sodium reactor submarine

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Clementine was the first liquid metal cooled nuclear reactor and used mercury coolant, thought to be the obvious choice since it is liquid at room temperature. Liquid metal cooled reactors were studied by Pratt & Whitney for use in nuclear aircraft as part of the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion program.[7]. Seawolf was built by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics in Groton, Conn., and commissioned on March 30, 1957. The Soviet November-class submarine K-27 and all seven Alfa-class submarines used reactors cooled by a lead-bismuth alloy (VT-1 reactors in K-27; BM-40A and OK-550 reactors in others). <> Early in November 1956, he informed the Commission that he would take steps toward replacing the reactor in the Seawolf with a water-cooled plant similar to that in the Nautilus. This limits the amount of water that can be allowed to flow through the reactor core, and since fast reactors have a high power density most designs use molten metals instead. 2 0 obj The Sodium Reactor Experiment was an experimental sodium-cooled nuclear reactor sited in a section of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory then operated by the Atomics International division of North American Aviation. To achieve greater efficacy and power density, the Navy built Seawolf with a liquid metal (sodium) cooled nuclear reactor. The S2G reactor was a naval reactor used by the United States Navy to provide electricity generation and propulsion on warships, and the only liquid metal cooled reactor yet deployed by the US Navy. endobj Lead has excellent neutron properties (reflection, low absorption) and is a very potent radiation shield against gamma rays. stream �ē��!��E8X��tY%�־�Åu���. The second nuclear submarine, USS Seawolf was the only U.S. submarine to have a sodium-cooled nuclear power plant. It suffered a partial nuclear meltdown in 1963 and was decommissioned in 1975. Sodium and NaK (a eutectic sodium-potassium alloy) do not corrode steel to any significant degree and are compatible with many nuclear fuels, allowing for a wide choice of structural materials. However, because of disadvantages including high toxicity, high vapor pressure even at room temperature, low boiling point producing noxious fumes when heated, relatively low thermal conductivity,[2] and a high[3] neutron cross-section, it has fallen out of favor.

NaK is liquid at room temperature. The S2G designation stands for: S = Submarine platform; 2 = Second generation core designed by the contractor; G = General Electric was the contracted designer It was succeeded at the same site by PFR, the Prototype Fast Reactor, which operated from 1974 to 1994 and used liquid sodium as its coolant. Seawolf was the same basic "double hull" twin-screw submarine design as her predecessor USS Nautilus (SSN-571), but her propulsion system was more technologically advanced.

There are two proposals for a sodium cooled Gen IV LMFR, one based on oxide fuel, the other on the metal-fueled integral fast reactor. This makes them attractive for improving power output in conventional nuclear power plants. In order to standardize the reactors in the fleet,[citation needed] the submarine's sodium-cooled reactor was removed starting in 1958 and replaced with a pressurized water reactor. Persistent superheater problems on Seawolf caused the superheaters to be bypassed, resulting in mediocre performance. A … Liquid metals, being electrically highly conductive, can be moved by electromagnetic pumps. <> The Soviet November-class submarine K-27 and all seven Alfa-class submarines used reactors cooled by a lead-bismuth alloy (VT-1 reactors in K-27; BM-40A and OK-550 reactors in others). The reactor produced a total of 37 GW-h of electricity. The Submarine Intermediate Reactor (SIR) nuclear plant was designed by General Electric's Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory and prototyped in West Milton, New York.


Additionally, the high temperature of the liquid metal can be used to produce vapour at higher temperature than in a water cooled reactor, leading to a higher thermodynamic efficiency. Both the Soviet and US navies had earlier constructed prototype attack submarines using LMFR power units. All U.S. Navy submarines and supercarriers built since 1975 are nuclear-powered by such reactors… United States naval reactors are nuclear reactors used by the United States Navy aboard certain ships to generate the steam used to produce power for propulsion, electric power, catapulting airplanes in aircraft carriers, and a few more minor uses. She was the U.S. Navy ’s second nuclear submarine. The Soviet BN-600 is sodium cooled. The land-based unit corresponding to S2G was S1G reactor. The Atomic Energy Commission historians' account of the naval sodium-cooled reactor experience was: Although makeshift repairs permitted the Seawolf to complete her initial sea trials on reduced power in February 1957, Rickover had already decided to abandon the sodium-cooled reactor.

The prototype plant was eventually designated S1G and Seawolf 's plant as S2G.

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