that put my mind to rest? A little bit! Only a little bit!
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Re: Samsung Heavy partners with the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute to develop nuclear-powered ships

Post by Mark »

BritDownUnder wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 7:45 pm There are at least two wrecks of nuclear submarines, one American and one Russian on the seabed and while they are probably not desirable they have not caused widespread destruction.
It's a few more than that - 9 nuclear submarines have sunk, either by accident or scuttling.
The Soviet Navy has lost 5 (one of which sank twice), the Russian Navy 2, and the United States Navy 2.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_s ... submarines

Russia’s ‘slow-motion Chernobyl’ at sea:
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/2020 ... submarines
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Re: Samsung Heavy partners with the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute to develop nuclear-powered ships

Post by kenneal - lagger »

It looks like Russia/USSR have had more nuclear accidents than the rest of the world put together and they are building even more vessels to have accidents with. If they were a car driver going for an insurance renewal no insurance company would touch them.
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Re: Samsung Heavy partners with the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute to develop nuclear-powered ships

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Former superpower gone 'rogue'.
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